In Brief

In Brief
Papal visit to Switzerland confirmed

Pope Francis will visit Geneva in June to help commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the Vatican has confirmed. His visit is also meant to show the Church’s support for the organisation’s ecumenical initiatives, Swiss Cardinal Kurt Koch told reporters.

The cardinal, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said the visit on June 21 “will be a sign of recognition of a unique contribution of the WCC to the modern ecumenical movement. It will be an expression of the personal commitment of the Holy Father to the goal of Christian unity as expressed on many occasions.”


Rector stabbed in India: sacristan arrested

An Indian rector of the shrine of St Thomas at Malayattoor was stabbed in the thigh and leg causing him to bleed to death in Cochin, southwest India.

Police arrested Johny Vattekadan, a sacristan whom the victim Fr Xavier Thelakkat had suspended earlier for misconduct, including alcoholism. Witnesses said the two were arguing when the former sacristan is believed to have stabbed the priest.

St Thomas shrine sits on a hill about 30 miles north of Cochin. The Vatican had granted the shrine international status in 2004.

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