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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.

Mexican Anglicans call for separation of church/state: The Church of England Newspaper, January 6, 2012 p 7 January 12, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico, Politics.
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First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Anglican Church of Mexico stands with the country’s political left in opposing amendment of Article 24 of the country’s constitution, Archbishop Carlos Touche-Porter tells The Church of England Newspaper.

Reforming the constitution to lift restrictions on religious groups holding services in public without first receiving government permission is a “very dangerous move that would only benefit the majority [Catholic] church and the growing ultraconservative Neo-Evangelicals and Neo-Pentecostals.  Both groups are equally right wing and eager to impose their “values” on the entire population,” Archbishop Touche-Porter said.

On 15 Dec 2011 members of the lower house of the Mexican National Assembly approved changes to Article 24 lifting restrictions on public worship introduced in 1917.  The bill had the support of President Felipe Calderon and members of his ruling National Action Party (PAN) as well as conservative members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which governed Mexico from 1929 to 2000.  However, leftwing PRI deputies along with the deputies from the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) have voiced strong opposition to the reforms.

The Archbishop of Mexico, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, applauded the move to reform the constitution. “Every human being has the right to religious freedom to believe or not to believe, and practice or not practice. All those who believe in human rights should be glad, because this concept has eventually been applied in the First article in the Constitution,” he said according to the Agenzia Fides news agency.

However Archbishop Touche-Porter noted that “our right wing Federal Government, led by the PAN is only trying to restore the privileges that the Roman-Catholic Church lost in the Constitutions of 1857 and 1917.”

“Most Mexicans support a total separation of Church and State,” the Anglican archbishop said, adding that “we are not used and do not wish to have uncontrolled open air religious services or to see the President of Mexico and other politicians making a public display of their religious beliefs.”

The amendment must still be approved by the Senate and 16 of Mexico’s 31 state legislatures for it to become law.

Mexico backs Anglican Covenant: The Church of England Newspaper, July 9, 2010 p 5 July 17, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Covenant, Church of England Newspaper, La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico.
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Archbishop Carlos Touche-Porter of Mexico

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Anglican Church of Mexico has become the first province to endorse the Anglican Covenant, adopting the pan-Anglican agreement on faith and order at its June 11-12 General Synod in Mexico City.

“We are delighted to hear that Mexico has agreed to adopt the Covenant,” ACC secretary general Canon Kenneth Kearon said, calling it a “significant step” for the communion.

“Provinces were asked to take their time to seriously consider this document, and we are glad to hear from recent synods that they are doing just that,” he said.

The adoption of the Covenant by Mexico comes as a surprise to many church watchers as the small province’s leadership has supported the Episcopal Church’s experiments with gay bishops and blessings.  The primate of Mexico, Archbishop Carlos Touche–Porter became a patron of Inclusive Church in 2007 and his diocese permits clergy in same-sex relationships to serve in the ministry.  “Mexican society is open and tolerant and our church reflects this,” he said.

The former Bishop of Mexico City, Sergio Carranza, who went on to serve as Assistant Bishop of Los Angeles, has also been an aggressive supporter of the gay agenda, and in 2008 said he would “refuse to accept the new religion crafted by some of the power greedy Third World hierarchs and the lunatic fringe of American conservatism” of those who oppose gay bishops and blessings.

Gay marriage has also sharply divided Mexican society.  In March, Mexico City’s leftwing Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) government allowed Latin America’s first gay marriage.  The city’s PRD-dominated Legislative Assembly has recognized civil unions and no-fault divorce, legalized abortion in the first trimester and given terminally ill patients the right to refuse treatment.  Gay marriages in Mexico City are recognized across the country but no other state permits them to be performed.

Gay marriage was enacted by the Mexico City against the strident objections of the country’s Catholic Church and the government of President Felipe Calderón and his conservative National Action Party (PAN).  When the mayor signed the bill into law last December, Cardinal Norberto Rivera responded the “family is under attack,” and predicted the “perverse” law would cause psychological harm to “innocent children.”

Mexico’s attorney general has filed a challenge with the Supreme Court, arguing that the law violates the constitution. “The constitution of the republic speaks explicitly of marriage between a man and a woman,” Mr. Calderón said in February.

According to the constitution, “men and women are equal under the law,” and “this protects the organization and development of the family,” the president said.

Episcopal Church summit discusses mission: CEN 3.01.09 March 1, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil, Church of England Newspaper, La Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America, La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico, The Episcopal Church.
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Delegates from the Anglican Churches of North and South America are meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica, this week for a five-day conference on Mutual Responsibility and Mission. An initiative of The Episcopal Church, the conference seeks to build closer links for mission between the eight provinces in the Americas.

Conference keynote speaker, the Rev John Kafwanka, a staffer on the Mission and Evangelism desk of the Anglican Consultative Council, told the Episcopal News Service “this week we have come to discuss and we have come to consider something that is really not new and yet sounds new at the same time” — the interdependence of the Communion across the world.

Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.

Episcopal Church summit discusses mission

Scenes from Alexandria: Mexico February 21, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Album (Photos), La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico, Primates Meeting 2009.
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The Primate of Mexico, Archbishop Carlos Touche-Porter on Feb 1 at the Helnan Palestine Hotel in Alexandria.

The Primate of Mexico, Archbishop Carlos Touche-Porter on Feb 1 at the Helnan Palestine Hotel in Alexandria.

Mexico Church Protected: CEN 11.30.07 p 7. November 30, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico, Politics, Roman Catholic Church.
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mexico-city-cathedral.jpgThe Mexican government has vowed to protect the country’s largest Church after leftwing activists invaded the Catedral Metropolitana.

On Nov 18 a mob several hundred strong stormed the Baroque Roman Catholic cathedral in Mexico City during Sunday services after its 18 bells drowned out speakers in a rally organized by the left wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) on the Zócalo, the city’s Constitution Square.

Mexican television recorded a pitched battle between political activists and worshippers with the mob tearing down railings, overturning altars and smashing images of saints.

The mob denounced Pope Benedict XVI and chanted slogans of support for PRD leader Andres Lopez Obrador. Worshippers responded by overturning pews, forming a barricade around the Cathedral’s golden altar to prevent its desecration.

After police restored order, the Church shuttered the Cathedral for a week, demanding police protection. The PRD, which controls the Mexico City government, denied responsibility for the attack, and urged its members to respect the Church.

The Conference of Catholic Bishops of Latin America (CELAM) condemned the attack as “a brutal profanation” but on Nov 23 urged the archdiocese to reopen the cathedral for worship. Following assurances by the city’s police chief that security would be tightened, Mexico City’s eight catholic bishops agreed to reopen the seventeenth century church on Nov 25.

Tensions between the PRD and the Roman Catholic Church in historically anti-clerical Mexico have been on the rise in the wake of church protests over the city government’s creation of gay marriages and relaxation of abortion laws. The Church’s support for the pro-Catholic PAN party, which controls the Federal government, has led to death threats against Mexican Cardinal Norberto Rivera.

In March 2006, Mexican police shuttered Christ Church in Mexico City, charging the capital’s English-speaking Anglican congregation with violating local land-use ordinances. Archbishop Carlos Touché-Porter, Primate of Mexico denied the charges, and the church was able to reopen following negotiations between the city and diocese.

New Global Centre Pleads for Doctrinal Latitude in Church: CEN 6.08.07 p 6. June 7, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Communion, Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil, Church of England Newspaper, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Human Sexuality --- The gay issue, La Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America, La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico.
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A coalition of bishops from Brazil, Mexico, Central America and the Spanish-speaking dioceses of the Caribbean have released a statement calling for doctrinal latitude within the Anglican Communion, arguing that a respectful diversity of opinion could be an engine of renewal and growth for the Church.

In a letter released following a May 18-22 meeting in San José, Costa Rica the Bishops, who call themselves the Centro Global, [Global Center], distanced themselves from the hardline approach taken by the American Church and its allies amongst the “Global North” and the opposing “Global South” coalition of dioceses in Asia, Africa and the Americas.

This growing “polarization” between the “non reconcilable” truth claims of the “Global North and Global South” had placed the “unity of the Communion at risk” they said, noting “in the midst of this painful controversy, we do not identify with either side, because they don’t fully represent the spirit of our thoughts.”

Among the signatories to the letter were supporters of the progressive agenda including two of the consecrating bishops for Gene Robinson, El Salvador Bishop Martin Barahona and Central Ecuador Bishop Wilfredo Ramos, along with American bishops who strongly opposed his consecration: Colombian Bishop Francisco Duque and Honduran Bishop Lloyd Allen.

The Centro Global bishops acknowledged that within their ranks were those who “hold different positions on the themes that are presently discussed in the Communion.” However this “plurality and diversity” had been a “rich source for growth, rather than a cause for controversy and division.”

Echoing the call of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams the Centro Global bishops affirmed their intention to maintain Eucharistic fellowship across doctrinal and party boundaries and invited the bishops of the Anglican Communion “to join together and work for an effective reconciliation, interdependence and unity in the diversity of our family of faith and so preserve the valuable legacy of which we are guardians.”

Their meeting in San José left the Centro Global bishops with the firm “conviction that, [the Anglican Communion] will make it with God’s blessings. Of this, we are sure and now we return to our dioceses comforted and full of joy and hope.”

Mexico City Congregation Shuttered: TLC 3.21.2006 March 21, 2006

Posted by geoconger in La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico, Living Church, Politics, Property Litigation.
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Mexican police have closed Christ Church in Mexico City, charging the capital’s English-speaking Episcopal congregation with violating local land-use ordinances. Church officials deny the charges.

According to the Most Rev. Carlos Touché-Porter, Archbishop and Primate of Mexico, police entered the church on March 15, sealing the church and parish hall with tape. Parish officials were served with a government order stating the church was “permanently and completely closed,” The Herald of Mexico City reported.

Christ Church’s rector, the Rev. Vincent Schwahn ignored the order, holding a service that evening that was attended by several members of the diplomatic corps.

City officials stated March 16 that the seizure was prompted by the church’s having failed to pay property taxes, not complying with zoning ordinances, and having insufficient parking spaces. Lawyers for the Church denied the charges, noting that under Mexican law all church buildings are the property of the Mexican Federal government and not liable for property taxes. They also dismissed the charge the church was in violation of zoning and parking ordinances, noting that a similar charge had been raised in July 2005, but dismissed by local officials.

“The real reason behind the story is that some powerful Roman Catholic neighbors have been pushing the local authorities of the borough where the Church is located” to shut the church down, said Archbishop Touché-Porter, but he noted, “the Roman Catholic Church is not involved in this problem.” Rivalries between the PAN and PRI political parties may also be playing a role, sources say.

A spokesman for Archbishop Touché-Porter anticipated the incident would be resolved without recourse to litigation.

Published in The Living Church.