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Anglican Unscripted Episode 48, August 18, 2012 August 18, 2012

Posted by geoconger in 77th General Convention, AMiA, Anglican Church of North America, Anglican.TV, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York, Canon Law, Church of England, Church of the Province of Uganda, Church of the Province of West Africa, South Carolina.
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Not a week goes by (even in August) when the Unscripted team can’t dig up some interesting news. Kevin and George discuss the “new thang” with AMiA and the turmoil at Pawley’s Island. They also reveal some Crown Commission secrets, Anglican Job Postings and Affinity Dioceses. Peter Ould talks about an Englishman trying to sell more books and Allan gives some interesting history about leaving and staying in TEC at the same time.

Take no decision on ACNA, archbishops’ synod paper argues: The Church of England Newspaper, January 27, 2012 p 5. February 2, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of North America, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
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First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) has welcomed the release of a general synod paper under the signature of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York that addresses the province-in-formation’s relationship to the Church of England.

In a statement released on 21 January 2012, the primate of the ACNA, Archbishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh said the province-in-formation was “encouraged by the desire of the Church of England to continue to embrace the Anglican Church in North America and remain in solidarity with us as we proclaim the Gospel message and truth as revealed in Scripture in the way it has always been understood in Anglican formularies.”

The document released online on 20 January 2012 urges inaction upon the synod in defining its relationship to ACNA, but also serves as a backhanded recognition the new North American province is part of the Anglican world.

Synod paper MISC 1011 entitled “The Church of England and the Anglican Church in North America”, comes in response to a private members motion presented to the February 2010 session of synod which asked the archbishops to clarify the Church of England’s relationship with the ACNA.  The archbishops responded this question was more properly formulated into three distinct questions.

“What is the range of relationship with other Christian churches that is possible for the Church of England?; How does a particular local Church become accepted as part of the Anglican Communion?; and In what circumstances can the orders of another Church be recognised and accepted by the Church of England so that someone ordained in that church can be given archiepiscopal authorisation for ministry here?”

The archbishops responded that the first and third questions were governed by the canon law of the Church of England.  Relations with other churches was governed by the actions of General Synod, the archbishops said, offering examples of the Porvoo Agreements with the Nordic Lutheran Churches, the Methodist Covenant and the Church of England’s links with the provinces of the Anglican Communion.

The reception or licensing of overseas clergy within the Church of England was governed by canon law and the “authorisation by the Archbishop of the Province is considered on a case by case basis and will take a number of relevant considerations into account” before an overseas cleric is licensed to officiate in the Province of York or Canterbury.

In answering the second question, the Archbishops conceded “the concept of membership of the Anglican Communion is not entirely straightforward”, noting the Anglican Communion was not a legal entity governed by statute or bylaws.  The archbishops also acknowledged the political failure of the Anglican Consultative Council to create a mutually recognizable Anglican identity.

However, the archbishops did note the concept of an Anglican bishop might be defined by the standard set of who was invited to attend meetings of the Lambeth Conference.  In 2008 Dr. Williams declined to extend an invitation to Bishop Martyn Minns of CANA on the grounds that his ministry on behalf of the Church of Nigerian in the United States violated the provincial boundaries of the Episcopal Church.

However, Dr. Williams also declined to invite Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire due to his status as an openly gay bishop – and the archbishop also declined to invite Dr. Nolbert Kunonga of Harare in light of his ties to the Mugabe regime.  The Lambeth Conference standard was further weakened as the 2008 meeting differed substantially from its predecessors as it was transformed as a meeting of equals into an extended tutorial session led by the archbishop for the instruction and improvement of the wider communion.

The way forward, the archbishops noted was to maintain relations with the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. as well as maintain an “open-ended engagement with ACNA on the part of the Church of England and the Communion” – deciding not to decide the issue at this time.

Archbishop Duncan said he appreciated the “work of the Faith and Order Commission of the Church of England, whose report and recommendations to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York form the basis of the document now released for General Synod, and whose content substantially advances the same ends with the Church of England.”

He added that the ACNA had “demonstrated successfully to the GAFCON primates” that it “remains committed to our growing relationships with Anglican provinces outside of North America. Our biblical orthodoxy and ministries are strengthening our bond to our Anglican brothers and sisters around the globe. We are gratified that we are already in a relationship of full communion with many Anglican Provinces and look forward to expanding that circle.”

Dr Sentamu to lead Jamaica independence celebrations: The Church of England Newspaper, December 9, 2011 p 5. December 12, 2011

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First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu has been asked by the Government of Jamaica to kick off a year of celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of independence for the West Indian country.

Dr Sentamu is scheduled to visit the island from 21 – 31 January 2012, the Jamaican tourist board reports, and will be a guest of the government and the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

The Archbishop led celebrations in 2007 marking the anniversary of the end of slavery and was warmly received across Jamaica. The intervening years have not been kind to the island nation, however, which has seen a continued rise in violent crime and political corruption.

A poll released last July reported that 50 years after independence, 60 per cent of Jamaicans said they would be better off having remained a British colony. Most Jamaicans believe they would be better off if they were still ruled by Britain, a poll shows.

Only 17 per cent of those surveyed said they would be worse off if they had remained a colony. In an editorial printed under the headline “Give Us The Queen!”, the Daily Gleaner said most Jamaicans longed for the stability of colonial rule and had become “disillusioned” by the country’s corrupt political culture and high crime.

VisitJamaica.com, a website for the state tourist board reports Dr Sentamu will lead an ecumenical independence service in Montego Bay, an Anglican service at Spanish Town Cathedral, and the National Jamaica 50 Ecumenical Service at Emancipation Park in Kingston.

Archbishop calls for supression of sex slave trade: The Church of England Newspaper, March 25, 2011 p 7. March 30, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of York, Church of England Newspaper, Crime.
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First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Archbishop of York has applauded the government’s decision to rethink its policies on combating human trafficking and join forces with the EU in combating sex slavery.

On March 22 Immigration Minister Damian Green announced the government will apply to opt in to a Europe-wide effort to help tackle human trafficking.  “Opting in” to the EU Directive on Human Trafficking sends “a powerful message to traffickers that Britain is not a soft touch and that we remain world leaders in fighting this terrible crime,” the minister said.

Last year Dr. John Sentamu expressed dismay at the government’s decision to ‘opt out’ of the EU Directive. Writing in the Yorkshire Post on Sept 3 the archbishop said that “sex trafficking is nothing more than modern day slavery. This is women being exploited, degraded and subjected to horrific risks solely for the gratification and economic greed of others.”

He said he was “stunned to learn” of the coalition government’s decision.  “Generally, I am no great supporter of European directives, because of the supremacy of our Parliament, but this seems to be a common-sense directive designed to co-ordinate European efforts to combat the trade in sex slaves,” the archbishop said.

However the news this week of the government’s change of heart “delighted” Dr. Sentamu.  “I am pleased the Government now acknowledges that ‘opting in would send a powerful message to traffickers that Britain is not a soft touch’. Our Government should be ensuring Britain leads the way on tackling slavery, just like it did in the days of William Wilberforce,” he said.

“We need a united front against the traffickers, pimps and gangsters – and we must speak out for those that don’t have a voice. There should be no loopholes for those abusing and terrorizing the vulnerable,” the archbishop said, adding that he was pleased Britain “will now be joining with our European brothers and sisters and put an end to this evil trade.”

“At a time when fewer traffickers are being jailed than at any other time in the last 5 years, we need ambitious and binding legislation to make anti-trafficking policy more effective,” Dr. Sentamu said.

Mr. Green said Britain already carried out most of the EU measures to combat trafficking.  The government’s decision not to opt in last year, he explained, was due to the need to review the final text to “ensure that it would benefit the UK. This has now taken place,” said a statement released by the Home Office.

“Tackling human trafficking is a priority for the Government. The UK has an excellent record on fighting human trafficking and the organised criminals who profit from misery,” the immigration minister said.

Archbishop of York leads service of thanksgiving for saved steel mill: The Church of England Newspaper, March 18, 2011 p 5. March 21, 2011

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The Archbishop of York leading a service of Thanksgiving for the Steel Industry at Christ Church, Redcar on March 13.

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Archbishop of York led a service of thanksgiving for the steel industry at Christ Church in Redcar this week.

Joined by Bishop Terry Drainey of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough, Dr. John Sentamu and 200 worshippers offered thanks that a Thai steel firm had purchased the Teesside Cast Products (TCP) plant in Redcar, saving over 700 local jobs.

The Teesside has been hard hit by plant closings in recent years, with the Corus steelworks closing its Redcar plant in 2009, and laying off 1700 workers.  TCP’s owner’s, Tata Steel UK, had begun mothballing the plant after a consortium of four international steel buyers reneged on a deal to buy steel slab from the plant.

However on Feb 24, Tata Steel announced a deal to sell TCP to Sahaviriya Steel Industries UK Ltd (SSI), a subsidiary of Thailand’s largest steel producer, in a deal valued at £289 million.

After the deal was announced, Tata Steel CEO Karl-Ulrich Köhler said he was “very encouraged that after all our efforts we have been able to reach this agreement, which is good news for the highly skilled and dedicated Teesside workforce.”

The Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable MP told reporters “this deal is very good news for workers at the Teesside plant and the region” and was a “significant inward investment by SSI which will help to sustain the 700 jobs at the plant and create new ones at the site and the wider local economy.”

Speaking ahead of the thanksgiving service, Dr Sentamu noted the “steel industry lies at the heart of the community on Teesside and this event provides the opportunity to celebrate the industry’s future as well as the past.

“The news that the steel plant at Redcar will reopen soon is good news as it will bring hundreds of much needed jobs to the area.”

The vicar of Christ Church, the Rev Alison Phillipson welcomed the news but added “we still have a long way to go in securing decent jobs for Redcar and Teesside.”

Grimsby priest convicted of immigration fraud: The Church of England Newspaper, Dec 24, 2010, p 4.. December 17, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of York, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Immigration.
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The wedding portrait that led to the fraud conviction of the Rev. Samuel Bisaso

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

A wedding portrait and the testimony of the Archbishop of York have proven to be the key evidence in the immigration fraud and bigamy trial of a Grimsby priest.

Last week a jury at the Hove Trial Centre in East Sussex found the Rev. Samuel Bisaso and his wife, Rebecca Muwonge Bisaso, guilty of staging an elaborate fraud involving stolen identities and a bigamous marriage to procure British residency.  The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu was called to give evidence in the trial, testifying he had married the couple at his South London parish in 1996.

The trial of Mr. Bisaso, a chaplain for the Mission to Seafarers in Immingham until his arrest last year, comes amidst heightened concern over immigration fraud and sham marriages. On Dec 2, Lord Wallace of Saltaire told the House of Lords the government was working “closely with civil registrars and members of the clergy to identify potential suspicious marriages at the earliest opportunity and prevent these marriages taking place.”

The government promised it would take a “a more rigorous approach” to the problem and would “remove those who seek to gain an immigration advantage from a sham marriage.”

In response, the Bishop of Newcastle said the Church of England “deplores any abuse of the marriage service for immigration reasons, whether in a civil or a religious setting.”

Bishop Martin Wharton said the church was “committed to working closely with the UK Border Agency to prevent such incidents happening in future,” and added that the House of Bishops would meet shortly “to assess whether the clergy need to be given further guidance.”

On July 27, 1996, Mr. Bisaso, a theology student at the University of Gloucestershire, married fellow Ugandan Rebecca Muwonge at Holy Trinity Church in Tulse Hill, Lambeth, South London in a ceremony conducted by Dr. Sentamu.

Mr. Bisaso told the court the marriage did not work out, and he returned to Uganda.   In 1998 he returned to the UK, and married ‘Proscovia Nakamya’ at the Newham Register Office.  However, prosecutors stated this second marriage was with the same woman whom he married in 1996, and that Mrs. Bisaso had assumed the identity of her 18 year old niece–a British subject–for the ceremony.

Dr. Sentamu testified via videolink on Nov 29 that he had been acquainted with Mr. Bisaso’s father in Uganda, and that Mr. Bisaso had attended his parish in 1996, and that he had ordained him on behalf of the Church of Uganda in 2002.

“You have to be very careful. You need to see the full documentation. With anyone who is not a British citizen I have to make sure I am working within the rules,” Dr. Sentamu said.

At the trial, Mrs. Bisaso maintained the 1996 marriage was between her husband and another woman, and that she had first married the defendant in 1998.  However, a wedding portrait from the 1996 service seized by police during a search of their Grimsby home contradicted her testimony.  Mr. Bisaso was convicted of two charges of obtaining leave to remain in the UK by deception while his wife was found guilty of two offences of assisting unlawful immigration.

Sentence will be handed down by the court in January.

Dr. Sentamu called to testify in bigamy trial: The Church of England Newspaper, Dec 3, 2010 p 6. December 7, 2010

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Dr John Sentamu

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Archbishop of York has been called to give evidence in the case of priest accused of bigamy and immigration fraud.

Trial began last week in the case the Rev. Samuel Bisaso, a chaplain with the Mission to Seafarers in Immingham until his arrest last year.  The accused has been charged with making a false statement at register office that he was a bachelor, when he was lawfully married.  The Ugandan native is also accused of two counts of obtaining leave to remain in Britain by deception and of possessing a false passport.

On July 27, 1996, Mr. Bisaso married fellow Ugandan immigrant Rebecca Muwonge.  The ceremony took place at Holy Trinity Church in Tulse Hill, Lambeth, South London and was conducted by Dr. John Sentamu.

Mr. Bisaso told the court the marriage did not work out, and he returned shortly thereafter to Uganda, believing his first marriage was “void”.   In 1998 he returned to the UK, and married a Proscovia Nakamya at the Newham Register Office.  However, prosecutors have argued this second marriage was with the same woman whom he married in 1996, and that Mrs. Bisaso had assumed the identity of her niece for the ceremony.

Mrs. Bisaso’s application to remain in Britain was denied in 1999.  Prosecutors claimed she then married a Swedish national under her original name of Muwonge in order to remain in the UK as the spouse of an EU citizen.

Dr. Sentamu testified via videolink on Nov 29 before the Hove Trial Centre, stating he had been acquainted with Mr. Bisaso’s father in Uganda, and that Mr. Bisaso had attended his parish in 1996.

“When I conduct weddings of people who are not British nationals, I need to be sure in myself they are not underage and also that they are not prohibited for any reason from getting married.”

“You have to be very careful. You need to see the full documentation. With anyone who is not a British citizen I have to make sure I am working within the rules,” Dr. Sentamu said.

The Bisasos have denied the charges of making false statements, immigration fraud and bigamy. The trial continues.

Archbishops hit out at Harare bishop: CEN 1.08.10 p 6. January 13, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York, Church of England Newspaper, Zimbabwe.
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First printed in the Church of England Newspaper.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have denounced police collusion with the schismatic former Bishop of Harare, Dr Nolbert Kunonga, in cancelling Christmas in Zimbabwe.

Archbishops hit out at Harare bishop

On Dec 27 Dr Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu released a statement saying they condemned “unequivocally any move to deny people their basic right to worship. To prevent people from worshipping in their churches on Christmas Day – unable to receive the church’s message of hope – is a further blow to civil liberties in Zimbabwe.

“Such unprovoked intimidation of worshippers by the police is completely unacceptable and indicative of the continued and persistent oppression by state instruments of those perceived to be in opposition” to the regime of strongman Robert Mugabe the archbishops said.

With the support of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Dr Kunonga has waged war against the majority of members of his former diocese who are loyal to newly elected Bishop Chad Gandiya. While a high court judge has ordered the two sides to share the church properties pending a final resolution of their dispute in court and on Dec 14 a second court issued an order to the ZRP to desist from attacking Christians, Dr Kunonga has resumed his campaign of violence with the support of the security services. The state-backed Harare Herald on the third Sunday of Advent a priest aligned with Dr Kunonga attacked a parishioner at St Mary’s Cathedral in Harare.

Winterton Zimunya told the Herald the violence at the cathedral began when worshippers refused an order from Kunonga loyalists to vacate the premises. “Priests from the other faction [then] threw a table towards people standing at the entrance,” followed by a Kunonga priest beating him on the head with a knobkerrie.

In an email to supporters in the West, Bishop Gandiya reported that on the fourth Sunday of Advent “the police were at it again” and had prevented congregations from worshipping.

Bishop Gandiya was forced to hold a confirmation service outside the cathedral and a member of the cathedral staff was “arrested Sunday evening after having been abducted and beaten by thugs belonging to Kunonga. He was only released yesterday afternoon” while a churchwarden at a second parish was “arrested and beaten by the police and released the following day.”

On Christmas Eve the bishop said he received a telephone call informing him that a churchwarden had been jailed “for opening the church building so that Mothers’ Union members could hold their normal Saturday worship and meeting. The police, I am told, are already going round our churches telling people not to come to church or else they would be arrested.

“We are all surprised and angered by the deteriorating situation caused mainly by the police, who are disregarding court orders and now manning our churches preventing our people from going in to worship,” he said.

“My flock is greatly harassed, battered, tired and very angry but they soldier on, keeping the faith and encouraging each other,” Bishop Gandiya said.

Archbishop urges peace in Bermuda: CEN 10.09.09 p 6. October 11, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of York, Bermuda, Church of England Newspaper.
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The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu has called upon the people of Bermuda to embrace a culture of forgiveness in world awash in violence.

Preaching at Holy Trinity Cathedral and to an open air congregation at the island’s Arboretum in Devonshire parish, Dr. Sentamu was the principal speaker for a series of celebrations marking the 400th anniversary of the church in Bermuda, entitled Faith Venture 2009. (On July 25, 1609 the Sea Venture, an English merchant ship sailing for Jamestown was wrecked on Bermuda, marking the first landing on the island.)

In his evening sermon, Dr. Sentamu spoke of the war and violence dividing mankind. “You know friends, child soldiers carry and use AK45’s, you know arms manufacturers make millions out of this misery and computer games teach children hideous violence on screen, giving young people the thrill of violence supposedly without its spills,” he said.

“If only, Jesus cried over Jerusalem, these people knew the way to real peace. Friends I have an amazing message, the message of forgiveness; the message of reconciliation is not an easy one, as they can tell us in South Africa, or Congo, or Northern Ireland, but friends it works.”

“Forgiveness of sins is at the heart of the gospel and for God’s greatest gift within each one of us is forgiveness for past sins, new life in the present and then hope for the future.”

“Here in Bermuda as in all parts of the world should we not be praying for a fresh wave of reconciliation,” Dr. Sentamu asked.

Bermuda welcomes Dr. Sentamu: CEN 10.02.09 p 8. October 11, 2009

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The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu will travel to Bermuda this week to lead festivities celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Anglican Church on the Atlantic island.

The Bishop of Bermuda, the Rt. Rev. Patrick White said “we are elated at the Archbishop’s impending visit. He is known for his energy and willingness to be on the front line in the fight for justice.”

Dr. Sentamu will deliver two public lectures during his tour of Bermuda, and is expeted to speak on the issues of racial reconciliation and unity. On Oct 4, he will preach at Holy Trinity Cathedral at the anniversary celebration service and later that day at the island’s Arboretum in an open air service.

Church of England backs hedge fund managers: CEN 10.07.09 October 7, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of York, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Development/Economics/Govt Finances.
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First published in The Church of England Newspaper

The Church Commissioners have come to the aid of hedge fund managers, telling a parliamentary commission that “onerous” regulations proposed by the European Union to govern the financial services industry would harm British charities.

In a submission to the House of Lord’s EU Economic and Financial Affairs and International Trade Committee, the Church Commissioners along with five other charities argued that the proposed directive regulating hedge funds would “significantly restrict our ability to generate funds to pursue our charitable missions and thus reduce our impact for public good.”

Church of England backs hedge fund managers

The statement follows last September’s charge by the Archbishop of York that hedge funds that bet on the decline of mortgage lender HBOS Plc were “bank robbers” and “asset strippers.”

The September submission by the Church Commissioners supports greater transparency and accountability for the financial services industry, but the proposed EU regulations would “limit the scope and potential return of our investment portfolio and hence reduce our charitable spend.”

To maximize its financial returns, “we must have freedom to select the best investment managers and funds,” they said.

The proposed EU rules would bar non-EU firms from marketing investment services to EU area investors. EU-based fund managers would also be barred from marketing their services in the EU until they complied with proposed rules that would require providing data to EU regulators, maintaining government selected leverage caps, and using EU approved banks as their depository institutions. The Church Commissioners’ statement said that 95 per cent of hedge funds are domiciled outside the EU or have non-EU managers. “We believe there is a significant risk that many of the best will stop raising capital in Europe rather than attempting to comply with onerous EU regulations.”

The six trusts have £19.5 billion in assets and spend £900 million each year. “To a bystander like me, those who made £190 million deliberately underselling the shares of HBOS, in spite of its very strong capital base, and drove it into the bosom of Lloyds TSB Bank , are clearly bank robbers and asset strippers,” Sentamu told an audience of bankers at Drapers’ Hall in the City of London on Sept 24, 2008.

Dr Sentamu’s followed a call by the Archbishop of Canterbury for the government to adopt stringent regulations on the financial services industry and to ban short selling.

“The question is not how to choose between total control and total deregulation, but how to identify the points and practices where social risk becomes unacceptably high,” Dr Williams wrote in the Spectator on Sept 27, 2008.

“The banning of short-selling is an example of just such a judgment. Governments should not lose their nerve as they look to identify a few more targets.”

Marx was right, Dr Williams observed. “Marx long ago observed the way in which unbridled capitalism became a kind of mythology, ascribing reality, power and agency to things that had no life in themselves,” the archbishop wrote. “He was right about that, if about little else.”

Zimbabwe appeal raises £300,000: CEN 5.21.09 May 21, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York, Church of England Newspaper, Zimbabwe.
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The Archbishops’ Zimbabwe appeal has raised almost £300,000 to support church programmes providing food and medical assistance to the needy in the Central African nation.

In a statement released on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, a spokesman for Lambeth Palace said £292,330 had been donated to the fund administered by the USPG Anglicans in Mission.

Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.

Zimbabwe appeal raises £300,000

Scenes from Alexandria: US and York February 20, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Album (Photos), Archbishop of York, Living Church, Primates Meeting 2009, The Episcopal Church.
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Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the Archbishop of York conferring at the Primates Meeting  in Alexandria. First published in The Living Church magazine.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the Archbishop of York conferring at the Primates Meeting in Alexandria. First published in The Living Church magazine.

Archbishop of York calls for peaceful elections as Ghana prepares to go to the polls: CEN 10.10.08 p 6. October 13, 2008

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The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu has added his voice to the call for peaceful elections in Ghana.

In his first visit to the West African country, Dr. Sentamu paid a formal call on Oct 2 to Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene (King of the Ashanti people) at the royal palace in Kumasi. The Anglican Church and the Ashanti royal house had long been linked, he said, and urged the king to use his office to further the “cause of humanity.”

The Asantehene thanked Dr. Sentamu for his prayers, and stated the Anglican Church must play a key role in the moral regeneration of the Ghanaian people, and continue to preach the “unadulterated world of God” in the “face of challenges” from the secular world.

Dr. Sentamu asked “God to strengthen the Asantehene and shower his blessings as he dispenses justice and also fight for the cause of his people” and expressed hope the forthcoming national elections would serve the country well.

In December Ghana goes to the polls to elect a new government. Anglican bishops across the country have urged voters to vote wisely and well, pausing first for prayer before they cast their ballots.

On Oct 5 the Bishop of Koforidua, the Rt. Rev. Benjamin Quashie urged voters to reject the politics of division, and cast their ballots for leaders who would unite Ghana. Bishop Emmanuel Arrongo used his presidential address at the Diocese of Tamale’s synod meeting on Oct 4 to urge the leaders of the New Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to eschew political violence.

“The two parties should publicly and sincerely pledge never to crush each other,” he told synod, denouncing the heated rhetoric used by partisans so far in the campaign.

In a newspaper interview published last week, the Bishop of Sekondi, the Rt. Rev. John Kwamina Otto said the two leading presidential candidates, former foreign minister Addo Akufo-Addo of the ruling NPP and former vice-president John Mills of the NDC, were both qualified to lead the country.

Bishop Otto told the Ghanaian Chronicle that based on his personal experience of the two political leaders, both men had the moral character necessary to be president. Akufo-Addo was a former parishioner and “faithful” Anglican, while the bishop stated that when he had served in the army, he had come to know Mills as an honest leader.

However, the rhetoric of the campaign had become worrying, he said, as both candidates appeared to be promising more to voters than they could realistically deliver.

Dr. Sentamu visits Kenya: CEN 2.15.08 p 8. February 15, 2008

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sentamu-and-kibaki.jpgThe Archbishop of York has paid flying visit to Nairobi as a sign of support for the Kenyan people.”

During their time of trouble, I have decided to come and stand in solidarity and prayer with the suffering in this land,” Dr. John Sentamu said on Feb 10 following services at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi.

Following a telephone conversation with the Primate of Kenya, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, Dr. Sentamu flew out to Kenya on Thursday. He toured three refugee camps on the first day of his visit and on Saturday met with government ministers and the leader of the opposition, Raila Odinga.

On Feb 11 Dr. Sentamu met with President Mwai Kibaki at State House, and discussed the church’s on-going role in ending the post-election violence. More than 1000 people have been killed and over 300,000 driven from their homes in sectarian violence following Kenya’s disputed Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

Dr. Sentamu urged Kenyans to “forget what is behind this and face forward. This country is capable of rising above the nonsense that has gone on.”

Following Sunday services, Dr. Sentamu told the press that a healthy democracy required a strong opposition party. “Kenyans should ensure that a strong opposition party thrives to check against possible excesses of the executive,” he said, adding that he hoped the country would not return to “one-party” rule.

Minister praises Dr. Sentamu: CEN 1.04.08 p 4 January 4, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of York, Church of England Newspaper, House of Lords, Zimbabwe.
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The Foreign Office Minister for Africa has commended the Archbishop of York for his support of democracy in Zimbabwe. Lord Malloch-Brown (pictured) backed Dr. John Sentamu’s words on Zimbabwe, and told Parliament on Dec 17 Britain will continue to support democracy in the beleaguered African nation.

During the debate on the EU-Africa summit in Lisbon last week, the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt. Rev. Tom Butler asked whether the “cutting up of the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of York’s clerical collar live on television as a protest was a helpful gesture?”

“I certainly do, my Lords; I just wish that I was bold enough to cut up my fine necktie too,” he said.

Britain’s representative to the EU-Africa summit, Lady Amos laid “out unequivocally [Zimbabwe’s] disastrous economic and human rights situation” to the summit delegates. “There was no ambiguity” from Britain on this point, Lord Malloch-Brown.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government stood “four-square behind honest and fair elections in Zimbabwe. It is not enough for President Mugabe to agree to a piece of paper as a result of this mediation; he must be seen to change the laws and respect them and to allow genuinely free and fair elections”

“If those do not occur, we will in no way lessen-rather, we will increase-our objections to the Government of President Mugabe,” Lord Malloch-Brown assured Parliament.

Mugabe press hits out at Dr Sentamu: CEN 12.21.07 p 8 December 21, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of York, Church of England Newspaper, Politics, Zimbabwe.
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sentamu-cutting-up-his-collar.jpgThe Archbishop of York has been savaged as a race traitor and an “ill-informed animal” by Zimbabwe following his public call for Robert Mugabe to step down.The Harare Herald, the Mugabe-regime’s media voice, on Dec 12 said Dr. John Sentamu was a “foolish and idiotic African.”

However, the archbishop’s condemnation of the President Mugabe has won plaudits from Western newspapers and the support of the Zimbabwe expatriate community and democracy activists.

The Archbishop’s pledge on Dec 9 not to wear his clergy collar so long as Mugabe remained in power was a “stunt” and a “piece of propaganda for the BBC,” the Herald stated.

Dr. Sentamu was ill informed about the conditions in Zimbabwe, the government newspaper stated. “The peasants are flourishing on the farms that President Mugabe expropriated,” it said, and are “smiling and happy.”

The Archbishop’s animus towards the regime arose from racial self-hatred and a desire to ingratiate himself with the West, the Herald said.

“Whites stand united in their fight against President Mugabe because he took back land seized from blacks by their kith and kin,” the newspaper said. “Some blacks, seeking fame and praise seem to justify this race hate by their uninformed hate for their own black brother, President Mugabe.”

“President Mugabe is our most eloquent gatekeeper” protecting the nation from the rapacious inroads of white colonialists, the Herald argued.

Democracy activists have applauded Dr. Sentamu’s show of solidarity. One exiled Anglican priest told The Church of England Newspaper that the African-born archbishop’s actions helped focus attention upon the crimes of the regime. A spokesman for the Church of England said the accusations were “ludicrous”.

EU ‘not to blame for Britain’s woes,’ says Archbishop: CEN 12.16.07 December 17, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of York, British Foreign Policy, Church of England Newspaper, EU, House of Lords.
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Don’t blame the EU for Britain’s troubles, the Archbishop of York told the House of Lords on Dec 5.

“May we please stop blaming the EU for all our ills?” Dr. John Sentamu said during a debate on the European Council meeting in Lisbon. “We are responsible for our economic policy, education, health, security and international affairs. If those policies are not working out, please do not look over the border and blame others; what we are not doing is our own fault, because we are responsible here.”

“I call it BSE-always blaming someone else, instead of taking responsibility for ourselves,” he said.

Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.

Archbishop in TV protest over Mugabe: CEN 12.10.07 December 10, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of York, Church of England Newspaper, Zimbabwe.
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THE ARCHBISHOP of York has called for the international community to drive Zimbabwe strongman Robert Mugabe from power.

In a statement of sartorial solidarity, Dr John Sentamu flourished a pair of scissors and snipped his clergy collar during an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr on Dec 9, saying he would not wear one until Mugabe stood down.

Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.

Archbishop in TV protest over Mugabe

Dr Sentamu calls for ‘socially active Christians’: CEN p 5. November 2, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of York, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of the West Indies.
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The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu has concluded his West Indian tour with a six day visit to Barbados, visiting seminarians at Codrington College and commemorating the 170th anniversary of one of the island’s colonial parishes.

Dr. Sentamu was greeted upon arrival in Bridgetown by Bishop Wilfred Wood, the retired Bishop of Croydon and the Bishop of Barbados, Dr. John Holder. The Church of England’s first non-white domestic bishop, Bishop Wood had ordained Dr. Sentamu to the priesthood and has been a friend of some 27 years.

Bishop Wood told a Barbadian newspaper the Archbishop of York’s visit held great emotional meaning for West Indians. “We thank God for this privilege of being allowed to touch this hem of the garment of history,” he said.

In an Oct 14 service at St. Thomas parish attended by clergy and lay leaders from across the diocese, Dr. Sentamu urged the church to pursue social activism as a mark of their Christian faith. “Worship has to do with what we give” he said, warning against being Christians with “deep pockets but short arms.”

Archbishop Apologizes for Slave-trade History: CEN 10.12.07 p 6 October 12, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of York, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of the West Indies.
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sentamu-and-jamaican-gov-gen.jpg

Dr. Sentamu and the Governor General of Jamaica, Kenneth Hall at King’s House in Kingston, Oct 8. (Diocese of Jamaica photo)

Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu has offered an apology to the people of Jamaica for the Church of England’s complicity in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

“Whether I like it or not, I belong to the church which participated in the transatlantic slave trade,” Dr. Sentamu said during a ceremony Saturday at the University of the West Indies in Mona where he was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree.

“The actions of my forebears are my actions,” he said. “I can’t distance myself from the terrible things that the Anglican Church did to my brothers and sisters who were sold as slaves. And for that I deeply apologise.”

“In a free society, we need to remember that all are involved in the actions which some are doing; some are guilty, but all are responsible,” the Archbishop of York said on Oct 6.

Preaching at the National Arena on Sunday before a capacity crowd, Dr. Sentamu urged the congregation to pursue authenticity. “God rejoices in the fact that he created each one of you … That is the greatest message of the sermon this morning, be yourself and don’t try and be somebody else.”

Dr. Sentamu also urged the congregation to pursue humility. “When I became the bishop of Birmingham I reminded everybody else, when you see me as the bishop and looking so gorgeously dressed just remember the day Jesus entered Jerusalem, he rode on a donkey.”

The crowd in Jerusalem “dressed up that donkey to take Jesus to downtown Jerusalem”, he added. “So when you see me dressed up like a bishop in very funny clothes, I am simply a donkey taking my Jesus to downtown Birmingham.”

Bishops, he said, were “mere donkeys” whose ministry was to take “Jesus in places where there is no love where there is no hope where there is no justice.”

Dr. Sentamu is in Kingston as a guest of the Diocese of Jamaica and will spend a week on the island before traveling to Barbados. On Monday he met with Governor General Kenneth Hall and then with Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding, discussing issues of regional and international concern.

Dr. Sentamu Appeals for Zimbabwe Sanctions: CEN 9.21.07 p 7. September 23, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of York, Church of England Newspaper, Zimbabwe.
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The Archbishop of York has called upon the British government to impose sanctions against the “racist” regime of Zimbabwe strongman Robert Mugabe.

President Mugabe has become a second Idi Amin, Dr. John Sentamu wrote in the Observer on Sept 17, and is leading the country toward the brink of destruction.

African had failed to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe and the “time has come” for Prime Minister Gordon Brown to intervene.  The prime minister must “slay the ghosts of Britain’s colonialist past by thoroughly revising foreign policy towards Zimbabwe and to lead the way in co-ordinating an international response” to the Mugabe regime, he said.

Dr. Sentamu’s attack follows upon statements made last week by the Bishops of Southwark and Croydon in condemning the Mugabe regime, and quiet but so far unsuccessful diplomatic efforts by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, with Anglican leaders in Central Africa to address the humanitarian crisis in the country.

Zimbabwe has blamed Britain and the West for the economic and social upheaval ravaging the country, arguing the sanctions imposed against the regime were responsible for the country’s poverty.

African leaders have backed Mugabe in a showdown with Britain over his attendance at December’s EU-Africa summit in Lisbon.  Akwasi Osei Adjei, Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, said it would be unfair to exclude Mugabe from the summit.  “I believe we are coming with all the members of the African Union, the heads of state of the African Union,” he said on Sept 13. “So, definitely the invitation will be issued [to Mugabe].”

Summit plans have been on hold since 2003 as Britain has refused to attend if Mugabe did. EU president Portugal has been seeking a compromise but has so far sent no invitations.

However, Dr. Sentamu urged an increase in pressure upon Zimbabwe.  Britain should introduce sanctions modeled upon those imposed on the apartheid regime in South Africa targeted “against those purveyors of misery whose luxury is bought at the cost of unbearable poverty,” he argued.

“Mugabe is the worst kind of racist dictator,” the Ugandan-born Archbishop wrote.

“Having targeted the whites for their apparent riches, Mugabe has enacted an awful Orwellian vision, with the once oppressed taking on the role of the oppressor and glorying in their totalitarian abilities.  Like Idi Amin before him in Uganda, Mugabe has rallied a country against its former colonial master only to destroy it through a dictatorial fervour,” he said.

Dr. Sentamu had strong words for South African President Thabo Mbeki, saying the ANC government’s diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis had failed.  “Despite his best efforts, President Mbeki has failed to help the people of Zimbabwe. At best, he has been ineffectual in his efforts to… persuade Robert Mugabe to reverse his unjust and brutal regime. At worst, Mbeki is complicit in his failing to lead the charge against a neighbour who is systematically raping the country he leads.”

Jamaica visit for Archbishop Sentamu: CEN 8.24.07 p 9. August 24, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of York, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of the West Indies.
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THE ARCHBISHOP of York, Dr John Sentamu has been invited to Jamaica to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the Atlantic Slave Trade.

Dr Sentamu will be a guest of the Diocese of Jamaica and the nation from Oct 5-12 and will be awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree at the University of the West Indies on Oct 6 at a Special Convocation at the Assembly Hall at the University’s Mona Campus, the diocese reports.

Past recipients of honorary degrees at a Special Convocation at the UWI include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Colin Powell, Harry Belafonte and Kofi Annan.

South Africa attacked for shielding Zimbabwe: CEN 8.17.07 p 5. August 18, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Archbishop of York, Church of England Newspaper, Zimbabwe.
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The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu has criticized the government of South African president Thabo Mbeki for failing to take decisive action over the spiraling crisis in Zimbabwe.

Speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Aug 8 while in Perth, Dr. Sentamu touched upon Lords’ Reform, institutional racism in the Church of England, the 2008 Lambeth Conference, and his relations with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams-denying suggestions that he was an “Archbishop in waiting” for Canterbury.

Asked about the situation in Zimbabwe, Dr. Sentamu lauded the actions of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube, saying he “has been actually fairly courageous in the things he’s been saying” in opposition to the regime of strongman Robert Mugabe.

However, the church in Zimbabwe was unable to speak with a single voice as the controversial Dr. Nolbert Kunonga, “the Anglican Bishop of Harare has tended to side more with Mugabe and therefore caused the split within the Christian community.”

Dr. Sentamu stated South Africa should take a greater role in resolving the crisis in neighboring Zimbabwe.

“South Africa could have played a major part in making sure that Mugabe over the last four years at least, does not continue telling the world that actually there isn’t any violence, there isn’t any hunger, there isn’t any starvation, because a lot of Zimbabweans are now refugees in South Africa, and it’s quite obvious that Mugabe’s regime is so brutal, that it is so dictatorial, and a lot of people are dying and starving,” he said.

The Archbishop of York denied he had designs upon Lambeth Palace and rejected press speculation that Dr. Rowan Williams might step down. “Those who say that I’m an Archbishop [of Canterbury] in waiting, I’m sorry, they’re going to be disappointed,” he said.

“The higher the baboon climbs the tree, the more it reveals its rather less attractive parts,” he observed, disclaiming any further ambitions towards higher office in the Church.

Asked about his views on institutional racism within the Church of England, Dr. Sentamu said the Church had no racist policies in effect, “but to say there is institutional racism within the church, yes, that much I’ll accept.”

He likened the climate of the Church of England to a smoke filled room. “You could go into a room when people have been smoking and there isn’t anybody you can see in sight who’s smoking, and you know there has been smoking. That’s what I call institutional racism: you know there are some behaviors that are unacceptable, but you can’t quite pinpoint anybody who’s done it,” he said.

Dr. Sentamu repeated comments made to the Daily Telegraph last month that there was a danger that those who would sit out the 2008 Lambeth Conference were risking exclusion from the Anglican Communion. It was necessary to attend Lambeth, he said, so as to take the Anglican Covenant process forward and find a lasting solution to the current crisis of doctrine and discipline within the Anglican Communion.

He rejected suggestions that a reformed House of Lords exclude the “Lords Spiritual”. Bishops could only be excluded from the Lords, he argued, if the monarchy and the Church of England were disestablished. The role of the Bishops in the House of Lords was “to hold up before the nation the need for God and the need for spiritual dimensions of life,” he said.

Archbishop’s Warning to Conservatives: CEN 7.27.07 p 5. July 26, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of York, Church of England Newspaper, Global South, Lambeth 2008.
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The Archbishop of York has urged conservative bishops from the Global South not to boycott next year’s Lambeth Conference, telling the Daily Telegraph their withdrawal could shatter the Anglican Communion.

“Anglicanism has its roots through Canterbury,” he said last week. “If you sever that link you are severing yourself from the Communion. There is no doubt about it.”

Dr. John Sentamu’s caution comes after leaders of the Global South Coalition of Anglican provinces, representing a majority of Anglicans in the developing world, released a statement last week following a meeting in London warning that their presence at Lambeth 2008 was in doubt, due to Archbishop Rowan Williams apparent decision not to take action against the American Church for repudiating the primates’ calls for reform and for compliance with the 1998 Lambeth resolutions on human sexuality.

If the Global South breaks with Dr. Williams, “and they think they can then say they are Anglicans, that is very questionable,” he said, urging traditionalists to “come to the Lambeth Conference.”

A spokesman for Lambeth Palace told The Church of England Newspaper Dr. Sentamu was not speaking on behalf of Dr. Williams, but offering his own reflections on current events within the Communion.

As long as Anglican bishops did not deny basic Christian doctrines they should be able to remain within the same ecclesial structure, he said. While the divisions over sexual ethics were important, the Telegraph reported that Dr. Sentamu believed these were not core issues of the faith.

Writing in the preamble to the July General Synod paper 1661 on the Anglican Covenant, Dr. Sentamu noted that fragmentation within the Communion was being driven by the divisions over human sexuality. “We have to recognize that there are some limits to Anglican ‘diversity’,” the Archbishops wrote.

“It is a simply a matter of fact that some questions – not only the debates over sexual ethics – are experienced as fundamentally Church-dividing issues,” they said.

Dr. Sentamu added that the current invitation list was not fixed. He stated the American bishops could be un-invited from Lambeth 2008 should they not be prepared to engage with the wider Church over the potentially Communion-dividing issues.

Leaders of the Global South coalition tell CEN no hard and fast decision to boycott Lambeth 2008 has been taken. They have called for an emergency primates meeting, akin to the meeting held following the election of Gene Robinson in 2003, to address the American question.

Nor are the Global South primates of one mind as to how to respond to what they see as American intransigence. One faction favors withdrawal from Lambeth if all the Americans attend, while a second group is disinclined to give the left a “rump” Lambeth that could conceivably re-write prior Conference statements.

 

Archbishop Sentamu Links Communion Ties to Lambeth Attendance: TLC 7.25.07 July 26, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of York, Global South, Lambeth 2008, Living Church.
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The Archbishop of York has urged Anglican bishops from the Global South not to boycott next year’s Lambeth Conference, telling a British newspaper that by withdrawing they would be removing themselves from the Anglican Communion.

“Anglicanism has its roots through Canterbury,” Archbishop Sentamu said as reported by the Daily Telegraph. “If you sever that link, you are severing yourself from the Communion. There is no doubt about it.”

Read it all in The Living Church.

Archbishop of York Gets Uganda Nomination: CEN 7.06.07 p 7. July 6, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of York, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda, Education.
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A Kampala newspaper has reported that the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu along with Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda, is among the seven candidates nominated to serve as chancellor of Makere University.

New Visions reported on June 26 that Dr. Sentamu had been nominated for the Ugandan university’s top non-administrative post, whose duties include presiding over graduation ceremonies and receiving awards on behalf of the university.

Dr. Sentamu is a 1971 law graduate of the University. The chancellor is required to be a Ugandan citizen, aged 55 to 75, holding an earned university degree, and possessing “high integrity and standing.”

Primates Meeting 2007: Day 1, The calm before the storm June 8, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York, Church of England Newspaper, Primates Meeting 2007.
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Primates gathered in the VIP lounge at the Dar es Salaam airport on Feb 13 following the arrival of Archbishop Williams and his party from London. From left to right, the Most Rev. Donald Mtetemela, Archbishop of Tanzania, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Andrew Hutchison, Archbishop of Canada, the Most Rev. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York. Canterbury, York, Canada and their aides were on the same BA flight to Dar es Salaam from London, along with the Archbishops of Ireland, Scotland and Brazil.

This photo first appeared in The Church of England Newspaper.