ROME—The celebrated statue of Moses by Michaelangelo will be cleaned and restored in preparation for the Millennium.
The statue, famous for its horns—the result of a mistaken Bible translation— will be restored at the behest of the Italian ministry for architecture and the environment. Experts will remove a film of dirt from the surface of the Carrara marble sculpture. The restoration of the statue, which will last for a year, will cost over £150,000.
Tourists will still be able to view the statue, which stands in San Pietro in Vincoli Church in central Rome.— (KNA) BIRKENHEAD—The coroner investigating the death of Fr Michael Raiswell, 40, who was found dead just weeks before he took over as parish priest at a Birkenhead church. last week recorded a verdict of suicide.
Fr Raiswell hanged himself after writing in his diary that he worried about his upcoming promotion and that he had been depressed.
Mgr John McManus of Shrewsbury Diocese said: "Everyone who knew Fr Michael was extremely saddened by the death of such an amiable and able priest.
'The tragic circumstances of his death had a deep impact on many people, not least his family and friends and we extend to them our deepest sympathy and assurance of our prayers."—( The Universe) LONDON—Bishop Frank Griswold is the new Anglican co-chairman of ARCIC, the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission.
Bishop Griswold, the most senior Anglican clergyman in the US, admitted in the summer that he had received communion in a Catholic church in New York.—(Church limes) LONDON—The new general secretary of the Council of Churches of Britain and Ireland was announced this week.
Dr David Goodbourn, a Baptist, will take over from Rev John Reardon. the outgoing president.
Dr Goodbum is the president of the European Ecumenical Association and a member of Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS) Commission on Mission. Education and Evangelism.
STOCKHOLM—The Holy See sent a message of condolence to the victims of the night-club fire in Gothenburg.
The message, sent to Bishop Hubertus Brandenburg of Stockholm. read: "Deeply saddened by news of the many victims of the fire at Gothenburg, the Holy Father commends the deceased to Almighty God's eternal love and invokes divine strength and comfort upon their grieving families. He gives the assurance of his prayerful closeness to the entire nation at this time of tragedy."
Sixty teenagers died and 180 were injured after tire swept through a crowded discotheque in Sweden's second city.—(EWTN)
SALZBURG—At a special national Church assembly held at the end of last month, Austrian Catholics passed several motions calling for the ordination of women, freedom for couples to choose their own method of birth control and for divorced and remarried Catholics to receive the sacraments.
The assembly, encompassing such diverse bodies as the strongly conservative Neocatechumenates and the liberal We Are Church movement, also passed motions calling for the end of condemnation of homosexuality and the ordination of women deacons, though the issue of female priests was not addressed.— (NCR) VIENNA—Austrian bishops appealed to the Sudanese ambassador for the release of two priests arrested and tortured in Sudan.
A statement, issued by Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, president of the Austrian bishops' conference, expressed "profound sorrow" at the treatment of the priests, who are being held by the Sudanese authorities for "participation in terrorist acts".
The bishops criticised a military tribunal on October 12 which tried the priests, as "in no way" respecting the defendants' basic legal rights. They said the priests were being held in conditions that contravened "the minimal demands of human rights."
The priests. Fr Hiliary Boma and Lino Sebit, were known for their non-violent opposition to Sudan's Islamic regime.— (Kathpress) SAN CRISTOBAL, Honduras—A mother carries her child through flood waters in the wake of Hurricane Mitch. Catholic charities called for the remission of the affected countries' debts.
Fiona Fox—p8 Editorial Comment—p9 GLASGOW—This Monday sees the beginning of Prisoners' Week, an event which encourages Christians to focus attention and prayers on prisoners, families, victims of crime and prison staff throughout the UK.
The week will feature events within prisons and throughout local communities to raise awareness of issues such as the growing prison population and mothers in jail. WARSAW—The Polish parliament voted to support the construction of a new cathedral in Warsaw.
The new Cathedral of Divine Providence was approved by the lower house of parliament by 234 votes to 20, with 72 abstentions.
It will be built in the suburb of Wilanow in a triple celebration of the country's deliverance from communist rule in 1989, the 20th anniversary of John Paul Ifs pontificate and 2000 years of Christianity. The construction will be funded mainly by donation.— (Kathpress) BRUSSELS—Around 20 illegal immigrants occupied a church in the Belgian town of Luttlich to call for an amnesty for illegal immigrants.
interior minister. Luc Van den Bossche, is currently proposing reform of the immigration system, but it is thought he has ruled out an amnesty.
The occupation of the church was supported by around 30 asylum rights groups. The parish priest said he supported the action.—(Kathpress)