In Brief

In Brief Dr Murat Dilmener
Uganda Martyrs Day postponed due to Covid-19

The Annual Martyrs Day celebrations in Uganda that were set for June 3 have been postponed due to the coronavirus.

The decision to defer the celebrations was taken by the bishops at the request of the Catholic diocese of Masaka.

“Even if the current lockdown is eased it will not be possible in the time available to properly organise the 2020 Namugongo (Shrine) Martyrs Day,” said Rt. Rev. Joseph Antony Zziwa, chairman of the country’s episcopal conference.

Martyrs Day is a public holiday to remember the killing of 22 Catholic and 23 Anglican converts to Christianity in the historical Kingdom of Buganda.


Pope appoints Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana

Pope Francis has named the Rev. Henryk Mieczyslaw Jagodzinski as the new Apostolic Nunion to Ghana. Msgr Jagodzinski takes over as the country’s ninth nuncio from Most Rev. Jean Marie Speich, who has been reassigned to Kosovo.

Born in 1969, Msgr Jagodzinski (61) was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Kielce in his native Poland then earned a doctorate in canon law at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.

He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in July 2001 and had stints in Belarus (2001-2005), Croatia (2005-2008), India (2015-2018) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (2018-2020).


China bishop dies after virus recovery

Bishop Joseph Zhu Baoyu, who recovered from Covid-19 in February, died in his sleep aged 98 last week.

Bishop Zhu of Nanyang Diocese was diagnosed with pneumonia on February 3 and admitted to hospital.

There he tested positive for Covid-19 and when he left hospital on February 14, he was reportedly the oldest person to have recovered from the virus at the time.

Bishop Pietro Jin Lugang succeeds him and, in doing so, becomes the first underground bishop to be recognised by the Chinese government since 2018 China-Vatican agreement.


Diocese in UK creates ‘dial-a-Mass’ service

A Catholic diocese in the UK has launched what is believed to be the first-ever Mass available to listen to directly by phone.

The new service is being provided by the Middlesbrough diocese for Catholics without internet access.

The idea was proposed by a local Knights of Columba member and a phone number was set up. Fr Albert Schembri of St Mary’s Cathedral celebrated the first recorded Mass with 100 people last week.

Canon Derek Turnham, head of diocesan communications, said he was “delighted” by the new system, which expands upon the digital outreach by parishes already taking place over email and social media networks.


Turkey’s Christian ‘doctor of the poor’ dies

A Christian in Turkey, known as the “doctor of the poor”, has succumbed to the coronavirus and passed away last week.

Murat Dilmener, aged 78, was the first Syriac Christian employed as a professor in a medical school in the country.

He was born in Mardin and volunteered for initiatives in the churches of his community.

In 2004, Turkish authorities accused Dilmener and 135 other doctors of stealing public funds and treating poor patients free of charge without permission at a public hospital in Istanbul.

The accusations were later disproved and he became branded as the “doctor of the poor”.