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Australian bishop to the forces arrested on abuse charges: The Church of England Newspaper, July 4, 2014 July 22, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Church of England Newspaper, Roman Catholic Church.
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The Roman Catholic Bishop to the Forces in Australia has been arrested for child abuse. The Rt. Rev. Max Davis, bishop of the diocese for the armed forces, is accused of abusing a student at St Benedict’s College near Perth in 1969. The Catholic Military Ordinariate of Australia said in a statement: “An allegation has been made to the police that in 1969 Bishop Max Davis abused a student at St. Benedict’s College in New Norcia,” adding that “at that time ― 45 years ago ― the bishop was not ordained. The bishop emphatically denies the allegation and the charge will be defended.” The Australian Defence Force: “Bishop Davis has stood aside from his office as Catholic bishop of the ADF and Catholic member of the Religious Advisory Committee to the Services.”

Primus urges caution in Scottish independence vote: The Church of England Newspaper, June 27, 2014 July 22, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Scottish Episcopal Church.
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The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. David Chillingworth has urged Scotland to consider issues beyond the economic viability of an independent Scotland when considering the forthcoming referendum.  There was more to national identity than wealth, he argued. “Clearly there has to be an economic dimension to it, would an independent Scotland be viable, but I think what I expected was that the debate would be about whether people who live in Scotland feel a shared sense of being Scottish, whatever that means, to justify independent constitutional arrangements and independent governance, it hasn’t really been about those kind of identity questions.” The Primus noted that he was Irish by birth and was “very aware that the debate about identity often becomes negative imaging of the others, so I do absolutely understand that. But on the other hand, I’ve found the debate limited in its scope. It’s been about these economic issues, it’s been about the advantage of decisions made in Scotland over against them being made as part of a larger unit. I think the average person finds it hard to make a judgement about the force of those arguments either way. I certainly do.”

Bernard Mizeki festival draws 30,000 pilgrims: The Church of England Newspaper, June 27, 2014 July 22, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Central Africa, Zimbabwe.
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Over 30,000 Anglican pilgrims gathered in Marondera outside of Harare last weekend to commemorate the feast day of Bernard Mizeki, missionary, catechist and martyr. Born in Portuguese East Africa around 1861, as a young man Mizeki traveled to Cape Town to take service as a servant with a European family. There he attended an Anglican mission school and was baptized taking the name Bernard. After training as a catechist, he volunteered in 1891 to serve as a missionary in Mashonaland, in present day Zimbabwe. During the 1896 Mashona rebellion, Mizeki was singled out for death in reprisal for his mission work.  On June 17, Mizeki was attacked and left for dead. He crawled to a nearby hillside and after bandaging him, his wife sought aid. Returning with another woman they reported being frightened by an unearthly sound, “like many wings of great birds”, and by a dazzling light that moved toward the spot where Bernard lay. When they summoned the courage to go to the place where Bernard lay, his body had disappeared. His body was never found, and the exact site of his burial is unknown. The martyr’s feast, held on the Saturday closest to June 18, draws pilgrims from across Central and Southern Africa. The bishops of Central Zimbabwe, Masvingo, Manicaland, Northern Zambia, Eastern Zambia, Bulawayo and Harare were joined by pilgrims from South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe, along with a delegation from the Diocese of Rochester in the day long services.

World Cup adds anger archbishop: The Church of England Newspaper, June 27, 2014 July 22, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Australia, Church of England Newspaper.
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Church leaders have denounced the use of images of Rio de Janeiro’s Cristo Redentor statue to promote betting on the World Cup. Last week the ad agency McCann Copenhagen pulled a commercial entitled “Iconic Celebration” created for Ladbrokes after the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro threatened legal action. The ad featured the Cristo Redentor statue that overlooks Rio de Janeiro wearing a red Ladbrokes football shirt over its head as if celebrating a goal. The archbishop has also filed suit against the Italian broadcaster RAI for a similar ad, claiming violation of copyright. The Anglican Archbishop of Adelaide, the Most Rev Jeffrey Driver last week told The Australian newspaper that the use of a 46m high Cristo Redentor balloon with Christ wearing a green and gold Austrian soccer jersey emblazoned with the slogan “Keep the Faith” that floated above the skies of Adelaide was troubling. The use of the image was a question of taste, but “much more offensive is that it’s being used to promote betting and I think that’s deeply worrying because Australia does have a problem with gambling,” Dr. Driver said.

Malaysia on the edge warns archbishop: The Church of England Newspaper, June 27, 2014 July 22, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of South East Asia.
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The Primate of the Church of the Province of Southeast Asia, the Most Rev. Bolly Lapok, has criticized the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, for his silence over the government’s seizure of Malay language Bibles for using the word “Allah” for God. “I am inclined to think that he is conveying that the whole charade is not worthy of his comment. To do otherwise is to dignify what is plainly wicked,” Archbishop Lapok told reporters in Kuching on 20 June 2014. The prime minister’s refusal to speak out in support of the rights of Christians to practice their faith and condemn militant Islam was “poisoning inter-religious tolerance.” Last week Malaysia’s Attorney General ordered Bibles seized by the government’s Islamic Religious Department in Selangor (JAIS) to be returned to the Bible Society of Malaysia. However, JAIS has refused to comply with the Attorney-General’s order saying the use of the word “Allah” in Malay language Bibles violates the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation among Muslims) Act 1988. “Unless nipped in the bud, we have a perfect recipe that can cause Malaysia to descend into anarchy,” the archbishop said, bemoaning the spirit of tolerance that had “traditionally characterized Malay society.” Archbisohop Lapok warned:  “When unscrupulous individuals are allowed to behave and make reckless utterances with impunity for the sake of political exigency, I dread to think of the consequences on the minds of Malaysia’s plural society.”

Allah ban upheld: The Church of England Newspaper, June 27, 2014 July 22, 2014

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The Federal Court of Malaysia has upheld a ban on the use of the word “Allah” by a Catholic newspaper, the Herald. The Christian Federation of Malaysia voiced disappointment at the ruling, but noted the decision “relates solely to the use of the word ‘Allah’ in the Herald newspaper. Therefore we ask the government and the judiciary to publicly remember that the decision of the Federal Court is limited to the specific circumstances of the case and for Malaysian Christians to continue to have the right to use the word ‘Allah’ in the Bible, in religious functions and gatherings.” In 2009 the Ministry of the Interior banned the Catholic newspaper from using “Allah” stating the word could only be used in connection to Islam. The Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur filed a lawsuit challenging the ruling, and prevailed at trial. However the Court of Appeal reversed the decision in October 2013, and by a vote of 4 to 3 the Federal Court last week upheld the Appeal Court decision.”We continue to support that the decision of the Court of Appeal, upheld by the Federal Court, is seriously flawed in many respects. According to Justice, many erroneous and inaccurate observations had to be corrected. Now there will be serious negative consequences for the religious freedom of Christians in Malaysia,” the statement said.

ACNA grows 13%: The Church of England Newspaper, June 27, 2014 July 22, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of North America, Church of England Newspaper.
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Statistics released before the start of the Anglican Church in North America’s synod this week report the breakaway Anglican group has grown by 13 per cent to 112,504 members since 2009, while its average Sunday attendance has grown by 16 per cent to 80,471 during the same period. Membership in the Episcopal Church of the USA declined between 2009 and 2012 – the most recent year of published statistics. Membership for its domestic dioceses fell from 2,006,343 to 1,894,181 while Sunday attendance declined from 682,963 to 640,142. The Anglican Church of Canada does not publish its membership statistics.

In releasing statistics, the ACNA officials note that 74 percent of congregations completed reports. In an attempt to provide a complete picture, the denomination provides two statistical totals: “reported” figures and “projected” figures that substitute median averages for congregations that did not report. In the Episcopal Church, officials roll over previously reported statistics for non-reporting parishes until new ones are received. In the case of both the “reported” and “projected” figures, ACNA posts growth, which is strongest with the “reported” figures.

Foley Beach elected ACNA Archbishop: The Church of England Newspaper, June 27, 2014 July 22, 2014

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The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) has elected the Rt. Rev. Foley Beach as its second archbishop in succession to the Most Rev. Robert Duncan. Meeting in a private conclave at St Vincent College in LaTrobe, Pennsylvania on 22 June 2014 ACNA’s elected Bishop Beach to a five year term of office after three days of deliberations. A native of Atlanta, Dr. Beach was educated at Georgia State University, trained for the ministry at the University of the South and earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He served in the Diocese of Atlanta from 1992 to 2004, when he withdrew from the Episcopal Church following the consecration of V. Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire. In 2004 Bishop Beach founded Holy Cross Anglican Church in Loganville, Georgia and on 9 October 2010 he was consecrated as the first Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the South. The Archbishop of Sydney, who had participated in the ACNA’s conclave, welcomed the news of Dr. Beach’s election. The Most Rev. Glenn Davies wrote: “Bishop Foley will be a strong conservative voice within this newly formed province, among the GAFCON Primates and throughout the Anglican Communion. He is a man who has stood firm for the gospel in difficult circumstances, and has not been afraid to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.”

Parliamentary service a “sacred legacy” archbishop tells MPs: The Church of England Newspaper, June 20, 2014 June 26, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of the West Indies.
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The Primate of the Church of the Province of the West Indies, the Most Rev. John Holder, Bishop of Barbados, called upon members his nation’s parliament to put aside party differences and work for the good of the country. On 15 June 2014 Barbados celebrated the 375th anniversary of the creation of its Parliament, the oldest continuous Parliament of an independent Commonwealth country outside the British Isles, with a memorial service at St Mary’s Anglican Church in Bridgetown. In his sermon, Dr. Holder urged MPs “to move beyond the restrictions of party and take necessary political risks for the sake of country. You need sometimes to put the next elections out of your mind for a while, and think country instead of party. Just remember that this country is far bigger than all of the parliamentarians and all the members of the political parties together.” He told MPs they had “inherited what others have laboured and have died for. You have stepped into a stream that goes back some 375 years. There is a sacred legacy,” and as such they must put country before party. The thirty-member House of Assembly is divided 16 to 14 between the Democratic Labour Party and the Barbados Labour Party.

Londonderry peace plea: The Church of England Newspaper, June 20, 2014 June 26, 2014

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The Catholic and Anglican bishops of Londonderry have released a joint appeal for Ulster to set aside its sectarian divisions and suspicions and work towards a united socity. On 16 June 2014 the Rt. Rev. Ken Good, the Church of Ireland Bishop of Derry and Raphoe and the Most Rev. Donal McKeown, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Derry, marked Community Relations Week with call to the community to “strive tirelessly to heal the wounds caused by our violent conflict. It is also to ensure that such conflict never happens again. We can best do this by journeying towards reconciliation, so that a cycle of historic division is broken once and for all in this land.” The bishops wrote: “Differences whether of history, race, religion or politics do not define who our neighbour is. Christ teaches us that every person is our ‘neighbour’ and that we are to find practical ways to ‘love’ them. We renew our Christian commitment to loving our neighbour in this city, whoever that neighbour may be,” they said.

Aspinall to step down as primate: The Church of England Newspaper, June 20, 2014 June 26, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Australia, Church of England Newspaper.
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The Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, the Most Rev. Phillip Aspinall, has announced that it is his intention to step down from his post this month before the church’s 16th General Synod set for 29 June to 4 July 2014 at St Peter’s College in Adelaide. Dr. Aspinall (54) will remain Archbishop of Brisbane and Metropolitan of the Province of Queensland, but announced he was resigning now in order for a new primate to be elected by the August visit to Australia of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Chosen by a Panel of Electors, comprised of 12 clergy and 12 lay members chosen by General Synod, and the members of the House of Bishops, the primate of the ACA is selected from among the church’s diocesan bishops by a simple majority vote. Traditionally, the office has fallen to one of the five metropolitan archbishops in Australia. The office of primate in Australia does not confer metropolitan powers over the church on its office holder and is largely a ceremonial position.

Church peace plan for South Sudan: The Church of England Newspaper, June 20, 2014 June 26, 2014

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The Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan, the Most Rev. Daniel Deng of Juba, has published an open letter on behalf of the church and the leading civic groups detailing the steps needed towards reaching a last peace in South Sudan. What began in December as a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar has evolved into a tribal war between the Nuer and Dinka that has left several thousand dead and driven over one million people from their homes.  Meeting in talks brokered by Hailemariam Desalegn, the prime minister of Ethiopia, on 10 June 2014 the two sides agreed to a cease fire and pledged to form a unity government within sixty days. However, past deals to end the violence have been not held. In his 6 June 2014 Open Letter, Archbishop Deng stated it was essential that there be an “independent voice for peace and reconciliation” within the country independent of tribe, urging the warring parties to lay down their arms and “listen”. “We have to show we have a common goal no matter what tribe we belong to, what part of the country we come from or what position we have in society. Our independent actions must find unity in our collective aspiration to end war, heal our nation and build momentum for peace, security and development,” the archbishop said.

Apostolic succession extended to Methodist Church: The Church of England Newspaper, June 20, 2014 June 26, 2014

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The Church of Ireland has extended apostolic succession of the episcopal ministry to the Methodist Church of Ireland. On 11 June 2014 the Archbishop of Dublin and Bishop of Down and Dromore took part in the installation of the new President of the Methodist Church of Ireland, the Rev. Peter Murray, the superintendent of the North West Methodist circuit in Londonderry. Last month the Church of Ireland’s General Synod approved an agreement signed with the Methodist Church that provided for the interchangeability of clergy, allowing an ordained minister of either church to come under the discipline and oversight of the other. Methodist ministers may henceforth be considered for clerical positions within the Church of Ireland and the church’s presidents will be eligible for election as Church of Ireland bishops. The agreement states that the Methodist president, who is elected to an annual term, is recognised as an “episcopal minister” in the Church of Ireland. The agreement further recognizes past holders of the office as episcopal ministers also. In future, Church of Ireland bishops will take part in the installation ceremony of a Methodist president, and the Methodist president will take part in the consecration of a Church of Ireland bishop. The Irish Times reports there are an estimated 38,000 Methodists in Northern Ireland and 12,000 in the Republic of Ireland.

Church of England calls for the release of Meriam Ibrahim : The Church of England Newspaper, June 20, 2014 June 26, 2014

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The Second Church Estates Commissioner has assured Parliament that the Church of England supports the international call for clemency for Meriam Ibrahim. Sentenced to death for apostasy from Islam by a civil court in Khartoum last month, Mrs. Ibrahim has refused to recant her Christian faith despite assurances that she will be freed from prison if she accepts Islam. On 12 June 2014 the members for Bury North, David Nuttall (Cons.) and Pendle, Andrew Stephenson (Cons.) asked Sir Tony Baldry what “representations the Church of England” had made on behalf of Mrs. Ibrahim. Sir Tony responded the “Archbishop of Canterbury and the Church of England wholeheartedly supported the call from the Christian Muslim Forum for the death sentence against Meriam Ibrahim to be dropped. The Church of England will continue to support the Archbishop of Sudan on this issue.” He urged MPs to support “early-day motion 71, tabled in my name, which has support from Members in all parts of the House,” calling for her release. Sudan’s apostasy laws were “clearly incompatible” with Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he said, adding that “In international law, fundamental universal UN human rights must prevail.”

SEC says no to assisted suicide: The Church of England Newspaper, June 20, 2014 June 26, 2014

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The Faith and Order Board of the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church has voiced its opposition to the Assisted Suicide Bill pending before the Scottish Parliament. In a submission dated 6 June 2014, the board stated that while there were a range of views about assisted suicide held by its members, the Scottish Episcopal Church upheld “the sanctity of human life, and this, alongside compassion, are our primary considerations when thinking about Assisted Suicide.” The SEC had “sympathy” with arguments that “compassion is in some circumstances a higher good than the preservation of life.” However, the church was concerned with the application of the law as well as issues of compassion, dignity and the spiritual and moral issues these entailed had so far not been addressed by the bill’s supporters.  From a medical perspective the “art of dying” dealt with “pain relief”. But the “art of dying is a spiritual art, learned emotionally and communally, and found in all religions and traditions. … We want to explore compassion beyond the giving of drugs and legality of choosing death” the board said.

Vicar of Baghdad cries for help: The Church of England Newspaper, June 20, 2014 June 26, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East.
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The “Vicar of Baghdad”, the Rev. Canon Andrew White, has issued a plea for Anglicans to come to the aid of the people of Iraq, after Sunni Muslim extremists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seized control large swathes of the country. “Things are so bad now in Iraq, the worst they have ever been. The Islamic terrorists have taken control of the whole of Mosul which is Nineveh the main Christian stronghold. The army have even fled. We urgently need help and support,” Canon White wrote. “Iraq is now in its worst crisis since the 2003 war. ISIS, a group that does not even see Al Qaida as extreme enough, has moved into Mosul, which is Nineveh. It has totally taken control, destroyed all government departments. Allowed all prisoners out of the prisons. Killed countless numbers of people. There are bodies over the streets. The army and police have fled, so many of the military resources have been captured. Tankers, armed vehicles and even helicopters are now in the hands of ISIS. The area is the heartland of the Christian community. Most of our people come from Nineveh and still see that as their home. It is there that they return to regularly. Many Christian’s fled from back to Nineveh from Baghdad, as things got so bad there. Now the Christian centre of Iraq has been totally ransacked. The tanks are moving into the Christian villages destroying them and causing total carnage. The ISIS militants are now moving towards Kirkuk, major areas to the Oil fields that provide the lifeblood of Iraq. We are faced with total war that all the Iraqi military have now retreated from. People have fled in their hundreds of thousands to Kurdistan still in Iraq for safety. The Kurds have even closed the border, preventing entry of the masses. The crisis is so huge it is almost impossible to consider what is really happening.” Money was needed to care for refugees streaming into Baghdad, Canon White said. “We need your help.” http://frrme.org/canon-andrews-blog/

Welby pays pastoral call in Lagos: The Church of England Newspaper, June 13, 2014 June 26, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Church of Nigeria.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby paid a pastoral call on President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja to “express his personal pain and condolence about the ongoing terrorism affecting parts of North Nigeria,” the Lambeth Palace press office reports. On 4 June 2014, Archbishop Welby, President Jonathan and the Primate of Nigeria, the Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh, discussed the terror campaign waged by Boko Haram and “then prayed privately together,” the statement said. Along with other church and political leaders, Archbishop Welby has condemned the kidnapping of over 200 school girls by Boko Haram, calling it an “atrocious and inexcusable act.” Speaking to reporters outside the Presidential Villa, the archbishop condemned the recent terror bombings in Jos saying “I came to pray with His Excellency and express our condolence for the losses. God is faithful. In one of the letters that Paul wrote to the church, he talked about the sufferings they were going through being known throughout the world and that is certainly true here because the suffering in Nigeria is known throughout the world … And like many, I am deeply grieved by what is happening but God is faithful. He is always faithful to us and as Christians, in Jesus Christ we believe in His faithfulness and we can trust Him for the future.”

Bishop of Gippsland dies suddenly: The Church of England Newspaper, June 13, 2014 June 26, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Australia, Church of England Newspaper.
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The Bishop of Gippsland of the Anglican Church of Australia has died following a brief illness. The Rt. Rev. John McIntyre died on 6 June 2014 at Monash Hospital in Clayton of a respiratory infection. He was 62. Ordained the 11th Bishop of Gippsland in February 2006, Bishop McIntyre gained an international reputation within Anglican circles as an outspoken maverick, calling for a coal mining ban in Australia due to its safety and environmental hazards as well as his support for changing the church’s teachings on homosexuality. In 2012 the bishop said he would not conform to the Australian House of Bishops protocol banning the licencing or ordination of gay clergy, arguing that science had shown the Bible’s prohibitions against homosexuality to be wrong-headed. At the 2014 House of Bishop’s meeting Bishop McIntyre’s motion to change church discipline on gay clergy was rejected and a new protocol introduced that reaffirmed the church’s traditional teachings on sexual conduct of the clergy.

Place for Christians in the new Egypt: The Church of England Newspaper, June 13, 2014 June 26, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East.
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The new president of Egypt Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi was has reaffirmed the equal place of Christians in society, lauding their contributions to the country’s culture and national unity. In his inauguration speech broadcast to the nation on 8 June 2014 from the el-Quba Palace, al-Sisi laid out an ambitious plan of economic and social renewal promising to build 26 new tourist resorts, eight new airports and 22 industrial estates.  And he promised “there will no exclusion of any Egyptian from our march.” Egypt’s Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II, the Anglican Bishop of Egypt the Most Rev. Mouneer Anis and other Christian leaders have given the new president their wholehearted support. The president responded in his speech by singling out the contributions of Christians to the life of the country, and added that he would not tolerate their oppression. “As for those who shed the blood of the innocents, there will be no place for them in this path,” al-Sisi said in reference to the Muslim Brotherhood. “And I say it loud and clear, there will be no soft stand with anyone who resorts to violence or whoever wants to delay our march towards the future that we want for our children.”

Plea for help from Sri Lanka: The Church of England Newspaper, June 13, 2014 June 26, 2014

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The Bishop in Jaffna, the Rt. Rev. Daniel S. Thiagarajah has called upon the Indian government to come to the aid of Tamils left destitute by the civil war in Sri Lanka. Speaking to the Times of India last week, Bishop Thiagarajah said the Church of South India has set up a relief centre in Jaffna to assist in the resettlement of refugees and to support widows and orphans, but private NGOs could not shoulder the entire burden. The Christian churches in Sri Lanka sought to foster ethnic reconciliation, reuniting Tamils and Sinhalese into a single nation.  “We are all one people. Ahead of us is a challenging task of rehabilitation of our people who have gone through the darkest period in our history,” the bishop said.

Pakistani priest assaulted: The Church of England Newspaper, June 13, 2014 June 26, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Pakistan.
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A legal aid society in Pakistan reports that on 3 June 2014 five suspected members of the Pakistani Taliban ransacked the home of the Rev. David Hanook, pastor of the Church of Pakistan congregation in a majority Christian village near Okara in the Diocese of Lahore, holding the priest and his family hostage for four hours. LEAD (Legal Evangelical Association Development) director Sardar Mushtaq Gill reports a watchman heard the cries of the family and roused the village to defend their pastor. Five men were taken into custody by police. However, relatives of the arrested men have threatened to burn down the village unless Mr. Hanook withdraws the charges. “My family is not safe now in that village and I have requested the Rt. Rev. Irfan Jamil Bishop of Lahore to transfer me some other Church congregation” Mr Hanook said. “We have seen death very near to us because the robbers opened firing at us but Our Lord Jesus saved us,” he said. The former pastor of the church, the Rev. Azmat Nadeem explained “this is a Christian village and other Muslim villages are very jealous and prejudice with this village, that’s why they often attack on Church and Priest and on other Christian villagers.”

Franklin Huntress abuse charges reinstated: The Church of England Newspaper, June 13, 2014 June 26, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Massachusetts, The Episcopal Church.
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The Supreme Court of New Hampshire has reinstated criminal charges brought against an Episcopal priest for child abuse. On 30 May 2014 the Supreme Court ruled the trial court did not have the authority to dismiss charges against the Rev. Franklin L. Huntress and ordered the matter for trial. First arrested by Lincolnshire Police in 1994 for child abuse, Huntress was arrested in July 2011 following a grand jury indictment for having sexually assaulted a child under the age of 13 in January 1984 and April 1985. Claims the then 77-year-old priest molested a child in 1974 prompted an investigation by the Diocese of Massachusetts that revealed Huntress had been arrested by police for abusing a child in 1994 while service as vicar of St Matthew’s Church in Skegness. However, the Diocese of Massachusetts said it had not been “contacted by either civil or Church authorities in England regarding the 1994 charges there.” The Diocese of Lincoln confirmed Huntress had been arrested, but the “charges were dropped and the detail and the circumstances were unclear.” Huntress’ file “had been destroyed as part of a previous archive policy” at the time Massachusetts had requested “further information”, a spokesman said. Ordained in 1962, Huntress served parishes in the US and from 1965 to 1967 at St Mary’s, Chester, from 1967-1971 at Waltham Abbey in Essex, from 1975 to 1979 at St Gabriel’s Abbey in Leicester, and from 1991 to 1994 at St Matthew’s in Skegness.

New Primate for the Philippines: The Church of England Newspaper, June 13, 2014 June 26, 2014

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Bishop Renato Abibico of Northern Luzon has been elected the 5th Prime Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines at the 9th meeting of the Regular Synod of the ECP held at Trinity University of Asia in Quezon City on 14 May 2014. Educated at Trinity College in Quezon City and the University of Edinburgh, Bishop Abibico trained for the ministry at St Andrews Theological Seminary in the Philippines and succeeds the Most Rev. Edward Malacdon as primate.

Sudanese Christians plea for release of Meriam Ibrahim: The Church of England Newspaper, June 6, 2014 June 17, 2014

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The Sudanese Council of Churches has called for the immediate release of Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, the Christian woman sentenced to death last month for apostasy from Islam by a Khartoum court. In a 1 June 2014 statement given to the media, the SCC said the death sentence for apostasy and sentence of 100 lashes for adultery for having married a Christian is a “clear and direct persecution of Christians in Sudan”. The statement from the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Reformed, Orthodox and Independent Christian churches further charged her conviction Articles 31 and 38 of the Sudanese Constitution and contravened the International Charter of Human Rights which provides for freedom of religion and conscience. Sudan is a signatory to the Human Rights convention. Press reports from Sudan have quoted an unnamed senior government leader as having said Mrs. Ibrahim will be released from prison, however she remains in prison. Last week she gave birth to a daughter, but remained shackled during her delivery her husband reported. Under her current sentence of death, Mrs. Ibrahim will be allowed to look after her child for two years before the sentence is carried out.

Church plea to save India’s forests: The Church of England Newspaper, June 6, 2014 June 17, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of South India.
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A pastoral letter issued by the Church of South India’s Bishop in Central Kerala has called for Christians to support a government plan to curtail development of the Western Ghats. A UNESCO recognised natural heritage site comprising a contiguous forested mountain range stretching from Kerala to southern Gujarat, the Western Ghats were the subject of a 2011 government report that recommended a halt to mining, deforestation and a strict limit on building. The Kerala and Goa state governments had fought implementation of the conservancy initiative as had the Catholic and Syro-Malabar Orthodox Church. However the pastoral letter read in churches on 1 June 2014 from the Rt. Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, Bishop in Central Kerala said conservation would benefit farmers.  Bishop Oomen’s letter, entitled “Let us raise our voice for the sustenance of life” said: ”Those who are against the Gadgil report have vested interests and there is nothing that is detrimental to the interests of the farmers.” The new BJP federal Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar is expected to approve the conservation report as it had campaigned in favor of the reforms.

Christchurch Cathedral coming down: The Church of England Newspaper, June 6, 2014 June 17, 2014

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A New Zealand High Court judge has lifted his ban on the demolition of Christchurch Cathedral, allowing the diocese to deconstruct the earthquake ravaged gothic cathedral. On 30 May 2014 Justice Graham Panckhurst lifted the 2012 order halting the deconstruction allowing the diocese to begin construction of a new cathedral on the site of the old. In March 2012 the Diocese of Christchurch’s Church Property Trustees voted to level the ruins of the cathedral, damaged in the February 2011 earthquake. A legal challenge was mounted and in November 2012, the High Court halted the planned demolition after the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT) – a preservationist group — sought a binding ruling on whether diocese’s plans breached an act of Parliament protecting church buildings. The Court of Appeal overturned the decision and in December 2013, the Supreme Court declined to hear GCBT’s appeal. In his ruling, Justice Panckhurst said he was lifting the stay as the diocese had complied with all court decisions concerning the demolition and rebuilding, further adding that it was not up to the court to dictate to the diocese the design of the new cathedral. Construction on the new cathedral is expected to take up to ten years.

NZ vicar quits church over gay blessings: The Church of England Newspaper, June 6, 2014 June 17, 2014

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An Evangelical Anglican vicar in the Diocese of Auckland has quit the Anglican Church of Aoteara, New Zealand and Polynesia in protest over last month’s vote by General Synod to begin the process towards regularizing gay blessings. In an interview published on 29 May 2014, the Rev. Charlie Hughes, vicar of St Michael’s Anglican Church in Herndon said he and half of his staff along with two thirds of the church wardens had quit the diocese in protest over synod’s vote to bless same-sex relationships. “There is a large body of Anglican clergy who are convinced this is the wrong way to go,” he said, adding that a legal challenge would be brought to uphold the New Zealand Church’s constitutional provision that it is “not lawful to ordain anything contrary to God’s word written.” He added that this “isn’t an anti-gay issue. This is a pro-Bible issue. There are seven completely clear statements in the Bible about same sex acts which are all disapproving.” The Bishop of Auckland the Rt Rev Ross Bay told the congregation that he was aware that there was “confusion and even anger” over the synod vote, but he respected Mr. Hughes’ “decision and so have accepted the inevitable consequence that his licence as vicar must lapse as a result.”

Argentine bishop beaten/robbed: The Church of England Newspaper, June 6 2014 June 17, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, La Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America.
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The Bishop of Argentina and his wife were the victims of a home invasion last month, with the Rt. Rev. Greg Venables beaten, and his wife Sylvia bound by thieves who ransacked their home. On 25 May 2015 Bishop Venables, the former primate of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone  reported that “we arrived home from church on Sunday afternoon and disturbed thieves in the house. They beat and tied me up but didn’t hurt Sylvia. Having spent an hour ransacking the house and removing everything of value they left. It could have been much worse and God’s presence was unmistakable and tangible to us, to them and to the multitude of police who came afterwards. Sylvia was magnificent as those who know her can imagine. Thanks for your prayers.” Argentina has the highest rate of theft in South America the Organization of American States reports, with a robbery rate of 973 per 100,000, while the average for the continent was 456 per 100,000. In a note to friends published on 28 May 2014, Bishop Venables, noted their spirits remained strong. “Sylvia is fine, I am bruised, battered but better than ever. God is good.”

Welby headed to Rome: The Church of England Newspaper, June 6, 2014 June 17, 2014

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Lambeth Palace has announced that the Archbishop of Canterbury will travel to Rome to meet with Pope Francis on 16 June 2014 to discuss their slavery and human trafficking initiative launched earlier this year. The two day trip will also encompass visits to the Anglican Centre in Rome, the Sant’Egidio community and to “meet members of the international ecumenical Catholic foundation Chemin Neuf, four of whose members took up residence at Lambeth Palace earlier this year,” the archbishop’s press office reported.

Christians under siege in Pakistan, warns Canterbury: The Church of England Newspaper, June 6, 2014 June 17, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Pakistan.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned that the Christians of Pakistan are under siege, and has urged the country’s government to protect the rights of its minorities. The comments came at the start of a week-long tour of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh – part of the archbishop’s initiative to meet with all of the primates of the Communion during his first 18 months in office. Speaking to reporters after church services in Lahore on 28 May 2014, Archbishop Welby said there was a “considerable sense of anxiety, of being under siege” felt by Christian in Pakistan. “There was a very clear sense that people were nervous about the misuse of the blasphemy law, as a sort of a tool of politics, a way of gaining attention, or as a mob thing,” he said. Archbishop Welby urged the Pakistani government to reform its blasphemy laws, saying they have been abused to persecute the poor, Christians and other religious minorities. “I pray for their blessing and for the government to be favourable to seeing that this is not a group that are seeking undue advantage but are only seeking to do good,” he said.

Egyptian church lauds elections: The Church of England Newspaper, June 6, 2014 June 17, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East.
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The Anglican Bishop of Egypt, the Most Rev. Mouneer Anis, has released a statement applauding the freedom and fairness of Egypt’s presidential elections. In a letter released on 30 May 2014, Dr. Anis said that “as soon as the people heard even the initial results being announced, they gathered in squares in cities throughout Egypt, especially in Cairo and Alexandria. The results indicated that Field Marshal Abdul Fatah Al Sisi has won the elections, receiving more than 23 million votes out of 25 million people who voted. His opponent, Mr. Hamdine Sabahi, received just less than one million votes, with another million votes for neither of the two candidates.” Dr. Anis, who is also the Primate of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East noted “many people held peaceful celebrations throughout the night in Tahrir square. They danced and carried the flag of Egypt and posters of Al Sisi.” He added that “I personally think that President Al Sisi is the right choice at this time because Egypt needs a president who can reestablish the security of the country. Without security, tourism and the economic situation will not improve. The new president has to work hard in order to meet the many challenges that are facing Egypt, including the financial situation and the concerns of those who think that Egypt will be ruled in a military-like way.”

Groundbreaking for Uganda Martyrs Museum: The Church of England Newspaper, June 6, 2014 June 17, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda.
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The Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali with his Roman Catholic counterpart the Most Rev. Cyprian Lwanga, Archbishop of Kampala, on 28 May 2014 broke ground for an ecumenical museum honoring the Martyrs of Uganda. Celebrated in Uganda each June 3rd, Martyrs Day recounts the martyrdom of 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic converts between November 1885 and January 1887 by Mwanga II, the King of Buganda. In 1964 Pope Paul VI canonized the Catholic martyrs while the story of the faith of Anglican martyrs has played a central role in the identity of the Church of Uganda. Anglican and a Roman Catholic shrines have long stood in Namugongo, but the building of a joint museum marks a significant ecumenical turn for the country’s two dominant churches. In services marking the event, Archbishop Ntagali was invited to lead worship at the Catholic shrine, while Archbishop Lwanga led services at the Anglican church. Speaking to reporters Archbishop Ntagali said the “martyrs are our symbol of faith. They made Uganda proud by sacrificing their lives for what they believed in,” adding that “as Christians, we should emulate them, and love God, and preach love, hate hatred, jealousy and other habits that make us unclean in the eyes of God.”

Sudan’s prisoner of conscience gives birth to baby girl in prison: The Church of England Newspaper, May 30, 2014 June 17, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Episcopal Church of the Sudan.
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Lawyers for a Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy by a civil court in Khartoum have filed an appeal seeking to overturn her conviction. On 11 May 2014 Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, a 27 year old mother of a 20 month old child who is eight months pregnant, was given three to repudiate her Christian faith and become a Muslim. If she refused, she would be executed for apostasy. Born to a Sudanese Muslim father and an Ethiopian Orthodox mother, Mrs. Ibrahim was reared as a Christian after her father abandoned the family when she was six. However, under Shariah Law a child of a Muslim father is considered a Muslim. Mrs. Ibrahim, who married a South Sudanese Christian, was also convicted of adultery and sentenced to receive 100 lashes for the crime of marrying a Christian. Under the Shafi’i school of Islamic jurisprudence followed in Sudan, apostates are divided into two categories: parental and innate. Innate apostates were those whose parents were Muslim, made a profession of Islam—the Shahada-as an adult and then left the faith, while parental apostates were those born in non-Muslim families and converted to Islam as an adult, and then left the faith. Punishment for an innate apostate is death under Sudanese law, while a parental apostate is given three days to recant their apostasy.  The case has prompted an international outcry with Western governments, NGOs and church leaders calling for her release. Sudanese opposition leaders have also denounced the decision saying it violates the country’s constitutional right to freedom of religion. Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas stated Mrs. Ibrahim’s “continued imprisonment violates international statutes to which Sudan is a signatory as well as article 38 of the country’s interim constitution which guarantees freedom of religion or belief for all and in particular states that ‘no person shall be coerced to adopt such faith that he/she does not believe in, nor to practice rites or services to which he/she does not voluntarily consent.’ CSW calls on the international community to hold Sudan to its international obligations and to provisions contained within its constitution.”

Kidnapped Ugandan children freed: The Church of England Newspaper, May 30, 2014 June 17, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda.
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African Union peacekeeping troops in the Sudan have freed 132 children abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army. According to a 22 May 2014 report from Sudan’s Catholic Radio Network, the commander of the AU Regional Taskforce last week briefed civic and military leaders in Yambio in South Sudan’s Western Equatoria State, stating the children had been freed, 196 LRA soldiers capture and over 502 killed in a recent push against the guerrilla group. Operating from bases in Northern Uganda, Southern Sudan and the south-eastern Central African Republic, the LRA has waged a campaign of terror for over two decades across the region. The specter of an alliance between the LRA and Sudanese rebels led by former Vice-President Riek Machar to topple the government of Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has been raised by Uganda. A spokesman for the Ugandan People’s Defence Force last week told reporters that they believed the LRA and the Sudanese rebels were engaged in secret talks. However, this accusation was “wild propaganda. This is another desperate attempt by the invading UPDF to try to justify and prolong their colonization of some parts of South Sudan,” a spokesman for Machar told the Sudan Tribune.

Vicar of Baghdad honored: The Church of England Newspaper, May 30, 2014 June 17, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East.
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The “Vicar of Baghdad” the Rev. Canon Andrew White has been given the 2014 William Wilberforce Award by an American evangelical think-tank, the Chuck Colson Center. On 3 May 2014, Canon White, who serves as vicar of St George’s Church in Baghdad was honored for “his extraordinary strides in reconciliation and restoration in the face of overwhelming challenges.” The Colson Center singled out Canon White’s work in building a “positive relationship with the government and people of Iraq on every level, from grassroots to the business community to the military. Located in the city’s Red Zone, his church serves 6,000 Iraqi citizens each week — a stunning number for a country with a 97% Muslim population.” The Bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf, the Rt. Rev. Michael Lewis offered his congratulations ot Canon White, noting that not only had he worked towards building peace within the caldron of Iraq, “he has also helped to bring together various groups in Israel and Palestine for many years.”

British bishop for New Brunswick: The Church of England Newspaper, May 30, 2014 June 17, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Canada, Church of England Newspaper.
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A Church Army Captain and former clergyman of the Church of England has been elected Bishop of the Diocese of Fredericton in the Anglican Church of Canada. On 10 May 2014 a special session of the diocesan synod elected the Ven. David Edwards, Archdeacon of St Andrews and the diocesan Parish Development Officer as 10th bishop of the diocese that serves the Province of New Brunswick. Born in 1960 in England, Archdeacon Edwards was ordained to the diaconate in 1995 and priesthood in 1996 in the Diocese of Chelmsford, where he served his curacy and as incumbent at St. Mary High Ongar with Norton Mandeville. His also served as Bishop’s Adviser in Evangelism, and Mission and Education Minister for Ongar Deanery. In 1998 he was appointed principal of the Church Army’s Taylor College of Evangelism in St John, New Brunswick. In 2002 he was appointed rector at Stone Church in St John and in 2010 appointed Archdeacon of Saint John. In 2011 he became development officer for the Diocese of Fredericton and later acting Archdeacon of St Andrews.

ARCIC III meets in Durban: The Church of England Newspaper, May 30, 2014 June 17, 2014

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The fourth meeting of the third session of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) concluded last week in Durban, releasing a communique affirming the need for further talks between the two churches. According to a press released distrusted at the close of the 12-20 May 2014 meeting in Durban, South Africa: “A wide range of papers was prepared for the meeting and discussed, taking the Commission further towards its goal of producing an agreed statement. The mandate for this third phase of ARCIC is to explore: the Church as Communion, local and universal, and how in communion the local and universal Church come to discern right ethical teaching.” Following the Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey’s 1966 meeting with Pope Paul VI, the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission was established to find ways of achieving a reunion of the churches. Beginning in 1970 the first round of talks focused on the authority of Scripture, producing in 1981 the report “Elucidations on Authority in the Church.” A second round of talks was held between 1983 and 2004, producing an agreed statement on Marian theology in 2004. Pope John Paul II terminated talks in the wake of the consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire. In 2011 Archbishop Rowan Williams and Pope Benedict XVI initiated a third round of talks designed to find common ground on moral teachings.

Prayers for Nigeria’s bombing victims: The Church of England Newspaper, May 30, 2014 June 17, 2014

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The Church of Nigeria’s Archbishop of Jos, the Most Rev Ben Kwashi, has released a call to prayer for peace and urged forbearance following an attack on the central market of the city on 22 May 2014. Twin bomb blasts killed 118 and wounded 45 people. The first explosion was detonated at 3:00 pm and the second at 3:30, a move police say was designed to kill those helping the victims of the first blast. No group has so far claimed responsibility, but the attack bears the hallmark of Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram security experts report. The attack on Jos marks the group’s continued drive south from their strongholds in the Northeast and may exacerbate tensions in the region, which has witnessed sectarian violence between Christian Berom farmers and Muslim Fulani cattle herders over the past decade. President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the blasts, calling the perpetrators “cruel and evil,” adding the government “remains fully committed to winning the war against terror, and this administration will not be cowed by the atrocities of enemies of human progress and civilization.”

Probation for parish treasurer guilty of stealing £60,000: Church of England Newspaper, May 23, 2014 June 3, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Ireland, Crime.
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The treasurer of a Londonderry parish has been given a suspended sentence after having pled guilty to 19 counts of theft. On 30 April 2014 the Londonderry Crown Court handed down an 18 month sentence suspended for three years to Lyndsey Bredin (27) who pled guilty 19 counts of theft from Christ Church, Culmore, Muff and St Peter’s in the city. Bredin admitted to stealing the funds between March 2010 and October 2011. A statement from the Diocese of Derry & Raphoe reported that the judge told the Bredin, “It is extremely disappointing that not a penny has been repaid,” and noted the “offending has adversely affected the financial future of the churches for a very long time into the future.”  A spokesman for the parish said, “the theft has been traumatic and painful for church members and we are continuing to work together to face both the financial loss and pastoral consequences of our former treasurer’s breach of trust. Jesus’ call to forgive and pray for those who have wronged us is difficult and challenging. We can only continue to pray for the strength to behave, as God would have us,” adding that “we look forward to reading the judge’s full ruling to understand the appropriateness of a suspended sentence for a theft of some £60,000.”

New Zealand church backs gay blessings: The Church of England Newspaper, May 23, 2014 June 3, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
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The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has voted to uphold “the traditional doctrine of marriage” by creating a liturgy for the blessing of same-sex unions. A statement released by the church’s news service on 14 May 2014 reported “General Synod today passed a resolution that will create a pathway towards the blessing of same-gender relationships – while upholding the traditional doctrine of marriage.” A commission has also been created to find a “process and structure” that would permit clergy to bless gay unions. They are to report their findings to the 2016 session of synod. In their pastoral letter to the church, the three archbishops of the province wrote the church was “both affirming the traditional doctrine of marriage, exploring the recognition of those presently in life-long monogamous same-gender relationships, and seeking a process and structure to enable the possibility of a rite for blessing life-long monogamous same-gender relationships for those who wish to offer this rite.” However members of the synod tell The Church of England Newspaper the motion was an uneasy compromise. The motion does not yet permit gay blessings, angering liberals, while the claim of upholding tradition by creating gay blessings was seen as nonsensical by conservatives.

Pro-gay bias alleged in church marriage commission: The Church of England Newspaper, May 23, 2014 June 3, 2014

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Objections of pro-gay bias in the composition of the commission charged with investigation the issue of gay marriage by the Anglican Church of Canada were raised last week at the meeting of the Council of General Synod (CoGS) in Mississauga, Ont., the Anglican Journal reports. The 2013 session of General Synod passed a resolution directing the drafting of a motion “to change Canon XXI on marriage to allow the marriage of same-sex couples in the same way as opposite-sex couples.” The motion further called for a “broad consultation” and charged a Commission on the Marriage Canon with soliciting the views of church members. On 3 May 2014 the Bishop of Yukon, the Rt. Rev. Larry Robertson told CoGS that traditionalists believed the commission membership had been stacked with pro-gay supporters. The Rt. Rev. Lydia Mamakwa of the Northern Ontario mission also objected that there were no First Nations members on the committee. “Keep this in mind that the church and the Bible teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman…Our elders are very strong in that belief and they would like to see that continue,” she said, stating it was important that the voices of First Nations people not be shut out of the conversation. The chairman of the commission, Canon Robert Falby responded that he was disappointed by the charge of bias. In appointing the members we “were looking for people who occupied the middle road, with perhaps opinions previously expressed on one side or the other, but not anyone who had taken on an advocacy role for one side or the other,” he told CoGS. The Commission will present its findings to the 2016 meeting of General Synod.

Miners strike leads archbishop to issue call to prayer: The Church of England Newspaper, May 23, 2014 June 3, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Church of England Newspaper.
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The Archbishop of Cape Town has issued a call to prayer to for platinum miners, asking for a just and peaceful solution to the strike in South Africa’s North West Province. Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) at Lonmin, Implats, and Amplats in Rustenburg and at Northam in Limpopo downed tools on 23 Jan 2014 demanding a basic monthly salary of R12,500 (£700). The strike has cost the companies over R17.8 billion in revenue and workers have lost more than R7.9bn in earnings. In 2012 47 miners and police were killed in clashes at the Marikana platinum mines in a labour dispute. “Lord, there is something amiss in this economic system and we know it,” the archbishop wrote. “Help us to uphold the dignity of all involved in the current dispute, Give us the courage to stand for all, especially for the miners, Let us hold before us a vision of fairness and accountability as we pursue what makes for peace.”

No negotiations with Boko Haram says Okoh: The Church of England Newspaper, May 23, 2014 June 2, 2014

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The Primate of All-Nigeria has urged Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan not to negotiate a prisoner swap with the Islamist terror group Boko Haram. The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh told reporters that Boko Haram had rejected all offers of negotiation, and that its proposal to exchange over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped last month for its members held in custody was a mistake. The captured gunmen were “criminals” the archbishop said, and should be treated as such. Speaking to reporters during the Diocese of Abuja synod on 18 May 2014, the Archbishop said he supported the government’s imposition of martial law in three states affected by the insurgency. “As long as the problem has not been resolved, we can’t get a normal situation … then it would not be wrong to extend it,” he told the News Agency of Nigeria. The Archbishop of Lagos, the Most Rev. Adebayo Akinde told members of the Synod to hold fast in their faith in the face of the challenges facing Nigeria. “These are not times for Christians to solely depend on the cover, care and protection of human efforts and ingenuity,” Archbishop Akinde said, adding, “I do not know what the solution is to solve the Boko Haram issue, I also do not know how it will come but I want government to take seriously the option of a divine intervention.”

Bishop of Cork backs gay marriage: The Church of England Newspaper, May 23, 2014 June 2, 2014

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The Church of Ireland’s Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross has broken ranks with his colleagues and come out in favor of gay marriage. On 18 May 2014 the Rt. Rev. Paul Colton told the BBC Northern Ireland’s ‘Sunday Sequence’ that “I certainly support civil same-sex marriage” and hoped the Church of Ireland would revise its marriage canons to permit gay church weddings. Shortly before last month’s unsuccessful vote to permit gay marriage by the Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly the CoI’s Church and Society Commission released a statement affirming its teaching that marriage can only be between one man and one woman. Dr. Colton told the BBC that he would “adhere to that discipline but that is not to say that everyone must be required to take the Church of Ireland’s view of marriage.” While the Church of Ireland in the Republic of Ireland often supports a more liberal theological agenda, the larger evangelically inclined dioceses of Ulster strongly oppose the innovation.

Overseas church pleas to free Boko Haram captives: The Church of England Newspaper, May 16, 2014 June 2, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, The Episcopal Church.
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Overseas church leaders have joined the Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev. Justin Welby in calling for the release of over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram. On 7 May 2014 Archbishop Welby denounced the kidnapping as an “atrocious and inexcusable act” and appealed to Boko Haram to “release them immediately and unharmed.” In a sermon given on 5 May 2014 the Archbishop of Cape Town the Most. Rev. Thabo Makgoba called for “all of Africa, and especially South Africa” to rise up and demand their release.  “We are one continent and these girls are our children,” he said. The Archbishop of Canada the Most Rev. Fred Hiltz said the “declared intention” of Boko Haram “to sell them in the market is appalling. It is an abomination against internationally held human rights, and an absolute affront to the efforts of many nations to honour the Millennium Development Goals to empower women and young girls through a good education.” On 8 May 2014 the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the USA the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori said her church was “horrified at the violence perpetrated against innocent schoolgirls in Nigeria, and the willingness of those who should be addressing this to look the other way.  The unfortunate truth is that girls and women are still deemed dispensable in much of the world, or at least of lesser value than members of the other sex.” Bishop Jefferts Schori said the “necessary response” to the kidnappings was “education – of girls and boys, in equal numbers and to an equal degree, that all might take their rightful place in societies that serve all their citizens with equal respect and dignity.”

Court orders police to finish church fraud investigation: The Church of England Newspaper, May 16, 2014 June 2, 2014

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The Bombay High Court has directed police to complete their fraud investigation of four Church of North India Bishops accused of selling church lands for their personal profit. In an order handed down last Justice Naresh Patil and Justice Anuja Prabhudesai complained that the initial complaint had been filed in 2008 and that it was “high time” for the “investigation officer completes the probe.” In 2012 the former Bishop in Pune, the Rt Rev Vijay Sathe was arrested on charges of fraud, forgery and breach of trust for allegedly seeking to sell the Afghan Memorial Church in Bombay to property developers and pocketing the proceeds. The former bishops of Bombay, Pune and Gujarat were also ordered arrested by the court. All have since been released on bail. In a report dated 18 April 2009, VR Patil, the Maharashtra State law and judiciary department’s legal adviser, found that a “bogus” corporation entitled the Bombay Diocesan Trust Association Private Limited had been created to “grab the properties of genuine Christian trusts” — the Bombay Diocesan Trust Association Limited (BDTA) and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) in the Diocese of Bombay. “The bogus trustees indulged in many illegal activities to grab the property of BDTA Ltd and SPG by taking advantage of the similarity in the name of the bogus trust with the complainant’s trust,” the Patil report said. In 2004 the fake trust sought to redevelop the Afghan Memorial Church – a former Church of Scotland church built to honour the dead of the First Afghan War – prompting lay members of the congregation to go to the police.

Ceasefire signed in South Sudan: The Church of England Newspaper, May 16, 2014 June 2, 2014

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South Sudan President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar have signed an agreement to end the civil war in South Sudan.  On 9 May 2014 a cease fire agreement was signed in Addis Ababa to end the tribal conflict that has left thousands dead and driven almost a half million people from their homes. The Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan the Most Rev. Daniel Deng Bul accompanied by his Roman Catholic counterpart Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro and the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan, the Rt. Rev. Peter Gai Lual Marrow joined the talks brokered by Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, the African Union, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development and the US and British governments. Mark Simmonds, British foreign minister for Africa, welcomed the accord as “long overdue” but added it was “essential that both sides ensure its immediate implementation and take full responsibility for the forces under their control. Only with continued engagement and the genuine commitment of both sides will South Sudan be able to pull back from catastrophe,” he said. “This conflict has caused innumerable deaths, forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, and brought the country to the brink of famine.” While on a visit to Juba last week the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC, stated: “Churches in South Sudan have a significant role in national dialogue, affirming unity and a sense of nation-building by strengthening a process of reconciliation.”

Respect minorities demands Malaysian Church: The Church of England Newspaper, May 16, 2014 June 2, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of South East Asia.
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The Malaysian Government’s silence in the face of Islamist extremism could destroy the harmony of the country’s multi-racial society. Speaking to reporters following his election last week as President of the Bible Society of Malaysia, the Anglican Bishop of West Malaysia, the Rt. Rev. Ng Moon Hing said that he was “really worried for the nation in the next 10 years, if nothing is done to stop” anti-Christian and anti-Chinese provocations. In January the government raided the warehouses of the Bible Society confiscating Iban and Malay language Bibles on the grounds that their use of the word Allah for God was an affront to Islam and a violation of civil law. On 6 May 2014 the president of the Islamic Society of Malaysia Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman said allowing Chinese migration to Malaya was “a mistake” that must be rectified. He added that the Chinese were intruders who had been brought to Malaya by the British to oppress Malays. Bishop Ng warned “If the fabric (of society) is torn to a position that it cannot be mended, I feel very sad for the next generation. My generation is retiring, your generation will be very difficult to mend… trust is difficult to mend.” He added religious faiths must promote the community. “It must promote harmonious living, living together and sharing, then only the religion can survive and the nation will have parallel benefits from it,” he said.

Church of Norway rejects gay marriage: The Church of England Newspaper, May 16, 2014 June 2, 2014

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The General Synod of the Church of Norway, the Kirkemøtet, has rejected a motion that would have permitted same-sex church weddings or the blessing by clergy of same-sex civil unions. However, the 8 April 2014 meeting in Kristiansand also voted not to affirm the church’s traditional stance that marriage is between one man and one woman. The vote against gay marriage was 64 votes to 51, while the vote rejecting the church’s traditional stance on marriage was 62 to 54. In 1993 Norway introduced same-sex civil partnerships and in 2008 amended its marriage laws to make them gender-neutral. Church of Norway priest, the Rev. Dr. Arne H. Fjelstad – director of The Media Project in Washington – told The Church of England Newspaper the defeat of the gay marriage motion was “really a Pyrrhic victory for the more moderate/conservative group within the church.” He noted that some pro-gay marriage bishops after the vote urged patience saying: “With such a close race there is now much more liberty/freedom for us to conduct ceremonies for gays and lesbians. Stay in the church – don’t leave, we have more freedom now, and the situation is doomed to change within a few years.”

No one above the law, Church of Ireland states: The Church of England Newspaper, May 16, 2014 June 2, 2014

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Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams was arrested last week and held for question for four days by the Police Service of Northern Ireland in connection with the abduction and murder of Jean McConville in 1972. Mrs. McConville was allegedly murdered by the IRA for being an informer. Mr. Adams has denied any involvement in the murder or that he was a member of the IRA. Upon his release he told reporters the allegations against him came from “enemies of the peace process.” In a statement given to the Church of England Newspaper, the Church of Ireland’s Bishop of Down and Dromore, the Rt. Rev. Harold Miller, who serves as the chairman of the CoI’s Northern Ireland Community Relations Working Group, responded to Mr. Adams arrest by referring to the continued use week by week in many Church of Ireland parishes of the ‘Prayer of the Church Militant’ at Holy Communion, with the words that “those in authority ‘may truly and impartially administer justice, to the punishment of wickedness and vice,’ as a reflection of the Church’s stance.”

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