A group of “traditional Anglicans” in Australia has voted to accept the invitation of Pope Benedict XVI to convert to full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, while retaining their membership in the Anglican Church. Meeting in Melbourne on February 13, the Australian branch of Forward in Faith, which comprises many members of the international Anglo-Catholic group called the Traditional Anglican Communion, “received with gratitude” the pope’s invitation in October to join the Roman communion. The British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported that the Australian group was the first Anglican group to accept the pope’s offer.

Officials in a northeastern Indian state, where more than 70 percent of the population are Christians, have confiscated school textbooks that contained an image of Jesus holding a beer can in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Officials of the St. Joseph Girls’ Higher Secondary School in Shillong, the capital of India’s predominantly tribal and Christian state of Meghalaya, said they filed a complaint with police against the publisher of the book, Skyline Publication, based in New Delhi. Police initially seized about 30 copies of the book, meant as an aid for the teaching of writing in which the image illustrated the word “idol.” In 2007, a Tamil-language newspaper in Malaysia triggered an uproar after it showed a similar picture of Jesus.