Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Christian Leaders Issue 'Call of Conscience'
- Catholic Priest in Poor Health after Stroke in Prison
- Anglican Leader, in Rome, Optimistic on Ecumenical Strains
- Hand-Written Bible for Sale on eBay
Christian Leaders Issue 'Call of Conscience'
The Associated Press reports that more than 150 Christian leaders, including Chuck Colson, George Weigel and Robert George, gathered on Friday to release a joint statement on religious freedom and moral issues at stake. The 4,700-word document, called "The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience," affirmed traditional stances on marriage, pro-life issues, and freedom of conscience. "We will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriage or the equivalent or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family," the document reads.
Catholic Priest in Poor Health after Stroke in Prison
ASSIST News Service reports that a Catholic priest in Vietnam has suffered a stroke while serving a prison term for his human rights work. Father Nguyen Van Ly has been in solitary confinement and allowed limited family visits, while his health has deteriorated. Father Van Ly was arrested in March 2007 for his religious freedom and pro-democracy work under the guise of "disseminating anti-government propaganda" and was gagged and sentenced to 8 years in prison and 5 years house arrest without a chance to defend himself. Father Van Ly suffered a second stroke on November 14, 2009, as he was kneeling to pray, and as a result he is now paralyzed on the right side of his body.
Anglican Leader, in Rome, Optimistic on Ecumenical Strains
Religion News Service reports that speaking in Rome a month after the Vatican unveiled plans to facilitate the conversion of conservative Anglicans to Catholicism, the spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion offered a moderately hopeful assessment of ecumenical relations between the two churches. The "ecumenical glass is genuinely half-full," Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said Thursday (Nov. 19), at the conclusion of a 30-minute lecture at the Pontifical Gregorian University. Williams stressed the "theological convergence" on major doctrinal questions accomplished by Anglican-Catholic dialogue during the last four decades. He characterized areas of continued controversy, including disagreements over the ordination of women, as "second-order issues."
Hand-Written Bible for Sale on eBay
Religion News Service reports that after nine months and 22,579 miles on the road, Zondervan's handwritten Bible arrived back home with verses inscribed by 31,173 people. Now, one of only two copies of the three-volume, 2,200 page leather-bound Bible is on the eBay auction block, Zondervan announced Thursday (Nov. 19). Interested bidders can visit Zondervan's eBay store to make an offer. Proceeds go to Biblica, a Colorado Springs, Colo.-based organization formerly known as the International Bible Society which translates and distributes Bibles. The auction ends at 11:11 a.m. Nov. 22. The only other handwritten copy has been offered to The Smithsonian Institution. The retail version hits store shelves Dec. 1, or can be purchased online at bibleacrossamerica.com.