FORTY one British Christians have appealed to the Paraguayan Minister of the Interior to release Constantino Coronel, a peasant leader who has been in detention for IS months. Mr Coronel has suffered constant harassment since 1976 when he was shot on arrest and brutally tortured. There have been two subsequent attempts on his life.
He was imprisoned in March 1979 on trumped-up charges including rape, burglary and political subversion and held for many months in ankle chains in appalling condition... In January he was transferred to a political prison in Asuncion.
The appeal was drawn up at a consultation in Birmingham which was attended by two leading Latin American theologians: Jose Nliguel Bonin() and Joao Libanio.
tilL American bishops are considering a proposal to drop four of the six holy days of obligation currently being observed. The proposal came from the bishops' committee on the Liturgy and called for the retention of only Christmas and the feast of the Immaculate Conception. the four which would go are the solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, Ascension Thursday, the feast of the Assumption and All Saints Day.
DR Gerald Ellison, Anglican bishop of London, this week repeated his pleas for more Government help to the homeless and said that in homelessness lay "the seeds of every kind of social evil and unrest". Dr Ellison joined with Cardinal Hume and other church leaders in London last month to issue a strong statement on the plight of the homeless. He returned to the issue in the House of I,ords second reading debate on the Housing Bill.
THE Polish language edition of L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, is not being allowed into Poland. Church officials said that censors had refused permission for it to be Imported after they had allowed the first number in. Officials also said that a recent visit to Poland by Archbishop Luigi Poggl, a Vatican envoy had failed to resolve the question of the Church's legal status.
THE Methodist Church has become the first denomination in Britain to back the South African Council of Churches' call for a national convention for formulate a just constitution for South Africa. The proposals include a demand that the black nationalist leader Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners should be freed and allowed the take part in the convention. The international "Free Mandela" campaign is also being supported in this country by Anti-Apartheid and the International Defence and Aid Fund.
THE Vatican learned recently that the only remaining Catholic bishop in Cambodia, the Apostolic Vicar of Phnom-Penh, .loseph Chhmar Salm, has died. Reports from refugees said that he died in 1976 at the age of 39. He was ordained priest in 1964 and made bishop co-adjutor with the right of accession in April 1975, DR HANS KUNG this week launched another attack on the Vatican for refusing to allow Catholics to exercise "full human rights" when he addressed a huge rally at the Free University of Berlin: Dr Kong. who has been stripped of his right to teach as a Catholic theologian, rejected the idea of breaking away from the Church. "We do not leave the Church to those above, we all are the Church. We do not let ourselves he pushed out," he said.
FOLLOWING Minister for Arts, Mr Norman St John Stevas's announcement that he was buying a racehorse, Catholic mine workers leader, Mr Joe Gormley has put forward the idea of a miners' syndicate to race a promising colt he has the option on. Mr Gormley 's £15,010) union salary has never put him personally in the racing bracket. A union official commented: "All I can say is that he backs a lot of losers."