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Archived News Headlines for Apr/May/Jun 2002

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30 June 2002: Lobbying intensifies for Kenya archbishop
The East African Standard (Nairobi) reports that succession in the Anglican Church of Kenya takes centre stage in the coming weeks as the church prepares to elect a new Archbishop in August.

29 June 2002: World Cup in church
By now, everyone who cares about the World Cup knows that Brazil beat Germany 2-0 to win this year's trophy, but for those of you who can live with the premise that news about football is no less appropriate than news about homosexuality, we note that the Sydney Morning Herald reports on a church in Petersham that set up a large-screen television in the church so that worshippers could congregate there to watch the final.

29 June 2002: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse devotes his column in The Telegraph this week to a revival meeting planned for July 13 in the football stadium in Reading (England). But he filed this detailed report from Mexico City, which is preparing for the canonization of Juan Diego by the Pope. The shrine associated with him, Guadalupe, is the most widely-visited of all Christian shrines, and this event promises to be quite a big deal.

29 June 2002: Pope writes to ABC
The Anglican Communion News Service has published the text of a letter written by Pope John Paul II to Archbishop George Carey.

29 June 2002: International Anglican Conversations on Human Sexuality
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Trinity 2002 issue of Anglican World presents the final report that emerged from the International Anglican Conversations on Human Sexuality.

28 June 2002: Bones are not St David's
The BBC reports that the human remains at St David's Cathedral in Wales are not the bones of Wales's patron saint.

28 June 2002: Rwandan archbishop supports New Westminster dissidents
The Anglican Church of Canada reports that the Most Revd Emmanuel Kolini, Archbishop of Rwanda, has offered 'ecclesiastical protection' to Vancouver-area priests who cannot tolerate the concept of non-marital relationships being blessed in their diocese.

28 June 2002: Not yet retired bishops
We see a lot of press releases quoting the opinions of retired bishops about our church. If you ever read them, you know what topic is the favourite of retired bishops. Today the Episcopal News Service released a story about the first meeting of both laity and clergy of GTNG (Gathering the neXt Generation) in Indianapolis USA. Not a soul among them was old enough to be a retired anything. ECUSA's presiding bishop, the Most Revd Frank Griswold, was well received.

28 June 2002: Church considers screening priests
News Corp (Australia) reports that the Anglican Church of Australia is considering introducing police checks on its clergy, following a series of child sex abuse scandals levelled against the church.

28 June 2002: Residential schools in Canada
The Anglican Church of Canada reports that negotiations between the Anglican Church of Canada and Canada's federal government aimed at finding a solution to the native residential schools crisis are moving into a higher gear, with one national newspaper reporting that Ottawa is considering key compromises for all churches involved.

28 June 2002: Nigerian bishop calls for national conference
This Day (Lagos) reports that the Rt Revd G.A. Akinbiyi, Bishop of Offa, has called for a national conference in Nigeria to address the safety and security of its citizens.

28 June 2002: Nigerian bishop calls for release of money
The Vanguard (Lagos) reports that the Rt Revd Dr Godwin Okpala, Bishop of Nnewi, has asked Nigeria's national government to release allocated money to the states immediately. We don't know enough about Nigerian national politics to know why this money is being held up, but we'd venture a guess that it is related to the Sharia crisis in that country.

28 June 2002: Getty gives huge donation to St Paul's Cathedral
The Guardian and The Telegraph report that Sir Paul Getty has given £5 million to St Paul's Cathedral for restoration work.

28 June 2002: English churches say they have no money for clergy pay rises
The Church Times reports that there is a 'growing revolt' against a pay rise proposed for Church of England clergy. The churches say that they do not have the money. But we note that the CT also reports that parish churches could benefit by as much as £10,000 a year, thanks to a new deal struck between Quintel S4 and the Church of England over the installation of mobile-phone aerials. And they'd get better reception on their mobile phones.

27 June 2002: Brisbane sex-abuse inquiry to begin
The Courier Mail (Brisbane) reports that Archbishop Phillip Aspinall is to announce the go-ahead of his long-awaited inquiry into sexual abuse in the Brisbane Anglican diocese. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that the diocese has announced the terms of reference into its handling of past sexual abuse allegations.

27 June 2002: Uganda primate speaks out on humanity to fellow man
The Monitor (Kampala) reports that the Most Revd Mpalanyi-Nkoyooyo, Archbishop of Kampala, speaking at the opening of a new diocesan cathedral, has asked Iteso to treat Balaalo settlers like human beings and not chase them away.

27 June 2002: Accokeek priest quits Episcopal Church
The Associated Press reports that 'A conservative priest who sparred with his bishop through a long court battle has quit the Episcopal Church and joined a breakaway group, claiming his former church has strayed too far from its theological roots.' The Revd Samuel Edwards has said he will affiliate with the Anglican Province of Christ the King.

26 June 2002: Arguing about Rowan Williams
People are sharing their opinions about the prospect of Rowan Williams as the next Archbishop of Canterbury. In no particular order, see 'Debate is inevitable over Anglican rift' (Sydney Morning Herald), 'What makes a suitable archbishop?' and 'New Archbishop and Church's future' (letters to the editor of The Times), 'A time to stand fast' (an editorial in the Church of England Newspaper), 'Liberal would be "disaster" for church' (The Telegraph), 'Dr Williams hit by forelash' (Church Times), 'The Lambeth challenge' (an editorial in The Telegraph), 'Take the church out of the Prime Minister's hands' (The Independent), 'The brilliant Welshman in line to head the Anglican church' (The Independent), 'Keep Downing Street away from Canterbury' (The Tablet) and 'Choose holiness over petty rules' (The Age).

26 June 2002: Nigerian bishop speaks out on government corruption
The Vanguard (Lagos) reports that the Rt Revd Emmanuel Chukwuma, Bishop of Enugu, has decried dishonesty among senior public officers in the country and urged the Federal Government to intensify efforts to stem the tide. Careful readers of the British press will remember his name in the news in London during the 1998 Lambeth conference.

24 June 2002: Chaotic meeting in Zimbabwe
The Herald (Harare) reports that the annual meeting of the Cathedral vestry in the Diocese of Harare 'degenerated into chaos yesterday when tempers flared over alleged lack of transparency in finances'.

23 June 2002: Cultural insult alleged in Zimbabwe
The Zimbabwe Standard (Harare) reports that the Rt Revd Nolbert Kunonga, Bishop of Harare, has attracted criticism by placing restrictions on the language permitted at the annual Bernard Mzeki pilgrimage.

23 June 2002: Rome may allow women priests
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury says that the Roman Catholic Church may one day follow Anglicans and ordain women to the priesthood.


23 June 2002: Robot priests will avoid thorny issues of sexuality
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the Weekly World News reports that the Pope is planning to use 'mechanical holy men' to stop sex scandals. Your News Centre editor is quite certain that he has already encountered one of them preaching at the early service at All Souls next door to the BBC.

22 June 2002: Canadian splinter groups wish to take church property with them
The Vancouver Sun reports that parishes in the Diocese of New Westminster that are angry over that diocese's decision to permit church blessings of same-sex relationships have said that they wish to take church property with them if they go. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) has covered this matter extensively, including 'Anglican rift grows over same-sex unions', 'Same-sex dispute saddens archbishop', 'The Anglican dilemma', and 'Archbishop rejects call for emergency meeting'. The Episcopal News Service (USA) published this report on the situation. The Church Times published this report. Canada's National Post published this opinion piece by David Harris. We've not had the stomach yet to look at what Fred Phelps has to say.

21 June 2002: Archbishop of Canterbury visits Rome
The Anglican Communion News Service has published the text of a formal greeting to Pope John Paul II by Dr George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury.

21 June 2002: Threats and complaints in ABC selection
The Times (London) reports that various evangelicals in the Church of England have told their Prime Minister that there will be schism in the church if he doesn't choose their favourite candidate. We tire of such threats; we think they belittle both our church and the threatmakers. We know that news media love crises, and wish that a new crisis would start as soon as the previous one calms down, as it keeps people interested in the news.

20 June 2002: Rumours abound in the ABC contest
The process by which a new Archbishop of Canterbury is appointed is complex in the extreme. One step of that process involves Britain's Crown Appointments Commission giving a short list of names to the Prime Minister of that country, who makes the final decision in consultation with the Queen. By some path not generally known, the contents of that list was leaked to Ruth Gledhill, religion reporter for The Times (London). Knowing a scoop when it sees one, The Times ran this as a front page story and also ran this article discussing it. The Independent and The Guardian covered the story the next day. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) published this interesting evaluation of Dr Williams and the bishopric. Even if his name is first on the list, as The Times claims, the decision has not been made, and the 20th century has more than one example of choosing someone other than the name at the top of the list to be Archbishop. The BBC reports that the Church in Wales is downplaying these rumours (a very responsible thing for it to do).

18 June 2002: Parishes in dissolved diocese meet to discuss organisation
The Anglican Church of Canada reports that parishes previously in the Diocese of Cariboo met for the first time since its dissolution to discuss a governance structure. This diocese was dissolved because of litigation about past residential schools abuse.

17 June 2002: Ugandan bishop speaks out
The New Vision (Kampala) reports that the Rt Revd Nelson Onono Onweng, Bishop of Northern Uganda, has warned politicians against extremism. While we are not sufficiently educated in Ugandan current events to know just what he is referring to, we think that regular warnings like this are a fine idea from all bishops to all politicians. We are always delighted when bishops push their way into the secular world and make people listen.


16 June 2002: Canadian diocese votes for blessing same-sex unions
The Anglican Church of Canada reports that the Diocese of New Westminster has voted 215 to 129 for Motion 7, to allow the church to bless unions of people of the same sex. Some people are outraged by this and have said that they will split from the diocese and possibly the national church.
There is extensive nonjudgmental coverage on the ACC's own website, enough that we refer you to them for news, rather than try to duplicate it here. See both anglican.ca news and the Anglican News Service. The CBC published this article about the vote. The US Episcopal News Service filed this report. The Vancouver Sun published this article about the situation before any actual vote was taken. Those of you who wish to read a mixture of news and angry criticism know perfectly well where to find it.

16 June 2002: Want to live longer? Be a monk
The Independent (London) reports that taking holy orders is statistically likely to increase your lifespan.

15 June 2002: Scottish Episcopal Church votes for women bishops
The Scotsman (Glasgow) reports that the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church yesterday voted overwhelmingly in favour of women to be ordained as bishops. The Telegraph (London) also reported the vote.

15 June 2002: Episcopal bishop defends Islam against Southern Baptist statements
The Episcopal News Service reports that Missouri Episcopal bishop George Wayne Smith led an interfaith defence of Islam and the Prophet Mohammed during a news conference June 12, called in response to an attack on Muslims by leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Dallas Morning News filed this report on the event.

15 June 2002: Sacred mysteries
This week Christopher Howse devotes his column in The Telegraph to a discussion of stigmata.

13 June 2002: Peter Hollingworth writes on protecting children
The Age (Melbourne) has published the text of a lecture by Dr Peter Hollingworth, Governor-General of Australia, on the role of the government in protecting children. Dr Hollingworth is a former Anglican bishop whose name was in the news recently surrounding charges that he did not, as bishop, do enough to protect children in church schools from sexual harassment.

12 June 2002: Corrupt bishops in Mexico
The Anglican News Service (London) has published a letter from the Anglican Church of Mexico noting that two Anglican bishops in Mexico have been charged with embezzlement and have been suspended. An earlier report from The Living Church gave details of the corruption uncovered. The Church Times reports that 'Mexican Primate is at heart of cash scandal'.

12 June 2002: Anglican rift looms over same-sex unions
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) reports that Vancouver Anglicans will decide this weekend whether to formally allow priests to bless homosexual unions. This is an issue that some people find very divisive and others do not.

12 June 2002: John Sentamu appointed new Bishop of Birmingham
The Telegraph and The Guardian and The Independent report that the Rt Revd Dr John Sentamu, who in 1999 denounced the Church of England as a racist organisation dominated by a white elite, has been named by the British government as the new Bishop of Birmingham.


9 June 2002: The World Cup
Each week we scour the world's online news sources looking for stories about the Anglican church. This week we noticed quite a number of them, such as this one in Nigeria or this one in Kenya, saying that churchgoers watched football on television instead of attending church. We noticed a significant drop in web visits to Anglicans Online from countries that were playing matches in the World Cup, most notably England.

9 June 2002: Back to basics
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that the Anglican Church of Australia has asked people in New South Wales to pray for rain.

9 June 2002: Survey results
The Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina) reports on the recent results of the U.S. Congregational Life Survey, based on the answers of 300,000 worshippers in more than 2,000 congregations from 50 denominations and faith groups, including Jewish congregations and Buddhist communities.

8 June 2002: The Spectator reflects on Rowan Williams as ABC
The Spectator (Britain) features a reflection by Tom Stacey on the prospect of Rowan Williams being the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

8 June 2002: Sacred Mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to women bishops.

7 June 2002: Who will be the next lord of Lambeth Palace?
The Church Times has this week published online its collection of profiles of ten candidates for Archbishop of Canterbury, which appeared in its paper edition last month. This week's online Church Times also contains articles by David Edwards about the Bishop of Rochester, the Archbishop of Wales, and the requirements for this job.

7 June 2002: Women's gifts are being neglected
The Church Times reports that a group of senior retired clergymen, including three bishops, has criticised the Church of England for neglecting the work of women priests.

7 June 2002: Secularism is too powerful
The Church Times reports that in a recent speech, the Archbishop of Wales said that secularism is now so powerful and pervasive that it is changing the ways we speak about religion.

5 June 2002: Church of England denies plans to abolish dioceses
This week the London Times (which has started charging big money to overseas readers, so we no longer link its stories) reported that the Church of England was planning to abolish the dioceses of Bradford, Portsmouth and Leicester. The church's press office responded with uncharacteristic speed to issue this formal denial.

5 June 2002: New Primate in Japan
The Nippon Sei Ko Kai elected and installed their new Primate during their Biennial General Synod held in Tokyo, May 27-30, 2002: James Toru Uno, Bishop of Saitama (immediately north of Tokyo). He succeeds John Junichiro Furumoto, Bishop of Kobe, who was Primate for the past two years.

5 June 2002: Bishop resigns in Papua New Guinea
The Anglican Church in Papua New Guinea has told us that 'on Saturday 1 June Bishop Reuben Tariambari offered his resignation as Bishop of Popondota to the House of Bishops, and that his resignation was accepted. Bishop Reuben told the House of Bishops that he had found the task of administering a large and complex diocese such as the Diocese of Popondota too much for his capabilities, and that he felt it was in the best interests of the diocese and the province that he should resign. He will remain in the bishop's house at Popondetta until the end of June, and will then return to the Manau area with his family.'

5 June 2002: NZ Anglican trust pays $75,000 over sex abuse
The New Zealand Herald reports that an Anglican Church trust has paid NZ$75,000 in compensation to one of three children who suffered years of sex abuse in one of its foster homes.

4 June 2002: Jubilee service at St Paul's Cathedral in London
The BBC reports on the service of thanksgiving for 50 years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The Church Times also reported on the service, and has lovely photographs online.

4 June 2002: Cathedral fundraising in Scotland
The Herald (Glasgow) reports that the faithful in Scotland staged an 'overland rowing' event to raise funds for Cumbrae Cathedral in the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles. A diocesan newsletter item from Pentecost has some photographs of that tiny cathedral.

4 June 2002: Anglican Church of Kenya announces date of new election
The East African Standard (Nairobi) reports that the eagerly-awaited elections for the second bishop of the Diocese of Southern Nyanza will be held on July 20, 2002.

4 June 2002: Interview with officials of Charismatic Episcopal Church
Worship Leader (California, USA) this month has published an extensive interview with the Most Revd Randolph Adler, Patriarch, and the Rt Revd Douglas Kessler, General Secretary, both of the Charismatic Episcopal Church. The article is only available in full to paid subscribers, at $19.95/yr. What regular browsers get is only a very brief excerpt.

4 June 2002: Ugandan bishop speaks out
We are not even slightly kidding when we say that one of the most important roles of bishops is speaking out. We therefore try to report as many of these speeches as we can. The New Vision (Kampala) reports that the Most Revd Mpalanyi Nkoyooyo, Archbishop of Uganda, yesterday criticised people who verbally sympathise with others in trouble but do not offer any material assistance.

3 June 2002: Anglican church asked to stay out of food distribution in Kenya
The Nation (Nairobi) reports that political and church leaders have demanded the removal of the Anglican Church of Kenya from relief food distribution in West Pokot District. The leaders accused Stephen Kewasis, Bishop of Kitale, of poor leadership and mismanagement of the relief food programme in the area.

3 June 2002: Anglican Media Melbourne interviews Rowan Williams
The Melbourne Anglican has published an interview with the Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales.

3 June 2002: Children's author blasts Narnia books
The Guardian reports that prizewinning children's author Philip Pullman has dismissed the work of his predecessor CS Lewis as racist and sexist religious propaganda. You can find a listing of Pullman's books here.

2 June 2002: New Bishop of Washington
The Washington Post and the Washington Times had extensive coverage of the installation of the Rt Revd John Bryson Chane as Bishop of Washington. The Washington Post reports on the actual consecration, reviews his consecration sermon, published this backgrounder on the new bishop, and published his resumé. The Washington Times reports on the actual consecration, published this backgrounder on the new bishop, and condemned his liberal views. The US Episcopal Church issued this press release.


2 June 2002: Church vandalism
The Telegraph (London) reports on growing vandalism of church buildings.

1 June 2002: Church? Not today
It appears that all of the world outside North America is watching the World Cup rather than attending church this weekend. The Church Times comments on the phenomenon. There was virtually no Anglican news from Africa this week, presumably for this reason.

1 June 2002: Golden Jubilee for Britain's Queen
The actual service of jubilee for HM Queen Elizabeth II will be 4 June in St Paul's Cathedral in London. The Cathedral's website has the Order of Service (PDF) and background information.

1 June 2002: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to a discussion of the Pope's planned visit to Mexico City.

1 June 2002: Numbers support the Resurrection
The New York Times reports that Richard Swinburne, a professor of philosophy at Oxford University, has invoked probability theory to defend the fact of the Resurrection. Our link will take you to the Kansas City Star's reprinting of the Times article.

1 June 2002: Bishop news
Normally we report episcopal elections in our New This Week section, but (probably because of the World Cup) the News Centre is so bare this week that we thought we would make it look bigger by telling you about three new bishops. The Diocese of Massachusetts has elected the Very Revd Gayle Elizabeth Harris as the 7th Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Massachusetts. Details at http://massachusetts.anglican.org/.
The Diocese of Mumias (Kenya) has elected the Revd Beneas Salalah Okumu as its next bishop. Report in the East African Standard. The Diocese of the Arctic (Canada) has elected the Rt Revd Andrew Atagotaaluk, currently its suffragan, as coadjutor. Details on the ACC website.

31 May 2002: Church and state in England
The Guardian reports that support is growing for the repeal of the Act of Settlement, which limits the marriage and religious choices of Britain's monarch. Writing in The Guardian, the Revd Dr Jane Shaw, dean of divinity at New College, Oxford, evaluates the situation and observes that most of this has already happened. Onje of The Guardian's lawyers, Keir Starmer, notes that the Act of Settlement is 'the last blatantly anti-Catholic piece of legislation'.

29 May 2002: Church of England releases second Mellows Report
A commission to study the proper use of resources in a shrinking Church of England, chaired by Prof Anthony Mellows, has released a second report, titled Resourcing Archbishops, which is naturally being called the second Mellows Report. Reports in The Independent, The Guardian, the Church Times, the Church of England Newspaper, and presumably also The Times, though now that it cannot be read by overseas readers without their paying a steep fee, we no longer reference that once-great newspaper. The Church of England and the archbishops themselves have issued press releases on this report. The Church Times has published the full text of the recommendations from the report. If you live outside the UK and wish to spend money supporting UK newspapers, we consider the Church Times to be a more appropriate recipient; you'd never see The Times doing something like that.

Anglicans Online's UK/Europe correspondent Simon Sarmiento has written this analysis of the second Mellows Report.

27 May 2002: Anglican Media Sydney interviews Rowan Williams
The flagship evangelical Anglican press organ, Anglican Media Sydney, has published an interview with the Revd Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales and a leading contender to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury. As usual, much of the press coverage of this interview focused on the tiny portion of it that involved sex, and ignored all of the rest of it. Both The Telegraph and the Church of England Newspaper are guilty of ignoring most of this excellent interview and fixating on the part that mentions sex.

26 May 2002: Not every church is shrinking
While the news from some parts of the world includes the wringing of hands about empty churches, the Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina, USA) reports that St Paul's Episcopal church is building a new building that can hold twice as many people as their existing church.


26 May 2002: Anglican women's leader gives up on Sydney
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the highest-ranking woman in the Diocese of Sydney has resigned to become rector of a parish in the Diocese of Melbourne, which accepts the ordination of women. The Sydney Morning Herald also published this opinion piece by Julia Baird about the Diocese of Sydney. If you missed last week's 'Worth Noting' item, an essay on Sydney's Anglicans by Lucy Wooding, you should read it now.

26 May 2002: Wales' archbishop laments the lost generation
The Age (Melbourne) reports on the visit of the Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales, to Melbourne.

25 May 2002: Is the world post-Christian?
The Age (Melbourne) has published an essay by the Revd Tim Costello, president of the Baptist Union of Australia, in which he enumerates how the church can influence post-Christian culture.

25 May 2002: Estate agents drool over bishops' palaces
The Telegraph reports that a clutch of English bishops' palaces and houses, some dating back centuries and boasting private chapels, are set to be put on the market under a cost-cutting review by the Church of England Commissioners.

25 May 2002: Anti-theft sermon stirs mass repentance
The Telegraph reports that police have been called in to process thousands of pounds of stolen goods handed in by committed Christians after they sat through a sermon on the commandment 'Thou shalt not steal.'

25 May 2002: Sacred mysteries
This week Christopher Howse devotes his column in The Telegraph to the subject of prayer.

25 May 2002: At your service? Not this week
The Times (London) has instituted a charge of £39.99 per year for overseas readers to read its website. While we at Anglicans Online can probably afford to pay the fee (3 of our 5 editorial staff members live outside the UK), we note that about 70% of our readers are outside Britain, and we don't want to refer our readers to articles that they need to pay to see, so we don't think we shall be linking to The Times anymore.

24 May 2002: Surfer's Bible
Normally when one sees a book with a title like 'Pipefitter's Bible' or 'Dog Groomer's Bible' one expects it to be an authoritative reference book for that subject area. Imagine our surprise to discover by reading the Sydney Morning Herald that the Surfer's Bible is actually an edition of, well, The Bible.

24 May 2002: Soweto priest ordained as Grahamstown suffragan
The East Cape News (Grahamstown, South Africa) reports that nine South African Anglican bishops will place their hands on the head of the Revd Thabo Makgoba to seal his consecration as suffragan bishop of Grahamstown.

24 May 2002: CEN readers pick James Jones and Rowan Williams for ABC
The Church of England Newspaper reports that a poll of its readers showed that, among its readers, the laity preferred James Jones. It did not report (but published the raw numbers to allow us to notice) that its clergy readers preferred Rowan Williams to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury. Since that newspaper has more laity than clergy among its readers, the aggregate favourite is Bishop Jones.

24 May 2002: At least St Paul's wasn't cutting a deal with the widow of a Nigerian general
The BBC and The Telegraph and The Independent report that the prosecutor's case against three men accused of conspiring to defraud St Paul's Cathedral of £100 million has collapsed after two of the defendants fled to America.

24 May 2002: Projecting the liturgy
The Church Times reports that the Archdeacon of Warwick has taken to using electronic projectors to project the words of all the hymns, readings and prayers from services.

24 May 2002: Is Scotland really pagan?
The Church Times reports that churches in Scotland are contesting the finding, released this week by sociologists in Aberdeen, that Scotland is fundamentally pagan because only 12% of its residents are churchgoers.

23 May 2002: Bishop wants to abolish church weddings
The Telegraph reports that the Rt Revd Noel Jones, Bishop of Sodor and Man, has called for the abolition of church weddings to prevent people 'committing perjury' at the altar.

22 May 2002: Stingy parish or pushy vicar?
The Guardian and The Telegraph and the Church Times report that the vicar of a parish in Yorkshire has called his parishioners stingy.

22 May 2002: Nigerian bishop speaks out
The Vanguard (Lagos) reports that the Rt Revd George Latunji Lasebikan, Bishop of Ondo, has observed with dismay the rising state of insecurity in the country characterised by armed robbery, assassination, communal and religious clashes and other vices.

21 May 2002: Fight erupts in Uganda cathedral
The New Vision (Kampala) reports that a scuffle erupted at St Andrews Cathedral, Muhabura, when a sympathiser to the Bishop-elect, the Revd Canon David Sebuhinja, attempted to interrupt a speech by Dr Philemon Mateke, the head of laity and district LC5 chairman.

20 May 2002: US Episcopal pilgrimage to the Holy Land
The Diocese of Massachusetts and the Diocese of Olympia both have on their diocesan websites a description of the US Peace Pilgrimage to the Holy Land during the last two weeks of May. This visit has been almost entirely unreported by the secular media; we found no mention of it in any of the international news sources that we cull to produce the News Centre each week.

20 May 2002: Archaeologists discover grave of Henry's brother
The Telegraph reports that British archaeologists have discovered the grave of Prince Arthur, the older brother of Henry VIII, who died of a mysterious illness when he was 15. Using ground-probing radar, they have pinpointed the final resting place of the first Tudor Prince of Wales, below the limestone floor of Worcester Cathedral.

20 May 2002: Lay leaders suspended in Kenya
The East African Standard (Nairobi) reports that the Anglican Church of Kenya has suspended four lay leaders for character assassination of the vicar in charge of Holy Trinity Church. Such an excellent practice. We would really enjoy seeing our own national church suspend people for character assassination of church leaders.

20 May 2002: Trials test the faith of Rwandans
The New York Times reports on the genocide trials of clergy in Rwanda, and the effect that it is all having on Rwanda's faithful.

20 May 2002: Electronic election chooses new archbishop in Canada
The Anglican Church of Canada reports that Bishop Andrew Hutchison, of the diocese of Montreal, is now Archbishop Hutchison after being elected metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Canada in what is likely the Anglican Communion's first electronic election.


19 May 2002: Spat over hospital in Kenya
The East African Standard (Nairobi) reports that a row has erupted between donors and the Anglican Church of Kenya over St Luke's hospital in Kaloleni. Archbishop David Gitari has told a German donor to keep his money if assisting means abusing the local clergy.

18 May 2002: At your service
Each week The Times (London) visits a worship service and writes about it. This week's column reports a visit to the Church of the Nativity of the Mother God, an Orthodox church in Bristol, England.

17 May 2002: Church and state in Britain
The Church Times reports that Church of England bishops may lose their seats in that country's House of Lords.

17 May 2002: Eco-summit in South Africa
The Church Times reports that the Anglican Communion will hold a pre-Earth Summit meeting in South Africa from 18 to 22 August, at which representatives from all 38 provinces will be present. The World Summit on Sustainable Development, not a church event, will occur shortly thereafter.

17 May 2002: A saga from hell
The Church Times reports on a debriefing given by Canon Andrew White after his return to Britain from Bethlehem. Canon White was the envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the siege of the Church of the Nativity.

16 May 2002: Irish bishop speaks of 'cloud over the church'
The Irish Times reports that the Bishop of Cork, the Right Rev Paul Colton, has said that as far as many are concerned, a cloud hangs over Christianity worldwide. 'Walk around town in a clerical collar, sit in a taxi, get on a bus, listen to the radio or read the papers and you know this to be so.' We wonder if the television sets reported by The Independent planned for use in English churches to watch the World Cup from church are related to that cloud.

15 May 2002: Primate in Kenya announces his retirement
The Nation (Nairobi) reports that the Most Revd David Gitari, primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya, will retire on schedule in September of this year.

15 May 2002: ABC calls for livelier sermons
The Times (London) reports that the Most Revd Dr George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, has called on preachers to liven up their sermons. While a search of news archives is unlikely to yield an article calling him a great preacher, we suspect that he is quite capable of recognizing a lively sermon when he hears one.

15 May 2002: Obituary
The Independent has published an obituary of Roger Coleman, the publisher who oversaw the creation of the Revised English Bible.

14 May 2002: The Calco Treatise
The Telegraph and the Associated Press report that British museums have been given two months to raise £650,000 to stop the Calco Treatise from leaving the country. While the fate of this document is not of Anglican interest, its existence certainly is: it was written by Giacomo Calco, a Carmelite friar who had arrived in England in 1529 as Henry VIII wrestled with the problem over whether or not to risk the wrath of Rome by divorcing his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and remarrying to provide an heir. The Times expresses the opinion that 'The Calco Treatise played a crucial role in Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon, ushering in the Anglican Church; it was responsible, in significant measure, for making England Protestant.'

13 May 2002: Nigerian church plans endowment fund as alternative to normal assessment
This Day (Lagos) reports that the Rt Revd Jeremiah Fabuluje, Bishop of Kwara, has announced the approval of a plan to establish a 1 billion naira endowment fund as an alternative to the normal assessment of its members nationwide. Per the currency converter at xe.com, a billion Nigerian nairas are worth 8.56 million US dollars.

13 May 2002: Irish dean unrepentant
The Telegraph reports that Andrew Furlong, who resigned his post as Dean of Clonmacnoise last week, is resigned but not repentant. Telegraph columnist Christopher Howse devoted his weekly 'Sacred mysteries' column to a reflection on Furlong and his resignation.

12 May 2002: St David's enthrones 127th bishop
The BBC reports that the Rt Revd Carl Cooper has been enthroned as the 127th Bishop of St David's in Wales.

12 May 2002: Cubans want to return to ECUSA
The Anglican Journal (Canada) reports that the search for a clergy pension fund has led the Cuban Episcopal church to swallow some pride and seek a return to the fold within the Episcopal Church of the United States. ECUSA's Episcopal News Service reports and comments further.


12 May 2002: Pope declares theme for this year: 'The Internet'
Reuters reports that Pope John Paul II, primate of the Roman Catholic church, has said 'I've decided to propose a big new theme for this year: "The Internet -- a new forum for proclaiming the Gospel".' The Associated Press had this report.

12 May 2002: Church court backs pictures on headstones
The Sunday Times reports that an ecclesiastical court ruling has opened the way for bereaved families to put pictures of their dead relatives on gravestones in Church of England cemeteries.

11 May 2002: At your service
Each week The Times (London) visits a worship service and writes about it. This week's column reports a visit to the Stephansdom in Vienna.

11 May 2002: Sacred mysteries
This week Christopher Howse devotes his column in The Telegraph to rosaries and prayer beads.

11 May 2002: Prayer is the very breathing of religion, its most essential activity
This week's Credo column in The Times is by the Rt Revd Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe.

11 May 2002: Apostleship of the sea
In The Times (London), Greg Watts profiles the Mission to Seafarers at the Port of Tees in Middlesbrough, UK.

10 May 2002: Nigerian bishops speak out against corruption
This Day (Lagos) reports that the Rt Revd Peter A. Adebiyi, Bishop of Lagos West, has said that any politician found guilty of corruption should be barred for life from participating in politics. A few days earlier, the same newspaper reported that the Rt Revd Vincent Muoghere, Bishop of Ughelli, urged his country to fight 'political thuggery and other violent crimes'.

10 May 2002: Full text of Archbishop's lecture at TESM
The Church Times has published the text of the lecture given by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, Pittsburgh, USA, 3 May 2002.

9 May 2002: Interview in Bethlehem with Canon Andrew White
The BBC reports on an interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury's representative in Bethlehem.

9 May 2002: Sydney archbishop speaks out
The Sydney Morning Herald has published the text of the lecture 'Churches must have the courage to win influence back from a secular world' delivered by the Most Revd Dr Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney.

8 May 2002: Irish priest on trial for heresy resigns
CNN, the Irish Times, the Church Times, and the BBC report that the Revd Andrew Furlong, who is on trial for heresy in an ecclesiastical court in the Church of Ireland, has resigned. This may be one of the last times that we can refer you to an article in the Irish Times, as it has announced its intention to charge a steep fee for access to its online edition. We will probably pay the £75 per year to read the Irish Times as a source of news, but we can't in a clear conscience refer you to something that expensive.

7 May 2002: Anger over mobile-phone masts in churches
The Times (London) reports that an initiative by the Church of England to raise £24 million by hiring out steeples for use as mobile phone masts has provoked considerable opposition.

6 May 2002: Dublin archdeacon speaks out
The Irish Times reports that the Archdeacon of Dublin has said that what was on offer from the political establishment in the election campaign was "frankly unbelievable and even irresponsible."


4 May 2002: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse devotes his column in The Telegraph to a discussion of visual depiction of the triune God.

4 May 2002: At your service
In The Times' weekly visit to a worship service, Ruth Gledhill reports on a 'pram service' at Ashstead, Surrey.

4 May 2002: Archbishop visits Ambridge
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury paid a visit to the Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, USA and received a lot of applause for what he said.

3 May 2002: Church in Gambia joins war against AIDS
The Independent (Banjul, Gambia) reports that the Rt Revd Dr Tilewa Johnson, Bishop of The Gambia and Dean of the Province of West Africa, has urged the church to become more involved in the war against HIV and AIDS. Oddly enough, our 2002 ECUSA annual "red book" does not list this diocese in that province, nor does it list that bishop, but the Anglican Communion Office in London does, so we're treating this story as authentic (we always check). A related story in that same newspaper suggests that in the past, the anti-condom stance by religious leaders has been seen as interfering with the campaign against sexually transmitted diseases.

3 May 2002: USA a Christian nation, polls show
The Washington Times reports that a recent poll shows that most Americans say the United States is a Christian nation and religious faith is the basis of the nation's strength. Here is the original press release on which the newspaper based its article, from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. A few days earlier The Telegraph reported on a speech by US president George Bush in which he said that his faith had rescued him from heavy drinking.

3 May 2002: Canterbury contenders too young?
The Telegraph offers an opinion that many of the leading contenders to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury can be ruled out because they are too young for the job.

3 May 2002: More layoffs at Church House in London
The Church Times reports that the Archbishops’ Council has announced that 20 more jobs are to go in cuts at Church House (Church of England administrative offices) because of the higher contributions required by dioceses for clergy pensions.

2 May 2002: Church of Uganda worries about clergy retirement
The New Vision (Kampala) reports that the leaders of the Church of Uganda have said that retirement provisions for its clergy are 'a source of great worry'.

2 May 2002: Diocese of Rochester suspends link with Diocese of Harare
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Bishop’s Council of the Diocese of Rochester has announced its decision to suspend the diocese’s long-standing link with the Diocese of Harare, Zimbabwe. The Church Times has a report that goes into more detail.

2 May 2002: Canadian council asks pay rises for northern clergy
The Anglican Church of Canada reports that the Council of the North has asked the church to consider increasing the minimum salary for priests by $1,500 a year.

1 May 2002: Ugandan bishop speaks out on marriage breakups
The New Vision (Kampala) reports that the Revd Dr Michael Kyomya, Bishop of Busoga, said at a family life conference that lack of respect by wives for husbands was the major cause of marriage breakups today.

29 April 2002: Church and state in Kenya
The East African Standard (Nairobi) reports that the Most Revd David Gitari, primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya, has 'expressed disappointment over the admission by the constitution of Kenya Review Commission that it cannot finish its work by September.' The headline in the East African Standard is 'Gitari Blasts Review Team'.

29 April 2002: Breaking up in Tampa
The St Petersburg Times (Florida) reports on the first Sunday after the rector of St Mary's left ECUSA to start a new church in AMiA.

29 April 2002: Apartheid in Israel?
The BBC reports that retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu has accused Israel of practising apartheid in its policies towards the Palestinians. The Guardian (London) published an essay by Tutu on this topic.

29 April 2002: Brazilian cardinal questions celibacy
The Catholic News, the BBC, and The Times (London) report that Cardinal Paolo Arns, retired Archbishop of Sao Paulo, has criticised the obligatory celibacy of Roman Catholic priests. A few days later the Kansas City Star reported that the Revd Ernest Davis, who is married and who was an Episcopal priest, will become the first married Roman Catholic priest in that city.

29 April 2002: 30 years of interchurch covenant
Trinity Episcopal Church in Milford, Massachusetts, USA this month celebrates 30 years of a covenant with its neighbouring Roman Catholic parish, and writes about it in their parish newsletter. We believe this to be the longest-lasting such covenant in the world, though in the absence of formal records we can never be sure.


28 April 2002: About Anglican news this week
Most of the church-related news this week is about sexual abuse and violence in the Holy Land. Both topics are covered extensively in most of the world's secular newspapers. Please do read the statement from the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, and refer to our list of primary sources for Holy Land stories.

27 April 2002: Profile of John Sentamu
The Times (London) profiles the Rt Revd John Sentamu, Bishop of Stepney (part of the Diocese of London), even though he is not a candidate to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

27 April 2002: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse devotes his column in The Telegraph to a reflection on what British churches ought to do with their seminaries and theological colleges, given how expensive they are to run and the declining number of students who wish to attend them. The alert reader may remember a recent murder mystery by P.D. James whose plot revolved around this question.

27 April 2002: Amid the joy of Eastertide there are wounds that afflict us all
This week's Credo column in The Times is by Roderick Strange, Rector of the Pontifical Beda College in Rome.

26 April 2002: Nigerian bishop suggests national peace conference
The Daily Champion (Lagos) reports that the Rt Revd James Afolabi Popoola, bishop of Osun, has told the press that ethnic and religious tension in that country is so bad that a national conference is needed. The Weekly Trust (Kaduna), published in a state with an Islamic government, reports on and comments on the recent Northern States Christian Elders Forum held to discuss this topic.

26 April 2002: Woman withdraws from Kenyan bishop search
The East African Standard (Nairobi) reports that the Revd Evelyne Wakhusama has asked that her name be withdrawn from the search for a new Bishop of Mumias.

26 April 2002: Church and state in Britain
The Church Times reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury has strongly defended the establishment of the Church of England.

24 April 2002: Action plan from recent primates' meeting
The Anglican Communion News Service has released the Action Plan produced from the recent meeting of Anglican primates in Canterbury.

24 April 2002: Message from Bishop in Jerusalem
The Rt Revd Riah Abu El-Assal, Bishop in Jerusalem, has released this message on the conflict in the Holy Land. Most of the Christian churches in the area of conflict are Greek Orthodox, but the New York Times reports that the Israeli government refuses to recognize the current Greek Orthodox patriarch; we believe that this makes the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem the highest-ranking Christian leader who is recognized by Israel's government.

23 April 2002: Tampa priest leaves ECUSA for AMiA
The Tampa Tribune reports that a US Episcopal priest has left ECUSA for the Anglican Mission in America, a traditionalist alternative group. The stories behind such defections are rarely edifying, and we are never convinced that there is value in knowing the details of this kind of event. Here is the ECUSA press release about the resignation, and here is the AMiA press release on it. We've heard all manner of interesting rumours about this episode, but since we have no way of knowing whether there is any substance to them, we shan't monger them.

22 April 2002: Bishop condemns short skirts; Church Times does not
The New Vision (Kampala) reports that the Rt Revd Dustan Bukenya, Bishop of Mityana, said in a recent sermon that prostitutes and women who wear miniskirts make Uganda look rotten. Rather than condemning short skirts, the British publication Church Times this week ran, in its paper edition, a 6-page fashion special. The front page of the paper edition shows a woman in a barbed-wire brassiere. We really like the high quality of the writing in the Church Times and we hope that they sell as many newspapers as they can, so that they can keep paying these writers.


21 April 2002: Islamic scholar blasts Nigerian Sharia states
The Daily Champion (Lagos) reports that 'radical Islamic scholar' Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky has accused governors of states in the North that have adopted the Islamic legal code, Sharia, of using it selfishly. He said the governors are dishonest people, who amputate the hands of poor people who steal peanuts while those who steal millions of naira of tax-payers' money go scot-free. The African Eye news service (Kano, Nigeria) released a version of this story a few days earlier, spelling the sheikh's name slightly differently.

21 April 2002: Brisbane archbishop on investigating sexual abuse
The Australian has published a column by the Most Revd Phillip Aspinall, Archbishop of Brisbane, on the subject of a proposed royal commission to investigate sexual abuse and cover-ups in Australia.

21 April 2002: Canon Andrew White reports from Bethlehem
The Sunday Times has published a report by Canon Andrew White, envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury, from Bethlehem.

21 April 2002: Queen to visit a mosque
The Telegraph reports that Britain's Queen will go to a British mosque for the first time this summer as part of an effort to celebrate religious and cultural diversity during her Golden Jubilee.

20 April 2002: Memorial service for Princess Margaret
In Britain, a memorial service is something quite different from, and usually long after, a funeral. The concept and practice of separate memorial services seems not to be well known or widespread in other places. The Times reports on the memorial service held today for Princess Margaret in Westminster Abbey.

20 April 2002: At your service
The Times' weekly visit to a worship service reports this week on a visit to St Mary Magdalene in Brighton, a Roman Catholic church surrounded by temples, pagodas, synagogues, and other houses of worship.

20 April 2002: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to the sexual abuse allegations against US clergy.

19 April 2002: On the Bishop of London and the ordination of women
The Church of England Newspaper reports that traditionalists are divided over reports that the Bishop of London would support the ordination of women if he were asked to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

19 April 2002: Television in church
The Church of England Newspaper reports on the possibility of using television projectors in parish churches to include them in the upcoming Queen's Jubilee Service on 4 June. The Church Times has a longer and more detailed report of plans for the Jubilee, including its being televised. The Church Times also reports that the Vatican is marking the Queen’s Jubilee with a ground-breaking ecumenical move.

19 April 2002: Republican liturgy
In the United States, a 'Republican' is a member of the political party to which the current US president belongs. In Britain, a 'Republican' is the opposite of a 'Royalist', i.e. one who believes that the government should be a republic rather than a constitutional monarchy. Britain's Republicans have offered an 'Inclusive Liturgy' for Golden Jubilee Day.

19 April 2002: AAC announces 'Now is the time to pray'
The American Anglican Council, a traditionalist group that is frequently at odds with the management of the US Episcopal Church, has issued a press release saying that now is the time to pray for the Episcopal Church, whose unity is being threatened.

18 April 2002: Primates meeting ends; statements issued
The 38 Primates of the Anglican Communion ended a week-long meeting in Canterbury by issuing this statement. The Church Times had this report on the event. The collected Primates also issued statements on the Doctrine of God, on HIV/AIDS, and IARCCUM (the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission).

18 April 2002: Sudanese bishop accused of being Muslim spy
The Church of England Newspaper reports that the Bishop of Lui, the Rt Revd Bullen Dolli, and his colleague Dr Peter Hammond, were detained and accused of being agents of the Islamic National Front.

18 April 2002: Schism predicted over female bishops
The Telegraph reports that 'Anglican traditionalists are heading for a messy divorce from the Church of England after refusing point-blank to compromise over women bishops'.

18 April 2002: Obituaries
The Times and The Telegraph each published an obituary of the Very Revd William Patterson, former Dean of Ely.

17 April 2002: Bishops or CEOs?
The Telegraph reports that a former dean has said that Anglican bishops are too busy being managers to be real bishops.

16 April 2002: Beards and archbishops
Christopher Howse, writing in The Telegraph, points out that the last Archbishop of Canterbury to sport a beard died in 1677. The article contains a rare photograph of Mr Howse.

16 April 2002: Rowan Williams to visit Uganda
The Monitor (Kampala) reports that the Archbishop of Wales, The Most Revd Rowan Williams, is expected to arrive in Uganda on 20 April for a 2-week pastoral visit.

16 April 2002: Ugandan bishop asks forgiveness in retirement speech
The Monitor (Kampala) reports that the now-retired Bishop of Muhabura, the Rt Revd Ernest Shalita, has apologised to all those he wronged during his tenure as bishop. The New Vision (Kampala) reports that the Primate of the Church of Uganda, the Most Revd Dr Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyooyo, will take over the role of diocesan bishop in that troubled diocese.

16 April 2002: English nuns to sell nunnery
The Times reports that one of Britain’s oldest houses of contemplative nuns is selling its monastery, Stanbrook Abbey, and surrounding farmland because of declining numbers. A few days later, The Times' Ruth Gledhill reported on a visit to the abbey. We note that the web site for this old abbey says 'This site requires 4th generation browsers and Flash plugin'.
In a related story, The Guardian reports that a Greek Orthodox monastery in Yorkshire is down to its last two members.

16 April 2002: Revamped Mothers' Union debut in Britain
The Times reports that the Mothers' Union, an Anglican charity devoted to family care, is redefining itself and relaunching today. We are pleased to note that the Mothers' Union understands that relaunching its organisation means relaunching its web site.

15 April 2002: Minnesota church destroyed by fire
The Diocese of Minnesota reports that the church of St Edward the Confessor in Wayzata, Minnesota burned to the ground. There is no mention of arson in the report.


14 April 2002: Freemasonry in Sydney
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a parish church in the Diocese of Sydney is refusing to allow a funeral service for a former mayor of the town, who was a member of that parish all of his life, because he was a Mason.

13 April 2002: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse devotes his column in The Telegraph to the evolution of funeral ceremonies.

13 April 2002: Hope lets seeds of peace flourish in land three faiths call holy
This week's Credo column in The Times is by Geoffrey Rowell.

13 April 2002: Prince Charles may get a church remarriage
The Times reports that the Church of England is on the verge of changing the rules on weddings for divorcees, which would mean that the Prince of Wales could marry Camilla Parker-Bowles. The concept of a royal marriage not in a church is, we suppose, boggling. In a separate backgrounder, The Times notes that the rules are already being broken.

12 April 2002: Carey envoy pleads for body of Muslim in Christian shrine
The Independent reports that an envoy for the Archbishop of Canterbury offered personally to collect the corpse of a Muslim man yesterday who has lain unburied for four days in Bethlehem's Basilica of the Nativity, which marks the place of Christ's birth.

12 April 2002: Bishops speak up for evolution
The Church Times (London) reports that British bishops and scientists have expressed to the Prime Minister their shared concerns about science teaching at Emmanuel City Technology College in Gateshead, and called for strict monitoring of the curricula of proposed faith schools. The full text of the bishops' letter is here on the Church Times website.

12 April 2002: Wales archbishop supports religious schools
The Guardian reports that the Archbishop of Wales, one of the leading contenders to become the next archbishop of Canterbury, yesterday joined Britain's row over 'faith schools' by robustly defending religion in education.

12 April 2002: Wales archbishop writes about the Middle East
Rowan Williams, writing in the Church Times, asks 'does it have to be like this?'.

12 April 2002: More ABC candidate profiles in the Church of England Newspaper
Various British newspapers have been running suites of profiles of the various candidates to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury. Recently, the Church of England Newspaper profiled Graham James (Bishop of Norwich), John Gladwin (Bishop of Guildford), James Jones (Bishop of Liverpool), and Michael Scott-Joynt (Bishop of Winchester).

11 April 2002: Bishop refuses to censor speaker
The Washington Times reports that the Bishop of Virginia has told his churches that he won't censor a talk by a Bible scholar who has said Christianity began as a diverse spiritual movement later oppressed by male bishops.

11 April 2002: Uganda bishop to eject squatters living on cathedral land
The New Vision (Kampala) reports that the Bishop of Kitgum has ordered families occupying diocesan land to vacate within a month or be prosecuted.

11 April 2002: Mystery poem used at Queen Mother's funeral
The Times reports that the poem that the Queen chose for the front of her mother’s funeral service sheet contains only a handful of elusive clues as to its author. It also reports that literary critics were not impressed by the poem. It is reputed to have 'come from cyberspace', and many people are reported to have claimed to be the author or know the author. London's top investigative reporters have learned that Her Majesty got the poem from the order of service for the funeral of a Girl Guide and Brownie pack leader.

10 April 2002: Anglican primates meet
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that 35 of the 38 Anglican Archbishops from across the world are meeting in Canterbury. They have provided this information to the press. (Note to CT: if you do the drop shadow against a gold background layer, mark the layer invisible, and then set the transparent colour and save-for-web, it will blend much better.)

10 April 2002: AIDS crisis
The United Nations reports that Tanzanian religious leaders came together at a forum in Dar-es-Salaam recently to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS in Tanzania and agree on ways to support the national campaign against the deadly epidemic. In Ghana, the Accra Mail reports that at a conference of Anglican school leaders, Dr Mokowah Adu-Gyamfi said that the role of teachers is crucial in preventing the further spread of AIDS.

9 April 2002: Irish church leader faces first heresy charges for a century
The Independent reports that Church of Ireland clerics met yesterday to investigate the case of a church leader who does not believe Jesus is the son of God. The heresy trial marks a rare departure for the Church of Ireland Court of the General Synod. The Guardian reports that he is fighting the charges. The Church Times reports that the trial has been adjourned for a month to allow the defendant to call more witnesses.

8 April 2002: Uganda clergy speak out
The Monitor (Kampala) reports that the retired Bishop of Kitgum, Mac Baker Ochola II, condemned the Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF)'s mission in the Sudan to pursue the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), saying it is against the principle of amnesty and reconciliation. The African Church Information Service reports that the Revd Sam Ruteikara, a priest from Uganda, has spoken out at the Christian Health Association of Kenya that telling the truth about AIDS would be a good plan.

8 April 2002: On the Queen Mother's funeral: musicians' viewpoint
Dr Martin Neary, former organist and choirmaster of Westminster Abbey, reports in The Times on the planning process for the royal funeral. Another musician, Martin Kettle, reviewed the service for The Guardian.


7 April 2002: Violence in the Middle East
We update the News Centre weekly; this issue changes hourly. Here is our list of sources for Middle East news; we recommend that you read them:

6 April 2002: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse devotes his column in The Telegraph to the legalisation of prostitution.

6 April 2002: Order of Service for Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
Westminster Abbey has put the Order of Service on the front page of its web site. The priest who attended her death told the Sunday Times about her last moments.

5 April 2002: Primates to gather in Canterbury
The Church Times reports that the primates of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion will meet next week in Canterbury, repeating the security measures designed to keep out conservative American editorialists.

5 April 2002: Edinburgh church obliterates mural
The Telegraph reports that a church mural showing the crucified Christ flanked by Israeli troops was yesterday removed from view early after being branded 'anti-Semitic' and 'sick'. That newspaper asserts in a companion editorial that 'the rector of St John's, Princes Street has made an egregious ass of himself over the Pieta mural outside his church in Edinburgh'.

5 April 2002: English seminary in danger
In Florence there is an 'English Cemetery' that is rather in disrepair. The wife of pioneering ECUSA bishop GW Doane is buried there, but her grave is unmaintained and almost unfindable. The Times reports that in Spain there is an English seminary, the Colegio de los Ingleses, that may be forced to close for lack of students.

5 April 2002: Obituary
The Independent published an obituary of Canon Derek Palmer, pioneer of ecumenism.

4 April 2002: Tutu criticizes government for not challenging elections in Zimbabwe
The African Church Information Service reports that the Rt Revd Desmond Tutu, retired archbishop, has condemned his government for endorsing the controversial presidential elections last month in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

3 April 2002: Adopt embryos, says Australian archbishop
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Most Revd Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney, has suggested leftover in-vitro fertilised embryos could be adopted out instead of being destroyed through stem cell research.

3 April 2002: Dealing with sexual harassment by clergy in Nigeria
The P.M. News (Lagos) reports on the fate of a Nigerian independent cleric who was found to have sexually assaulted a neighbourhood girl. The crowd had planned to crucify him, but he was rescued by elders.

2 April 2002: Church and State in Uganda
The New Vision (Kampala) reports that Yoweri Museveni, president of Uganda, spoke in church on Easter Sunday. His speech as reported in that newspaper seems quite appropriate for a president speaking in a church on Easter.

1 April 2002: Profiles of ABC candidates
The Guardian has published a full-page article in its dead-tree edition about the race for the Archbishopric of Canterbury. Online there is this introduction, and profiles of Richard Chartres, Michael Nazir-Ali, and Rowan Williams. Meanwhile, columnist Mary Ann Sieghart, writing in The Times, asserts that the next Archbishop of Canterbury must be someone who inspires. And Graham Turner, writing in The Telegraph, offers extensive information and analysis of the major candidates. Christopher Howse reflects in The Telegraph on the involvement of the ordination of women in this contest. Ruth Gledhill, back on the job at The Times, reports that Michael Langrish, Bishop of Exeter, should be considered a candidate for ABC. Ruth also produced this tip sheet, a parody of the sort one gets at a horse race, listing odds for the various candidates. The Herts Advertiser, local newspaper in St Albans, published a picture of its suffragan bishop talking on a mobile phone. Clifford Longley, writing for The Tablet (but linked here on his own web site), argues that greatness has rarely gone with the office.

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