Anglican Unscripted Episode 72, May 18, 2013 May 18, 2013Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Church of North America, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican.TV, Church of England, Church of Nigeria, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: Boko Haram, gay marriage, Jacob Chimeledya, Valentino Mokiwa, Wallace Benn
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Episode 72 of Anglican Unscripted brings even more news about the Anglican Church (Communion) around the world. Kevin and George talk about stories from Tanzania and Nigeria, who are dealing with internal conflict and Muslim-on-Christian violence.
It is also time to give an update on the Temporary Same Sex Liturgies the Episcopal Church passed at General Convention last year and who is using them and who is not.
AS Haley updates all the major legal cases around the country and discusses the late breaking news from The Falls Church.
Peter Ould talks about the growing conflict and investigation in Jersey. It is hard to tell if the biggest issue is jurisdiction or lack of trasparency.
Finally, in the blooper real at the end of the episode (after the credits) one of our contributors reveals a hidden talent. #AU72 Comments to AnglicanUnscripted@gmail.com
Canterbury calls for peace in Korea: The Church of England Newspaper, May 12, 2013 p 7. May 14, 2013Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Korea, Archbishop of Canterbury, Arms Control/Defense/Peace Issues, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Nippon Sei Ko Kai.
Tags: John Holbrook, Second Worldwide Anglican Peace Conference
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The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has added its voice to the call for peace in Korea. In a message read to the Second Worldwide Anglican Peace Conference held in Okinawa from 16 – 22 April 2013 Archbishop Welby lauded the work of the Korean and Japanese churches to foster peace in Northeast Asia.
“Your gathering has come at the most needful time,” Archbishop Welby wrote, in a statement read by his representative to the conference Bishop John Holbrook of Brixworth in the diocese of Peterborough.
“We stand with you in solidarity with the people of Korea at this time of heightened tension. I applaud the commitment of the Anglican Communion to work with the Anglican Church of Korea in its dedicated mission towards peace in Korea. May the initiatives you pursue contribute to the breaking down of enmities and to the establishment of a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. Recent developments have shown how urgent this remains. I pray that the Lord may grant you the courage to keep faithful to this calling.”
Approximately 80 delegates attended the conference convened jointly by the Nippon Sei Ko Kai and the Anglican church committee. In his opening address Archbishop Nathaniel Uematsu of Japan said peace will come to the region by a call for relinquishing “our own rights … And trying to protect the rights of others, or those who lack even basic rights.”
In the closing communiqué the delegates said East Asia was “hounded by the alarming threat of military escalation, the proliferation of destructive nuclear weapons, and the deadly effects of nuclear power generation.”
“We noted the danger signs are governments moving toward a war footing, they said, adding they feared the “possible revision of Japan’s skis Constitution would undermine stability in the region.”
The conference declared its “unequivocal opposition to war as a means of resolving disputes” and pledged “never again to war!”
Fake resume lands diocesan official in court: The Church of England Newspaper, May 12, 2013 p 7. May 14, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Crime.
Tags: Diocese of Lincoln, Max Manin
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The former chief executive officer of the Diocese of Lincoln has appeared in court to answer charges that he falsified his resume to secure the top administrative post in the diocese.
Maximilian Manin (54) is accused of making the false claim that he held a first class honours degree in English Literature and Art History from the University of Sheffield when he was appointed to the £45,000 a year job. Lincoln magistrates heard the first class degree was an essential requirement for the post.
Mr. Manin has also been charged with fraud over the improper use of a car loan. In May 2012 he left the position after a diocesan review committee recommended his post be eliminated. On 14 June 2012, the Bishop Christopher Lawson of Lincoln released a statement saying that after Mr. Manin’s resignation “new information has come to light which today has been handed to the Police.
“This information was acted on as soon as it came to light after consultation with the Chair of the Lincoln Diocesan Trust and Board of Finance and our auditors,” the bishop said, adding that “I am determined that this process should be dealt with fairly and in the correct manner, and therefore it would be inappropriate to make any further comment at this stage.”
Anglican Unscripted, Episode 71, May 10. 2013 May 14, 2013Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican Church of North America, Anglican.TV, Los Angeles, Property Litigation, Quincy, San Joaquin, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: Diocese of Niagara, Michael Bird, St James Newport Beach
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In this week’s Episode your host talk about the latest legal heartbreak in California. Also this week, there is late breaking international news about a Bishop who accidentally invokes Scripture. AU’s Legal segment covers all of the court cases in the US, and Kevin interviews David Jenkins about his lawsuit from Bishop Byrd. #AU71 Comments: AnglicanUnscripted@gmail.com
NZ human rights tribunal to review Anglican ban on gay clergy: The Church of England Newspaper, May 12, 2013 p 6 May 14, 2013Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Diocese of Auckland, Eugene Sisneros, Human Rights Review Tribunal, Ross Bay
And unsuccessful aspirant for holy orders has filed a complaint with the New Zealand Human Rights Review Tribunal accusing the Bishop of Auckland of discrimination against homosexuals. Eugene Sisneros, an employee of St Matthew in the City in Auckland, has alleged that Bishop Ross Bay violated the country’s Human Rights laws by refusing to allow him to begin the ordination process because he is in a same-sex partnership.
In his Statement of Claim, plaintiff said he “felt totally humiliated that I had spent six years of my life in study, for a process that I was not permitted to enter because I was a gay man and in a relationship” noting: “My humiliation and disappointment continue to this day.”
New Zealand’s Human Rights Act 1993 forbids discrimination in employment on the grounds of sexual orientation. However Part 2 Section 28 of the Act permits“exceptions for purposes of religion” and allows “different treatment based on religious or ethical belief” by churches in the employment of clergy.
Bishop Bay told One News on 5 May 2013 the man had been turned away from the ordination process
“by reason of the defendant not being chaste in terms of canons of the Anglican Church.” The New Zealand church follows the guidelines reiterated by Lambeth 1998 resolution 1.10 and understands the chaste relationship to be marriage between a man and a woman or celibacy in singleness.
In a comment posted on twitter New Zealand Anglican blogger the Rev Peter Carrell argued were the plaintiff successful in his lawsuit he had overcome the problem that “there is no mechanism to force a Bishop to ordain” someone “if the bishop does not want to do that” under the church’s canons.
Decisions reached by human rights review tribunal can be appealed to higher tribunals, but their decisions are legally enforceable.
Irish bishops deny pressing bishop-elect to step aside: The Church of England Newspaper, May 12, 2013 p 6. May 13, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Ireland.
Tags: Diocese of Meath & Kildare, Leslie Stevenson, Michael Jackson, Richard Clarke
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The Ven. Leslie Stevenson was not pressured to decline consecration as Bishop of Meath & Kildare, the Archbishop of Dublin said last week.
Dr. Michael Jackson released a statement saying the three bishops who visited the Archdeacon’s home the night before he announced he would not go forward with the ceremony had visited him “in a pastoral capacity, without the expectation of a predetermined outcome to the conversation.”
On 29 April 2013 — three days before he was set to be consecrated — Archdeacon Stevenson announced that he was declining the post in light of public turmoil over allegations of his alleged personal misconduct. The Archbishop of Armagh, Dr. Richard Clarke, on 3 May 2013 responded by releasing a statement denouncing “incorrect statements of fact and unfounded allegations [that] have caused much hurt and distress.”
The House of Bishops had been “informed of circumstances in 1998 which led to the Archdeacon, then incumbent of the Parish of Donaghadee in the Diocese of Down, resigning his office. The Archdeacon has publicly referred to his relationship with a female parishioner, which he acknowledged, both by his resignation, and in recent statements, he should not have allowed.”
He added that: “Following his resignation, the Archdeacon undertook a period of personal discipline, during which he did not exercise parochial ministry. At the end of a period agreed within the House of Bishops, and following discussions both within the House of Bishops and between the Bishop of Down and Dromore and myself (then Bishop of Meath and Kildare), I subsequently instituted Mr Stevenson as incumbent of the Parish of Portarlington in the Diocese of Kildare, and some ten years later as archdeacon.”
Dr. Jackson explained that the bishops’ visit to the Portarlington Rectory was undertaken to express “their personal concern for Leslie”.
“The bishops were not representing the House of Bishops, nor were they seeking to revoke the decision of the House of Bishops who had previously confirmed his election,” he said, adding that “Archdeacon Stevenson, by his own decision, withdrew from the forthcoming consecration.”
Tags: Anglican Samizdat, David Jenkins, Diocese of Niagara, Michael Bird
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The Bishop of the Diocese of Niagara in the Anglican Church of Canada has filed a lawsuit against conservative blogger claiming “defamation of character”.
On 19 Feb 2013 David Jenkins, author of the Anglican Samizdat blog received notice that Bishop Bird had asked a court to shut down his blog, ban him from making further comments about him and to pay him $400,000 in damages.
Mr Jenkins stated that he had been surprised by the lawsuit. “Contrary to what one might expect in such circumstances, I did not receive a cease and desist letter in advance of the suit.”
The Statement of Claim filed with the Ontario Superior Court Justice alleged Mr. Jenkins maliciously and falsely stated Bishop Bird was a “ weak and ineffectual leader and that his actions were motivated by avarice or financial gain”. That the bishop was a “thief” and had a “sexual fetish”, and that he was an “atheist and heretic bent upon the destruction of Christianity.”he will
Among the examples of malicious and defamatory utterances alleged to have been made by the defendant were a photo of the bishop altered so that he appeared to be wearing a mitre made of underpants, that the bishop’s call to engage in “prophetic social justice” ministries meant “closing churches” and that the clergy of the diocese were not “authentic Christians”.
The 31 posts cited in the complaint were subsequently removed from his website. At the bishop’s request other posts were also taking down, Mr. Jenkins noted, “as a gesture of good faith.”
“I have made offers to settle and meet/talk, but they have been rejected,” he added.
Tags: Anthony Musaala, clerical celibacy, Los Angeles Times, Uganda Martyrs
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Bishop: “I’m afraid you’ve got a bad egg, Mr Jones”
Curate: “Oh, no, my Lord, I assure you that parts of it are excellent!”
There is much to praise in the Los Angeles Times article “Uganda priest ostracized for publicizing sexual abuse”. The May 4 article addresses the question of sexual misconduct by Roman Catholic clergy in Africa – – child abuse and violations of the vow of celibacy. And it does so through the voice of Fr Anthony Musaala, an Ugandan priest suspended in March by his Archbishop for having brought the church into disrepute for exposing these problems.
I also like the article because it “gets Africa”. It understands the culture of shame that often manifests itself as cover up and denial, and makes reporting about the African scene so difficult. But there is also curate’s egg quality to the piece. Parts of it are quite good yet there is a bit that is off.
It is a mistake to conflate the sexual abuse of children scandal with the question of clerical celibacy. In this case while the African church is loathe to talk about child abuse it is not correct to say that they are silent on the question of celibacy. The article would also have been helped by addressing the question “why” — Why the homosexual abuse of young boys prompts such a visceral reaction by the church in Uganda.
The article begins:
He is a celebrity across eastern and central Africa, a gospel music star known to many as the “Dancing Priest.” But for years he also was a keeper of painful secrets — his own and many others’. In going public, Anthony Musaala has forced the Roman Catholic Church in Uganda to confront a problem it had insisted didn’t exist. And he may stir a debate far beyond Africa’s most Catholic of countries.
The Ugandan priest has been suspended indefinitely by the archbishop of Kampala for exposing what he calls an open secret: Sex abuse in the Catholic Church is a problem in Africa as well as in Western Europe and North America. The African Catholic Church is fast-growing, pious and traditional. As the church elsewhere forks out billions of dollars to compensate the child sex abuse victims of priests, few African Catholics have questioned the assumption, voiced recently by Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson that the African church is purer than its counterpart in the West, which is regarded as secular and permissive.
It’s not more pure, says Musaala. He says he has the evidence to prove it. “The Vatican turns a blind eye because it doesn’t want to be embarrassed about this blooming church. But I think it’s time we had the truth,” Musaala says.
The article reports that in March Fr Musaala wrote Archbishop Cyprian Lwanga “about priests who fathered children, kept secret wives or abused girls or boys, and called for a debate on marriage for priests” and stated that as a young boy he too had been abused. It said:
The letter was leaked to the news media. And in response, Lwanga suspended Musaala, saying his statements stirred up contempt for the Catholic Church and damaged the morale of believers. Later in the month, Lwanga acknowledged that abuses had taken place, apologized to victims and set up an internal inquiry. But he did not backtrack on Musaala’s unpaid suspension.
This account conflicts with other press reports. All agree that Fr Musaala was suspended, but the Ugandan press reported this was an open letter given to them and to the Archbishop. It would also have helped this story if the LA Times had unpacked the religious context. The Catholic and Anglican churches in Uganda, who account for 80% of the population, celebrate the feast of the Martyrs of Uganda. As an aside if you should ever want evidence as to why you should not trust Wikipedia compare the politically correct and false version on Wikipedia with the story told on the website of the shrine to the martyrs.
The first martyr to die was King’s major domo and leader of all Christians, Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe, on 15th November 1885. He was killed because he had pleaded to King Mwanga to abandon the vice of homosexuality and not to kill Bishop Hannington, an Anglican missionary who had entered Buganda from Busoga (the backdoor of Buganda kingdom). From that time he became angry with all Christians as they all refused to give in to his sinful demands and were persuading all other pages to do the same. On 25th May, 1886, King Mwanga ordered for a number of Christians to be brought before him and he passed on them the death penalty. 20 of the 22 martyrs were killed between 26th May 1886 and 3rd June 1886.
The Ugandan martyrs died because they refused to countenance the king’s homosexual advances because their Christian faith taught them that sodomy was a sin. Omitting this historical context — one of the defining sagas of the Catholic Church in Uganda leave the story untold.
Would the story have been helped by mention of the Ugandan Martyrs? Or by mention of Fr Musaala’s on-going fight with the archbishop in the press? Does it make a difference to the denouement of the piece if the letter was leaked to the press or given to the press by Fr Musaala?
The linkage between abuse and clerical celibacy was also unfortunate, as the Church has been far from silent on this point. The 2009 Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops of Africa convened by Pope Benedict discussed the question and problems of priestly celibacy for the African church. In the neighboring Central African Republic an archbishop was suspended for having families, while a number of clergy in Kenya have quit the church over mandatory celibacy. Silence over celibacy and its challenges for the clergy is not a problem — silence over abuse is.
First printed in Get Religion.
Church construction banned in the Sudan: The Church of England Newspaper, May 5, 2013 p 7. May 7, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Persecution.
Tags: Al-Fatih Taj al-Sir, Christian Solidarity Worldwide
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Sudan’s Minister of Guidance and Endowments, Al-Fatih Taj al-Sir, has told the country’s Parliament the government will not permit the construction of new Christian churches in the country, but said that freedom of religion would be protected under the country’s Islamic Constitution.
On 17 April 2013 the government minister said that no new churches had been built since the secession of South Sudan in July 2011 due to lack of worshipers and the growing number of abandoned churches..
In a briefing published this month, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) stated that since December 2012, there had been “an increase in arrests, detentions and deportations of Christians and of those suspected of having links to them, particularly in Khartoum and Omodorum, Sudan’s largest cities. There has also been a systematic targeting of members of African ethnic groups, particularly the Nuba, lending apparent credence to the notion of the resurgence of an official agenda of Islamisation and Arabisation.”
“The campaign of repression [has] continued into 2013, with foreign Christians being arrested and deported at short notice, and those from Sudan facing arrest, detention and questioning by the security services,” the report said.
CSW’s Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston said, “The recent spike in religious repression in Sudan is deeply worrying. The Minister’s claims of guaranteeing freedom to worship are at odds with regular reports of Christians being harassed arrested and in some cases expelled from the country at short notice. We urge the Sudanese government to end its campaign of harassment against the Christian community and respect the right of all of its citizens to freedom of religion or belief.”
West Indian bishops call for push back against Cameron’s gay agenda: The Church of England Newspaper, May 5, 2013 p 7. May 7, 2013Posted by geoconger in British Foreign Policy, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of the West Indies.
Tags: gay marriage
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The House of Bishops of the Church the Province of the West Indies (CPWI) has urged Caribbean political leaders to reject demands of the government of Prime Minister David Cameron and the Obama administration that it legalize gay rights and gay marriage.
In a statement released on 25 April 2013 at the close of the meeting in Barbados, the bishops said “the dangling of a carrot of economic assistance to faltering economies” in return for supporting the gay agenda “should be seen for what it is worth and should be resisted by people and government alike.”
At the October 2011 Commonwealth heads of Government meeting in Australia Mr. Cameron threatened countries that did not conform to his government’s views on homosexuality with losing aid payments. On 6 Dec 2011 Pres. Obama directed US government agencies working with overseas governments and organizations to push the administration’s support for the gay agenda.
The West Indian bishops reiterated their belief in marriage “defined as a faithful, committed, permanent and legally sanctioned relationship between a man and a woman” and said same-sex marriage was “totally unacceptable on theological and cultural grounds.”
“Matters related to human sexuality have been elevated to the level of human rights” by the US and Britain “and are being promulgated as positions which must be accepted globally.”
Britain could no longer dictate its morality to the people Caribbean. “The threat and use of economic sanctions are not new experiences for us, neither is the claim to a superior morality convincing for peoples who have known the experience of chattel slavery in our past. While claiming to invoke human rights as the basis for such imposition, we submit that the same principle must allow us the right to affirm our cultural and religious convictions regarding our definitions of that most basic of social institutions, marriage,” the bishops said.
Bangladesh factory collapse kills 377: The Church of England Newspaper, May 5, 2013 p 7. May 7, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of Bangladesh, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Paul Sarker
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A nine-story garment factory in Dhaka collapsed on 24 April 2013, the Church of Bangladesh reports, killing hundreds of workers.
In a statement released via the Anglican Alliance, the Moderator of the Church of Bangladesh the Rt Rev Paul Sarker reports the church has rushed emergency assistance to the site, distributing water bottles, blankets and tents and assisting with the rescue operation. As of 29 April 2,436 people were rescued, but 377 bodies have been recovered from the collapsed building. The owner of the building, Sohel Rana, was arrested near the Indian border.
A fire broke out at the site five days after the collapse as rescuers sought to extract a woman pinned in the rubble, making it unlikely any more survivors will be found.
The Anglican Alliance, a church-affiliated aid organization, said last week’s tragedy was the “worst ever industrial accident in Bangladesh and comes only months after more than one hundred garments workers died of fire in two factories.” It called upon government and Western importers to push for fair wages and decent working conditions for labourers in the textile industry and safety regulations to prevent future tragedies.
“No amnesty for Boko Haram” says the Church of Nigeria: The Church of England Newspaper, May 5, 2013 p 6. May 5, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Nigeria.
Tags: Boko Haram, Nicholas Okoh
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The Archbishop of Nigeria Nicholas Okoh has warned that a blanket amnesty for the terror group Boko Haram would see Christians driven from Northern Nigeria. In a position paper prepared by the church in response to the creation of an amnesty commission by President Goodluck Jonathan, the archbishop warned that amnesty without reconciliation would not solve the problem.
“If the Federal Government goes ahead through the amnesty committee to make peace on BH’s terms, it would have inadvertently and effectively banned Christians and Christianity from the North. In the amnesty committee, who will speak for the right of the church, not to be tolerated, but as Nigerian Christians to exist side by side with Islam and Muslims, build churches, worship freely, move about freely without being hunted down with all sorts of weapons?,” said the document entitled “’The rough edges of the amnesty proposition”.
According to extracts published by the Vanguard newspaper on 29 April 2013 the Archbishop asked: “Will the amnesty committee ensure that Christians are not merely tolerated in the north but are allowed to live abundant life as Muslims as Christians do in other parts of the country?”
In the most recent clash between the Army and Boko Haram, aid agencies report 187 people were killed after two days of fighting in the town of Baga near the border with Chad.
Tags: Diocese of Meath and Kildare, Leslie Stevenson
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The Archdeacon of Meath and Kildare has declined the appointment as bishop of the border diocese after concerns over his suitability were raised – three days before his consecration.
On 28 Jan 2013 the Ven. Leslie Stevenson was selected by the Episcopal Electoral College for Meath and Kildare to succeed Archbishop Richard Clarke as bishop. Questions over his suitability for the episcopate were soon raised as in 1999 Mr. Stevenson — who would have become Ireland’s first divorced and remarried bishop — resigned from his parish post under a cloud. The bishop-elect’s past became the topic of newspaper scrutiny and speculation on the internet about his moral integrity made his position untenable, sources tell CEN.
Married in 1984 while serving as a curate in East Belfast, Archdeacon Stevenson was divorced in 1992. In 1998 he married a second time while serving as rector of Donaghadee in the Diocese of Down and Dromore. While he was away on his honeymoon, revelations of a “relationship” with a female parishioner were made public – leading to his resignation from the parish and a six month period of “personal discipline” where he left the parish ministry. In 1999 Mr. Stevenson was subsequently appointed rector of Portarlington in the Diocese of Meath and Kildare and archdeacon in 2009.
On 28 April 2013 he released a statement saying:
“I am honoured to have been elected Bishop of Meath and Kildare and appreciate the support and goodwill offered to me by many people from the dioceses and the wider Church of Ireland over recent months. My positive concern for the Church, to which I remain loyal, now leads me to decline the appointment. I wish to broaden and deepen my ministry in the parish and diocese in which I have been called to serve.”
Bishop Harold Miller of Down and Dromore was not able to attend the January election meeting, but subsequently wrote to the bishops expressing his concern. The fracas will likely have wider implications sources tell CEN and may haunt the archbishop, Dr. Clarke, who had full knowledge of the archdeacon’s past.
Tags: Diocese of Newcastle, Kay Goldsworthy
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The Assistant Bishop of Perth’s bid to become the first woman elected to the episcopate in the Anglican Church of Australia has fallen short as the Diocese of Newcastle failed to elect a new bishop at its 12-14 April 2013 meeting of synod.
The Rt. Rev. Kay Goldsworthy was among five nominees that included two local clergy and the Assistant Bishop of Canberra & Goulburn Dr Stephen Pickard and Dr Peter Stuart Assistant Bishop of Newcastle to succeed Bishop Brian Farran. Four women priests have been appointed assistant bishops in Australia—Perth, Melbourne, Canberra & Goulburn and Brisbane – but none have been elected.
In a note to the diocese after the election, Dr. Stuart said: “sometimes the Synod elects quickly and sometimes the process takes time. Synod elected Bishops Farran (2005) and Holland (1977) in one sitting. Synod elected Bishop Herft (1992) over two Synod sessions and refereed the decision to elect a bishop in 1972 to the Diocesan Council which elected Bishop Shevill.”
The Synod “resolved to begin the process afresh” he said, though the candidates may place their names in nomination a second time.
Los Angeles wins summary judgment in Newport Beach property case: Anglican Ink, May 2, 2013 May 3, 2013Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Los Angeles, Property Litigation.
Tags: St James Newport Beach
The Bishop of Los Angeles had no authority to give the parish of St James in Newport Beach a written waiver exempting the congregation’s property from the reach of the Episcopal Church’s Dennis Canon, an Orange County Superior Court Judge has held.
In a ruling for summary judgment handed down on 1 May 2013 Judge Kim Dunning ordered the parish to hand its multi-million dollar properties over to the Diocese of Los Angeles.
The decision was unexpected, Daniel Lula – an attorney for the parish — told Anglican Ink, as the matter had been set down for trial later this month. In an email to his congregation, the Rev Richard Crocker said: “We have received notice this morning from our attorneys that the court has handed down a significantly negative ruling in our court case. This of course changes the landscape of next week’s trial,” he noted, inviting the parish to a meeting with Mr. Lula “to offer explanation of what we know about the ruling at this point.”
Read it all in Anglican Ink.
Melbourne archbishop testifies before Parliamentary commission on abuse: The Church of England Newspaper, April 28, 2013, p 6. May 2, 2013Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Anglican Church of Australia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Diocese of Melbourne, Philip Freier
A culture of denial had hindered the Church’s handling of child sex abuse cases, the Archbishop of Melbourne told a parliamentary committee last week. On 22 April Dr Philip Freier said that “as you look backwards you can see broadly as a culture we’ve not readily listened to children when they’ve made complaints.
“There have been opportunities for people who wanted to breach the trust of children to do that, and often for children’s accounts of that trust being broken, being disbelieved,” he said adding that some victims were “even punished for having raised a question about the conduct of an adult.”
The diocese had received 46 complaints of child sex abuse since the 1950s, the Archbishop said, and had paid out $268,000 in compensation to 10 victims since 2003, but only reported 12 of the 46 complaints to police.
Dr Freier told the committee of the reforms instituted by the Church since the implementation of a professional standards practices regime in 1994. In his concluding remarks he spoke of the church’s abhorrence for abuse and its zero-tolerance about the issue. The archbishop apologized for the pain and misery that such abuse has caused both victims and the broader community and welcomed the Inquiry as a way in which that confidence might begin to be restored in the church.
Tags: FRELIMO, Mark van Koevering, Mozambique, RENAMO
Political violence could see a return to civil war in Mozambique, the Bishop of Niassa has warned following clashes between police and members of the ex-guerrilla group RENAMO.
Last week Bishop Mark van Koevering wrote: “We are all saddened by the deaths of innocent people during the recent violence that took place in Muxungue,” adding that: “We call on all to follow in the way of peace, creating space and opportunity for all voices to be heard in a transparent process that renounces violence and serves the common good.”
Over 1 million people died and 5 million were driven from their homes in the 16 year long civil war between the FRELIMO-party government communist and RENAMO guerrillas which ended in 1992. In the worst outbreak of political violence in a decade one woman and four police officers were killed in a police raid on RENAMO meeting, prompting suspected RENAMO gunmen to attack a police post killing five policemen.
Political violence, church leaders note, could destabilize the massive gains made in the past few years in promoting democracy and civil rights. Unrest could also derail the country’s natural resources-based economic boom. Western mining companies, Vale and Rio Tinto, have invested nearly $10 billion in mines in Tete province, home to some of the world’s largest untapped coal deposits — and a RENAMO stronghold.
Sudan Archbishop to broker peace talks: The Church of England Newspaper, April 28, 2013, p 6. May 2, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Episcopal Church of the Sudan.
Tags: Daniel Deng, David Yau Yau
The Archbishop of the Sudan, Daniel Deng, has offered to negotiate between the South Sudan government and rebel leader David Yau Yau to end the fighting in Jonglei state
A former Anglican seminarian, David Yau Yau has emerged as the head of rebel militia at war with South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement [SPLM]. Earlier this month the government accused Yau Yau of having attacked UN peacekeepers in Pibor county. However the rebel leader denied responsibility and said he was ready to talk.
On 10 April Archbishop Deng said he was ready to talk to Yau Yau, “if I know where he is. It pains me when I see our people killing themselves.”
For the past three years the Archbishop has helped broker deals between rebel leaders and the government in South Sudan. In May 2012 the chiefs representing the six tribes in Bor were brought to church-sponsored roundtable talks to help resolve their differences with the state. A treaty was signed to end the fighting and disarm tribes.
Tags: Diocese of Derry & Raphoe, Ken Good
SOME 40,000 copies of Luke’s Gospel are to be hand–delivered to every home in Londonderry as part of part of “A Free Gift For All” — an ecumenical initiative of the city’s Protestant and Catholic churches.
On 15 April 2013 Mayor Kevin Campbell was given the first commemorative copy by the Catholic Bishop of Derry Mgr Eamon Martin, the superintendent of the Methodist City Mission the Rev Peter Murray, the clerk of the Derry Presbytery the Rev Dr. Robert Buick and the Church of Ireland’s Bishop of Derry & Raphoe Ken Good.
A spokesperson for the project organisers said: “A Free Gift For All brings together so many strands of good news for out city. We are delighted to present the Mayor with a free gift of the Gospel of Luke. This is the first step in the distribution to all 40,000 households in our city”.
He continued: “It is a unique coming together of the church community in our city to give a gift to our fellow citizens, as a celebration of our designation as the UK City of Culture in 2013”.
Portsmouth pays £200,000 to compensate abuse victim: The Church of England Newspaper, April 29, 2013 May 2, 2013Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Diocese of Portsmouth, Maxwell Halahan
The Diocese of Portsmouth has agreed to pay compensation of £200,000 to cover the cost of psychological treatment and loss of earnings to the victim of clergy sexual abuse.
The victim, now in his 40s, was abused by the Rev. Maxwell Halahan, vicar of at St Faith’s Church in Cowes, Isle of Wight, in the 1970s. After joining the choir at the age of eight the victim, who was granted anonymity by the courts, was abused by Mr. Halahan for five years. In 2011 Mr. Halahan, then aged 81, was jailed for three years by the Portsmouth Crown Court after being found guilty of four counts of indecent assault.
In a statement released on behalf of the victim by Irwin Mitchell, the victim recounted the emotional, psychological and spiritual toll the abuse had taken on his life. “In 2010 I plucked up the courage to go to the police because I realised he could still be out there putting other children through the same horrendous ordeal,” he said adding that “although nothing can make up for the horror of what that vile man put me through and the effects it has had on my life, the settlement does finally give me some closure and I can concentrate on getting the best possible psychological support to try and rebuild my life.”
Stephanie Pelling from Irwin Mitchell solicitors said: “The settlement agreed will provide the necessary therapies which we hope will help [the victim] to come to terms with what happened and allow him to move forward with his life.”
Tags: Anglican Samizdat, David Jenkins, Diocese of Niagara, Michael Bird
A new front has opened in the Anglican Communion’s legal wars as a liberal Canadian bishop has filed a suit for libel against a conservative blogger claiming “defamation of character”.
On 15 February 2013 – – five years to the day after he initiated litigation against the congregation of St. Hilda’s Anglican Church in Oakville, Ontario after it quit the diocese — Bishop Michael Bird filed suit against David Jenkins, author of the Anglican Samizdat blog claiming 31 posts made between January 2011 and November 2012 had libeled him.
The Statement of Claim filed with the Ontario Superior Court Justice alleged Mr. Jenkins maliciously and falsely stated Bishop Bird was a “ weak and ineffectual leader and that his actions were motivated by avarice or financial gain”. That the bishop was a “thief” and had a “sexual fetish”, and that he was an “atheist and heretic bent upon the destruction of Christianity.”
Read it all in Anglican Ink
South Carolina clergy threatened with deposition: The Church of England Newspaper, April 28, 2013, p 6. May 1, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, South Carolina, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: Abraham Nhial, Charles vonRosenberg
The Episcopal Church has written to 140 active and retired priests and deacons asking them to affirm their loyalty to New York-based national church and foreswear allegiance to Bishop Mark Lawrence and the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.
Bishop Charles vonRosenberg, the provisional bishop of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, — the loyalist organization in the diocese backed by the national church – last week wrote: “I invite you to make known your allegiance to [The Episcopal Church] and, if you wish, to request a time to speak with me about this matter … You face a very serious decision, with significant consequences for you and for the church, and I encourage your careful and prayerful consideration.”
The bishop has given the clergy two weeks to respond and if no response is forthcoming he would begin the process to depose in the ordained ministry. The legality of the bishop’s letter has not been clarified as the Episcopal Church in South Carolina is not a member of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church and its Bishop would appear to lack authority to make such demands. The letter also follows a pattern of action taken by the national church in the disputes with breakaway dioceses of Pittsburgh, Quincy, San Joaquin, and Fort Worth. Diocesan officials note that apart from concerns over the distress the letter has given to retired clergy who had not been involved in the dispute, the letter will most likely be ignored.
The letter came the same day as four East African bishops on a visit to Charleston affirmed Bishop Lawrence and his diocese’s place in the wider Anglican Communion. Bishop Abraham Nhial of the Diocese of Aweil in the Sudan told reporters “We love Mark [Lawrence].”
Along with Bishops Robert Martin of Marsabit, Kenya, Elias Mazi Chakupewa of Tabora, Tanzania, and Nathan Gasatura of Butare, Rwanda, Bishop Nhial said: “We came to encourage Bishop Mark Lawrence to stand firm in the faith.”
“The people of South Sudan have suffered for 50 years. We’ve died because of our belief in Christ, our identity as Christians. I want to assure my brother Mark that suffering is part of our belief in Christ. We came here tonight not only to discuss what we’re doing in Christ, but also to encourage you to stand up and stand firm in your own faith.”
Tags: Boston Marathon bmbing
U.S. President Barack Obama spoke to a congregation of over 2000 last week at Boston’s Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Cross to commemorate those killed and wounded in the Boston Marathon bombing.
Boston “will run again” the president said on 18 April 2013. “If they sought to intimidate us, to terrorize us … It should be pretty clear right now that they picked the wrong city … .”
On 15 April – celebrated as Patriots’ Day in Boston — two explosions ripped through a crowd near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killing three and injuring more than 170. “We may be momentarily knocked off our feet,” the president said. “But we’ll pick ourselves up. We’ll keep going. We will finish the race.”
President Obama called the then as yet unidentified terrorists “small, stunted individuals who would destroy instead of build, and think somehow that makes them important.”
“Yes, we will find you. And, yes, you will face justice. We will find you. We will hold you accountable,” the president said.
That evening one of the suspected bombers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, (26) was killed in a shootout with police in Watertown a western suburb of Boston. Earlier that night Tsarnaev and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (19) shot and killed a policeman. During the firefight that later ensued a second policeman was shot and gravely wounded.
Dzhokhar fled the scene of the shootout and Gov. Deval Patrick ordered a curfew for Watertown as police began a house to house search. Dzhokhar was captured the next day after a man found the fugitive hiding in a boat parked on the trailer behind his home.
The two bombers have been identified as Chechen immigrants to the United States and initial reports indicate that they had become radicalized Islamists in the past few years. The Tsarnaev brothers attended prayer services at the Islamic Society of Boston Cambridge Masjid, a small mosque near their apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
“In their visits, they never exhibited any violent sentiments or behavior,” said a statement from the masjid. “Otherwise they would have been immediately reported to the FBI. After we learned of their identities, we encouraged anyone who knew them in our congregation to immediately report to law enforcement, which has taken place.”
Trinity Church Copley Square, an Episcopal Church 300 yards from the Boston Marathon’s finish line, had been closed for the race and remains closed as police investigate the crime scene. The church’s rector, the Rev. Patrick Ward, told Episcopal News Service he was “hugely relieved” to learn the church’s team of runners was safe.
The Archdiocese of Boston’s Cardinal Seán O’Malley sent a message from Israel following the attacks saying he would be returning to join the city’s faith community “to witness the greater power of good in our society and to work together for healing.” The Vatican sent a telegram to the archdiocese, saying Pope Francis “prays that all Bostonians will be united in a resolve not to be overcome by evil, but to combat evil with good.”
Following the blast the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Katharine Jefferts Schori offered a prayer for those killed and injured as did the Anglican Church in North America. “As we pray for those affected by the bombings in Boston, MA, it seems appropriate to pray for the reign of Christ in this situation. May the Lord pour out His Spirit of peace during this time of chaos and violence.”
Anglican Unscripted Episode 70 April 28, 2013 April 28, 2013Posted by geoconger in Anglican.TV, Church of the Province of the West Indies, GAFCON, Property Litigation, South Carolina, Virginia.
Tags: Boston Marathon Bombing, New Wineskins
In Episode 70, your hosts talk about their experiences from the New Wineskins Global Conference held in Ridgecrest, NC. Kevin and George also discuss (in depth) the Boston Bombing and the new hobby terrorist. In our legal segment Allan Haley tries to redeem his years of Unscripted Legal Commentary by demanding that judges follow the D**n law. Oh… and much more including Gafcon news. #AU70 AnglicanUnscripted@gmail.com
Tags: gay marriage
The Anglican bishops of the West Indies have urged their governments to hold fast and resist pressure from Britain and the United States to legalize gay rights and gay marriage.
In a statement released on 25 April 2013 following the House of Bishops meeting in Barbados, bishops of the Church the Province of the West Indies (CPWI) reiterated their belief in marriage “defined as a faithful, committed, permanent and legally sanctioned relationship between a man and a woman.”
“The idea of such unions being constituted by persons of the same sex is, therefore, totally unacceptable on theological and cultural grounds,” the bishops said. The CPWI consists of eight dioceses: the Diocese of Barbados, the Diocese of Belize, the Diocese of Guyana, the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the Diocese of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Diocese of the North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba, the Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago and the Diocese of the Windward Islands.
Read it all in Anglican Ink.
Tags: Egypt, Mouneer Anis
The Anglican Bishop of Egypt has warned that the sectarian battle outside St. Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo between Copts and Islamists could take the country into civil war. “Such attacks could lead the country into the abyss of sectarian sedition and deteriorate the social, economic and political conditions of the country. These actions could worsen the image of Egypt in front of the international community, “said Dr. Mouneer Anis, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East and Bishop of Egypt, North Africa and the Horn of Africa.
Two men were killed and 89 injured on 7 April 2013 outside the cathedral as mourners left the church following the funeral of four Christians killed in the northern town of Khusus over the weekend.
Human Right’s Watch’s Middle East and North Africa deputy, Nadim Houry, called on President Mohamed Mursi to “break the cycle of impunity” that allowed Muslim hardliner to attack Christians.
“Egyptian law discriminates against Christians by prohibiting the renovation or construction of churches without a presidential decree, a requirement which is not applied to other religions and their places of worship,” she said. The NGO also accused Pres. Mursi of not taking serious steps towards investigating and halting anti-Christian violence.
Rebuilding options for Christchurch Cathedral unveiled:The Church of England Newspaper, April 21, 2013 6. April 24, 2013Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Diocese of Christchurch
A straw poll of delegates to the 13 April 2013 meeting of Christchurch diocesan Synod has voted to support a proposal to rebuild the city’s earthquake ravaged Cathedral using a contemporary design.
Last week the Diocese of Christchurch and its Church Property Trustees unveiled three designs: a full restoration of the original Nineteenth century gothic cathedral, rebuilding the Cathedral according to its original specifications but using modern construction materials, or a contemporary new design.
A show of hands from the approximately 200 members of the synod presence showed overwhelming support the contemporary design due to its cheaper cost, modern look, and the symbolism of a re-born diocese.
The diocese reports the “praying hands” style Cathedral would feature a restored rose window on the western glass wall, and a glass and steel bell tower. Estimated to cost between NZ $56 million to NZ $74 million the rebuilding project is expected to take from 5 to 10 years. Earthquake insurance payments will contribute NZ $30 million towards the cost of rebuilding.
Christchurch’s Church Property Trustees will make a final decision as to the form the new Cathedral will take. It has launched a website www.cathedralconversations.org.nz to solicit feedback and community on its wishes as well. A series of public forums led by Bishop Victoria Matthews is scheduled for the coming weeks to present options to the wider community. Comments posted at the website indicated majority of the public like the contemporary design also.
Barbados clergyman elected suffragan bishop of Toronto: The Church of England Newspaper, April 21, 2013 p 7. April 24, 2013Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Canada, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Diocese of Toronto, Peter Fenty
A Barbados native has been elected suffragan Bishop of the diocese of Toronto. On 6 April 2013, the Ven. Peter Fenty, archdeacon of York and the executive officer to the Bishop of Toronto, was elected on the seventh ballot. Bishop-elect Fenty, (61) who was born and raised in Barbados and came to Canada in 1992, will be the first person of African descent to be a bishop in the Anglican Church of Canada.
“This is a historic moment in the life of the Anglican Church in Canada, but I want to make it very clear that I will be a bishop for all of God’s people,” he said in an interview with the diocesan newspaper after the election at St. James Cathedral in Toronto. Ordained a priest in Barbados in 1975, he served three parishes there before taking a parish in the diocese of Montréal in 1992. In 1997 he became the incumbent of St. Joseph of Nazareth in Brampton in the Diocese of Toronto and was appointed archdeacon in 2004.
Archbishop Colin Johnson said he is looking forward to working with Bishop-elect Fenty. “Peter has a vast range of knowledge of the diocese. He brings good organizational skills and he is a compelling preacher and interpreter of scripture. He has a deep faith and is theologically articulate. He has sensitivity not just to the Caribbean community but to a wide range of communities, including some minority communities in the life of the church who are not otherwise well represented. I think he has wonderful gifts that he is bringing.”
£25 million raised for church youth work: Church of England Newspaper, April 21, 2013 p 7. April 24, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Nigeria, Youth/Children.
Tags: Arthur Eze, fundraising, philanthropy
A fund-raising dinner in Nigeria last month has raised over £25 million (Nairas 6 billion) for the St. Stephen’s Anglican Deanery and Youth Development Centre in Otuoke, in Bayelsa State in the Niger Delta region. Leading the list of donors was philanthropist and oilman Arthur Eze, who donated £7.8 million (1.8 billion Nairas) to fund the construction of the Anglican training institute, Forbes magazine reported.
Nigerian Pres. Goodluck Jonathan, whose hometown is Otuoke, told those attending the dinner that he was grateful for the gifts given by wealthy Nigerians to support the development of impoverished communities in their own country. Private philanthropy strengthened the nation and empower individuals. This will create an “opportunity for the younger ones to grow. Even if we die in the next 100 years, people will remember that those before them have something for them,” the president said.
Huegenots commemorated at Christ Church Spitalfields: The Church of England Newspaper, April 21, 2013 p 6. April 24, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Diocese of London, Huguenots
The Bishop of London was joined last week by over 350 worshippers at Christ Church Spitalfields for a thanksgiving service marking the 415th anniversary of the Edict of Nantes granting French Protestants freedom of worship. When the Edict was revoked in 1685 over 20,000 Huguenots settled in Spitalfields, where their skills in weaving and working with silk left an indelible mark on the area.
At the 23 April 2013 service the Dean of Rochester contributed a reading while Giles De La Mare read the poem ‘All that’s past’ by his grandfather, poet and novelist, Walter De La Mare. The service is part of the wider festival being held to celebrate the contribution of the Huguenots to Spitalfields and to raise funds for a permanent memorial commemorating their life and work.
The Rev. Andy Rider Rector at Christ Church Spitalfields commented: “It was a privilege to host this special service of thanksgiving to commemorate the Huguenots of Spitalfields. We celebrate not just their impact on this area but to London and the many places that the Huguenot community settled following their times of trial and persecution. We celebrate not just their business endeavours, their art and culture but principally we remember them as a people of deep biblical Christian faith.”
Tags: Barry Morgan, gay marriage
The coalition government’s push to introduce same-sex marriage in England and Wales necessitates a review of the Church in Wales thinking on marriage, the Archbishop of Wales Dr. Barry Morgan said last week.
In his presidential address to the 10 – 11 April 2013 meeting of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales in Lampeter, Dr. Morgan said the church needed to consider the issue of same-sex relationships. “There has been a growth in understanding of same sex relationships in wider society in recent years and a more comprehensive understanding of human sexuality in general,” he said.
“Within the Church in Wales, as the bishops have pointed out, there are a variety of views about the ethics of same sex relationships. There is a new appreciation of the value of any faithful committed life-long relationship. The new Archbishop of Canterbury observed recently that, ‘It would be completely absurd to suggest that the love expressed in gay relationships was less than the love that there is between straight couples’. The bishops have, therefore, asked the Doctrinal Commission to examine the whole issue of same sex relationships, and once it has produced its report, we will need to have a general discussion, perhaps in groups in the first instance, in this Governing Body to map out the way ahead for us as a Church.”
The doctrinal commission will also examine the Church in Wales’ relationship to the state. The coalition government had not consulted the Church in Wales when it said it would be banned in law from offering same sex marriages. The church in Wales should make up its own mind on this issue he declared, and it must decide whether it would keep its quasi-established position under Welsh law words clergy had a duty to solemnise marriages.
“If marriage were ever to become a devolved issue, I cannot see a devolved Welsh government allowing a disestablished church to hang on to this vestige of establishment,” he added, but “in any case, we ourselves might want to change the present arrangements.”
Dr. Morgan also discussed revisiting the issue of women bishops which was turned back by the governing body in 2008 by 3 votes after the bishops refused to give assurances or protections to those opposed to the innovation. In 2012 the Bishop’s bench released a discussion paper stating their unanimous support the ordination of women bishops.
The Archbishop also spoke to the challenges of the paper presented by Lord Harries last year on reorganizing structures of the church. “Churches with ordained clergy have been tempted to assume that all ministry is vested in an omnicompetent, all-singing, all-dancing professional minister and that the task of ministry belongs to him or her and then when he/she is a bit hard pressed, he or she may delegate some of the tasks to other people but really essentially it is her/her ministry. That is to start in the wrong place,” he argued.
The church must use “all the resources that we have been given, and the gifts that all of us have, more creatively and imaginatively. It means laity and clergy together, having a shared vision of the work of the Church,” Dr. Morgan said.
Synod brawl leads to bishop’s suspension: The Church of England Newspaper, April 21, 2013 p 6. April 22, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of South India.
Tags: J.A.D. Jebachandran
The Bishop in Thoothukudi-Nazareth of the Church of South India has been suspended for assaulting the CSI’s General Secretary during the 25 Feb 2013 meeting in Chennai of the Synod Executive Council.
Spokesmen for the Bishop and the executive Council did not respond to requests for clarification but the anti-corruption lay group Youth4CSI reports the spat between the bishop and the Synod’s Executive Council is politically and financially motivated.
The altercation between Bishop J.A.D. Jebachandran and General Secretary M.M. Philip began when the bishop objected to the minutes of the Council’s January meeting that discussed the affairs of his diocese. After the general secretary declined to strike that portion of the minutes, Bishop Jebachandran allegedly rose from his chair, grabbed Mr. Philip by his collar, took away his microphone, and shoved him away from the podium.
Uproar ensued, and a vote was taken by the Council to suspend the bishop. A formal notice of suspension was subsequently served upon Bishop Jebachandran on 3 April 2013.
Sussex clergyman found guilty of child abuse: The Church of England Newspaper, April 21, 2013 p 6. April 22, 2013Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Diocese of Chichester, Wilkie Denford
A Sussex clergyman has been found guilty of sexually abusing two boys. On 5 April 2013 the Rev. Keith Wilkie Denford, (78) and his codefendant, church organist Michael Mytton (69), were found guilty following a three-week trial at Hove Crown Court of molesting boys under the age of 16.
While serving as vicar of St John the Evangelist Church in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, Mr. Denford committed and indecent assaults on two boys between June 1987 and January 1990. He was found not guilty of a third charge of indecent assault against the first boy. Mr. Mytton was convicted of three counts of indecently assaulting a boy under 16 in the Newick area between 1990 and 1994. He was found not guilty of one count of aiding and abetting Mr. Denford.
After the verdict was handed the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, stated: “I note the verdict reached by the Court today and we will now move swiftly to implement our own disciplinary procedures following this verdict in the case of Mr Denford.
“The Diocese fully acknowledges the suffering caused both to survivors of abuse and their families. We deeply regret the betrayal of trust in the context of public pastoral ministry and we extend our prayers and support to those caught up in the events highlighted by this case.
“The Diocese has learned many lessons from past cases and continues to do so. Our safeguarding procedures have been revised and updated and I am committed to ensuring that every person is safe in our church communities.”
The case has been adjourned for sentencing to 2 May 2013 and the defendants remain on bail meanwhile.
Bishop to the Forces for Australia: The Church of England Newspaper, April 21, 2013 p 7. April 22, 2013Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Australia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Ian Lambert
The Assistant Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn Ian Lambert has been appointed as the next Bishop to the Australian Defence Force effective 1 July 2013. “I am thrilled to receive the invitation to serve both the Church and the Military in the capacity of the Anglican Bishop to the Defence Force. I am confident in Christ, that this is God’s call, and I pray that the grace of God will enable us all to work and minister together for His glory,” he said.
Educated at the Royal Military College Duntroon, Bishop Lambert was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Royal Australian Corps of Transport – and in 1984 while attending a character leadership course led by an army chaplain accepted Christ. Leaving the army with the rank of major, Bishop Lambert was ordained in 1995 and served as a parish priest until his consecration last year as assistant for the region of the South Coast, Monaro and Snowy Regions in the diocese of Canberra and Goulburn.
Tags: Noah Njegovan
A Canadian archdeacon appeared before a Manitoba court last week to answer charges that he had embezzled approximately $190,000 from diocesan coffers. The Ven. Noah Njegovan (30) is alleged to have used a diocesan credit card to embezzle funds sent by congregations to the diocese last year while serving as executive archdeacon of the diocese and assistant to his father, Bishop James Njegovan of Brandon. Mr. Njegovan was released on bail and is set to return to court on 9 May 2013 to answer charges.
The Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil (IEAB) has deposed five São Paulo clergy following the secession of their congregations from the province last month to revert to their pre-1975 status as overseas chaplaincies of the Church of England.
Read it all in Anglican Ink.
Bishop’s plea for peace in Sri Lanka: The Church of England Newspaper, April 14, 2013 p 6. April 19, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of Ceylon, Church of England Newspaper, Persecution.
Tags: Dhiloraj Canagasabey, Diocese of Colombo
The Bishop of Colombo has called upon India to protect its Sinhalese visitors following a series of high profile assaults on Buddhist monks.
While the April 1 letter of Bishop Dhiloraj Canagasabey is addressed to the Indian government and leads with the condemnation of last month’s attack on two Buddhist monks in Tamil Nadu, sources in the Church of Ceylon tell the Church of England Newspaper the true audience is the government of Sri Lankan Pres. Mahinda Rajapaksa and its subject the sharp increase in sectarian violence targeting Ceylon’s Christians and Muslims
Bishop Canagasabey wrote “several incidents of intimidation and violence against Sri Lankans have been reported recently from within and outside the Sri Lanka,” adding the “most serious” had been the attack on Buddhists monks in Tamil Nadu state.
“In the first incident in Tamil Nadu, a group of post graduate archaeology students had been attacked during a study tour to a temple site in Thanjavoor. In the second a group of Buddhist pilgrims who had arrived in Chennai from a visit to sacred sites in North India had been attacked at the Chennai Railway Station. In both instances the monks had been singled out for abuse and physical violence, possibly due to their distinctive dress. Several extremists Tamil groups have been identified as perpetrators of these attacks in India. I appeal to the Central Government of India, and the State Government of Tamil Nadu to stop this act of violence immediately,” the bishop said.
The Bishop added that “within Sri Lanka, attacks in the form of intimidation and violence especially on Christians and Muslims have been too many to list out.”
The Church “views with grave concern and denounces this growing and very dangerous trend of sectarian violence. These incidents are yet another manifestation of the fast spreading intolerance and fundamentalist extremism which is engulfing many societies today,” the bishops said.
It was a “reflection of the refusal to listen to people who think believe and act differently from us and to accept their freedom and right to do so. From here it is but a short step to blind and mindless violence against the group or groups we choose to demonize,” he said.
He stated that “while we very rightly condemn such acts by others, we also need to turn the spotlight inwards and reflect on and examine our own failings in this regard. It may be that unconsciously in the practice of our own beliefs and religion we have caused avoidable irritation and offence to those of sister faiths,” he said, adding “we can hardly demonstrate against and condemn such acts by others against us, if we ourselves condone or participate in similar behaviour against those who are different from us.”
It was the duty of state to guarantee the protection “of all groups in society,” the bishop said, warning the Buddhist nationalist government “during the past decades we have witnessed in this country the tragedy, huge damage and destruction brought about by the negligence of this primary duty. We must not repeat the mistakes of the past.”
Tags: Diocese of Uruguay, Michael Pollesel
The House of Bishops of the Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur (de América) has upheld the appeal of the Diocese of Uruguay and ratified the election of Archdeacon Michael Pollesel.
A statement released during holy week by the Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone, Tito Zavala of Chile said the bishops and provincial Executive Council had “with joy and thankfulness to God” ratified Archdeacon Pollesel election after consideration of the appeal and the presentation of new background material.
At the close of their 21 – 25 May 2012 meeting in Montevideo the bishops released a statement saying that “after discussion and prayer and in accord with its canons the Provincial Executive of the Cono Sur together with its College of Bishops did not ratify the election of the Ven. Dr. Michael Pollesel as bishop-coadjutor for Uruguay”
The Cono Sur did not state why Dr. Pollesel’s election was rejected, but noted the province “promised its close cooperation with the diocese in its future decisions.”
The December 2011 election of Dr. Pollesel by the Uruguay synod to succeed Bishop Miguel Tamayo had raised questions from conservative activists. The former general secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada and interim priest-in-charge of St Nicholas Church, Birch Cliff in Toronto was credited with crafting the “non-confrontational” approach to the debate over same sex blessings taken at the last General Synod.
Conservatives claimed that by making the issue of homosexuality value neutral, it privileged gay supporters in the General Synod and allowed Canada to also claim it had not violated the Anglican Communion’s strictures against gay marriage.
No explanation as to the reasons for the 2012 rejection and 2013 ratification of the election has been released by the province. However it is understood Dr. Pollesel — who has served as vicar general of the diocese since his election — persuaded the bishops that he did not share and what not propagate the Canadian church’s doctrines in Uruguay.
The small South American diocese has been an outlier within the wider Cono Sur in recent years, focusing its energies on “social gospel” issues. On 12 Nov 2010 the diocese voted to secede from the Cono Sur after the provincial synod declined to authorize the ordination of women priests. Uruguay had proposed the women priest resolution, which was passed by the lay and episcopal orders, but defeated in the clergy order at the provincial synod in Buenos Aires.
The 12 – 15 November 2011 meeting in Asunción, Paraguay of the provincial synod rejected Uruguay’s requested to secede, but adopted a motion requesting a study in the feasibility of dividing the province into Atlantic and Pacific halves with Peru, Bolivia and two dioceses in Chile comprising one province and Argentina, Northern Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay comprising the second. The New Zealand meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council declined to endorse the diocese’s request to secede.
Crime concerns dominate Jamaican synod: The Church of England Newspaper, April 14, 2013, p 7. April 16, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of the West Indies, Corruption, Crime, Gambling.
Tags: Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, Howard Gregory
The Bishop of Jamaica has denounced his government’s slow response to a lottery scam that has defrauded thousands of elderly Americans, saying it was symptomatic of the breakdown of law and order in the West Indies.
In his presidential address to the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands at the 143rd annual meeting of Synod held at St Ann’s Bay parish church, Bishop Howard Gregory said the “system of justice needs to become a primary focus of attention.”
“As a nation we are being called to repentance with a consequent change of action in relation to the blood of our young men and our women and children which is being shed daily in our country by criminal elements, but just as significant in the resolution of domestic disputes.”
The Bishop condemned the government for permitting the sale of lottery tickets on Sunday. He noted that the legislation passed during holy week led him to ask “whether this is an expression of gross insensitivity or a statement concerning the way forward for the relationship between church and society”.
He also took the government to task for not moving to stop the “Jamaican lottery scam” until the U.S. Senate began hearings on the crimes.
A report by CBS reported that in 2012 over 29,000 lottery scam complaints were filed with American police agencies. Posing as representatives of Publishers Clearinghouse and other lottery and sweepstakes firms, the scammers would tell elderly Americans that they had won a cash prize but first needed to make a tax payment before the money would be released. The Jamaican-based fraud had taken in tens of millions of dollars, prosecutors have alleged.
“After seven years of public awareness of the lottery scam, our Government has only managed to table anti-scamming legislation and talk tough at the very moment when the United States Senate was holding a [Senate] hearing on the scam in Jamaica,” Bishop Gregory said.
The government’s failure to act did nothing to combat Jamaica’s reputation as a den of crime and corruption. “The way we are presenting ourselves to the world in terms of our moral values as a nation calls for serious repentance on the part of citizens and political leaders as a whole,” he said.
The willingness also of ordinary Jamaicans to countenance the lottery scam told the world “we have some very skewed moral values.”
Pakistani Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy freed: The Church of England Newspaper, April 14, 2013 p 7. April 16, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Pakistan, Persecution.
Tags: Blasphemy Laws, Release International, Younis Masih
Seven years after being sentenced to death for blasphemy a Pakistani Christian has been set free.
On 3 April 2013 Lahore High Court justices Khaja Amtiaz Ahmed and Khalid Mehmood Khan overturned the conviction of Younis Masih and ordered his immediate release from prison.
On 10 September 2005 Masih was arrested after he had asked a party of Muslim men the night before if they would lower the volume of their singing. The men responded by attacking Masih and beat him unconscious. Islamic leaders then incited a mob to burn Christians’ homes, saying Masih had committed blasphemy. More than 100 Christian families were forced to flee.
His lawyers alleged that to placate the mob the police arrested Masih. A Lahore Court sentenced him to death on 30 May 2007. In overturning his conviction the appeals court held there was no proof of blasphemy.
In a statement released last week Release International, which had been working with lawyers from the Legal Aid for Destitute and Settlement society in Pakistan, welcomed the news.
Release chief executive Paul Robinson said: “We are celebrating with Younis, his family and our partners who have supported them for all these years. We hope this sets a precedent for other victims of Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws who should now be released.”
Release commended the “bravery of High Court judges” who released Masih, “despite intense pressure from Muslim hardliners who filled earlier court hearings, apparently trying to intimidate the judges.”
Release partners were now making arrangements for the “safe transfer of Younis from jail to an unspecified location,” it reported.
Tags: Mark Lawrence, Wall Street Journal
Even the best newspapers will drop a brick now and again. And today’s piece in the Wall Street Journal about the Episcopal wars in South Carolina is a real stinker.
I’ve been reading the Journal since the early 1980s when I went to New York to work as a floor clerk at the Commodities Exchange for Drexel Burnham Lambert. In those far off misty days of my misspent youth (the lark’s on the wing, the snail’s on the thorn, Reagan’s in the White House, God’s in His heaven, all was right with the world) I would start at the back of the paper every morning and work forward after I had finished with the futures prices.
As my life and interests took a different path (no more filthy lucre for me) I began to enjoy the paper’s forays into religion, art, literature and other highbrow genres. The Wall Street Journal has consistently done a fine job in covering these topics bringing a depth of knowledge and balance to its reporting — and is one of the best written, best edited English language newspapers in the business.
Hence my disappointment with today’s article entitled “Church Fight Heads to Court: South Carolina Episcopalian Factions Each File Suit After Split Over Social Issues”. The story gets just about everything of importance wrong. The lede misrepresents the underlying issue. It begins:
Episcopalians along the South Carolina coast are battling in court to determine which of two factions owns an estimated $500 million in church buildings, grounds and cemeteries, following an acrimonious split last year over social issues.
The leadership and about two-thirds of the members of the Diocese of South Carolina, based in Charleston, broke away from the national Episcopal Church last November over its blessing of same-sex unions, ordination of gay clergy and its liberal approach to other social and theological issues.
No, that is not what happened. In South Carolina the diocesan convention voted to withdraw from the General Convention of the Episcopal Church after the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church suspended the Bishop of South Carolina with the intent to depose him (remove him from the ministry). Yes, South Carolina has opposed the innovations of doctrine and discipline introduced over the past two generations — and I guess you could say, taking the long view, that social issues were subsidiary issues — but last year’s split was in response to specific actions taken by the leadership of the national church.
Farther down the article some of the details about the South Carolina fight are presented and the story gets the facts back on track.
In South Carolina, bad blood between the diocese and the national church has been building for about 15 years. It reached a breaking point last summer, when the bishop and other leaders of the diocese walked out of the triennial General Convention in Indianapolis, following the national church’s approval of policies on blessing same-sex unions. The walkout triggered a series of events, including the national church’s removal of the Rt. Rev. Lawrence as bishop, and subsequent lawsuits.
(A hint that the writer is not au courant with religion reporting is the “Rt. Rev. Lawrence” — proper style is to use the first name after the Rt Rev and then Bishop or Dr if you want an honorific before the last name.)
The story also collapses the time line of the Episcopal wars and is written as if the South Carolina lawsuit is new news when the latest lawsuit was filed about six weeks ago.
The schism in South Carolina is one of many that have erupted over the past decade between local Episcopal parishes and dioceses and their national church—particularly since the election of a gay bishop in 2003. Thousands of conservative members left their churches over such issues around the middle of last decade, a time some Southern churchgoers call “the Great Unpleasantness,” the same euphemism once used for the Civil War. Other mainline Protestant denominations also have struggled with issues related to homosexuality, with many congregations moving to leave the Presbyterian Church USA after its leadership voted to allow openly gay clergy.
The split between liberal and conservative Episcopalians has been around for almost 40 years and has witnessed dozens of lawsuits between congregations and diocese. Beginning in 2006 the national church headquarters entered the fray spending upwards of $24 million (this in addition to the fees paid out by the dioceses and parishes). Nor did the fight begin in 2003 — GetReligion‘s tmatt has written extensively on this point and I need not restate the accurate Anglican timeline here.
The reporting on the lawsuits — the purpose of the article — is dodgy as well. The article reports the diocese filed a lawsuit in December in state court, with the explanation “The group says it shouldn’t have to turn property over to a church that it believes has drifted from Biblical principles.” Well that was one of the issues — but the bulk of the pleadings and the central issue before the state court was who was the true Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina?
This is followed in the article by the response of the national church affiliated faction:
A group representing the one-third of diocesan congregants still aligned with the national Episcopal Church have joined it in filing suit in federal court, arguing the property must remain with the national church. The national church, which says it is the one upholding Biblical teachings by wrestling with difficult questions as a community, believes the suit should be heard in federal court because it argues the dispute involves the First Amendment; a hearing is expected later this spring on whether the matter will go to federal or state court.
No. This is not true either. On 31 January lawyers representing the national church faction agreed to the entry of a preliminary injunction against their client (called a temporary injunction in South Carolina) promising not to use the name, marks and insignia of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina pending the outcome of the state court proceedings.
On 6 March the national church faction brought a complaint based on the federal trademark law known as the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. Sections 1051 et seq.) against Bishop Lawrence claiming it, not Bishop Lawrence and his faction were the true diocese. It asked the federal court to block the January state court order in favor of Bishop Lawrence and his group. Bishop Lawrence, they argued, was infringing on their trademarks. And last week, back in state court, the attorneys for the national church filed their answer to the original lawsuit.
Religious freedom and the First Amendment are all well and good, but it would have behooved the Journal to read the pleadings rather than the press hand outs.
The choice of legal commentary is one-sided — and also manages to pawn off further frauds onto the reader while managing to omit one of the crucial elements in the story.
How the fight will be resolved is difficult to tell. The national church has prevailed in 12 similar disputes in state supreme or appellate courts since 1980, said Martin Nussbaum, a Colorado specialist in church property law who isn’t involved in the South Carolina matter.
Some religious scholars say such schisms are hurting the church’s image and distracting attention that could be devoted to reversing a decline in church membership. “Once we’re through the issue of property and gay people, the real issue is how can this church change its way of being?” said Frank Kirkpatrick, the author of “The Episcopal Church in Crisis: How Sex, the Bible, and Authority are Dividing the Faithful.”
This is untrue also. While a number of lawsuits between dioceses and parishes have gone to state supreme courts, with the diocese prevailing in many of them, in South Carolina the state supreme court ruled the other way and held the church’s national property rules, called the Dennis Canon, were of no legal effect in South Carolina. In other words, if a parish has clear title to its property in South Carolina, it can take it with it if it leaves its diocese or denomination. Omitting this crucial legal precedent in the story was most unfortunate.
It should also be added that the appellate courts have not adjudicated the issue of whether a diocese may withdraw from the national church. Attorneys for the national church have argued the legal precedents from outside South Carolina governing the relationship of the parish to the diocese should govern the relationship of the diocese to the national church. The diocese’s lawyers in South Carolina have argued this relationship is not comparable.
One might also add, contrary to the assertion in the article about declining membership, that until these lawsuits erupted the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina was one of the few Episcopal diocese to see a growth in membership over the past decade.
So far I’ve pointed out mistakes of fact, significant omissions, and unbalanced commentary — let’s look at tone. The deafness of this article — its cluelessness — can be illustrated by this line;
The breakaway group, which still calls itself the Diocese of South Carolina, continues to operate from the diocesan headquarters and retains control of many of its most recognizable parishes, including St. Michael’s, in Charleston, established in the 1750s.
The breakaway group still calls itself the “Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina” — not merely the “Diocese of South Carolina”. The “Episcopal” name, and from it the control of assets, is the question before the courts.
Not a good outing I’m afraid from the Journal.
Update: I neglected to mention a further flaw. The photo of the church used with the article is captioned as St Michael’s Church in Charleston — the photo is actually of St Helena’s in Beaufort. Hardly a fatal flaw, but I suppose it does help to pack all your errors into one story.
First printed in Get Religion.
Hong Kong push for gay civil rights: The Church of England Newspaper, April 14, 2013 p 7. April 13, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Civil Rights, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, Human Sexuality --- The gay issue, Marriage.
Tags: Hong Kong, Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance, York Chow Yat-ngok
Church leaders in Hong Kong have welcomed the proposal for public consultations on a Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance (SODO) that would protect the civil rights of the homosexual community. While declining to speak to the merits of any particular bill, Roman Catholic and Anglican leaders have voiced their general approval of civil rights legislation.
On 1 April 2013 Dr York Chow Yat-ngok, a leading Anglican layman and the former secretary for food and health, took office as chairman of Hong Kong’s Equal Opportunity Commission.
Last month gay activists attacked the appointment of Dr. Chow arguing that his religious principle would prejudice the debate. However Dr. Chow told the South China Morning Post he was a “liberal-minded” Christian and not prejudiced against gay people.
The issue should be handled discreetly. “In the process of legislation, there should be more discussion. Because not everyone would be courageous enough or would choose to disclose their own sexual orientation,” Dr. Chow told Radio Television Hong Kong.
“My religious background is relatively conservative, but even the Anglican Church in England is discussing this issue now,” he said adding that “regardless of what my religious background is or my personal view… these people should not be discriminated against.”
In November 2012 a proposal was put forward in the Legislative Council to launch a public consultation to gauge potential support for SODO. After vigorous debate the motion was defeated and Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying dismissed calls for a consultation in a policy address in January.
Evangelical leaders had voiced concern that SODO would lead to gay marriage. Choi Chi-sum, secretary-general of the Society for Truth and Light, said they were “disappointed” that Dr. Chow had now offered his public support for the ordinance before consulting groups who opposed the legislation.
Created in 1996 the equal opportunities commission has a mandate to work towards the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status, pregnancy, disability, family status and race. This brief should be extended to sexual orientation Dr. Chow said.
Tags: Los Angeles Times, Margaret Thatcher
The death Monday of Margaret Thatcher has generated a huge amount of ink from newspapers on both sides the Atlantic. Opinions about the “Iron Lady” vary sharply — and some of these opinion pieces have found their way into the news reports of recent days.
This Los Angeles Times article reports the funeral arrangements – but it has been crafted less to tell the story about the funeral than to offer its opinions about Margaret Thatcher. Save for a few knowledgeable insiders most reporters covering these sorts of affairs work off of the same press releases and from the same press conferences. The Home Office, Foreign Office, Downing Street, the Church of England, the Metropolitan Police, Buckingham Palace, the Ministry of Defense, and other government offices have been busy telling reporters of their role in the memorial service.
For example, here is the press release from the Ministry of Defense:
The Ministry of Defence has announced details of the Armed Forces’ involvement in the Funeral of The Rt Hon The Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG OM PC FRS, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990.
The Funeral will take place on Wednesday 17 April at St Paul’s Cathedral, involving more than 700 Armed Forces personnel. The Coffin will be drawn on a Gun Carriage of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from St Clement Danes Church (the church of the Royal Air Force) in the Strand to St Paul’s, with the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force lining the route. Outside the Cathedral a Guard of Honour and Band of 1st Battalion Welsh Guards will be formed up. While the Ceremonial Procession takes place, the Honourable Artillery Company will fire Processional Minute Guns from Tower Wharf, HM Tower of London.
Carrying the Coffin of Lady Thatcher into the Cathedral will be a Bearer Party made up of all three Services, including those from ships, units and stations notable for their service during the Falklands Campaign. Positioned on the steps will be a Step Lining party made up of 18 tri-Service personnel and a contingent of In-Pensioners of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Senior military representatives will attend the service.
The reporter’s task is to distill these press releases into a single story. A good reporter seeks to add value to the story by finding a particular angle that would interest his readers and perhaps a first-person observation from someone or some institution mentioned in the press release. Working from the MOD statement, a knowledgeable reporter could develop a unique angle based on the type of funeral (military v. state), the place of the funeral, the procession through the city, or some of the military aspects. What he should not do is offer unfounded speculation.
Let’s look at the Los Angeles Times.
LONDON — The funeral of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s longest-serving leader of the 20th century, will be held in St. Paul’s Cathedral on April 17, officials said Tuesday. Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, are expected to attend what will be the most elaborate funeral to be staged in London since the death of the queen’s mother in 2002. It will be the first funeral of a prime minister that the queen will have attended since Winston Churchill’s in 1965. Thatcher, who died Monday at age 87 after years of declining health, will be given a ceremonial service with military honors, a service almost indistinguishable from an official state funeral.
Further facts are reported before it moves into its particular angle.
The expected presence of the queen at Thatcher’s funeral is an indication of the impact Britain’s first female prime minister made, even though the two women, who were born six months apart, are believed to have had a frosty relationship.
Thatcher raised eyebrows with her increasingly regal style toward the end of her 1979-90 premiership, particularly her announcement of the birth of her first grandchild: “We have become a grandmother.” Elizabeth is said to have disliked the social division that Thatcher’s policies exacerbated among her subjects.
The reputed edge between them is on show in a new play in London’s West End. “The Audience” depicts imagined accounts of the meetings the queen holds weekly with the prime minister of the day. Oscar-winner Helen Mirren portrays Elizabeth and actress Haydn Gwynne takes the role of Thatcher in a fraught but fictionalized encounter.
These three paragraphs are problematic. It asserts the Queen and Mrs Thatcher did not care for one another. No facts are presented to support this statement nor is a second source offered to substantiate the claim. Instead we have the verbal phrasing “are believed”. Believed by whom?
How does the LA Times know the mind of the Queen? Is it the royal mind of the monarch or the royal mind of the Times editorial board who believes dislikes the “social division that Thatcher’s policies exacerbated among her subjects”? And where is the evidence for this? Conventional wisdom among the liberal establishment does not count.
Perhaps I have been at this game too long but the only news value I can see in mentioning the West End play “The Audience” is that it allows the author to put his ticket on his expense account.
Now I am not saying that the claims of friction between the two women do not exist — but they are merely claims and not fact. If the Times wants to mention them it needs to put these words in the mouths of others because the Times is not an insider or a knowledgeable source — they do not have the necessary credibility to get away with it. This is gossip not news.
First printed on Get Religion.
Tags: Stanley Ntagali
The Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) has called for the rejection of the Domestic Relations Bill before Parliament arguing that proposals to turn common-law marriages into legally recognized marriages was bad social policy and jeopardized the rights of women.
In a speech delivered on 27 March 2013, the chairman of UJCC, Archbishop Stanley Ntagali — the primate of the church of Uganda – said: “Marriage for us in the Church is not a union of convenience but it is a lifelong partnership that can only be extinguished by the death of the partners.”
Read it all in Anglican Ink.
Tags: corruption, J.A.D. Jebachandran, Thoothukudi-Nazareth Diocese
The church of South India has suspended the Bishop in Thoothukudi-Nazareth Diocese for assaulting the church’s general secretary during a meeting of the Synod’s Executive Council in February.
On 3 April 2013 Sun TV reported that moderator of the CSI, the Bishop in Kanyakumari Diocese G. Devakadasham, had assumed temporary oversight of the diocese following the suspension of Bishop J.A.D. Jebachandran for assaulting General Secretary M.M. Philip.
Spokesmen for the bishop and the executive council did not respond to requests for clarification but the anti-corruption lay group Youth4CSI reports the spat between the bishop and the Synod’s Executive Council is politically and financially motivated.
Read it all in Anglican Ink.
Cono Sur reverses course, ratifies Uruguay episcopal election: Anglican Ink, April 10, 2013 April 10, 2013Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Ink, La Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America.
Tags: Diocese of Uruguay, Michael Pollesel
The Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur (de América) has ratified the election of Archdeacon Michael Pollesel as Bishop of Uruguay.
In a statement released during holy week by the Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone, Bishop Tito Zavala of Chile said the province’s House of Bishops and Executive Council had “with joy and thankfulness to God” ratified Archdeacon Pollesel’s election after it had considered additional background material on the Canadian clergyman.
On 25 May 2012 the bishops released a statement saying that “after discussion and prayer and in accord with its canons the Provincial Executive of the Cono Sur together with its College of Bishops did not ratify the election of the Ven. Dr. Michael Pollesel as bishop-coadjutor for Uruguay.”
The Cono Sur did not state why Dr. Pollesel’s election had been rejected in 2012 or why it had now been ratified, but in 2012 the province “promised its close cooperation with the diocese in its future decisions.”
Read it all in Anglican Ink.
Tags: Margaret Thatcher
The funeral of The Rt. Hon. The Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG OM PC FRS will take place on Wednesday 17 April 2013 at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
The Bishop of London, The Rt. Hon. & Rt. Rev. Richard Chartres, will preside at the memorial service for the “Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990.
Read it all in Anglican Ink.
Marriage is of God, not the state Church of England declares: Anglican Ink, April 9, 2013 April 10, 2013Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Church of England, Marriage.
Tags: gay marriage
The Church of England has reaffirmed its rejection of gay marriage stating the public blessing of marriage can only take place within the context of a lifelong, monogamous, male-female relationship. Marriage is a gift from God, not a right granted by the state nor cultural construct a paper released today by the church’s Faith and Order Commission entitled “Men and Women in Marriage”
“In calling it a gift of God, we mean that it is not simply a cultural development (though it has undergone much cultural development) nor simply a political or economic institution (though often embedded in political and economic arrangements). It is an expression of the human nature which God has willed for us and which we share. And although marriage may fall short of God’s purposes in many ways and be the scene of many human weaknesses, it receives the blessing of God and is included in his judgment that creation is ‘very good’ (Genesis 1.31). In calling it a gift of God in creation, we view marriage within its wider life-context: as an aspect of human society and as a structure of life that helps us shape our journey from birth to death.”
The report recognizes the existence of same-sex relationships as “forms of human relationships which fall short of marriage in the form God has given us.”
Read it all in Anglican Ink.
Tags: Mouneer Anis, St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral
Egypt remains on edge this week after two men were killed and 89 injured in clashes between Coptic Christians and Islamists outside St. Mark’s Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo.
The Anglican Bishop of Egypt, Dr. Mouneer Anis warned: “Such attacks could lead the country into the abyss of sectarian sedition and deteriorate the social, economic and political conditions of the country. These actions could worsen the image of Egypt in front of the international community.”
A spokesman for the Egyptian Ministry of Health said 66 people had been treated and released from hospital while 23 remained in care after fighting broke out on 7 April 2013 outside the cathedral as mourners left the church following a funeral for four Christians who were killed in sectarian violence in the northern town of Khusus over the weekend.
Read it all Anglican Ink.
Tags: Lanham Act
The national Episcopal Church has taken the offensive in South Carolina filing lawsuits in federal court and a counterclaim in state court against the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, its Bishop, clergy and lay leaders.
On Maundy Thursday the national church filed an answer to the diocese’s 4 Jan 2013 lawsuit seeking a ban on the use of its name and seal by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and her allies, and asking the civil courts to confirm that it had lawfully withdrawn from the General Convention of the Episcopal Church.
The national church and its allies in South Carolina denied the diocesan claims and in their counterclaim asserted that all diocesan and parish property in South Carolina belonged to them. It also brought suit against the parish officers and diocesan leaders in their personal capacities alleging they had engaged in a civil conspiracy to defraud the national Episcopal Church.
In a statement given to the Church of England Newspaper on Good Friday, Canon Jim Lewis of the diocese of South Carolina wrote there was “little to say about the counterclaims.”
“We are saddened they filed their suits on Maundy Thursday in the middle of Holy Week and that they have made the lawsuit personal by suing individuals who make up the leadership of our parishes. However we are not surprised that TEC’s filing now makes clear its intention to seize all the properties of the Diocese of South Carolina and its parishes. The court filings are consistent with the scores of lawsuits The Episcopal Church has filed against dioceses and parishes across the United States,” he said.
On 7 March 2013 the national church asked the US District Court in South Carolina to grant a preliminary injunction to Bishop Lawrence and his allies from using the name and trademarks of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and from representing that his activities were associated with the diocese.
In a suit akin to one filed with the federal courts in Texas, attorneys for the national church argued Bishop Lawrence and his allies had violated the Lanham Act and violated federal trademark law. The federal court in Texas has held it will not hear that case until the state court proceedings are concluded. Lawyers for the diocese of South Carolina tell CEN they expect the federal court in their state to make a similar decision.
On 31 Jan 2013 attorneys representing the national church agreed to the entry of an order in state court that forbade the national church and its surrogates from claiming to act on behalf of the diocese. The new lawsuit in federal court seeks to undo this legal defeat and move the case to a different court.