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Global Briefs for Aug. 24

Rise in Glory: The Rt. Rev. Samir Hanna Kafity, who was the second Palestinian to be Bishop of Jerusalem and served two five-year terms as Provincial President of Jerusalem and the Middle East, has died at 82. Ordained in 1958, he was priest of the Palestinian congregation at St. George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem, and afterward held incumbencies in Ramallah, Birzeit, and Beirut. He became Coadjutor Bishop of Jerusalem in 1982, succeeding the Rt. Rev. Faik Haddad as diocesan bishop two years later. He lived in retirement in San Diego and died on Aug. 21.

More Visit U.K. Cathedrals: Attendance at English churches may be on the slide, but not so at cathedrals. New figures from the Church of England say that 10 million people visited cathedrals in 2014, and almost 37,000 attended Sunday or midweek services. That’s up by almost a quarter compared to 10 years ago, though slightly down in 2013. Cathedral clergy attribute the gain to traditional music, contemplative liturgy, and different service times.

Taizé Turns 75: The Taizé Community in France’s Burgundy region is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Founded at the height of World War II by Brother Roger Schütz, a Reformed Protestant, Taizé became a place of welcome for refugees and thousands of pilgrims who visit every year. Its trademark chants have become a global phenomenon, particularly in ecumenical worship. Pope Francis has hailed Brother Roger as “a tireless witness of the gospel of peace and reconciliation.”


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