The numbers of Lutherans in Africa has grown by 9 per cent over two years, but Lutheran church membership in Europe and North America has declined in the same period, according to statistics released last month by the Geneva-based Lutheran World Federation.
In response to a series of legal challenges, Israel’s Supreme Court has frozen the appointment of the Greek patriarch of the Holy Land, Irineos I, whose position was to have been approved by Israel early this month. The February 25 decision was the latest action aimed at preventing the patriarch from being confirmed in his status more than two years after he was elected.
Inadequate screening of potential priests, not celibacy or homosexuality, is to blame for the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, according to a blue-ribbon panel formed by the nation’s Catholic bishops. The findings of the 12-member National Review Board were released late last month along with the first-ever report on the scope of sexual abuse of minors in the church.
Organ grinder: The dean of Northwestern University’s School of Music has proposed ending its organ degree programs, citing low enrollment (only one undergraduate enrolled in the program in the past three years) and the need to use the school’s resources wisely. Some students and alumni are incensed at this proposal, with one graduate vowing to take the program out of his will.