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New archbishops across the Anglican Communion: The Church of England Newspaper, June 30, 2013 p 7 June 28, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico.
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Archbishop Francisco Manuel Moreno

The Anglican churches in Mexico and Papua New Guinea have elected new primates, while the primate of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui has re-elected to a second term.

The Anglican Communion news service reports that on 14 June the provincial Council of the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea elected Rt. Rev. Clyde Igara, Bishop of the Dogura, to serve as primate and archbishop of the province. He succeeds Archbishop Joseph Kopapa who retired last year. As metropolitan of the church Archbishop Igara will not have diocesan responsibilities and a new Bishop of the Dogura is expected to be elected shortly.

The website of La Iglesia Anglicana de México last week announced that on 14 June 2013 the VII General Synod meeting in Mexico City elected the Rt. Rev. Francisco Manuel Moreno as primate and archbishop of the province. Bishop Moreno will continue to serve as Bishop of the Diócesis del Norte de México and succeeds Archbishop Carlos Touche-Porter of Mexico City whose term of office expired.

The VI General Synod of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, the Anglican Church in Hong Kong and Macao, meeting 2-5 June re-elected Archbishop Paul Kwong to a second six year term. ACNS reports that in other business the Synod endorsed the Anglican Covenant — a document championed by former Archbishop Rowan Williams to set the bounds of Anglican doctrine and discipline, but received with little enthusiasm by large parts of the communion.

On 19 May 2013 the Anglican Church of Tanzania enthroned Archbishop Jacob Chimeledya as archbishop and primate of the East African Church after a fierce internal dispute. On 21 Feb 2013 Archbishop Chimeledya defeated the incumbent Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa in an election for a five-year term as primate.

Supporters of Archbishop Mokiwa charged the new Archbishop’s election had been fraudulently obtained and claimed that American money and had been used to bribe bishops and diocesan deputations. Members of the election Synod filed a complaint with the church, but the canons of the Anglican Church of Tanzania did not foresee this situation and no legal remedy was available to the Mokiwa camp.

Both sides in the dispute engaged attorneys and Archbishop Mokiwa’s camp were prepared to file a civil lawsuit and seek an injunction blocking the installation. However the archbishop’s indecision of over which firm of attorneys to use in the lawsuit, the cost of pursuing the lawsuit, and his reluctance to state publicly what he was saying privately to his supporters led to a collapse in his support.

The faction that opposed Archbishop Mokiwa, drawn primarily from members of the Gogo tribe, declined to support financially the national church under his tenure as Archbishop. With power shifting to the Gogo tribe whose members include the archbishop, dean, general secretary, and registrar of the province, Mokiwa supporters tell The Church of England Newspaper they expect the province will remain paralyzed.

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Anglican Communion is not dead yet, Dr. Williams tells New Guinea: The Church of England Newspaper, November 4, 2012 p 7. November 7, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, Church of England Newspaper.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury rejected assertions the Anglican Communion had become immobilised by its divisions over homosexuality, telling a Port Moresby press conference last week the church maintained a united voice on a cross section of social issues.

Speaking the media at the close of his week-long visit to Papua New Guinea on 24 Oct 2012, Dr. Williams said: “We are not, whatever some people say, we are not as an Anglican Communion mainly paralysed by controversy. We are not torn apart by argument over issues.”

“We are still seeking to work together more effectively.”

The archbishop offered his view on Papua New Guinea’s domestic difficulties noting the absence of healthcare in many parts of the central Highlands was “critical.”

“The willingness and expressed eagerness of the new government to address this head-on is going to be crucial over the next 10 years,” the archbishop said.

Dr. Williams crisscrossed the island during his visit, attending a state dinner at Parliament House and meeting with government leaders in Port Moresby, traveling to Popondetta on the north coast to meet with young people, opening a new teacher’s college in Oro Bay and celebrating communion in Milne Bay.  The archbishop’s trip precedes the three-day visit of Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall to PNG this week.

After leaving Port Moresby, Dr. Williams flies to Auckland, New Zealand to participate in the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Dr Williams to tour Papua New Guinea: The Church of England Newspaper, October 22, 2012 October 25, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, Church of England Newspaper.
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Lambeth Palace has announced the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will visit Papua New Guinea from 19-24 Oct 2012 at the invitation of the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea.

On his five day tour Dr. Williams will meet with church and state leaders in Port Moresby and then travel to Popondetta then on to Dogura to visit a youth conference, dedicate a hospital, tour the church’s theological college and meet with members of Anglican religious communities including the Melanesian Brotherhood, Society of Saint Francis, and the Congregation of the Sisters of the Visitation of our Lady.

“I am delighted to be visiting Papua New Guinea and to be able to experience at first-hand the remarkable life of the church in this nation and its contribution to the wider community,” Dr. Williams said in advance of his visit.

“We much look forward to celebrating the faithful Christian witness and dedicated service of the church among different communities and to seeing for ourselves the church’s central role in health, education and community development.  We also look forward to experiencing how the enduring assets of the country’s rich culture and strong social fabric allow a confident response to the challenges of the day.  There is so much in the life of the church and nation which is a gift for the wider church and for the world,” the archbishop said.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea backs Anglican Covenant: The Church of England Newspaper, December 23, 2011 p 7. December 30, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, Anglican Covenant, Church of England Newspaper.
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Bishop Peter Ramsden of Port Moresby

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

The provincial council of the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea (ACPNG) has endorsed the Anglican Covenant.

Last week’s announcement by the ACPNG marks the fourth province to endorse or subscribe to the Covenant.  The West Indies, Mexico, and Myanmar have already backed the covenant, while the bishops of the Philippine Episcopal Church have rejected it, and Australia, New Zealand and the United States are likely to oppose the agreement in its current form.

The press office of the Anglican Consultative Council last week reported that the Bishop of Port Moresby, the Rt. Rev. Peter Ramsden, had written to Canon Kenneth Kearon informing him the premise of the covenant was in line with the ACPNG’s self-understanding of its mission and its Anglican heritage.

“Anglican” was one of the styles of Christianity brought to this land and people near the end of the nineteenth century”, Bishop Ramsden said.

Anglicanism has “never pretended to be the only form of Christianity, but it did reflect how one part of the Christian family had developed, built on the importance of scripture, creeds, sacraments and episcopal order,” the bishop said.

In Papua New Guinea the church sought to combine its “Anglo-Catholic theological heritage and personal discipleship to the Lord Jesus in the way we witness to the five marks of mission with our ecumenical partners in PNG and our Anglican partners overseas.”

The bishop stated that the ACPNG’s understanding of “communion” was that it described a close relationship that “ensures autonomy and requires responsibility.”

It was an “expression of the fellowship of the Holy Spirit” and also required “mutual respect, open communication and patience in dealing with issues that threaten it.”

He added that the innovations in doctrine and discipline concerning the ordination of women clergy and issues in human sexuality had strained the church’s communion.

In recent decades we have been saddened by the apparent lack of these things in the controversies concerning the ordination of women and issues of human sexuality. Anglicans were nonetheless “called to live a particular style of Christian witness which, because it is less juridical and confessional than that of some others, clearly requires a high level of mutual concern and respect.”

The ACPNG was “proud to belong to the Anglican Communion,” Bishop Ramsden said.

“As bishops we attended the 2008 Lambeth Conference, supported the three moratoria, endorsed the covenant process and value the efforts of the Archbishop of Canterbury to promote our unity. The Covenant might not have been proposed if some Anglican Provinces had not acted in the way they did, but recent history has produced it and we believe it deserves our support as a contribution to shaping and strengthening a future Anglican Communion, faithful to our calling to be ‘eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace’.”

PNG bishop robbed after his consecration: The Church of England Newspaper, December 9, 2011 December 10, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, Church of England Newspaper.
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First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Bandits ransacked the home of the Bishop of Popondetta in New Guinea’s Northern Province last month, one day after he was consecrated to the episcopate.

On the evening of 28 Nov 2011, an armed gang entered Bishop Lindsley Ihove’s home in Popondetta and holding the bishop and his family at gunpoint stole all of the gifts and offerings presented to him at his consecration the day before.

The New Guinea Post-Courier stated that police believed the gang that robbed the bishop was responsible for an arson attack earlier in the evening which burned the home of a local government official to the ground.

A series of natural disasters – typhoons, tidal waves and earthquakes – has rocked the Northern Province in recent months.  Criminal gangs have taken advantage of the chaos to impose their will on the populace, prompting a strong police response.  A police spokesman told the Post-Courier the bandits who robbed the bishop were “lower than animals” and “unfit to cohabit among humans.”

At its October meeting of the General Synod, the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea (ACPNG) elected the Fr. Ihove to the episcopate in succession to Archbishop Joe Kopapa.

Fr. Ihove was the Director of Mission and Evangelism for the Diocese of Popondetta at the time of his election and was consecrated bishop of the northern New Guinea diocese on 27 November 2011 at the Church of the Resurrection in Popondetta.

Under the terms of the reorganization of the ACPNG approved at the October synod meeting, the archbishop of the province will no longer serve as a diocesan bishop, but will oversee the church as metropolitan working from the provincial office in Lae.

New archbishop for New Guinea: The Church of England Newspaper, June 25, 2010 p 8. July 3, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, Church of England Newspaper.
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Archbishop Joseph Kopapa and Mrs. Wasita Kopapa at Canterbury Cathedral

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Provincial Council of the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea has elected the Bishop of Popondota, the Rt. Rev. Joseph Kopapa, to serve as primate and archbishop of the province.  Meeting on June 11 in Port Moresby, the province’s bishops, clergy and lay leaders elected the British-educated bishop to succeed the Most Rev. James Ayong, who retired in November.

Joseph Kifau Kopapa was born in New Guinea’s Oro Province on Sept 9, 1947.  Educated in local schools, he received a Diploma in Tropical Agriculture from the Vudal Agricultural College in New Britain in 1968 and a Postgraduate Diploma and Master’s Degree in Agricultural & Rural Sociology from the University of Reading.  From 1969 to 1985 he worked for the Papua New Guinea Department of Agriculture rising to the rank of deputy secretary.

In 1987 he left government service to study at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, and was ordained deacon and priest in 1990. After ordination he served in parish ministry in the Dioceses of Port Moresby and Popondota and in 1999 was named lecturer and acting principal of Newton Theological College.  In 2002 he was named chaplain to the Martyrs Memorial School and elected Bishop of Popondota in 2005.   The new archbishop has also been active in the councils of the Anglican Communion serving from 2001 to 2005 as a member of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Mission and Evangelism.

Papua New Guinea schism healed: CEN 1.27.09 January 27, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, Church of England Newspaper, Syncretism.
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Archbishop George Ambo

Archbishop George Ambo

First published in The Church of England Newspaper’s Religious Intelligence section.

Church leaders in New Guinea report that a schism led by retired Archbishop George Ambo has been healed and that the former archbishop reconciled with the church before he died.

The Bishop of Popondetta, the Rt. Rev. Joseph Kopapa reported that the “late bishop” was “reconciled to his Creator and the Church” on his deathbed last year, and issued a statement of contrition for his involvement with a ‘cargo cult’.

In 2007 The Church of England Newspaper reported that Archbishop Ambo had fallen away from the church and with a former Anglican nun, Sister Cora, had founded Puwo Gawe, meaning “come see”—one of four “cargo cults” operating in Oro Province of Northeastern New Guinea. Cargo cultists believe in the imminence of a new age of blessing and prosperity, whose sign will be the arrival of cargo from heaven.

While the cargo cults first arose in the mid-Nineteenth century when Melanesians first came in contact with the West, they spread quickly during World War II when the American and Australian armies established large supply depots. God’s failure to return discouraged many, but the cults survive led by charismatic leaders.

Returned missionaries from New Guinea tell CEN Sister Cora claimed to have received a vision of the spirits of the dead returning to Oro Province accompanied by large quantities of cargo. Their return was a sign of a the eschaton, and inequality, suffering, and death would now cease.

Archbishop Ambo was a dupe of Sister Cora, Bishop Kopapa said. The “late Father” had started Puwo Gawe “to help Anglicans who had drifted away from the Church.” This “very good intention had been abused” by the “coordinators” of the cult “who used the good name and reputation of this great man for their own ends to spread false messages and teaching such as ‘Cargo Cult’, in order to gain for themselves money and popularity.”

“The late Father was not aware that these followers of his were misrepresenting him and using him for their own selfish ends,” Bishop Kopapa said and had “asked for forgiveness from the Church of Papua New Guinea and the World-wide Anglican Communion.”

The bishop reported that “at his private confession with an Anglican priest” the former archbishop “received Absolution.”

The House of Bishops of the Church of Papua New Guinea urged the Puwo Gawe devotees to follow the archbishop’s example and also make “their private confession with their parish priest and returning to the Church.”

Church Anger at Papuan Persecution: CEN 8.01.08 August 1, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, Church of England Newspaper, Lambeth 2008, Persecution, Politics.
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CHURCH LEADERS from Australia and Papua New Guinea have denounced the jailing of over a dozen men by the Indonesian government for raising the Papuan “Morning Star” flag last week.

“To arrest and jail protesters for raising a separatist flag appears to me to be a disproportionate reaction,” the Primate of Australia, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall of Brisbane told The Church of England Newspaper, adding that if “reports of humiliation and beatings” of the detainees at the hands of the Indonesian police “are true those actions are to be denounced in the strongest possible terms.”

Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.

Church Anger at Papuan Persecution

Government chided over inaction: CEN 3.07.08 p 4. March 8, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, Church of England Newspaper, Civil Rights, House of Lords.
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west-papua-flag.jpgThe former Bishop of Oxford has condemned the government’s inaction in the face of on-going human rights violations by the Indonesian government in West Papua.

Speaking in the House of Lords on Feb 26, Lord Harries said the government’s “bland disingenuousness” over West Papua had been discreditable. The Indonesian government was guilty of torture, “systematic brutality” and “genocide” against the indigenous people of Papua he said.

Foreign Office Minister Lord Malloch-Brown conceded “the claim that there are major human rights abuses,” but noted the British government sought to work with the Indonesian government to “see it improve the conditions in Papua and to respect its special autonomy legislation.”

Lord Harries opened his remarks by saying that when he went shopping, he carried a bag displaying the West Papua “morning star” flag.  “If I shopped in West Papua with that bag, I would immediately be labelled a separatist and treated with brutality” and imprisoned, he said.

The government responded that Indonesia was making provisions for Papuans to be permitted to fly flag.  Lord Malloch-Brown called for “some understanding” for Indonesia as “flags are provocative things even in democracies that put an absolute premium on freedom of speech.”

“The Confederate flag in the United States continues to cause eruptions in every presidential campaign that I can recall,” the minister said.

Liberal Democratic peer Lord Avebury responded that “you do not go to prison for 20 years for flying the Confederate flag in the United States.”

“West Papua is a small country a long way away,” Lord Harries said, while “Indonesia is a big player with which we have major trade deals.”

“There are those who think that if only they stall long enough the problem will go away,” he said.  However, Lord Harries assured the government and the West Papuan people that their friends in the West would not abandon their cause in the face of economic self-interest or realpolitik, and asked the government to pursue this issue “with very great seriousness, conviction and urgency.”

Backing for San Joaquin as Church prepares for battle: CEN 2.29.08 p 5 February 28, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, Church of England Newspaper, Property Litigation, San Joaquin.
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The House of Bishops of the Church of the Province of Papua New Guinea has joined in a statement of support for the Bishop of San Joaquin, giving Bishop John-David Schofield their backing in his battle with the Episcopal Church.

The pledge of support comes amidst a hardening of positions over the breakaway diocese. The Episcopal Church has set aside £250,000 to confront Bishop Schofield in 2008, and will seek to bring him to trial at the March meeting of the House of Bishops, with an eye to deposing him from the ordained ministry.

On Jan 29 the Primate of New Guinea and his bishops endorsed a statement put forward on Jan 3 by Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker and the leaders of Forward in Faith UK and the evangelical Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. Philip Jensen that saluted Bishop Schofield on “the courageous decision of the Diocesan Convention of San Joaquin to take leave of The Episcopal Church and to align with the Province of the Southern Cone.”

The 41 bishops stated that they wanted Bishop Schofield “and the world to know that in this decision for the faith once delivered to the saints, we stand with you and beside you.”

Bishop Schofield will be brought to trial by US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on charges that his support for his diocesan synod’s vote to quit the Episcopal Church was evidence that he had “abandoned the Communion” of the Episcopal Church.

The San Joaquin Bishop is not expected to attend the trial, which will be held in camera at the Bishops’ March meeting.

Last week the Presiding Bishop appointed two priests from outside the diocese to serve as her “interim pastoral presence” in San Joaquin. The Rev. Canon Brian Cox and the Rev. Canon Robert Moore toured portions of the diocese from Feb 19-22 meeting with a select group of Episcopalians who had pledged their loyalty to the National Church.

The excursion did not take in all sides in the three way split in San Joaquin, as those who have quit the Episcopal Church for South America as well as those remain part of the Episcopal Church, but oppose the national church’s progressive agenda have not been included in the “listening tour.”

In a statement released on Feb 15, Bishop Schofield urged the two priests not to come, saying they were “entering into the internal affairs of a diocese of another province.”

He said the “Episcopal Church has begun attacking both me and this diocese” and told the Presiding Bishop’s surrogates their actions were “hardly those of men with honorable intentions.”

The breakaway bishop and his diocese are likely to come under further legal pressure in coming months. Last year the national church spent £650,000 in its property fights, and it noted that in the case of San Joaquin, “we will hold clergy leaders accountable to their vows to uphold the doctrine, discipline and worship of this Church, and lay leadership accountable to the fiduciary responsibilities of the offices they hold. Up to $500,000 of income from trust funds will be made available in the calendar year 2008 to support the mission work of the Diocese of San Joaquin and similarly situated dioceses,” it said on Feb 14.

New Guinea rights call: CEN 1.18.08 p 6. January 17, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, Church of England Newspaper, Civil Rights, Free Speech, House of Lords.
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richard-harries-2.jpgThe former Bishop of Oxford has tabled a series of questions in Parliament, asking the government to press Indonesia to improve its human rights record in Western New Guinea.

In July the NGO, Human Rights Watch, accused the Indonesia of mounting a campaign of repression including extrajudicial executions, torture and rape against Papuan separatists. A November report by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture also recorded instances of police misconduct.

“Conditions in Papua’s Central Highlands are an important test of how Indonesia’s security forces perform when political tensions are high and regions are closed to outside observers,” said Joseph Saunders, deputy program director at Human Rights Watch. “The police are failing that test badly.”

“No one is being prosecuted for the crimes we documented,” Mr. Saunders said. “The police are acting as a law unto themselves.”

The Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua are closed to the press and outside aid agencies. It has been the scene of a low-level insurgency by guerrillas of the Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka, or OPM). The guerrillas have mounted a series of hit and run raids in recent years on the Indonesian security forces, who have responded by conducting anti-terrorist sweeps through remote jungle villages suspected of providing sanctuary to the OPM.

The former Bishop of Oxford, Lord Harries asked the government what measures it had taken to “promote peaceful dialogue between West Papuan leaders and the Government of Indonesia;” what it had done in response to published reports by the UN and Human Rights NGO’s “on the use of torture by Indonesian security personnel in West Papua;” and whether it would press Jakarta to “freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly” and allow the West Papuans to fly their flag in public.

Speaking on behalf of the government, the Foreign Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN Lord Malloch-Brown responded on Jan 8 that the British government endorsed the call for dialogue and had queried Indonesian government leaders about the “situation in Papua, including human rights.”

The government also welcomed the UN’s November 2007 report on West Papua and looked forward to the final report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Dr Manfred Novak. However, the UN’s initial findings were that “notwithstanding the very real concerns about treatment of detainees,” Indonesia had “come a long way in recent years and is trying to make positive progress on human rights,” Lord Malloch-Brown said.

Britain “supports the territorial integrity of Indonesia and therefore does not support independence for Papua,” Lord Malloch-Brown said, and would not press Jakarta on the question of flying the Papuan flag.

Former Primate wanted by police: CEN 12.17.07 December 17, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, Church of England Newspaper, Crime, Disaster Relief, Freemasonry/Secret Societies.
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The former Primate of the Church of Papua New Guinea (PNG), Archbishop George Ambo has been identified as a leader of a ‘cargo cult’ in that country’s Oro Province and is being sought by police for questioning in connection with the theft of relief supplies.

Inspector Samuel Jumangu of the PNG police told The Nation newspaper that a retired bishop and former mother superior were being sought by police to assist them with their inquires into the “forceful” removal of relief supplies in the wake of Cyclone Guba by members of the Puwo Gawe cult. 

In a Dec 12 interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Pacific Service, the Rt. Rev. Joseph Kopapa, Bishop of Popondetta stated the Most Rev. George Ambo, KBE and a Sister Cora were the leaders of Puwo Gawe. 

Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.