FREETOWN—Two women religious kidnapped in Sierra Leone by rebels were killed on the outskirts of Freetown at the end of January in crossfire between rebel troops and the West African ECOMOG force backing President Tejan Kabbah.
The two religious were identified as Sr Carmeline from Kenya and Sr Sweva from Bangladesh.
Three other kidnapped nuns, a Xaverian, priest and nine Indian men were freed. Two of the freednuns, Sisters Suchelle and Jeremy Joseph, as well as one of the Indian men. had to be hospi
talised following their release.—(Aid to the Church in Need)
BRAZZAVILLE—The government of Congo has ordered the closure of a Catholic seminary in Kinsundi.
All students as well as the Carmelites who run the seminary were ordered to leave the seminary campus, because it was allegedly used as a hiding place for so-called "Ninja" rebels.
The religious in charge of the seminary denied the claim and protested against the closure.
Renewed fighting has broken out about 15 km from the capital, Brazzaville.— (Fides)
KAMPALA—Pope John Paul II has split Uganda into four provinces and has appointed three new archbishops as well as auxiliary bishops.
Cardinal Wamala of Kampala said he was satisfied with the changes, which were "long overdue". He said that Kenya with its four Archbishops had fewer Catholics than Uganda.
He hoped that the restructuring of the Catholic Church in his country would lighten his workload.
While keeping Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala as Archbishop of Kampala and Primate of Uganda, the Pope promoted John Baptist Odama, Paul Bakyenga and James Odongo to become the first Metropolitan Archbishops of Gulu, Mbarara and Tororo respectively. The changes were simultaneously announced in Rome and Kampala. Cardinal Wamala last week criticised a forthcoming national referendum asking the populace if they want a multiparty system.
"We should bear no illusion that deciding on an issue through voting will, on its own, bring about harmony among the people," the Cardinal said in a widelypublicised homily at Christmas. Multipartists have accused the Ugandan government of attempting to manipulate the result of the referendum.
Last week, Cardinal Wamala stressed that he had no regrets about this homily and was deaf to criticism by politicians.—(Zenit) PORTO NOVO—Catholics in the Republic of Benin are constructing what will be the largest Marian shrine in Africa.
The shrine, to Our Lady of Arigbo of Dassa-Zoume, is twinned with the Roman Basilica of Saint Mary Major. It will have 3,000 seats in the principal nave and 1,000 seats in the two lateral naves. The presbytery will accommodate 50 clergy.
The grotto of Arigbo, in the southeastern region of the Republic of Benin, is a centre of pilgrimage for Catholics from Benin and its neighbours Niger, Nigeria, Burkina-Faso and Togo.
The construction of the colossal shrine is being financed by a special Vatican fund and the Italian Episcopal Conference. When completed, the new centre will be a centre of prayer and unity in faith for the African continent.—(Zenit)