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In Brief


Roman Catholic doctors and researchers involved in stem cell research are unfit to receive Communion, declared Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. “Destroying an embryo is equivalent to abortion,” he said, “and excommunication applies to the woman, the doctors and the researchers that eliminate the embryo.” (RNS)

VIA Rail Canada announced it will serve exclusively fair-trade-certified coffee on its trains across Canada. “Serving fair trade products mesh[es] well with VIA’s ongoing commitment to social and environmental responsibility,” said a statement issued by the company. (OSJHA)

The head of the Reformed Church of Transcarpathia in Ukraine is urging his church to reinstate women to the office of pastor after they were removed this past February by the General Council. Bishop Laszlo Horkay said that only a small percentage of the church approved of the move and that “women have already lost jobs and diplomas because of it.” Women have been allowed for ordination for the past 19 years. (REC)

Christian Peacemaker Teams, which lost a member to violence in Baghdad this year, sent 12 delegates to the West Bank town of Hebron in July for a short course on peacemaking. “Those who believe in nonviolence have to be as willing to take risks as soldiers who believe in violent ways in solving problems,” said Claire Evans, for Christian Peacemaker Teams. (RNS)

The Methodist Church of Great Britain has ruled against any formal church blessing of civil partnerships or “gay marriages,” but said Methodist clergy will be able to say private prayers with a couple in a civil partnership. However, such prayers may not take place on Methodist-owned property.

The Anglican Church in Nigeria has compared the Episcopal Church—its liberal counterpart in the United States—to “a cancerous lump” that “should be excised” from the worldwide Anglican Communion. It also rejected a proposed two-tiered membership system that would try to accommodate both liberals and conservatives in the 77-million-member Anglican Communion. The rapidly growing Nigerian church far outnumbers the U.S. Episcopal Church. (RNS)

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