Catholic News Service has published briefs on the following topics: Ship collision toll; Zambia tensions.
Archbishop Broglio asks prayers for those who perished in ship collision
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The head of the U.S. military archdiocese June 20 expressed sorrow for the lives lost in "the tragic ship collision" involving the USS Fitzgerald off the coast of Japan. Seven sailors died aboard the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer, which collided with a Philippine-flagged merchant vessel early in the morning June 17. Hours later, their bodies were found in flooded berthing compartments. "Deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life on the USS Fitzgerald, I ask all of the faithful to remember in prayer the victims and their families," said Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services. "My heart also goes out to all of the members of the crew who not only lost their esteemed shipmates, but also all of the personal belongings they had on board with them." The damaged destroyer remained anchored at the U.S. Navy base in Yokosuka, Japan, while an investigation was underway to determine how the collision happened. AP reported that experts "generally agree that the Philippine-flagged container ship was likely trying to pass the destroyer from behind when the two collided."
Zambia bishops, faith leaders warn of crisis if dictatorship results
OXFORD, England (CNS) -- The president of the Zambian Catholic bishops' conference joined other religious leaders in deploring worsening tensions in the east African country, accusing its president of intimidating opponents and silencing the media. Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu of Lusaka and leaders of the Council of Churches of Zambia and the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia said in a statement that the country is at a crossroads as it faces "many challenges related to governance, the muzzling of people's freedoms and human rights violations." The leaders said June 16 they were saddened by the "blatant lack of political will" to tackle Zambia's crisis, and wished to "see the government do better and succeed" by raising their "prophetic voice." They said they had tried for weeks to explain their concerns to President Edgar Lungu. They also said they feared he was "creating a new dictatorship. Only leadership that does not have the will of the people on its side, or thinks it does not have the will of the people on its side, uses state institutions to suppress that same will," the statement said.