Global Review – 5th February

German synod asks Pope to review celibacy, homosexuality

The German synodal process has asked Pope Fracis to relax the compulsory priestly celibacy. While expressing appreciation for the value of celibacy as a lifestyle for priests, the document, approved by 86%, asks for the admission of married priests to the Roman Catholic Church by the Pope or, given the weight of the issue, by a Council. It also asks the Pope to allow Catholic priests to marry and remain in office. During the debate, it was repeatedly stressed that in the Orthodox Churches there are both celibate and married priests, and that already today married Protestant or Anglican former pastors can be admitted as priests in the Catholic Church. The hypothesis of a revision has been proposed by two cardinals, Reinhard Marx of Munich, former president of the German bishops’ conference, andCardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, president of the Commission of EU Bishops’ Conferences, who has also recently asked that the Church “should review Catholic teaching on the sinfulness of homosexuality”, saying he believes that “the sociological and scientific basis of this teaching is no longer valid”. He was commenting on the recent news that 125 employees of the Catholic Church in Germany, including some priests, identified themselves “as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, intersex, queer and non-binary people”.

Pence attacks Trump: I had no power to overturn the vote

Former US Vice-President Mike Pence has dismissed claims by Donald Trump that he could have stopped Joe Biden becoming president last year. In his strongest rebuttal yet, he said Mr Trump was wrong to suggest he had had the right to overturn the election. Separately, the Republican Party censured two of its top lawmakers for investigating the Capitol riots. The two legislators, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, are the only Republicans on a congressional select committee investigating the riots. The statement by the Republican National Committee (RNC) accused the pair of helping to persecute “ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse”. A mob stormed the Capitol as lawmakers met to confirm President Joe Biden’s poll win on January 6 last year. Four people died during the riots, and a police officer who suffered two strokes while defending the building died the following day.

China joins Russia in opposing NATO expansion

China has joined Russia in opposing further NATO expansion as the two countries move closer together in the face of Western pressure. Moscow and Beijing issued a statement showcasing their agreement on a raft of issues during a visit by Russia’s Vladimir Putin for the Winter Olympics. Putin claims Western powers are using the NATO defence alliance to undermine Russia. While the lengthy joint statement did not refer directly to Ukraine, the two countries accused NATO of espousing a Cold War ideology.

Two more MPs submit letter of no confidence in Johnson

Two more Conservative MPs, including a former minister, have become the latest MPs to publicly call for Boris Johnson to go, and both announced they had submitted letters of no confidence in the prime minister’s leadership. Newcastle-under-Lyme MP Mr Aaron Bell wrote on Friday that the “breach in trust” caused by alleged lockdown-breaking parties at No 10 makes the PM’s position “untenable”, while former schools minister Mr Nick Gibb called for the prime minister to go in an article in The Telegraph. The latest calls for Mr Johnson to go bring the total number of Tory MPs to do so to 15, with nine stating they have submitted letters of no confidence in the PM. Other Tory MPs are expected to consider over the weekend whether to write to the chair of the 1922 Committee Sir Graham in an attempt to force a leadership contest.

Minneapolis police kill African American at home

An African American was killed by two policemen during a raid In his apartment in Minneapolis, the same city as the Floyd case. The images recorded by the agents’ body cams show them entering the house shouting “Police, search!” and the scene in which they shoot in cold blood at a man who is lying under the covers. As soon as Amir Locke tried to get up, the agents reacted by opening fire hitting him in the chest and wrist. The boy was brandishing a weapon. According to his parents, shocked and “disgusted” by the incident, “the raid would have woken him from a deep sleep and, in a confused state, would have forced him to take the firearm he legally possessed to protect himself”. It is still unclear whether the 22-year-old ended up in the murder investigation the officers were investigating but he was certainly not the target of the operation, according to acting chief of the Minneapolis police, Amelia Huffman. “He was not on the arrest warrant,” she said.

Football: ManU out of FA Cup

Manchester United crashed out of the FA Cup as Championship side Middlesbrough came from behind at Old Trafford and emerged victorious in a nail-biting 16-shot penalty shootout. Young striker Anthony Elanga ballooned his shot over the bar to give Chris Wilder’s side a win that was celebrated in enthusiastic fashion by a 9,000-strong visiting crowd. It was only the second time in 11 meetings with Premier League opposition that Middlesbrough had progressed, following on from their equally-surprising success at Manchester City in 2015. The draw for the FA Cup fifth round will take place tomorow.

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