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Pope Francis to visit Bosnian capital of Sarajevo

Pope Francis has said he would make a one-day trip to the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo in June, his latest visit to a country where Islam is the dominant religion amid growing persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

Pope Francis to visit Bosnian capital of Sarajevo. Credit: PA

After the weekly Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square, the pope told pilgrims he would go to Sarajevo on June 6 to encourage "reconciliation, peace, inter-religious dialogue and friendship".

It will be the first papal trip to Sarajevo in 18 years. Pope John Paul II ignored apparent assassination threats to visit the war-torn city in 1997, when he urged greater dialogue between Bosniak Muslims, Catholic Croats and Orthodox Serbs.

Haircuts for Rome's homeless at the Vatican

Two homeless women sit on a bench in Rome Credit: Reuters/Alessandro Bianch

Homeless people in Rome will soon be able to go to St Peter's Square for haircuts, shaves and showers.

The head of Pope Francis' charity office said new facilities will open in mid-February.

It is being reported that barbers and hairdressers will volunteer their services on Mondays, the day their shops are traditionally closed in Italy.

They are said to have already donated chairs, mirrors and scissors.

The Pope's almoner Bishop Konrad Krajewski came up with the idea of building showers in St. Peter's Square last year after a homeless person told him that it was harder to find places to wash than to eat in the city.


Priests inaugurate church built entirely from ice

Priests trudged through deep snow in a remote Romanian mountain range today to inaugurate a very unusual church.

Priests hold an inaugural mass in the ice church at Balea Lake, Romania Credit: REUTERS/Radu Sigheti

The chapel is built entirely from ice and snow, and forms part of the Hotel of Ice at Balea Lake in the Fagaras Mountains.

A group of priests arrive for the inauguration Credit: REUTERS/Radu Sigheti

The church, which is covered with decorations and even has an altar carved from ice, will accommodate a busy schedule of weddings, baptisms and concerts.

A priest leads the ceremony behind a carved ice altar Credit: REUTERS/Radu Sigheti

The Hotel of Ice accommodates guests in 12 double rooms, where the temperature hovers between -2 and 2 degrees Celsius.

Bishop Lane is a 'working mum who will bring normality to Church'

The appointment of the first female Bishop is an historic event, but her husband says it is her experience of everyday, normal family life that she will bring to her new job.

48 year old Reverend Libby Lane is a mother of two and has spent the last 20 years juggling often unpaid parish work with raising her children Connie and Benedict.

The Rev Libby Lane hugs her daughter Connie during the service at York Minster Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

She met her husband Rev George Lane while studying theology at Oxford University, and they were ordained together in 1994 - four months after the first group of women became priests.

Her husband who is currently co-coordinating chaplain at Manchester Airport thinks their story 'represents the future of the Church of England'.

Rev George Lane, Dr John Sentamu and The Rev Libby Lane after the service at York Minster Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Both of us doing the cooking, both of us doing washing, both of us writing sermons and both of us dealing with some very serious and important things in people's lives.

That is what normality is to us.

It is a very modern tale of two people who have given and taken over 25 years of married life.

– Rev George Lane

First female bishop 'overwhelmed' and 'thrilled'

The first female Church of England bishop, Libby Lane has described her consecration service as an 'occasion of prayer and of party' and said she is 'thrilled that so many want to share in both.'

Nearly 2000 people attended the service at York Minster today which was conducted by the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu.

Bishop Lane with Dr John Sentamu after the service Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

I cannot properly express how encouraged I have been in the weeks since the announcement of my nomination, by the thousands of messages I have received with words of congratulation, support and wisdom.

I've heard from people of all ages, women and men, people I have known for years and people I have never met, people from down the road and people from across the world.

I cannot possibly live up to everyone's expectation. And so today, at my consecration, I hold on to words of promise from the Bible, a reassurance that all this does not depend on me.

– Bishop Lane

Prime Minister David Cameron hailed the 'historic appointment' as an ''important day for equality'' and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, said he was 'absolutely delighted'.


First woman bishop Libby Lane gives a thumbs up

Rev Libby Lane gives a thumbs up. Credit: PA

Rev Libby Lane gave a thumbs up today as she was ordained the Church of England's first woman bishop.

Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu ordains Rev Lane. Credit: PA

The service at York Minster was slightly interrupted by a male protester who shouted: "No, it's not in the bible".

But Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu ignored him and things continued without incident.

Members of the clergy gather round Rev Lane as she is ordained. Credit: Pool

The historic service comes months after legislation was changed allowing women bishops.

A rapturous applause came from the congregation of around 2,000 as Rev Lane was officially presented as the Bishop of Stockport.

Rev Lane gets a hug after she is ordained. Credit: PA

Man 'stages protest' at first female bishop consecration

A man has staged a protest in York Minster during the consecration of the Church of England's first woman bishop, Libby Lane.

The protester interrupted the service shouting: "No. Not in the bible" when the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu asked the congregation if it was their will that Rev Lane was ordained.

The brief protest happened around an hour into the consecration as the congregation of nearly 2,000 people replied "It is", the lone man stepped forward to the altar.

Dr Sentamu followed legal procedures and read out a pre-prepared statement before repeating his original question.

The service continued and Rev Lane was officially ordained as Bishop about 20 minutes later.

Church of England's first woman bishop to be consecrated

The Church of England's first female bishop will be consecrated in a ceremony later today.

Reverend Libby Lane was named as the Bishop of Stockport in December. Credit: PA Wire

The Reverend Libby Lane, 48, will be ordained as the new Bishop of Stockport in a service, conducted by the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu, at York Minister.

It comes months after the General Synod formally adopted legislation allowing women bishops.

Speaking at the time her appointment was announced, the mother-of-two hailed the moment as "significant", adding: "I'm the first, but I won't be the only."

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