Ethical investing monitor hired for Church of England: The Church of England Newspaper, February 7, 2014 February 17, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Church Commissioners, Church of England Pension Board, ethical investing
The Church of England has engaged an American firm to help monitor its investments to ensure it conforms to church policies on ethical investment.
The Church Commissioners, the Church of England Pensions Board and the CBF Church of England signed the deal with MSCI ESG Research to identify within their £8 billion of assets firms engaged in the tobacco, pornography, gambling, armaments, coal extraction and pay-day lending industries.
Companies that have breached standards set by the UN Global Compact – a set of 10 principles covering human rights, the environment and anti-corruption – will also be identified from the over 9000 firms in which the church holds direct or indirect investments.
Last month’s agreement follows revelations last year the church had indirectly invested in pay-day lender Wonga. While the £75,000 investment represented 0.3 per cent of the pooled fund in question, the Archbishop of Canterbury was ridiculed in the press as he had previously denounced pay-day lending as predatory and unethical.
Edward Mason, Secretary to the Church of England Ethical Investment Advisory Group, said “The Church of England national investing bodies have a very broad suite of ethical investment policies. We are delighted by the commitment that MSCI ESG Research has shown to meeting our changing needs as we continue to seek to reflect the Church’s values in an ever more complex investment environment.”
Tags: Diocese of Chichester, Peter Ball
The former Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt. Rev. Peter Ball, who was arrested in November 2012 on suspicion of child abuse, has not been charged following an 18 month investigation by detectives from Sussex Police.
On 28 Jan 2014, the Crown Prosecution Service said it was still considering the case against Bishop Ball, who was arrested in his Somerset home in November 2012 as part of Operation Dunhill. The bishop was reported to have been taken ill following his arrest.
Sussex Police had initiated an investigation after the Church of England turned over the results of its internal review of Bishop Ball.
In 1993 Bishop Ball resigned after he was cautioned by the police for having committed an act of gross indecency against a teenager. The now 81 year old bishop was licenced to officiate at church services following his resignation, but has not had the licence renewed since 2010.
In 2012 a Sussex Police spokesman it had “received from Lambeth Palace two reports from a Church safeguarding consultant, which contain reviews of Church safeguarding files relating to historic issues in the Chichester Diocese. We have also received the files themselves.
“The reports and files relate to matters more than 20 years ago and we will review the contents in order to establish whether any police investigation of possible criminal offences would be merited.”
The late Bishop of Chichester, the Rt. Rev. Eric Kemp, was skeptical of the veracity of the charges brought against Bishop Ball. In his 2006 memoirs, Shy But Not Retiring, Bishop Kemp stated: “Although it was not realized at the time, the circumstances which led to his early resignation were the work of mischief makers.”
Chichester priest arrested for abuse: The Church of England Newspaper, February 7, 2014 February 17, 2014Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Diocese of Chichester, Vickery House
A retired Diocese of Chichester priest has been charged by police with a host of sex crimes dating back almost 40 years.
On 28 Jan 2014, the Sussex Police released a statement saying the Rev. Vickery House (68) had been charged with 8 counts of sexual assault “on the authority of the Crown Prosecution Service following an investigation by detectives from Sussex Police over the past 18 months”.
Mr. House of Handcross, West Sussex was arrested in November 2012 and has been on bail pending the outcome of the investigation. He faces two charges of molesting a 15 year old boy in Devon between 1970 and 1971, two charges relating to a man in East Sussex between 1976 and 1978, and 1983 and 1985, one charge relating to a man in East Sussex between 1978 and 1980, one charge relating to a man in East Sussex between 1981 and 1984, one charge relating to a man in East Sussex between 1984 and 1986 and one charge relating to a man in East Sussex between 1984 and 1986.
The Diocese of Chichester released a statement last week saying it was “aware that a retired priest, previously arrested as part of Operation Dunhill in November 2012, has been charged today with eight counts of indecent assault.”
“As this case is under investigation no further comment will be made. The Diocese of Chichester has been assisting Sussex Police with the inquiries and continues to do so,” it reported.
Mr. House has been granted bail and is charged to appear before the Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 27 Feb 2014.
No action on fracking church lands: The Church of England Newspaper, February 7, 2014 February 17, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: fracking, Sir Tony Baldry
The Church of England has not yet entered the fracking fray, the Second Church Estates Commissioner told Parliament last week.
In response to a question from the member for Thirsk and Malton, Ann McIntosh (Cons.) who asked if the Church Estates Commissioners had granted licences to oil exploration companies to drill on church lands, Sir Tony Baldry stated the church had received no applications to drill.
“The Church Commissioners believe that the Government has awarded a number of Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences (PEDL) which cover wide geographical areas and these include some interests held by the Commissioners. To date no approaches have been made to the Commissioners and no applications have been received from any potential Licensors,” the Second Church Estate Commissioner said. (HC Deb, 27 January 2014, c382W)
Fracking, the common term for induced hydraulic fracturing, is a mining technique where water is mixed with sand and chemicals and injected at high pressure into a wellbore. The mixture creates small fractures in the rock allowing natural and gas and oil to migrate to the well shaft, allowing its commercial extraction.
Fracking has proven successful in the United States in developing shale fields for oil and gas production and has led to the creation of over one million jobs, the Society of Petroleum Engineers reports.
However, critics of the process fear it will contaminate ground water and despoil land, leading to protests by British land owners, who must give their permission for firms to exercise the PEDLs granted to exploration companies by the government.
Prime Minister David Cameron has criticized opponents of the government’s fracking policies as hysterical and ill informed. Speaking to a Commons liaison committee on 14 Jan 2014, he stated opponents “simply can’t bear the thought of another carbon-based fuel being used in our energy mix and I think that is irrational … .”
Archbishop says “no” to Hagia Sophia mosque plan: The Church of England Newspaper, February 7, 2014 February 17, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Tags: Hagia Sophia, Justin Welby, Patriarch Bartholomew I, Turkey
The Archbishop of Canterbury has lent his support to the Ecumenical Patriarch in the battle with Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) over plans to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
Following the conquest of Constantinople the Ottoman Turks turned the ancient church into a mosque. However members of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ruling party have called upon the government to overturn the decision made in the 1930s by Kemal Ataturk to turn the cathedral into a museum.
Archon news reports that during his visit with Patriarch Bartholomew I last month the Archbishop of Canterbury said Hagia Sophia “should not become a mosque.”
“That would be another loss, in which a great symbol of civilization throughout the world was transformed into a particular symbol of exclusivism,” the archbishop was quoted as saying.
No mention of Hagia Sophia was made, however, in the formal press statement released after the 13-14 January 2014 meeting in Istanbul between the Anglican and Orthodox leaders, and the archbishop’s comments could not be confirmed by his staff.
According to the Lambeth Palace Press Office, Archbishop Welby said that Patriarch Bartholomew had been “an example of peace and reconciliation, politically, with the natural world, and in your historic visit to the installation of His Holiness Pope Francis I.”
“Such reconciliation [is] very dear to my heart and is one of my key priorities. It is the call of Christ that all may be one so that the world may see. I will therefore be taking back with me the warmth of your hospitality and also, after our discussions today and tomorrow, a renewed and refreshed focus for greater unity and closer fellowship. We want to carry the cross of our divisions, but be filled with the hope and joy that comes from the grace and the love of Jesus,” the archbishop said.
Tags: Tilewa Johnson
The Primate of the Church of the Province of West Africa, Archbishop Tilewa Johnson, died last week of an apparent heart attack yesterday whilst playing tennis. He was 59.
The Most Rev Solomon Tilewa Johnson (27 Feb 1954 – 21 Jan 2014) was born in Bathurst in the Gambia and educated in Nigeria and at the University of Durham. Ordained deacon in 1979 and priest in 1980, in 1990 he was elected the sixth Bishop of the Gambia, the first Gambian elected to the post.
An avid sportsman, Archbishop Johnson was a member of the Gambia national basketball team from 1970 to 1977.
Archbishop Johnson attended the 2013 Gafcon conference in Nairobi, but had not joined the organization’s primates’ council as of the time of his death. In November 2013 he was elected to the central committee of the World Council of Churches at the group’s 10th Assembly in Busan, South Korea.
In a letter of condolence, Archbishop Justin Welby wrote Archbishop Johnson’s “gifts were not confined exclusively to the Church, and he had an active role within the national life of Gambia.”
“I know that all my colleagues, the people of the Church of England, and especially those in the Diocese of Chichester with which the Diocese of the Gambia is linked, as well as your brothers and sisters across the Communion, will be holding [the church in the Gambia] in prayer and love at this time,” Archbishop Welby wrote.
St James Piccadily “Wall” not anti-Semitic, Parliament told: The Church of England Newspaper, January 31, 2014 February 17, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: anti-Semitism, Israel, Robert Halfon, Sir Tony Baldry, St James Piccadily
The construction of a mock “Wall” outside St James, Piccadilly, was not an anti-Semitic act, the Second Church Estates Commissioner told Parliament, but a condemnation of Israeli government policies.
Discussion of the London replica of the separation barrier constructed by the Israeli government to keep terrorist attacks at bay arose during Oral Answers to Questions asked of Sir Tony Baldry on 9 January.
The member for Harlow, Robert Halfon (Cons.) asked Sir Tony about the Church Commissioners’ discussion with government on the “promotion of religious tolerance.”
Sir Tony responded that in “this country, we have learned through the Reformation and the counter-Reformation and beyond the essential need for religious tolerance in our nation,” which prompted Mr Halfon to ask if the Church Commissioners would discuss “religious intolerance” with “St James’ church, which has held a shockingly anti-Israel exhibition over the past couple of weeks? Far from promoting religious tolerance, it did much to undermine it.”
Sir Tony responded that this question “raises a conundrum: to what extent should the tolerant tolerate the intolerant? The demonstration at St James, Piccadilly, was not against Judaism or Jews but against the illegal occupation under international law in the west bank and some of the settlements. In this House, we must be careful about what is seen as religious tolerance and about not tolerating intolerance or breaches of international law.”
The Speaker, John Bercow encouraged Sir Tony to “prepare a detailed paper on the matter and to lodge it in the Library of the House where I feel confident it will be a well-thumbed tome.”
Parliament told BBC provides adequate Christian programming: The Church of England Newspaper, January 31, 2014 February 17, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: BBC, Christian Broadcasting, Second Church Estates Commissioner
The Second Church Estates Commissioner has assured Parliament there is an adequate amount of Christian programming on radio and television.
During Oral Answers to Questions of the Church Commissioners on 9 January, the member for Strangford, Jim Shannon (DUP) asked Sir Tony Baldry “what discussions has the Commissioner had with media outlets such as TV and radio with regard to Christian programming? Does he agree that it is important to retain a level of programming that reflects the Christian status of this nation? What can be done to promote such programming?”
Sir Tony stated he did not believe there was a problem as if one looked, one could find religious programmes.
“To be honest, I do not think that Christians do too badly. If one gets up early enough, one can find a perfectly good programme between 7 and 8 o’clock on BBC Radio 4 every Sunday. I do not think we can feel that we are in some way discriminated against by the broadcasters.”
Tags: Egypt, Mouneer Anis
Last week’s referendum on a new constitution was marked by joy and dancing in the street, the Bishop of Egypt reports, as the country showed its support for the ousting of former President Mohammad Mursi.
“I can see my beloved country standing on the doorstep of a new day,” Dr Mouneer Anis said on 15 January 2014.
Approximately 39 per cent of Egypt’s 53 million eligible voters turned out to vote on 15-16 January 2014, the country’s election committee reported, with the new constitution receiving 98.1 per cent approval.
Dr Anis reported the Muslim Brotherhood has urged its followers to boycott the referendum. “Going to the polls was risky because of those who were trying to use violence to scare people from voting, but the army and the police exerted a great effort to protect the polls and to give assurance to the people who would like to vote,” the Bishop said.
“The new Constitution affirms equality and the rights of women within Egyptian society,” the Bishop said, and was the product of a popular front government that included “representatives of all sectors of the society” including Christians.
“It was a phenomenon to see crowds of women at each poll, many of whom queued for hours to vote. Some of them were singing and rejoicing, and even dancing, before and after they cast their vote. There was a general spirit of joy among the people of Egypt who voted, in a way that never happened before,” Dr Anis said.
Under the draft constitution, Islam remains the state religion, but freedom of belief is absolute. The state guarantees “equality between men and women” and forbids political parties based on “religion, race, gender or geography”.
Final arguments presented in San Joaquin case: The Church of England Newspaper, January 24, 2014 February 3, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Property Litigation, San Joaquin, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: John-David Schofield
The legality of the secession of a California diocese from the from the Episcopal Church is in the hands of California Judge Donald Black following the closing arguments presented to the Fresno Superior Court last week.
On 13 Jan 2014 the videotaped testimony of the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield who presided over the 2007 vote by the diocesan synod to quit the Episcopal Church was presented to the court. Bishop Schofield, who died in October 2013, testified in the 2011 recording to his actions surrounding the diocesan vote to amend its amend its constitution and canons to replace language acceding to the Episcopal Church’s constitution with language that affiliated the Diocese with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.
In 2008 the national church and loyalists members of the diocese brought suit against Bishop Schofield and various parishes, seeking to acquire control of all church properties. The breakaway diocese has argued that the diocese’s actions conformed to secular and ecclesiastical law. Attorneys for the national church have argued that while the church’s constitution does not forbid the secession of dioceses, a ban on quitting is implied in the church’s governing documents.
Judge Black ordered the parties to file their final briefs on 24 Feb 2014, and their reply briefs on 17 March 2014. A decision is expected from the court by late summer.
ACNA priest appointed Six Preacher at Canterbury: The Church of England Newspaper, January 24, 2014 February 3, 2014Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of North America, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Canterbury Cathedral, Six Preacher, Tory Baucum
The Archbishop of Canterbury has appointed a priest of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) to serve as one of the Six Preachers of Canterbury Cathedral.
The appointment of Dr. Tory Baucum, rector of Truro Parish in the ACNA’s Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic marks the first official recognition or honor by Canterbury of an ACNA priest. Archbishop Robert Duncan of the ACNA noted the appointment was “historically significant.”
Dr. Baucum “is known to be a gifted teacher and preacher who is committed to the present day reformation out of which the Anglican Church in North America was born,” he said.
In the statement released on 16 Jan 2014, the Lambeth Palace press office noted the political symbolism of the appointment.
“While Dr Baucum has extensive experience of preaching, evangelism and peace-making, his appointment is also recognition of his commitment to reconciliation, which is one of Archbishop Justin’s ministry priorities. Truro Church seceded from the Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church in 2006 and subsequently became part of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). When Dr Baucum became Rector in 2007, the church and the diocese were involved in litigation over property rights. Dr Baucum, a priest in ACNA, developed a close friendship with the Episcopal Bishop of Virginia, the Rt Revd Shannon Johnston, and a settlement was subsequently reached.”
Archbishop Welby stated: “The close friendship [Baucum] has forged with Bishop Shannon Johnston, despite their immensely different views, sets a pattern of reconciliation based on integrity and transparency. Such patterns of life are essential to the future of the Communion. I hope and pray that Tory’s presence as one of the Six Preachers will play a part in promoting reconciliation and unity amongst us.”
New leaders for the Church of South India: The Church of England Newspaper, January 24, 2014 February 3, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of South India.
Tags: Govada Dyvasirvadam, Rathnakara Sadananda, Thomas K. Oommen
A new moderator, deputy moderator and general secretary have been elected by the 34th meeting of the Church of South India’s (CSI) General Synod.
Meeting from 11-14 January 2014 in Vijayawada, Andrah Pradesh the 22 bishops from the four South Indian states and Jaffna in Sri Lanka, 135 presbyters and 275 lay members elected new the Bishop in the Diocese of Krishna-Godavari, the Rt. Rev. Govada Dyvasirvadam, to a two year term as moderator.
The Bishop in Madhya Kerala Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Thomas K. Oommen was elected Deputy Moderator and Dr. Rathnakara Sadananda, Professor of Theology at the Karnataka Theological College, was elected general secretary.
Sources in the Church of South India tell CEN the election marks a change in the church’s political power structure, with an “insider” elected moderator and “outsiders” untainted by the church’s past corruption scandals elected as deputy moderator and general secretary.
Ordained in 1978, the new moderator Bishop Dyvasirvadam was a lecturer then warden of Andrah Pradesh Theological College. From 1998 to 2001 he served as General Secretary of the CSI before his election as Bishop of Krishna-Godavari. At the 2012 meeting of synod he was elected deputy moderator of the CSI.
Bishop Oommen was elected Bishop in Madhya Kerala Diocese in 2011, and has gained the support of lay activists and reformers within the church.
Lord Lyon King of Arms appointed: The Church of England Newspaper, January 31, 2014 February 3, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Scottish Episcopal Church.
Tags: College of Heralds, Heraldry, Lord Lyon King of Arms
A priest of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Rev. Canon Joseph Morrow, has been appointed by the Queen as the Lord Lyon King of Arms.
An office created in the 14th century, the Lord Lyon King of Arms is the most junior of the Great Officers of State in Scotland and is the Scottish official with responsibility for regulating heraldry. He is also responsible for Scottish state ceremonies, akin to the Earl Marshal in England, and his duties include the granting of armorial bearings and judicial rulings on who has the right to bear an existing coat of arms
The appointment was made by the Queen on the recommendation of the First Minister. Under section 3 of the Lyon King of Arms (Scotland) Act 1867, the part-time appointment is based at Edinburgh’s New Register House.
Dr. Morrow serves as Chancellor of the Diocese of Brechin, is an Honorary Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, Dundee and Chaplain, Glamis Castle. At present, he is the President of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland, and President of the Additional Support Needs Tribunals and a First-Tier Tribunal Judge dealing with asylum and immigration issues.
Dr Morrow has a special interest in ecclesiastical history and 35 years’ experience of the practical application of ceremonial within a variety of settings including State, Civil, Military and Ecclesiastical areas of Scottish life.
Church of Norway clergy union backs gay marriage: The Church of England Newspaper, January 24, 2014 January 27, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Norway, Human Sexuality --- The gay issue.
Tags: gay marriage, Presteforeningen
The executive council of the Church of Norway’s clerical union has given its support to church gay marriage. At its December meeting, the union’s central board, the Presteforeningen, unanimously voted to ask the Church of Norway to prepare a rite for the blessing of gay marriages.
Founded in 1900, the Presteforeningen, or Priestly Union counts 2500 clergy and candidates for Holy Orders among its members. It serves as a trade union for the clergy in negotiating wages, conditions of work and other professional concerns.
In 2008 the Norwegian parliament was the first among the Scandinavian countries to revise revised its marriage laws to permit same-sex or gender neutral marriage, followed by Sweden 2008, Iceland 2010, and Denmark 2012. While the Church of Sweden in 2009 authorized its clergy to perform same-sex the Church of Norway has so far declined to follow the government’s lead.
The executive committee’s vote has sparked dissent among clergy ranks, however. NTB reports that 50 clergy have quit the union in protest since the vote, including the former Bishop of Agder and Telemark, the Rt. Rev. Olav Skjevesland.
Central Africa says no to women priests: The Church of England Newspaper, January 17, 2014 January 27, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Central Africa, Women Priests.
Tags: Fanuel Magangani
The General Synod of the Church of the Province of Central Africa has voted down a proposal by the Diocese of Harare at their 27 November to 1 December 2013 meeting in Lusaka to permit the ordination of women to the priesthood.
Bishop Fanuel Magangani of Northern Malawi told The Church of England Newspaper the motion had been put forward by Bishop Chad Gandiya of the Diocese of Harare in response to motions adopted and put forward by a number of diocesan synods.
Bishop Magangani said he voted against the motion because it was contrary to tradition. “Some of us are happy to maintain our roots without the idea of thinking that we know better than those who have gone before us over the years of the Christian faith. I believe that the Church fathers down to the Apostles taught and reserved the faith I would like to uphold. I feel satisfied with the way I received the teaching of the Church and that there is everything I need for my salvation without diluting it with my ideas.”
The motion fell short of the necessary two-thirds vote in the House of Laity with 14 yes and 10 no votes, but was defeated in the House of Clergy, seven yes to 21 no, and in the House of Bishops six yes and nine no.
Schism warning from Uganda over the Pilling Report: The Church of England Newspaper, January 17, 2014 January 27, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda.
Tags: Pilling Report, Stanley Ntagali
The Primate of Uganda has denounced the recommendations of the Pilling Report, calling upon the Church of England to pull back from the apostasy of solemnizing same-sex relations. .
In his Christmas letter to the Ugandan Church, Archbishop Stanley Ntagali warned the African Church would break relations with the Church of England should it permit its clergy to perform liturgical blessings marking same-sex unions.
“We are very concerned that our mother Church of England is moving in a very dangerous direction,” he said, adding that it seemed determined to follow “the path the Americans in the Episcopal Church took that caused us to break communion with them ten years ago.”
“The Church of England is now recommending that same-sex relationships be blessed in the church. Even though they are our mother, I want you to know that we cannot and we will not go in that direction. We will resist them and, with our other GAFCON brothers and sisters, will stand with those in the Church of England who continue to uphold the Bible as the Word of God and promote Biblical faith and morality,” he said.
Plea to hold bishop liable for secession from the Episcopal Church dismissed: The Church of England Newspaper, January 17, 2014 January 27, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Property Litigation, South Carolina, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: Mark Lawrence
A South Carolina court has dismissed a motion brought by the national Episcopal Church to add in his personal capacity, Bishop Mark Lawrence, and three diocesan officials to the lawsuit over the Diocese of South Carolina’s properties.
On 30 December 2013, Judge Diane Goodstein dismissed the Episcopal Church in South Carolina’s argument that Bishop Lawrence and the other church leaders should be made personally responsible for the secession of the diocese from the national Church. The court found there was no reason to single out specific members of the clergy for a vote taken by the diocese as a whole.
The court also dismissed a request by the national Church for an order barring loyalists in the diocese from saying they were the true Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. The matter has been set down for trial in July.
Diocesan spokesman Canon Jim Lewis said: “We are grateful that Judge Goodstein dismissed this most recent effort to harass our people with time-consuming, expensive litigation,” adding the “the judge’s decision ends the legal fishing expedition and forces all to focus on the only issue that matters: whether our religious freedom is protected.”
Chester priest pleads guilty to child porn charges: The Church of England Newspaper, January 17, 2014 January 27, 2014Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Diocese of Chester, Ian Hughes
A Merseyside vicar has plead guilty in the Liverpool Crown Court to 16 counts of possessing child pornography.
On 3 Jan 2014 the Rev. Ian Hughes, (46) former priest in charge of St. Luke’s Poulton and St. Paul’s Seacombe in Wirral in the Diocese of Chester admitted to possessing over 8000 images and films depicting child pornography and bestiality. Following his arrest on 22 May 2013 the Diocese of Chester suspended Hughes from his benefice and he was stood down as governor of the Wallasey School Park Primary.
Judge David Aubrey QC adjourned sentencing until 28 January 2014 pending the submission of a pre-sentencing report. However he told Hughes he could face imprisonment as “all sentencing options were open to the court.”
Eastbourne priest arrested on child abuse charges: The Church of England Newspaper, January 17, 2014 January 27, 2014Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Diocese of Chichester, Jonathan Graves
A priest of the Diocese of Chichester was arrested by police last month on suspicion of having sexually abused a 12 year old boy in 1988. On 3 Dec 2013 the 56 year old man, identified as the Rev. Jonathan Graves by the BBC ,was arrested at his home in Eastbourne by Sussex Police and held on “suspicion of acts of indecency, indecent assault and cruelty against a boy known to him”.
Mr. Graves, who currently does not have permission to officiate in the diocese, was released on bail and ordered to appear before a magistrate in April.
The allegations of abuse were referred to detectives following the 2011 review of diocesan records conducted by Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss. Sussex Police stated the Diocese of Chichester were “co-operating fully” with the investigations, and further noted there were “currently no allegations of recent or current offending.”
Trinidad building appeal launched: The Church of England Newspaper, January 17, 2014 January 27, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of the West Indies.
Tags: Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago, Hayes Court
The Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago has launched a fundraising drive to restore one of the architectural landmarks of the Caribbean – Hayes Court, the historic episcopal residence of the island’s Anglican bishop.
On 3 Jan 2014 the Rt. Rev. Claude Berkley convened the Hayes Court Restoration Committee to lead a TT $24.1 million (£2.1 million) fundraising campaign to restore the colonial mansion. Listed on the Register of Monuments of the Greater Caribbean by the Organization of American States, Hayes Court stands along the western edge of Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain. Built in 1910 the great house stands in disrepair, riddled by termites, a leaking roof, crumbling stucco walls and pealing and cracked paint.
“It is our vision to restore Hayes Court to its former splendour as a centre of Anglican excellence while preserving a heritage site that we feel can serve to inspire pride and appreciation for our rich cultural legacy,” Bishop Berkley said.
Clergy discipline not subject to civil review, Australian court rules: The Church of England Newspaper, January 17, 2014 January 27, 2014Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Australia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: clergy discipline, Peter Coote
The South Australia Supreme Court has ruled that clergy discipline is an internal affair, not subject to civil court review. In Harrington and Ors v Coote and Anor  SASCFC 154 the court held disciplinary canons were a “consensual contract” between clergy and the church, and that the Australian Church’s Professional Standards Board had the authority to investigate and discipline clergy.
The 23 December 2013 ruling ended an 8-year legal battle waged by the former Archdeacon of the Murray, the Ven. Peter Coote, who was dismissed from office in 2007 for sexual misconduct.
In his ruling Chief Justice Chris Kourakis held the constitution, canons and rules of the church were binding under civil law on the bishops, clergy and laity in matters relating to property.
The right to appoint a member of clergy to a benefice and the licence held by a member of the clergy to conduct spiritual ceremonies on church property were “matters relating to property” under the Act, he held. Having voluntarily agreed to submit to the constitution and canons of the church, Archdeacon Coote could not seek to circumvent the process through the secular courts.
Tags: Geoffrey Hammond, Society of St John the Evangelist
The former chief executive of the Fellowship of St John Trust has pled guilty to theft. On 9 January 2014 Geoffrey Hammond was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment by the Southwark Crown Court for stealing £99,493 between May 2012 and August 2013 while serving as the trust’s executive officer.
An internal audit found a substantial shortfall in the trust’s accounts last summer. When confronted Hammond admitted the theft. He was dismissed from his post on 5 Aug 2013 and the matter turned over to the police.
The Society of St John the Evangelist (SSJE) was an Anglican religious order founded in 1866 at Cowley, Oxford, England, by Father Richard Meux Benson, and was the first permanent religious community for men established in the Anglican Communion since the Reformation.
In the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries the society expanded to America, Canada, Scotland, India, South Africa and Japan. It maintained a presence on Marston Street, Oxford from 1868 to 1980 and in 1905 opened St Edward’s House in Westminster. While the SSJE remains active in the United States, in 2012 the order was dissolved and Edward’s House sold.
Proceeds from the sale were placed with the Fellowship of St John Trust fund trust fund for care of retired members of the society in England.
A former Labour Councilor for the Higham Hill Ward of Waltham Forest, Hammond stated he took the money to meet his debts. The trust has recovered all of the money stolen.
Bibles seized by police in Malaysia: The Church of England Newspaper, January 10, 2014 January 16, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of South East Asia.
Tags: Bible Society of Malaysia, Bolly Lapok
The president of the Bible Society of Malaysia and the organization’s office manager were arrested by police on 2 January 2014, during a raid on their offices in Selangor. Officials of the State Islamic Affairs Department confiscated Bibles and religious literature for using the world “Allah” in Malay and Iban language versions of Scripture.
The Archbishop of South East Asia, the Most Rev. Bolly Lapok, Bishop of Kuching denounced the raid as unlawful. “If an action assumes such arrogance that violates the Federal Constitution and pays total disregard to the Prime Minister’s directive is not treason, I do not know what is,” he said.
A recent court ruling in Malaysia banned a Catholic newspaper from using the word “Allah”, but the government had given permission for the Al-Kitab, the Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia translation of the Old and New Testament to use the world “Allah” for the name of God.
Muslim extremists had “poisoned” interfaith relations Malaysia by demanding exclusive use of the word “Allah”, the archbishop said. He urged all sides to heed the “voice of reason” and for the state to “respect, honour and abide by the guarantee of religious freedom as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.”
Tags: Diocese of Lucknow, Morris Edgar Dan
The Church of North India has deposed the Bishop in Lucknow. Police also arrested Bishop Morris Edgar Dan on 15 December 2013 after the Allahabad High Court revoked the bishop’s bail on charges of forgery and fraud.
CNI general secretary Alwan Masih told The Church of England Newspaper Bishop Dan had “duly terminated by the executive committee of the CNI synod as of 25 November 2013” following an investigation into charges the bishop had sold church lands at below market prices to a syndicate which then resold the property, giving the bishop a kick back of the profits.
Shabnam Dan, the daughter of Bishop Dan, told CEN her father had been “framed”. She accused an influential businessman with orchestrating a campaign to ruin her father after he refused to cooperate in a plan to defraud the diocese. The criminal case continues.
Akinola kidnapped: The Church of England Newspaper, January 10, 2014 January 16, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Nigeria, Crime.
Tags: Peter Akinola
Nigeria’s Archbishop Peter Akinola was kidnapped on Christmas Eve by armed gunmen on Christmas Eve, but was released unharmed after he refused to pay a ransom.
At approximately 3:00 pm on 24 December 2013, the former Primate of All Nigeria was “carjacked” outside of the offices of the Peter Akinola Foundation Centre for Youth Industrial Training in Abeokuta, the capital of Western Nigeria’s Ogun State. Shortly after his driver pulled onto the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, a car carrying four gunmen cut off the archbishop’s Toyota Primera and fired pistols into the air.
Their car was forced to the roadside and the gun forced the archbishop and his driver to lie face down on the floor of the back seat. The car was driven west towards Nigeria’s border with Benin while the bandit who held the archbishop at gunpoint demanded a ransom payment. Archbishop Akinola told the bandits he was a retired clergyman and had not the means to pay ransom.
The kidnappers stopped in a deserted area near the Benin border and after stripping the archbishop and his driver of their clothes, released them into the bush unharmed.
In a Christmas Day interview with the Premium Times, Archbishop Akinola said after he wa released, he made his way through the bush to a road where he “saw a police vehicle coming and there were gunshots, and the police team later came to rescue me from the spot.”
The archbishop had high praise for the police and for Ogun Governor Ibikunle Amosun. “I have to praise them, and I appreciate the governor who left his work to the bush looking for us. It’s unprecedented for a governor to personally lead a team into the bush. He risked his life and yet he didn’t mind that. I’ am deeply touched and impressed,” he said.
Tags: Steven Lopes, The Portal
The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has defined the essentials of Anglicanism that may be kept by converts entering the Anglican Ordinariate of the Catholic Church.
In an interview published in the December issue of The Portal, Msg. Steven Lopes of the CDF said the Vatican’s “working definition” of “Anglican patrimony” was “that which has nourished the Catholic Faith, within the Anglican tradition during the time of ecclesiastical separation, and has given rise to this new desire for full communion.”
The 1662 Book of Common Prayer will not be the sole source. The “Anglican liturgical patrimony is not just 1549 or 1662, nor is it just 1928 or 1976. We can’t go back to a specific period and say ‘this is it’, but you have to look at the whole Anglican experience to see how that faith was nourished’,” Mgr Lopes said.
In October 2013, the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham – the English branch of the Ordinariate — launched a new Mass text which included passages from Thomas Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer.
Tags: Otis Charles
The Episcopal Church’s first “out” gay bishop has died. The Rt. Rev. E. Otis Charles, retired Bishop of Utah and former Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., died on 26 December 2013 at a hospice in San Francisco. He was 87.
Ordained in 1951, Bishop Charles was elected Bishop of Utah in 1971 and held the post until his retirement in 1986. He served as Bishop of Navajoland for two years before accepting the post of Dean and President of EDS, retiring a second time in 1993.
A father of five, Bishop Charles told his wife he was gay in 1976. Upon his retirement from EDS he informed the House of Bishops of his sexual orientation and announced he and his wife Elvira were divorcing. In 1995 Bishop Charles wrote Breaking the Silence: Out in the Work Place, stating his support for changing church teaching on the morality of homosexual relations. In 2008 Bishop Charles took part in a civil same-sex marriage to his partner Felipe Sanchez-Paris, who predeceased him.
He remained an active member of the House of Bishops in retirement and took up residence in San Francisco, where he served as an honorary assistant bishop in the Diocese of California.
New Year’s Honours for NZ Archbishop: The Church of England Newspaper, January 17, 2014 January 16, 2014Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: David Moxon
The former Archbishop of New Zealand has been made a knight companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to the Anglican Church in the New Year’s Honours List.
Ordained in 1978, the Rt. Rev. David Moxon was consecrated as Bishop of Waikato in 1993 and elected Archbishop of New Zealand in 2006 and named co-primate of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia in 2008. He resigned his see last year and was appointed by Archbishop Rowan Williams as director of the Anglican Centre in Rome and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s personal emissary to the Vatican.
Archbishop Moxon serves as co-chair of the third International Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and is an honorary fellow of St Peter’s College, Oxford.
A Year of Sex, Money and Politics (2013): The Church of England Newspaper, January 3, 2014 January 5, 2014Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church News, Church of England Newspaper.
Sex, money and politics dominated the news of the Anglican world outside of England last year.
Disputes over doctrine and discipline surrounding questions on human sexuality animated overseas church discussions in 2013. The political battles over gay marriage in England, France, New Zealand and a number of American states had their counterparts within the Anglican world.
Pressure by Western to liberalize sodomy laws in Africa and the West Indies prompted a back lash from the bishops of the Church of the Province of the West Indies, which denounced the sexual “colonialism” being forced upon them by London and Washington. The Church of Nigeria and bishops in Ghana, Malawi, Uganda and other African nations joined their governments in denouncing the linkage of foreign aid to reform of their constitutions and cultures to accommodate the new thinking on sex.
Not all the talk was about gay marriage, however. At year’s end, a U.S. federal court struck down portions of a Utah law banning polygamy, prompting one Episcopal priest to celebrate. The Rev. Danielle Tumminio, writing for CNN argued that “as a Christian, it makes sense to support healthy polygamous practices. It’s a natural extension for those Christians who support same-sex marriage on theological grounds. But even for those opposed to same-sex marriage, polygamy is documented in the Bible, thereby giving its existence warrant.”
The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, also challenged the church’s doctrinal boundaries in a May sermon in when she denounced the Apostle Paul as a jealous bigot for not seeing the gifts of God at work in the slave girl whom he released from demonic bondage as reported in Acts 16:16-34.
Salvation comes not from being cleansed of our sins by the atoning sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, the Presiding Bishop argued in her sermon, but through the divinization of humanity through the work of the human will.
Bishop Jefferts Schori offered an equally impassioned sermon in South Carolina in February, likening her opponents in the schism in that diocese to terrorists and murderers. “It’s not terribly far from the state of mind evidenced in school shootings, or in those who want to arm school children, or the terrorism that takes oil workers hostage,” she said.
The Episcopal Church’s property wars saw an upswing of activity, while a local court in California ruled against a breakaway parish in favor of the Diocese of Los Angeles in one long-running case, and the Supreme Court of Virginia ruled against a breakaway parish in its dispute with a diocese, the Supreme Court of Texas and a local court in Illinois held there was no bar under civil or ecclesial law to a diocese withdrawing from the national Episcopal Church.
In South Carolina, the diocese won several early rounds in the fight with the national church in its bid to quit the Episcopal Church, while in Recife the breakaway diocese successfully appealed a lower court ruling that would have turned over its property to the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil. Brazil also witnessed a schism from the left in 2013, as the largest Anglican Church in South America, St. Paul’s Cathedral in Brasilia, quit the province to resume its historical status as a Church of England chaplaincy.
Church splits in Central Africa were almost brought to a conclusion in 2013. At the Church of the Province of Central Africa’s synod in November, Archbishop Albert Chama reported the Kunonga schism had been successfully concluded with the country’s Supreme Court ruling against the bid by breakaway bishop Dr. Nolbert Kunonga to seize the property of the dioceses of Harare, Masvingo and Manicaland for his “Anglican Church of Zimbabwe”. While the cathedral in Harare and most of the province’s schools, churches, hospitals and other properties were restored to them by the courts, reports of Kunonga die-hards holding on to properties with the connivance of local police officials were reported at year’s end.
The provinces of Central Africa and Sudan voted against dividing into national churches in 2013. Delegates to the November synod meeting in Lusaka voted against spitting Central Africa into three provinces – Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, while the November synod meeting in Bor of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan voted against splitting the church into a northern and southern province. It did however vote to rename itself the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan.
Central Africa was the hold out, however, in a year that saw considerable gains for women clergy. While the Central African synod voted down a motion put forward by the Diocese of Harare to allow women clergy, women bishops were appointed and elected across the globe. The Church of Ireland appointed its first woman bishop, while the Anglican Church of Australia saw its first women diocesan bishop elected, as did the Church of South India. An English female priest was elected a bishop in New Zealand and two women took their place in the House of Bishops in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. The Diocese of Ballarat, one of the last hold outs against allowing women clergy in Australia, ordained its first female priests at year’s end – while commentators predict a woman priest will be elected a bishop in Uganda.
Secular issues also animated the life and the work of the church in 2013. Bishops in the Church of Ceylon backed their government in a spat with the Commonwealth over human rights abuse claims – leading Archbishop Desmond Tutu to call for a boycott of the November CHOGM meeting in Colombo. Archbishop Tutu played a prominent role in the ceremonies marking the death of Nelson Mandela in December, while the Bishop of Egypt, Dr. Mouneer Anis, played a prominent role in Egypt’s second Arab Spring.
Corruption remained a problem in parts of the Communion, the Churches of North and South India saw two bishops removed from office, and retired bishops arrested for fraud and corruption. Corruption allegations paralyzed the Diocese of Sabah, and led to police questioning of bishops in South Africa and Zambia, while the election of a new primate of Tanzania was marred by charges of vote buying.
Abuse investigations animated the secular press in Australia, as a Royal Commission investigated institutional responses to child abuse. Mishandling of Australian abuse claims led the Bishop of Grafton to resign, and saw church leaders admit before the commission that they did not follow the church’s published guidelines on abuse reporting.
Census reports and statistical studies published in 2013 painted a picture of a church in decline in some parts of the Communion. The Episcopal Church reported that while its losses appeared to have stabilized, over the past ten years there were 24 per cent fewer people in church on Sundays. New Zealand census figures reported an even steeper decline in that country, with Anglicans declining by 17 per cent in seven years.
Persecution was a constant factor in the life of Anglicans in Nigeria, the Sudan, Zanzibar, Pakistan and the Middle East in 2013. Over 105,000 Christians were killed because of their faith in 2012, an Italian sociologist reported in January, with reports from Africa, India and Asia showing a surge in anti-Christian persecution over the Christmas holidays.
The depredations of Boko Haram, which has vowed to drive out all Christians from Northern Nigeria – either by death or expulsion – has led to the deaths of hundreds of people, while the Taliban has ramped up its campaign in Pakistan against religious minorities – Christians, Shi’ites, Ahmadiya and Hindus.
Concerns over the global “war on Christians” were not restricted to church circles, however. In the United States Sen. Rand Paul – a conservative Republican leader – sounded the alarm, as did a Westminster Hall debate in November. “In virtually every country in and around the [Middle East], Christians report suffering either high, high to extreme, or extreme persecution,” MP Fiona Bruce warned, while other MPs reported on persecution facing Christians in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
“We should be crying out with the same abhorrence and horror that we feel about the atrocities towards Jews on Kristallnacht and on other occasions during the Second World War,” she said.
The Prince of Wales added his voice to the chorus of concern, telling an Advent gathering at Clarence House warning that Christianity may “disappear” in the Middle East because of a wave of “organised persecution.” Prince Charles said he was “deeply troubled” by the plight of our “brothers and sisters in Christ” and urged intensive inter-faith dialogue to stop the persecution.
However, the single largest gathering of overseas Anglicans, the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) held in Nairobi in October, saw a new enthusiasm for mission, evangelism and renewal. The collapse of the authority and relevance of the existing instruments of unity for the Anglican Church – a point conceded by the Archbishop of Canterbury – since Lambeth 2008, and the retreat by Archbishop Justin Welby from the world scene, has seen a more aggressive overseas policy from the Episcopal Church and conservative global south Anglicans.
The old ways of the Anglican Communion were as “dead as the British Empire”, Dr Peter Jensen, the Gafcon general secretary said, at the start of the conference. The “future” of Anglicanism had “arrived” – and it was Gafcon, he observed.
Dr Jensen characterised the communion’s problem as a failure of commitment. “We have failed to make disciples through teaching the commands of Jesus found in the Bible at depth. That is why so much of the Church in the West has simply collapsed, capitulated, and compromised before a virulent, antagonistic secularism.”
Census reports 17% decline in 7 years for NZ Anglicans: The Church of England Newspaper, December 20, 2013 January 5, 2014Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Philip Richardson
The number of New Zealand Anglicans has fallen by 17 per cent over the past seven years, giving the Anglican Church of Aotearoa/Polynesia the distinction of being the fastest declining member of the Anglican Communion.
Census data on Religious Affiliation released on 10 Dec 2013 by Statistics New Zealand reported Anglicans had lost their top spot as the country’s largest denomination – a position held since census figures on religion were first tabulated in New Zealand — and are now second to the Roman Catholic Church in terms of membership.
The number of Catholics fell from 508,812 in the 2006 census to 491,421 in 2013, but this total left that church with approximately 40,000 more members than the Anglican Church. During the same period Anglicans in New Zealand declined from 554,925 to 459,771, or 17 per cent. The Episcopal Church of the USA, divided by schisms and litigation, declined on 12 per cent during the same period, from 2,154,572 to 1,894,181members.
The number of those reporting “no religion” remained the largest category of respondent with the 2006 number of 1.297 million rising to 1.635 million in 2013, climbing from 32.2 per cent to 38.6 per cent of the population. In 1956 more than 90 per cent of New Zealanders identified themselves as Christian.
In his Advent letter to the church, Archbishop Phillip Richardson wrote the census figures “contains few surprises. Not even the decline in Anglican affiliation should catch us unawares. These trends liberate us from notions of self-importance and turn us back to our fundamental calling.”
He added that “they also situate our Church more on the margins of our society, where we really belong.”
“My immediate response, then, is thankfulness to God that we are being refined, called to repentance and to a refocusing of our mission,” he said adding that “following Jesus has always been fundamentally counter-cultural. And the Church has always been most authentically the Body of Christ when it is salt and leaven rather than the ‘religious’ dimension of modern society.”
“Our Church may be smaller numerically, but we may also be more authentically Christ’s Church as we recover our saltiness and become real leaven,” Archbishop Richardson said.
Christian march on Parliament in Delhi broken up by police: The Church of England Newspaper, December 20, 2013 January 5, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of North India.
Tags: Alwin Masih, Dalits, Manmohan Singh
Police in New Delhi used water cannons and truncheons to stop a march on parliament in support of Dalit rights by Christian leaders last week.
After breaking the marchers’ line with jets of water on 11 Dec 2013 police wielding lathis (canes) waded into the crowed marching on Sansad Marg (Parliament Street) after they refused an order to disburse.
The march began at Jantar Mantar and headed towards Parliament House in defiance of a ban on protests along Parliament Street. Police arrested the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Delhi Anil Couto, the General Secretary of the Church of North India Alwin Masih and a number of clergy, nuns and activists. Several clergy were injured in the attack.
The march had been organized by Christian leaders to call for an end to the statutory discrimination against Dalit Christians and Muslims. Under Indian law Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist Dalits, or Untouchables, are eligible for special government benefits and preferences. However, Christian and Muslim Dalits are not eligible for the subsidies as the government has held that once an Untouchable becomes a Christian or Muslim, he is freed from caste discrimination – a stance disputed by Christian and Muslim leaders.
After his release from jail Archbishop Couto said: “Government after government have been turning a deaf ear to the demand of Christians. Now they are going to the extent of brutally beating up our priests and nuns and now arresting us too.”
Fr Ajay Singh, a Catholic priest from Orissa who was present at the march told Christian Solidarity Worldwide, “The Prime Minister’s apology must be followed by action to end more than 60 years of injustice done to Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims, which is totally against the spirit of equality and secularism. He should not play politics with the millions of Indians deprived of their human rights. The police response to the protest shows how the state ignores the multiple layers of discrimination against the most vulnerable and marginalised minority communities”.
The CSW reported that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has offered his apologies for the police action and told march leaders their concerns would be discussed at the next Cabinet meeting.
Central Africa celebrates the end of the Kunonga era: The Church of England Newspaper, December 20, 2013 January 5, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Central Africa, Zimbabwe.
Tags: Albert Chama, Godfrey Tawonevzi, Nolbert Kunonga
The Church of the Province of Central Africa has postponed action to split the church into three national provinces, voting to put the Kunonga years behind them and work towards unity and healing .
Approximately 100 hundred bishops, clergy and lay delegates from Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe met in Lusaka from 27 Nov to 1 Dec 2013 gathered under the theme “Going Forward Together in Unity and Prayer” in the province’s first synod since 2007.
Speaking to ACNS before the start of the meeting, Archbishop Albert Chama stated: “The six turbulent years that we have gone through since the last Synod require us all to move on in solidarity and in a very prayerful manner. God has seen us this far and he will lead us through.”
The Sept 2007 session held in the southern Malawi town of Mangochi was marked by debates over homosexuality, the Episcopal Church of the USA, Robert Mugabe and the aspirations of the national churches. The province was also without an archbishop and a number of dioceses were without bishops.
The then bishop of Harare, Dr. Nolbert Kunonga, attempted to capitalize on the power vacuum within the church and sought to enlist the province as an ally of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe. Unable to force the subordination of the province to the government of Zimbabwe, Dr. Kunonga told the Harare Herald the province had been dissolved, initiating six years of litigation.
In his presidential address last week Archbishop Chama reported on the successful conclusion of the Kunonga schism, with the Zimbabwe courts returning all of the assets seized by Dr. Kunonga. However, the fight had damaged the church, burdening it with $200,000 of unpaid legal fees in the Diocese of Harare and $180,000 in the Diocese of Manicaland.
However the Bishop of Masvingo, the Rt. Rev. Godfrey Tawonevzi on 9 Dec 2013 told overseas supporters Dr. Kunonga’s allies had not halted their actions in his diocese. Kunonga loyalists with the help of local police and government officials were holding on to a number of churches and schools in defiance of the Harare court orders.
Debate over dividing the CPCA into national provinces at the Lusaka meeting of synod did not have the politically charged atmosphere of 2007, participants told The Church of England Newspaper.
While many Zambian delegates pushed for division, the parlous state of the church in Zimbabwe following the Kunonga schism, and the lack of a clear guidance from diocesan synods in Malawi prevented a consensus from being reached on division.
Delegates opted to follow the counsel of the archbishop and the theme of the meeting focus the efforts of the province on rebuilding institutions and fostering unity, sources told CEN.
Pope Francis: “ecumenism of blood” the new face of inter-Christian relations: The Church of England Newspaper, December 20, 2013 January 5, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Roman Catholic Church.
Tags: ecumenism, La Stampa, Pope Francis
The old ways of managing ecumenical relations among Christian churches is passing away, Pope Francis told Italy’s La Stampa newspaper, with bureaucratic initiatives making way for a “ecumenism of blood”.
Speaking to Andrea Tornielli in an interview published on 14 Dec 2013, the pope was asked whether he saw Christian unity as a priority.
Francis responded: “Yes, for me ecumenism is a priority. Today there is an ecumenism of blood. In some countries they kill Christians for wearing a cross or having a Bible and before they kill them they do not ask them whether they are Anglican, Lutheran, Catholic or Orthodox. Their blood is mixed. To those who kill we are Christians.
The pope said that while Christians are “united in blood”, Christians have “have not yet managed to take necessary steps towards unity between us and perhaps the time has not yet come. Unity is a gift that we need to ask for.”
Francis illustrated his convictions on the changing face of ecumenical relations with an anecdote of a “parish priest in Hamburg who was dealing with the beatification cause of a Catholic priest guillotined by the Nazis for teaching children the catechism. After him, in the list of condemned individuals, was a Lutheran pastor who was killed for the same reason. Their blood was mixed. The parish priest told me he had gone to the bishop and said to him: ‘I will continue to deal with the cause, but both of their causes, not just the Catholic priest’s’.”
“This is what ecumenism of blood is,” the pope said.
“It still exists today; you just need to read the newspapers. Those who kill Christians don’t ask for your identity card to see which Church you were baptised in. We need to take these facts into consideration
Suit seeks to hold Bishop Lawrence personally liable for South Carolina’s secession: The Church of England Newspaper, December 13, 2013 December 18, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Property Litigation, South Carolina, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: Mark Lawrence
The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, the faction loyal to the national Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina, has filed a motion in state court seeking to add Bishop Mark Lawrence and three other diocesan officials as parties in the lawsuit over the control of church properties. The new pleading seeks to hold the breakaway leaders personally liable for the secession of South Carolina from the General Convention of the Episcopal Church.
On 25 November 2013 loyalists filed a motion alleging 18 causes of action against the four, the bishop, his canon to the ordinary, the current and former president of the standing committee , “including breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, conversion, trademark infringement and civil conspiracy.”
Supporters of the diocese have dismissed the motion as a last minute ploy to salvage the national church’s case against the breakaway diocese.
Canon lawyer Allan Haley, who has represented breakaway dioceses of Quincy and San Joaqui in their litigation with the national church, stated the pleadings were ridiculous.
“It should be obvious to almost anyone that priests who break their ordination vows, or who violate the Constitution and Canons of the Church or of one of its Dioceses, cannot be sued in the civil courts for those actions,” he said, “that is the entire purpose of Title IV (“Ecclesiastical Discipline”) of the Canons.”
“I fail to see, therefore, how the rump group could have authorized the motion to add additional parties to state any claim for breach of the Constitution and Canons — or indeed, for breach of any fiduciary duties owed to the Church whatsoever,” he said citing a recent decision by the California Fifth District Appellate Court that “such questions are ‘quintessentially ecclesiastical’ — they are issues ‘the First Amendment forbids us from adjudicating’.”
“I fail to see how this ‘Hail Mary’ pass has any chance of success in court,” he said.
However, the national church supporters said the motion was filed “because actions [Lawrence and the others] they took to ‘withdraw’ the diocese from [the Episcopal Church] were outside the scope of their legal authority and violated state law,” a press statement said.
Their actions amounted to a “conspiracy” to spirit away “the assets of the diocese and ‘deprive Episcopalians loyal to the Episcopal Church of their property rights’ by manipulating the corporate entity of the diocese,” the pleading alleged.
Sudan synod rejects call to divide: The Church of England Newspaper, December 13, 2013 December 18, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Episcopal Church of the Sudan.
The Episcopal Church of the Sudan has rejected calls to divide the church along national lines, but has agreed to rename itself the Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan to mark the 2011 independence of South Sudan from Khartoum.
Meeting from 27-30 Nov 2013 in the Jonglei state capital of Bor in South Sudan 35 bishops and delegates from the church’s 31 dioceses: 26 in South Sudan and 5 (Khartoum, Port Sudan, Wad Medani, Kadugli, and El Obeid) in Sudan, debated the structure of the 4.5 million member church at the 10th meeting of the Provincial Standing Committee (synod).
The Bishop of Lianya, the Rt. Rev. Peter Amidi, told the Sudan Tribune the tremendous growth of the church over the past generation, coupled with the 2011 independence of South Sudan had raised the question of division. A split would “not [be a] separation as such but an arrangement within the Anglican communion where you devolve power from the mother provincial authority to the area of clusters of dioceses”.
Sources in the Sudanese church told the Church of England Newspaper the delegates discussed creating an independent province and an internal province for the north led by its own archbishop. However, the lack of infrastructure and funds along with the desire to support the persecuted church in the north led the delegates to endorse the status quo.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports Christians in the north are harassed by the government, which seeks to deport them to South Sudan or convert them to Islam. In April 2013 Khartoum’s Minister of Guidance and Endowments, Al-Fatih Taj al-Sir, told the country’s Parliament the government will not permit the construction of new Christian churches in the country. CSW reports there has also been a systematic targeting of African ethnic groups, particularly the Nuba, prompting fears of a government plan for the Islamisation and Arabisation of norther Sudan.
In their communique, the Sudanese church welcomed the “improvement in relations” between north and south Sudan, and urged the two governments to “tackle any outstanding issues in a peaceful way.”
The communique also called upon the government of South Sudan to stem the recent outbreaks of tribal violence and called upon the international community to maintain pressure on Khartoum to halt the violence in Darfur, the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains.
The synod also reaffirmed its support for the church’s traditional teaching on human sexuality, rejecting innovations in doctrine and disciple that would permit gay blessings. “We reaffirm our position rejecting same-sex relationship,” the communique said.
Tags: David Dingwell, Diocese of Easton
A bizarre church fire has left two dead including the rector of St Paul’s-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Ocean City, Maryland in an incident police describe as arson.
On 26 Nov 2013 a 56-year old man, subsequently identified as John Sterner, entered the church offices located in the ground floor of the parish rectory. Witnesses told police that Sterner’s clothing was on fire and he was screaming for help.
Sterner grabbed a church volunteer and set her clothing on fire. The fire spread then spread to the building. The volunteer was able to escape the building, but firefighters found parish rector the Rev. David Dingwell, apparently unconscious from smoke inhalation, inside the building. Sterner died at the scene of the fire and the two other victims were taken to hospital.
However, the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Easton, the Rt. Rev. James Shand, reported Mr. Dingwell died later that day from his injuries.
Police report Stern was unknown to the members of the church and are investigating how he came to be covered in an accelerant fluid. Suicide is suspected as the motive for the crime.
Church of Scotland urges restraint in legalizing same-sex marriage: The Church of England Newspaper, December 6, 2013 December 9, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Presbyterian/Church of Scotland, Scottish Episcopal Church.
Tags: same-sex marriage
The Church of Scotland has reaffirmed its opposition to same-sex marriage.
In a statement released last week following the vote in the Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee to begin the process towards legalizing same-sex marriage, the church’s press office stated it “stands within the mainstream Christian belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.”
The Rev. Dr Alan Hamilton, Convener of the Church of Scotland’s Legal Questions Committee, affirmed the church’s commitment to “care for all people, gay and straight”, but said “until any future General Assembly of the Church of Scotland decides otherwise, that remains our position.”
There was a “wide spread of public opinion” about the wisdom of legalizing gay marriage, Dr. Hamilton said, “and that spread of public opinion is reflected among members of our congregations across the country. One thing is very clear and that is there is not unanimous support for this legislation in Scotland.”
“As the bill progresses through Holyrood, The Church of Scotland will continue to be a constructive voice in the national debate about it. We would also seek robust and detailed legal assurances and protection for those who do not wish to conduct same sex marriages as a matter of conscience.”
“The Church is conducting a wide-ranging review of marriage but there are no plans on the table for the Church to stop conducting marriages,” he said.
When the Scottish government announced its intention in 2012 to begin a process that would lead to the creation of same-sex marriages the Scottish Episcopal Church said that “its General Synod expresses the mind of the Church through its Canons. The Canon on Marriage currently states that marriage is a ‘physical, spiritual and mystical union of one man and one woman created by their mutual consent of heart, mind and will thereto, and as a holy and lifelong estate instituted of God’.”
The Rt Rev. Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross & Caithness said: “The Church’s current position is that marriage is a union between a man and a woman and this clarity allows us the space to listen to the many differing views held by the members of our Church.”
Prayers for Glasgow helicopter crash victims: The Church of England Newspaper, December 6, 2013 December 9, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Disaster Relief, Scottish Episcopal Church.
Tags: Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway
The Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway has offered his condolences to the families of the victims of the Clutha helicopter crash of 29 Nov 2013, when a police helicopter crashed into a pub killing at least nine and injuring 32 people
The Rt Rev. Gregor Duncan stated: “On behalf of the Episcopal Church in Glasgow and across Scotland I wish to extend our deepest sympathy to all the families of those who have lost their lives and to those who have been injured in this terrible disaster.”
Approximately 120 patrons were inside the Glasgow pub last Friday evening when a police helicopter crashed into the roof of the building. Chief Constable Stephen House said the two officers and the civilian pilot aboard the chopper were killed, along with six people on the ground.
“We can now confirm that the number of fatalities involved in this incident has risen to eight,” the chief constable said, “fourteen people remain seriously injured in Glasgow hospitals and are being cared for by health colleagues there.”
Dr. Duncan offered thanks for the help provided to the emergency services by volunteers, offering the church’s “gratitude to the many citizens of Glasgow who have come to the help of the people caught up in this tragedy, and praise the exemplary work being done by all the emergency services and medical staff.”
“Our churches across Glasgow, and beyond, will be praying for all those affected by this tragedy and for the whole city of Glasgow,” the bishop said.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Consistory court offers guidance on burial plot allocation: The Church of England Newspaper, December 6, 2013 December 9, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Consistory Court, Diocese of Bath and Wells, grave yards
The Consistory Court of the Diocese of Bath & Wells has ruled that “informal agreements” to reserve burial plots in churchyards have no standing in ecclesiastical law.
In the case of Re The Churchyard of Wick St. Lawrence  Bath and Wells Const Ct, the diocesan chancellor offered guidelines for parish church councils on the rules governing allocation of burial plots. Where there is no legal right to burial at a particular parish, the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 1976 s6(2) empowers the minister, having taken the advice of the PCC, to permit an interment.
In the Wick case, informal permission had been given by the minister to a couple who wished to be buried in the churchyard, even though they had no legal right to claim burial. However, the vicar’s promise did not create a legal right for the couple’s children to have a spot reserved for them also.
The chancellor stated PCCs must adopt business-like practices in the management of churchyards and not make informal agreements or use spaces that have already been set aside for others. “The Parochial Church Council is entitled to have regard to the anticipated demands upon burial space arising from an increase in the population of the parish,” and may refuse to honour “informal agreements” made by the minister.
Tags: Diocese of Qu’Appelle
Police have recovered the bishop of Qu’Appelle’s crosier, stolen last month from St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in Regina, Saskatchewan.
On 18 Nov 2013 Regina police reported they had recovered the five and a half foot long staff made in the 1880s in London for the first bishop of the Canadian diocese. Valued for insurance purposes at C$15,000, the crosier sported a silver head encrusted with semi-precious stones. Police report the crosier had been damaged as the thief appeared to have attempted to pry the jewels from the staff.
The police have declined to speak to the circumstances of the crosier’s recovery, though they have asked the public to assist them with their inquiries to catch the thief.
NZ Supreme Court permits demolition of Christchurch Cathedral: The Church of England Newspaper, December 6, 2013 December 9, 2013Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Christchurch Cathedral, Victoria Matthews
New Zealand’s Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust (GCBT) which had asked the court to block the demolition of earthquake ravaged Christ Church Cathedral.
On 2 December 2013 the court held the GCBT had not shown the lower Court of Appeal decision permitting the cathedral’s demolition had been in error.
The underlying issues were of ”great general importance to the citizens of Christchurch” arising from the “history, function and iconic nature of the Cathedral. However, in this case nothing that has been raised on behalf of the applicant reaches the threshold of showing that the decisions of the courts below may be in error,” the court held. The New Zealand Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court decision allowing the Church Property Trustees (CPT) of the Diocese of Christchurch to demolish the earthquake damaged cathedral.
On 22 Feb 2011 a 6.3 magnitude earthquake toppled the 132 year old cathedral’s Gothic spire and collapsed part of the roof. Earthquakes in June and December caused further significant damage leaving the building in ruins. On 2 March 2012 the Rt Rev Victoria Matthews announced the cathedral would be demolished as rebuilding would cost NZ $50 million more than would be received from the proceeds of the insurance settlement.
The GCBT led by former MP Jim Anderton protested the decision and asked the High Court to cancel the demolition and order the church to rebuild the damaged cathedral. However High Court Justice Lester Chisholm ruled the church was entitled to deconstruct the cathedral, but only if it built a new cathedral on the same site. The GCBT challenged this decision in the Court of Appeal, and on 15 Nov 2012 the High Court issued an interim judgment halting demolition until Court of Appeal reviewed its findings. In July the Court of Appeal denied GCBT’s petition, prompting it to take its case to the Supreme Court.
Lord Carey’s doom warnings spark sharp debate: The Church of England Newspaper, December 6, 2013 December 9, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: George Carey
Lord Carey has warned the “Church of England could be one generation away from extinction”.
Speaking to the Shropshire Churches Conference 2013 on 17 Nov 2013, the retired archbishop observed the Church of England was viewed with “indifference — the rolled eyes of embarrassment, the yawn of boredom,” adding that may did not see “the average church as a place where great things happen.”
“To sit in a cold church looking at the back of other peoples’ heads is surely not the best place to meet exciting people and to hear prophetic words,” he said.
The archbishop offered a four point plan for evangelism that began with reimagining the church. Rather than focus on institutional preservation, Anglicans should emphasize the “transformative effects of Christianity … of prayer being answered … of sins being forgiven … of reconciliation taking place … of lives being touched.”
“What I am urging is a return to basics where our expectation is for transformed lives,” Lord Carey said. “This is not a cry for more gimmicks, but simply a cry to go deeper.”
To do this, Christians must “nurture fellow Christians to grow authentic disciples,” as well as serve as “agents of social transformation. “
“The time has come to ratchet up our commitment to serving our communities around us. Often the dirty word is the word relevance. Christians cry: ‘It is not our job to be relevant. Our job is to follow Christ’. I agree. But no one was more relevant than our Lord in serving others,” he said.
Lord Carey’s warnings sparked spirited controversy in the press. The Telegraph’s Cristina Odone endorsed the archbishop’s sentiments and applauded his work of recent years, but said his predictions were wrong. Also writing in the Telegraph, A.N. Wilson argued nothing could be done to save the Church of England.
There are two simple reasons for this, and there is nothing anyone can say that will make these reasons go away.
“The first is sex. Traditional Christianity taught that there is no permitted sexual act outside marriage. All but no one now – even Christians – really believes this. What used to be called ‘living in sin’ is absolutely normal. Nearly all young people, gay or straight, when they reach a certain moment in their relationship, try living together. The Churches can either back down and say that for 2,000 years they have been talking nonsense about sex; or they can dig in their heels. Either way, the Church is diminished.
“The second reason is a much bigger thing. That is the decline of belief itself. Most people simply cannot subscribe to the traditional creeds. No number of Alpha courses can make people believe that God took human form of a Virgin, or rose from the dead. They simply can’t swallow it. They see no reason, therefore, to listen to a Church that propounds these stories and then presumes to tell them how to behave in the bedroom.”
The Guardian’s Andrew Brown stated: “Like a hypochondriac told by the doctor that he really has got cancer, the former archbishop finds that the worries that have comforted him for years are suddenly, horribly frightening.”
He further argued the decline of the Church of England was Lord Carey’s fault. “If the CofE is doomed, as former archbishop of Canterbury George Carey insists, it’s down to the damage he did in office.”
Gov-Gen backs gay marriage/republic for Australia: The Church of England Newspaper, November 29, 2013 November 28, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Marriage.
Tags: gay marriage, monarchy, Quentin Bryce
Governor-General Quentin Bryce has endorsed gay marriage and a republican form of government for Australia.
Appointed Australia’s first female governor-general in 2008 by then Labor Party Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Mrs. Bryce, the former governor of Queensland, stated on 22 November 2013 in a lecture delivered in Sydney that she hoped Australia would become a nation were “people are free to love and marry whom they choose”.
“And where perhaps, my friends, one day, one young girl or boy may even grow up to be our nation’s first head of state.”
The governor-general’s comments prompted some political leaders to call for her dismissal, while others endorsed her views.
NSW state MP David Elliott, who in 1999 led the “no republic” coalition that fought attempts to make Australia a republic and remove the Queen as head of state said: “If Quentin Bryce wants to debate policy and legislation she should run for parliament, not use her vice-regal position to pursue her own political agenda.”
Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young told the Associated Press she was pleased the governor general had spoken out. “To have the governor-general step forward and say this is something Australians care about, and as the governor-general, she believes that marriage equality is a human right … it’s hugely influential across all voter groups.”
However, Liberal Party Prime Minister Tony Abbott – a staunch opponent of gay marriage a supporter of the monarchy — said he was not perturbed. “It’s more than appropriate for the governor-general approaching the end of her term to express a personal view.”
Mrs. Bryce is expected to step down in March, 2014.
“Cross does not save” says Australia’s first diocesan woman bishop: The Church of England Newspaper, November 29, 2013 November 28, 2013Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Australia, Church of England Newspaper, Women Priests.
Tags: Diocese of Grafton, Sara Macneil
The Diocese of Grafton has appointed Australia’s first diocesan woman bishop.
On 17 November 2013 a twelve member Nomination Board appointed by the diocesan synod selected the Rev. Dr. Sara Macneil to be the 11th bishop of the New South Wales diocese.
In a statement released on the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn website, Dr Macneil, the Senior Associate Priest at Holy Covenant in Jamison, ACT, said she was “surprised, overwhelmed, humbled” to be appointed Australia’s first female diocesan bishop.
“I am awed by the confidence placed in me by the [Grafton Diocese] appointment board and by their willingness to be trailblazers,” she said.
She told the ABC: “There’ll be lots of people for whom it’s unexpected that a woman has been elected. For some people for whom it will be unwelcome, I think there’ll be some scrutiny but there’ll also be, for a lot of people, a lot of excitement and joy.”
While women have been appointed assistant bishops in Melbourne, Canberra, Perth and Brisbane, none have been elected to the episcopate. While serving as Archdeacon of Canberra in 2008 she stood for election as bishop in that diocese, but was not elected.
In 2011 Dr. Macneil abruptly quit as Dean of Adelaide, telling the congregation of St. Peter’s Cathedral she was resigning as she could “no longer work with integrity at diocesan level.”A member of the liberal wing of the Australian church, Dr. Macneil rejects the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement, journalist the Rev. David Ould reports, and has argued the “cross does not save” but it is “Jesus’ presence among us” that saves. The bishop-elect also has gone on record endorsing the ordination to the priesthood of candidates who are in same-sex relationships — a stance at odds with the church’s teachings.
A onetime member of the Australian diplomatic corps, Dr. Macneil declined to elaborate on the reason she was resigning less than two years after her appointment as South Australia’s first female Dean – and the first woman to be appointed to the post in an Australian capital city.
Unlike other Australian dioceses, where the choice of bishop is made by the synod, in the diocese of Grafton a 12 member committee composed of six clergy and six lay members is elected by the synod to select and then appoint the bishop.
The choice of a new bishop for Grafton fell to a 12 member committee Other women have been consecrated as assistant bishops within Australian Anglican dioceses and, overseas, women have been made diocesan bishops but this is a national first for Australia.
Dr. Macneil’s election comes at a difficult time for the diocese. Her predecessor, the Rt. Rev. Keith Slater, resigned in May 2013 in the wake of an abuse scandal involving the Church of England North Coast Children’s Home in Lismore.
On 18 November 2013 a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse began hearings on the diocese’s conduct in the North Coast Children’s Home affair.
However, Bishop-elect Macneil stated: “In recent times the Diocese of Grafton has faced financial difficulties and is now appearing before the Royal Commission… There is a determination among the people of the diocese to understand what has gone wrong in the past, to ensure that it does not happen again and to embrace the future with hope, trusting in God.”
Tags: Australia, Roy Morgan Research Ltd
Islam is not a religion of peace in the minds of the majority of Australians, a survey conducted on behalf of the Q Society of Australia reports. The survey undertaken by Roy Morgan Research Ltd shows indicates a majority of Australians believe the assimilation of Muslim immigrants is not working as 70 per cent believe the country is not a better place because of Islam.
The survey, completed in late October, found a majority (53 per cent) of Australians want full face coverings banned from public spaces and 50.2 per cent want Islamic sharia law banned all together.
Older Australians and those who voted for the governing Liberal/National parties coalition were helding harsher views of Islam than did Green party supporters or younger voters. However, only 15 per cent of Australians think Islam and terrorism are not related, while proposals by secularist and multi-cultural advocates to cancel state Christmas, Easter or ANZAC Day celebrations in order not to offend non-Christians is endorsed by only 3.5 per cent of those surveyed.
Q Society spokesman Andrew Horwood said the poll results validate in their opinion the need for “new strategies and policies. While followers of most religions seem to get along well, Australian politicians must acknowledge Islam is not just another religion and the growing concern is not a fringe issue,” he said.
The Q Society of Australia is a civil rights advocacy group founded in 2010 whose members are “concerned about the socio-political problems associated with the rise of Islam and sharia law in Australia; as well as religiously-motivated human rights abuses against religious minorities in many OIC-member countries,” its website states.
Oxfordshire priest imprisoned for child abuse: The Church of England Newspaper, November 29, 2013 November 28, 2013Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Christopher Tadman-Robins
A NSM priest in the Diocese of Oxford and former magistrate has been sentenced to prison for child abuse.
On 22 Nov 2013 the Rev. Christopher Tadman-Robins (66) was sentenced to two and half years imprisonment by the Luton Crown Court after having been convicted last month of five counts of sexually abusing a ten year old girl.
Ordained in 1989 Dr. Tadman-Robins had sat as a magistrate in Witney, and had taught music. He was also the former musical director of the Northern Ballet.
While his barrister pleaded with the court for his client to be spared a term of imprisonment as no other complaints of abuse had been made, Judge Philip Bartle QC said his past good deeds would not spare him.
“Your victim was aged from 10 to 12 and you were in your 50s. The impact on her of these offences has been devastating. She has suffered untold stress and has self-harmed.”
“Your actions took away her innocence which is something from which she will never recover,” the judge said as he handed down sentence.
Following his conviction last month, the Bishop of Dorchester noted Dr Tadman-Robins had served as a non-stipendiary curate in the Burford Benefice from 1989-1992. “Since then he has held no ecclesiastical office in the Diocese of Oxford, but used to take occasional services at the invitation of the parish clergy in West Oxfordshire. His permission to officiate was withdrawn as soon as he was arrested last year.”
“Any case like this is a matter of sorrow and regret for the Church of England. We recognise that the suffering of survivors of sexual abuse is profound and long lasting. The Church of England will not tolerate abusive behaviour in its clergy or anyone else for whom we have responsibility. We take allegations of offences such as these extremely seriously and always work closely with the statutory authorities to ensure abusers are brought to justice.”
“We would expect Dr Tadman-Robins to be referred for barring and prohibited from ever holding office in the Church of England again as a result of his conviction,” Bishop Colin Fletcher said.
Peer’s objections to central heating overruled by church court: The Church of England Newspaper, November 22, 2013 November 25, 2013Posted by geoconger in Canon Law, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Diocese of Chichester, Lady Margaret Baldwin, Re Burwash Weald St. Philip  Chichester Const Ct
The Consistory Court of the Diocese of Chichester has overruled objections to the installation of a heating system for St. Philip’s Church in Burwash, holding the objections made by a nonegarian peer, while no doubt well intentioned, had “served in this instance only to obfuscate and delay the carrying out of the now long-overdue process of renewing the heating system”.
In Re Burwash Weald St. Philip  Chichester Const Ct, Chancellor Mark Hill QC, noted Lady Margaret Baldwin, a prominent member of the congregation, had made formal objections to the installation of a natural gas boiler and radiators to heat the church.
The chancellor wrote he had had “some difficulty in comprehending the nature of the objection advanced by Lady Baldwin,” which had been made in a “good number” of letters written in “dense text in a small font.”
“Their content strays considerably from relevant material – they are at times contradictory and at others repetitive.
“Lady Baldwin expresses herself to be animated by ‘habitual concern for the congregation’ – a worthy objective, but an intrusive and debilitating one if the concern is misplaced or rooted in a flawed understanding of the proposals.”
Chancellor Hill said the objections by Lady Baldwin, who was well into her 90’s, centered round fears the installation of central heating would damage the organ, which had been accidentally damaged during renovations in 1962.
The parochial council had engaged an “eminently qualified” architect to oversee the project had had raised the £51,000 necessary to undertake the project through a public appeal and a loan facilitated by the Diocesan Board of Finance.
He added: “As a dispassionate observer, I am saddened that Lady Baldwin’s ‘habitual concern for the congregation’ seems to have served in this instance only to obfuscate and delay the carrying out of the now long-overdue process of renewing the heating system.
“It has led to further faculty fees and may have increased the overall cost for the parish. That is much to be regretted,” the judge ruled in granting the faculty.
Westminster Hall debate highlights persecution of Christians in the Middle East: The Church of England Newspaper, November 22, 2013 November 25, 2013Posted by geoconger in British Foreign Policy, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Christians are in danger of being driven out of the Middle East, MP Fiona Bruce warned last week, urging the British government to aid the victims of the campaign of terror waged by militant Islamists.
In remarks made at a Westminster Hall Adjournment Debate on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, Mrs. Bruce, the member for Congleton (Cons.) highlighted findings of a newly released report prepared by the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). The report, “Persecuted and Forgotten? A Report on Christians oppressed for their Faith 2011-2013”, found that intolerance had grown in 20 of the 30 countries surveyed.
“In virtually every country in and around the [Middle East], Christians report suffering either high, high to extreme, or extreme persecution,” she said.
Christians “have suffered from a domino effect of violence that began in Iraq, spread to Syria and overshadows Egypt, leaving the survival of the Church in jeopardy.”
“We should be crying out with the same abhorrence and horror that we feel about the atrocities towards Jews on Kristallnacht and on other occasions during the Second World War,” she said.
The member for Upper Bann, David Simpson (DUP) told the gathering ““Every hour, a Christian is tortured and murdered somewhere in the world.”
“Surely, in this day and age, something more can be done to protect people and their faith,” he said.
David Burrowes MP said: “The term ‘Christian persecution’ is sometimes bandied about carelessly… if there is Christian persecution in this country then at worst its victim is likely to be sued, but in the Middle East the victim will be killed. That is the stark reality that we are facing…”
The member for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, Tom Geatrex (Lab.) warned of problems facing Christians in Malaysia, where a court “has effectively outlawed the Bible, particularly in the eastern states of Malaysia”, after ruling that the word “Allah” may only be used in the context of the Muslim faith.
Other members of Parliament spoke of the persecution Christians faced in Iran, Egypt, Syria and Turkey. Mrs. Bruce observed the problem of militant Islam was not confined to the Middle East. “Western Muslims are going to fight alongside jihadists in Syria… returning home to become potential jihadists themselves.”
“Western countries are not fully grappling with this problem,” she said.
Foreign Office Minister, Hugo Swire MP, said the government was aware of the problem and noted that “protecting human rights, including religious freedom, is an important part of British foreign policy.”
Ban on divorced/remarried Catholics from receiving Communion reaffirmed: The Church of England Newspaper, November 22, 2013 November 25, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Marriage, Roman Catholic Church.
Tags: Archdiocese of Freiburg im Breisgau, Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Robert Zollitsch
Divorced and remarried Roman Catholics may not receive Holy Communion, the Vatican has told the German Catholic church.
In letter dated Oct 21, 2013, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller directed the Archdiocese of Freiburg im Breisgau to retract its pastoral guidelines that permitted priests to “respect” the wishes of divorced and remarried Catholics who chose to receive the Sacraments.
The new policy introduced following the retirement of Archbishop Robert Zollitsch on 17 September 2013, said if divorced and remarried Catholics had made a “responsible moral decision” to receive Communion, their consciences should be respected.
The new policy was contrary to church teaching and “would cause confusion among the faithful about the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage,” Archbishop Müller wrote in his letter, published in the German Catholic newspaper Die Tagespost on Nov 11, 2013.
However, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, told Die Tagespost Archbishop Müller’s letter was not the final word.
“The prefect of the Congregation cannot end the discussion,” Cardinal Marx said. “We will see that this is discussed further, but with what result, I do not know.”
Typhoon Haiyan rocks the Philippines: The Church of England Newspaper, November 18, 2013 November 24, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Disaster Relief, Episcopal Church of the Philippines.
Tags: Typhoon Haiyan
Church aid agencies have issue a call for help following the landfall of Typhoon Haiyan in the Central Philippines.
At least 10,000 people are feared dead around the city of Tacloban, 375 miles south-east of Manila and the death toll is expected to mount sharply after communications are restored to the south-eastern province of Leyte.
The head of the Philippines Red Cross described the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, renamed Yolanda in the Philippines, as “absolute pandemonium” while Philippine Consul General in London said “the world has never seen a storm like this before”. The Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council stated that approximately 4.28 million people have been affected by the storm, while UNICEF reports 405,000 children are in immediate need of food and shelter.
Oenone Chadburn, Tearfund’s Head of Disaster Management, reported: ‘We’ve been in emergency communication with our partners and their networks of churches, across the Philippines, all weekend.
“Together we’re initiating emergency food distributions and our church networks are planning emergency shelter-and-blanket distributions, as well as child-focused protection work. What we need now is the money to run these,” she said.
On 11 November 2013 the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said his “heart goes out to the people there. We are all deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the loss of thousands of lives and of the suffering of millions as a result of Typhoon Haiyan.”
“Our prayers are with all who have lost loved ones and all those who are traumatised by the disaster and in desperate need of food, water, shelter and medical attention. We pray for those who are most vulnerable in this crisis: children separated from their parents, the sick and injured, the disabled and the elderly.”
“As a Church, we will stand beside the people of the Philippines at this devastating time, offering all we can in practical and spiritual support as the scale of the disaster unfolds,” the archbishop said.
“May the victims of this terrible storm know God’s comfort and derive strength from their faith.”