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The News Centre
Archived News Headlines for Jul/Aug/Sep 2002

Link to main News Archives page


30 September 2002: African archbishop asks for theological colleges
The African Church Information Service reports that the Most Revd Donald Mtetemela, Archbishop of Tanzania, has said that the Anglican Church in Africa urgently requires qualified theologians, which would best be supplied by theological colleges in Africa.

29 September 2002: Church repairs rushed for bat colony
The BBC reports that repairs to an ancient church roof are being rushed to avoid endangering a colony of bats that live and raise their families there.


29 September 2002: Unconfessed killer banned from Anglican theological study
The Telegraph (London) reports that a former deputy headteacher, convicted of murdering his foster daughter, has been refused permission to take a prison theology course because he continues to plead his innocence.

29 September 2002: Church and state in Mexico
The Voice of America reports that an expert on minority religions is warning that Mexican President Vicente Fox's increasing displays of ardent Roman Catholicism are angering the country's Evangelical Protestant community.

28 September 2002: Synod in CPSA
The Church of the Province of Southern Africa, an autonomous member of the Anglican Communion, held its annual synod this week in Bloemfontein. Minutes are posted on CPSA's website, and we expect summary news stories by next week. It was not an uneventful synod, from what we've heard. The East Cape News (Grahamstown, South Africa) reports that the synod passed a resolution welcoming gay people into the church. The Independent Online (Cape Town) reports that the CPSA synod called for the urgent introduction of a basic income grant to alleviate the plight of the impoverished.

28 September 2002: Return to Synod, address unknown
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the Ananova news service says that a Canadian Anglican priest who dresses as Elvis Presley for weddings and funerals is under fire for his actions. The magic of search engines allowed us to find, easily, the original Ananova story, which in turn credits Canada's National Post, where we found the ur-article.

28 September 2002: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to the politics and practice of canonisation.

27 September 2002: Very nearly slain in the flesh
We need to venture outside the Anglican world to find a story of church conflict that is not based on sex. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a woman in Sydney has filed a lawsuit against the Assemblies of God because she was injured in a rapturous fall in the aisle of her church.

26 September 2002: Churches not welcome in Sydney suburb
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a local government organisation has passed a rule forbidding religious groups and non-government schools from buying parcels of land in undeveloped areas.

26 September 2002: Conservatives accuse religious leaders of heresy
The Guardian (London) reports that 'In an extraordinary outbreak of religious fundamentalism, the leaders of two of Britain's main religious faiths yesterday stood accused of heresy.' One of those leaders is Rowan Williams, the future Archbishop of Canterbury. The Telegraph reports that another conservative group has demanded that Dr Williams either condemn homosexuals or resign. We have seen no demand for a condemnation of tax collectors, so this isn't getting entirely out of hand.

26 September 2002: Incompetence reported in church-group governance
The Church of England Newspaper (London) reports that, despite disagreements about sex and sexuality, the delegates to the Anglican Consultative Council were united in their belief that the meeting of that group was badly organised and plagued with procedural problems.

25 September 2002: ABC interviews Russian chaplain about Roman/Orthodox feud
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has published the transcript of an interview with (among others) the Anglican representative in Moscow, about church planting in Russia by Roman Catholics.

22 September 2002: Missionary Episcopal engineer brings water
The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC) employs one of our favourite religion columnists. Dave Munday writes in that newspaper about a missionary project, created by an Episcopal layman in Charleston, to bring safe drinking water to places that have never seen such a thing. We read his column every week, but only bring it to your attention when it has an Anglican flavour.


21 September 2002: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to the subject of psalms.

21 September 2002: Anglican Consultative Council
The 12th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council has finished in Hong Kong. There is extensive coverage of it in the Anglican Communion News Service. Here is the announcement of the meeting, which explains what it was all about. This meeting, which draws most of the movers and shakers of the Anglican world, has put rather a clamp on other Anglican news this week. And a general post-September 11 weariness seems to have set in elsewhere. People are reading books, not holding press conferences, which is probably a good thing.

18 September 2002: Expressing opinions about homosexuality and church
The Guardian (London) published an opinion piece that no one would describe as conservative. It's on the topic of the treatment of homosexuals by various parties including the Church of England. The Telegraph, not known for its radical views, reported on Dr Carey's speech (see below) and offered this editorial. Andrew Brown, archcurmudgeon, offered in The Independent this opinion of Dr Carey's speech, and Cahal Milmo offered in that same newspaper this opinion.

18 September 2002: Westminster dean calls for multi-faith coronation
The Telegraph reports that the Very Revd Wesley Carr, Dean of Westminster, has said that the next monarch should participate in a multi-faith inauguration service as part of the Coronation. The Church Times filed this report on Dr Carr's proposal. The full text of his proposal is here on the Westminster Abbey website.

17 September 2002: Australian archbishop calls for debate on euthanasia
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that the Most Revd Peter Carnley, primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, said that he wants more community debate about moral issues such as euthanasia, rather than leaving them to the individual.

17 September 2002: Rwandan bishop tends to homeless children
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the work of the Rt Revd Alexis Bilindabagabo, Bishop of Gahini, in taking care of the thousands of children orphaned by genocide in Rwanda.

17 September 2002: ABC says gay issue puts Anglican Communion at risk
The Guardian and The Telegraph (both of London) and the Globe and Mail (Toronto) all report that the retiring archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, yesterday warned of the risk of fragmentation in the Anglican Communion on the issue of homosexuality in the church. The Church Times reported the story in more depth and detail. The BBC also reported briefly on his speech. The British papers did not emphasize another comment he made in that speech, about the Diocese of Sydney, but the Sydney Morning Herald noticed and reported it.


14 September 2002: New Anglican school in Wangaratta
The Border Mail (Wodonga, Victoria) reports that a parish in Thurgoona, Australia is moving ahead with ambitious plans for a major new Anglican school. This is international news because it is so delicious to read about things that are growing rather than shrinking.

13 September 2002: Australian squabble over RC bishop's 'abusive' email
The Age (Melbourne) reports that a leading Anglican has complained to Melbourne's Roman Catholic Archbishop about allegedly insulting and misogynist emails sent to her by one of his bishops. To the best of our knowledge, this is the world's first international news story about email sent by a bishop. It seems like only yesterday that bishops were using quill pens and signet rings in sending messages like this.

13 September 2002: Bishop of the Arctic to be installed on Sunday
The Nunatsiaq News (Iqaluit) reports that Bishop Andrew Atagotaaluk, the first Inuk to lead the Diocese of the Arctic, will be installed Sunday. Bishops from the High Arctic, Nunavik, the Northwest Territories and southern Canada will attend.

13 September 2002: Rural congregation asks for return of stolen silver
It's the altar guild's silver, not the bishop's, but it's stolen nonetheless. The Halifax News reports that the congregation at St Augustine’s Church in Lake Echo, Nova Scotia is hoping the thieves who took several ceremonial pieces from their rectory last month will find it in their hearts to return them.

13 September 2002: Controversial artwork finds sanctuary in Melbourne cathedral
Anglican Media Melbourne reports that George Gittoes' War on Terra—a large work of art created in response to the events of 11 September 2001 and their aftermath—was intended for display on a busy Melbourne intersection, outside the landmark Republic apartment tower. Instead, it found a home in the quiet space of St Paul's Cathedral.

12 September 2002: Bishop attacks government over Gibraltar
The Church of England Newspaper reports that the Rt Revd Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, has criticized the British government’s handling of Gibraltar’s future. This in a country in which bishops are appointed by the government.

12 September 2002: Another view of the Moyer/Rosemont situation
The deposition of David Moyer, former rector in the Diocese of Pennsylvania, is referred to as 'a crisis' by conservatives and 'a canonical action' by liberals. The Church of England Newspaper, which has never been condemned for being too liberal, reports that commentators have suggested that only lawyers would benefit from the current crisis. It's an interesting article. The Church Times also has a report on the situation.

11 September 2002: Memorial service notes
Churches worldwide today remembered those who died on 11 September 2001. The Anglican Communion News Service published a list of links to major commemorative events. Even if we could report them all, we would tire of it before completing the list. St Paul's Cathedral in London has the best documentation, so we shall list it. And the British press is much better about covering religious services; see this excellent article from The Telegraph. We saw a note last week saying 'There are millions of stories about 9/11. Luckily for you, I'm not going to tell you mine.' One we enjoyed enough to mention took place in Blaine, Washington, USA, at the Peace Arch, and was reported by the Bellingham Herald.

10 September 2002: Diocese calls moratorium on baked beans
The Guardian (London) reports that the diocese of Gloucester has asked that f
ood donations no longer include baked beans. This causes us to wonder what ever will happen to tinned baked beans, if they can't be donated to the hungry. Surely we're not going to eat them ourselves. Those of us of a certain age might remember a scene involving Ann-Margret in the 1975 film 'Tommy' that demonstrated an excellent use for surplus baked beans.

10 September 2002: Choirgirl sues Lincoln cathedral
We remember having seen several years ago a news story about a woman in Texas who paid a hired killer to increase the chances that her daughter would be named to the cheerleading squad. Today The Telegraph reports that a choirgirl is suing the dean and chapter at Lincoln cathedral for causing her 'mental anguish' by not awarding her a coveted honour for senior choristers. England is perhaps a less violent place?

Christopher Howse has devoted his weekly column in The Telegraph to this lawsuit and to the wearing of copes.

10 September 2002: Church and guns in England
The BBC reports that the Church of England has sacked a vicar jailed for keeping a loaded gun at his vicarage.

9 September 2002: Thoughts about Thought for the Day
The Telegraph published an editorial offering suggestions about what Rowan Williams might say on the BBC on 11 September. Here is what he actually said. And here is what The Guardian (London) had to say about what he (Rowan Williams) said.

9 September 2002: Irish report on second Porvoo consultation
The Church of Ireland has published its report on the second Porvoo Church Leaders’ Consultation, which took place in Estonia in March.

9 September 2002: Bishop says war would be justified
The Telegraph reports that the Bishop of Rochester, once touted as the leading candidate to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury, has come out in favour of possible war in Iraq. The Church Times reports that many other bishops have taken the opposite view.


8 September 2002: One quarter of Church of England clergy support euthanasia
The Telegraph (London) reports that a recent survey claims that about a quarter of the Church of England's clergy support euthanasia, and that about a third said they would support the ordination of homosexuals.

7 September 2002: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to issues surrounding war in Iraq.

5 September 2002: David Moyer deposed in one diocese, welcomed in another
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports 'Priest is defrocked but taken in by others'. The Diocese of Pennsylvania has issued this PDF document as a 'situation summary'. We are unable to find any mention of this event on the website of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, but the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published this report. A later edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Fr Moyer was secretly received into the Church of England. We certainly are setting a good example for others and behaving in ways that will attract people to our denomination, aren't we?

5 September 2002: English priest fights deposition
The Telegraph reports that an English priest, deposed in the Diocese of Carlisle for more traditional reasons, has asked for reinstatement.

5 September 2002: Canadian parishes disagree without starting fights
The Anglican Church of Canada reports on a group of conservative parishes in the Diocese of New Westminster that are taking a position that differs from their bishop, without combat or press releases. Calling themselves 'New Vision', they state that 'The church is not a group of people who think the same way on every issue. It is a covenant community—a community created and shaped by the covenant God has made with us in Jesus Christ; a covenant community established and maintained by God's faithfulness to us, not constituted by our agreement on particular issues.'

4 September 2002: Former Anglican archdeacon faces child sex charges
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that a former archdeacon in north-eastern Victoria has been charged with a number of child sex offences.

2 September 2002: Two views of church and state in Zimbabwe
The Herald (Harare) published this editorial about Western intervention in Zimbabwe politics, while The Independent (London) published this report based on information from a well-known Anglican priest involved in Zimbabwe politics.

1 September 2002: Chapel nearest Ground Zero reopens
The BBC reports that St Paul's Chapel, adjacent to the site of the World Trade Centre in New York, has reopened.


1 September 2002: Australian province makes new policy on child molestation
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Province of New South Wales, which includes the Diocese of Sydney, has formulated a zero-tolerance policy with respect to child abuse.

31 August 2002: Kenyan archbishop narrowly escapes death in auto accident
The Nation (Nairobi) reports that the Most Revd David Gitari, Archbishop of Kenya and soon-to-retire primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya, was in a serious automobile crash with a police car. That newspaper reported the next day that Dr Gitari has said that there is a government plot to eliminate him and that this accident was staged.

31 August 2002: Episcopal priest intends to defy his superior
The Washington Times reports that the Revd David Moyer has announced that he will defy his bishop if he is ordered to step down.

30 August 2002: Irish archbishop speaks out
The BBC reports that the Most Revd Robin Eames, primate of the Church of Ireland, has asked paramilitaries to suspend their violence so that efforts to end rioting might have a better chance of success.

30 August 2002: New wrinkle on plumbing inspections
The Hindustan Times reports that India's eunuchs are united in protest against the dismissal of India's first eunuch transvestite mayor. Just when you thought you understood the battle lines over whether certain jobs and roles are open only to men.

30 August 2002: Nigerians sign pact of faiths
The Church Times reports that the first treaty between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria’s history was signed last week in the northern province of Kaduna.

30 August 2002: Inflatable church increasing in popularity
The Church Times reports that bookings for an inflatable church which can seat up to 50 are pouring in for next year. We'd really like to try sitting on an inflatable pew, which this has: it's almost certainly more comfortable than those old oaken pews we use now.

29 August 2002: Former Canadian bishop elected First Nation chief
The Anglican News Service (Canada) reports that Gordon Beardy, who resigned last year as Bishop of Keewatin, has been elected chief of Muskrat Dam.

29 August 2002: Resolution reached at Accokeek
The Diocese of Washington (USA) reports that it has settled its differences with the parish of St John in Accokeek, Maryland. The Episcopal News Service (USA) issued this press release. There is so much history to this conflict that we won't even try to summarise it here, but if you type "christ church accokeek" into your favourite search engine you will probably find a great deal of material. (Our favourite search engine is Google.)

26 August 2002: Uganda newspaper comments on British education plan
We rarely report here in the News Centre any news that is fundamentally a single country's politics. But today we noticed that the Monitor (Kampala) is reporting on a statement by an English bishop to favour the education of refugee children in camp schools rather than in ordinary state schools.

26 August 2002: Kenyan bishop speaks out
The East African Standard (Nairobi) reports that the Rt Revd Julius Kalu, Bishop of Mombasa, has said that the burning of charcoal is a national crisis and that Kenya will soon be a desert if the practice is not stopped.

26 August 2002: Nigerian bishop speaks out
Sometimes here in the News Centre we apologise for the paucity of news and point out that it is a 'slow news week'. We are never sure if you believe us. We offer as proof today's report in This Day (Lagos) that a bishop has asserted that greed breeds corruption. He's right, of course; our issue is not with the bishop's statement but with the newspaper reporting it as news.

26 August 2002: Patron saint for Britain
A few centuries ago various countries were united to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Whether that was or was not a good idea has been argued ever since. However, the national churches of the merged countries did not unite, and there is no patron saint of the merged country. The Guardian (London) reports on a campaign to name one.


25 August 2002: Faith, hope, and security
The Telegraph (London) reports that a bishop was not permitted to board an aeroplane with his crozier, but Sikh staff at the same airport are permitted to carry ritual daggers.

25 August 2002: Road mishaps interfere with Anglican conference in Kenya
The Nation (Nairobi) reports that a series of highway accidents has interfered with the ability of Kenya's Mother's Union to gather for their annual conference.

25 August 2002: New Anglican complex in Singapore
The Straits Times reports on plans for an expansion of St Andrew's school into St Andrew's Village, which will hold several schools and the diocesan headquarters. This will make it, we believe, the largest all-Anglican compound in the world.

24 August 2002: Fundamentalism a threat to democracy?
The Dallas Morning News reports on a recent conference of the Fundamentalism Education Project. The newspaper headline was 'Religious Left says the Religious Right is wrong'.

24 August 2002: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to everyone's favourite topic, homosexuality and church schism.

23 August 2002: Some churches stop passing collection plates
The Christian Science Monitor reports that a growing number of churches have stopped passing collection plates during the service, to distance themselves from scandal and to welcome visitors. The idea of passing the collection plate comes from G.W. Doane, 2nd Bishop of New Jersey, in the 1830's when he was rector of St Mary in Burlington, New Jersey.

23 August 2002: Anglican conference urges greater concern for the earth
The Church Times reports that bishops attending the Anglican Congress on the Stewardship of Creation near Johannesburg urged the Anglican Communion to take a stronger stand on climate change and related environmental issues.

23 August 2002: Anglican conference urges less attention to sex
The Church Times reports that a working party of bishops set up by Dr Carey after the 1998 Lambeth Conference, to explore Anglican divisions over sexuality, has agreed, for the time being, to disagree on key issues.

23 August 2002: Cancel debt, Anglican church urges
The East African Standard (Nairobi) reports that the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa has appealed for the cancellation of debt to African countries to enable them to use the funds to fight AIDS.

23 August 2002: Anglicans in Africa back use of condoms
The Nation (Nairobi) reports that the Council of the Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) has come out in favour of the use of condoms to fight AIDS. Many other churches in Kenya remain steadfastly opposed.

21 August 2002: Zimbabwe cathedral dean ignores ouster attempt
The Daily News (Harare) reports that the Revd Godfrey Tawonezvi, the Dean of the Cathedral of St Mary and All Saints, would not comment following a vote of no confidence passed by the cathedral parish's annual general meeting.

20 August 2002: Standoff at Pennsylvania parish reflects Episcopal rift
The Sun (Baltimore, USA) reports that a traditionalist rector risks being deposed if he refuses to abide by church law.


18 August 2002: Church and sex in Oxford
The Telegraph reports that 'A senior Anglican bishop has made an outspoken attack on the notion that God is a man. In a book out next month, the Rt Rev Richard Harries, the Bishop of Oxford, criticises "outdated and chauvinist" views that, he claims, have no place in the modern world.'

17 August 2002: New primate for Kenya
The East African Standard and The Nation report that the Bishop of Kitui, the Rt Revd Benjamin Paul Mwanzia Nzimbi, was yesterday elected on the first ballot as the new Archbishop of Kenya. The Nation also published this backgrounder on him.

17 August 2002: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse, home from attending the canonization of Don Diego, this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to a discussion of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.

17 August 2002: Bishop visits cows
The Telegraph reports that the new bishop of Bath and Wells (England) is calling for a rise in milk prices after spending a week working on a farm.

13 August 2002: New bishop of Manchester
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, currently bishop of Wakefield, has been named Bishop of Manchester. The Church Times reports that he is already involved in a controversy in that diocese.

13 August 2002: Obituary
The Telegraph, The Guardian, and The Independent published obituaries of Michael De-la-Noy, Anglican author. The first part of The Independent's obituary was written by Mr De-la-Noy himself, making it, we suppose, an auto-obituary.

12 August 2002: Arson-damaged Lunenburg church being restored
CBC News reports that the historic Nova Scotia church damaged last year by arsonists is slowly being restored.

11 August 2002: First letter after Archbishop appointment announced
The Church of England Newspaper and The Telegraph report that the Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams, named as the next Archbishop of Canterbury, has written a letter to the primates of the Anglican Communion on the subject of the 1998 Lambeth resolution on homosexuality. The letter itself is private, and as you can see from these newspaper articles there are differing points of view as to its import. The Church Times has a very good report on the letter and the situation surrounding its privacy being broken.


11 August 2002: Pay for religious leaders
The Independent (London), in an article about salaries of Britain's religious leaders, notes that the Archbishop of Canterbury is not paid as much as several other religious leaders. The Telegraph (London) notes that many are not paid at all.

11 August 2002: Credit card donations
The New York Times comments on the growing trend for churches to accept credit cards. What is notable, to us, about this article, is that it does not even mention the existence of Episcopalians or Anglicans.

8 August 2002: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse devotes his column in The Telegraph to a discussion of beliefs that the Pope is the Antichrist.

7 August 2002: Anglican website attacks its archbishop
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that an Australian website, Anglicans Together Online, has infuriated Sydney's archbishop with the publication of material about his hard-line stance against women preachers. The entire correspondence is on the ATO website.

7 August 2002: British politics
The BBC, The Telegraph, and The Guardian report on lobbying by religious groups against the UK's involvement in a war in Iraq. So, presumably, do regional newspapers like The Yorkshire Post and The Times, but we shan't look. The Guardian offered this editorial about the morality of war.

6 August 2002: Archbishop-designate inducted as druid
The Telegraph reports that 'The next Archbishop of Canterbury was inducted as an honorary white druid yesterday at an open-air ceremony in Wales reminiscent of a scene from a Monty Python sketch.' The Guardian reports that 'the incoming Archbishop of Canterbury ... [stepped] into a circle of Pembrokeshire stones and into a controversy'. In response to assertions by conservatives that this was a pagan ritual, Dr Williams said 'The suggestion that the Gorsedd is even remotely associated with paganism is deeply offensive.' The BBC has published an article explaining 'When a druid isn't a druid'. The druidic organisation involved here, the Gorsedd of Bards, has its own website, which you can read for yourself and decide for yourself whether it is a pagan group.

An actual pagan druid has written a letter to the editor of The Guardian complaining that Dr Williams has demeaned him. We're fairly certain that most of the people who are frantically emailing news stories identifying Dr Williams as a pagan have read neither those news stories nor his many books. An illiterate is someone who can not read. We don't know of a word for people who can read but choose not to, but the outcome is identical.

6 August 2002: Nigerian bishop denies financial allegations
This Day (Lagos) reports that the Rt Revd Emmanuel Chukwuma, Bishop of Enugu, denies allegations of financial and moral impropriety levelled against him.

6 August 2002: Obituary
The Most Revd John Masanao Watanabe, retired Bishop of Hokkaido, and former Primate of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai, died on 10 July 2002. Japanese death notices regularly report cause of death and age of the deceased. Bishop Watanabe was 79 years of age and died of gallbladder cancer. In retirement he was serving as chaplain of the Missions to Seafarers (Flying Angel) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, East Africa. He was rushed to London and underwent heart surgery. He returned thereafter to Hokkaido where he had served as parish priest, and bishop, and where he had been born (in an area presently occupied by Russia). As Bishop of Hokkaido he was elected by the House of Bishops to serve several biennial terms as Primate of NSKK. As indications of the high esteem with which he was held, a Diocesan Requiem Eucharist was celebrated by the present Bishop of Hokkaido, Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu, and a sermon preached by Christopher Ichiro Kikawada, retired Bishop of Osaka and a former Primate of NSKK. Diocesan clergy attended. Also present were neighbouring clergy from the Diocese of Touhoku including John Tadao Sato, Bishop, and the diocesan standing committee chairman (a priest). Represented also was a priest from southernmost Okinawa. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Sapporo and priests of his diocese and many representatives of various denominations were also present.


4 August 2002: Bishop of Oxford argues against war in Iraq
Writing in The Observer (London), the Rt Revd Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford, calls a war with Saddam Hussein 'immoral'.

4 August 2002: Church feud in Pennsylvania
The Miami Herald reports that churches throughout the Diocese of Pennsylvania were ordered Sunday to read a letter written by the bishop to explain the suspension of a conservative rector who opposes the ordination of women and homosexuals.

3 August 2002: The price of sin
The Guardian reports that two economists have published a paper asserting that the economic theory of 'market forces' is an accurate model for past, and presumably future, church policy changes.

3 August 2002: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse again devotes his weekly column in The Telegraph to the canonisation of Juan Diego in Mexico.

3 August 2002: Fighting primates
Articles like this always emerge after a big political fight like that leading up to the selection of Rowan Williams as the next Archbishop of Canterbury. Damian Thompson, writing in The Spectator, offers information about the political battles and their outcomes.

2 August 2002: Primate tries to stop fighting
The Church Times reports that the archbishop of the Congo, the Most Revd Patrice Byankya Njojo, said on Wednesday that he welcomed the new peace agreement between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

2 August 2002: Researching the beliefs of ordained women
The Church Times reports that a recent study suggests that women priests are less likely than men to affirm the Creed literally.

1 August 2002: Primate clashes with South African government
News 24 (Cape Town) reports that the provincial government has welcomed Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane's financial contributions for flood victims but said his questioning of the motives of certain politicians was uncalled for. The Cape Argus (Cape Town) reports on some of the archbishop's activities after the flood.

30 July 2002: First blessing waits for liturgy
The Anglican Church of Canada reports that it is not yet certain when the first same-sex blessing will be performed, but it is more or less determined who the couple will be.

29 July 2002: Church in £800m loss as shares fall
The Guardian reports that the Church of England yesterday confirmed that it has lost almost a quarter of the value of its assets as a result of falls in the stock market.

29 July 2002: Time to let go of power
An article by Clifford Longley, published 20 July 2002 in The Tablet but never included on that publication's website, is now online on Longley's own site.

29 July 2002: An archbishop's attempts to influence the selection of his successor
The Nation (Nairobi) reports on the attempts by the Most Revd David Gitari, primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya, to influence the choice of his successor. Compare this with the report by Damian Thompson listed above under the heading 'Fighting primates'.


28 July 2002: End-of-week roundup of Rowan Williams press coverage
'Yea, the voice of Dr Williams shall be heard', 'The church militant', in The Independent. 'The Revd Blair has met his match', 'A word in your ear, Archbishop: drop the zaniness', in The Observer. Also this editorial in The Observer.

28 July 2002: Church of Nigeria press release
The Church of Nigeria has issued this press release stating the opinion of the Most Revd Peter J Akinola, DD, to the announcement of Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury. The press release makes it clear that in Nigeria, sex is the most important issue facing the church.

28 July 2002: Anglican church loses fortune in stock market
The Independent Online (South Africa) reports that the Sunday Times (London) has reported that the Anglican Church in Britain will have to sell valuable treasures as it faces losses totalling nearly £1-billion on the stock market. Nearly everyone we know has lost money in the stock market, so this story is not shocking. We go through this charade of quoting a newspaper quoting another newspaper because the Sunday Times charges huge access fees to overseas readers, while the IOL does not.

27 July 2002: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to (surprise) Rowan Williams.

27 July 2002: Hell discounted
The Kansas City Star, reprinting a story from the Los Angeles Times, asserts that 'Hell doesn't occupy the place in church it once did'.

26 July 2002: Friday ABC press roundup
Finally the press is winding down in its coverage of Dr Williams' selection as Archbishop of Canterbury. Today we have 'The Rowan I knew', in The Guardian, 'Diary', Matthew Norman in The Guardian. All of the listed stories in this week's Church Times are about Rowan Williams.

26 July 2002: Ugandan bishop died a pauper
The New Vision (Kampala) reports that the Rt Revd William Okodi, retired Bishop of Lango, received US$15 per month as a pension from the Church of Uganda, which employed him for 30 years.

25 July 2002: Kenyan bishop decries New Westminster decision
The East African Standard reports that the primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya yesterday stated that 'gay unions are not biblical' and expressed shock at the decision by the Diocese of New Westminster to permit them.

25 July 2002: Thursday ABC press roundup
'Archbishop accused of "idolatry" over book', in The Telegraph. 'Apostle of humility', 'First tasks for Rowan', 'The new head of the Anglican church ... in his own words', 'What a heavenly idea', in The Guardian. 'How much do we respect these churchmen's views?', in The Scotsman (Glasgow). Meanwhile the Scottish Episcopal Church issued this press release.

24 July 2002: Adopt a skeleton, save a parish
The Hindustan Times reports that a cash-strapped British vicar is asking his congregation to adopt 1,000-year-old Anglo Saxons at 10 pounds a skeleton so that they can be reburied as Christians. Well, actually, it's a Reuters wire story, but it was fun finding it in the Hindustan Times.

24 July 2002: Next-day ABC press roundup
'Rowan at last', 'A great man with no arrogance' in the Church Times. 'Tough new role for man of parts', 'Rowan Williams confirmed as Archbishop of Canterbury', 'A trumpet blast from Lambeth', 'New mission for man of many talents', 'A warm welcome for Williams', 'Cash, women bishops, and empty pews', in The Guardian. Also an editorial, 'Just Williams', in The Guardian.

'Williams is made Archbishop', 'Primate will ask awkward questions', 'Will there be a Church of England in 18 years?', 'A word to the wise', 'The hairy lefty who nearly became a Roman Catholic monk', in The Telegraph. The Telegraph also published an earlier interview with Dr Williams, 'Thoughts on the road to Canterbury'.

'Soundbites, sense, and a short sermon from the new man at Canterbury', 'This awkward priest is a herald of good news', The Independent. 'Radical who backs gays and women as Clerics to lead Anglicans', New York Times.

'Critic of US Policy named Archbishop of Canterbury', 'New Anglican archbishop outspoken', The Washington Post. 'Anglicans in for a wild ride', CBS News. 'Archbishop Williams new Church of England head', in Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan). 'Williams Anglican leader', 'Religious leaders praise new Anglican head', in the Bahrain Tribune. 'Welshman picked to head Anglican Church', Straits Times (Singapore). 'Outspoken liberal to lead English Church', National Post (Toronto). 'Non-Englishman named leader of the Church of England ', Dallas Morning News. 'Canterbury's turbulent priest', Sydney Morning Herald.

'Pope congratulates Anglican leader', Associated Press. And see the Vatican's note of this congratulation. 'New archbishop embraces controversy', Reuters. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has made available two radio programmes, one of which has a full transcript, pertaining to Rowan Williams.

The Independent's Miles Kington writes about 'The Left Revd Jack Heswall, who led the strike at Ely Cathedral', suggesting that he is the person to lead the opposition against the new Archbishop of Canterbury.

24 July 2002: Bishop of Manicaland denies evading questions
The Daily News (Harare, Zimbabwe) reports that the Rt Revd Sebastian Bakare, Bishop of Manicaland and president of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), has dismissed as unfounded claims that he had evaded questions concerning a communique the ZCC issued after its 36th Annual General Meeting.

23 July 2002: Kenyan bishop blames poverty on poor leadership
The Nation (Nairobi) reports that the Rt Revd Joseph Otieno Wasonga, Bishop of Maseno West and a contender for primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya, has blamed poverty in Kenya on poor leadership and bad behaviour by national leaders.

23 July 2002: British government appoints Rowan Williams Archbishop of Canterbury
The Queen has nominated the Most Reverend Rowan Douglas Williams MA DPhil DD FBA, Archbishop of Wales and Bishop of Monmouth, for election by the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury in the place of the Most Reverend and Right Honourable George Leonard Carey BD MTh PhD, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England and Metropolitan. The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman had these comments. You would think that newspapers had run out of words to print about this nomination, given how much was said in the weeks and months running up to this nomination. But The Independent (London) filed this report, the New York Times filed this report, the BBC this report and this opinion piece, and the Associated Press filed this report. The Church of England issued this press release. There is a transcript of the press conference on the Church Times' website, and a transcript of Dr Williams' remarks on the Archbishop of Canterbury's website.

The Anglican Communion News Service has unleashed a gaggle of articles including not only commemorative postcards, but press releases: 'Welsh Primate to lead Anglican world', 'Statement from the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion', and 'Welsh bishops respond with both joy and sorrow'. We wonder if you can, without reading the press release, either name the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion or identify what it is that he does. Do we long to receive a commemorative postcard? We're not sure, but we want to go on record that we are absolutely and utterly delighted with this selection, even if Dr Williams is one year younger than us. The Guardian (London) has gathered quotes from others who are delighted with this appointment.

If you have RealPlayer installed on your computer, you might like to view the 20-minute video of the announcement, Archbishop Williams' remarks, and the press conference. You can also listen to a few minutes of the Archbishop speaking in Welsh. Click here to go directly to the RealPlayer file, on the BBC site.

Dr Williams is currently Primate of the Church in Wales, whose website is not silent on this appointment. Our favourite material there begins 'Wrth i’r Archesgob Rowan Williams gael ei gadaranhau heddiw fel Archesgob nesaf Caergaint, estynwyd llogyfarchion gwresocaf mainc esgobion Cymru iddo.'

22 July 2002: Deaths in the family of man
In noting this column in The Guardian by Stephen Bates, we are slightly afraid that the language police will insist on us calling it 'the family of person' or 'the family of homo sapiens' or something like that.


21 July 2002: The Archbishop of Canterbury
Several of Britain's more-respected newspapers have published 'scoops' asserting that Rowan Williams will be the next Archbishop of Canterbury. Until the announcement is actually issued from 10 Downing Street, this is all just speculation, but there is a certain amount of press on that speculation. The Independent wrote 'Welcome, turbulent priest'. Columnist Paul Vallely wrote in The Independent 'Rowan Williams: Intellect and humility – and very much his own man'. The Sunday Times reports that 'The Queen has approved the nomination of Rowan Williams as the next Archbishop of Canterbury. Downing Street is to announce the appointment on Tuesday'. Anglicans Online no longer links to articles in The Times and The Sunday Times because they charge a huge fee for overseas access to their website. We suppose this diminishes the impact of Ruth Gledhill's hit piece in The Times earlier this week, accusing Dr Williams of being a pagan. The BBC, whose website is not blocked, responds '"Pagan" Archbishop claims dismissed'.

21 July 2002: Raging political storm in Enugu, Nigeria
Newswatch (Lagos) reports that the Rt Revd Emmanuel Chukwuma, Bishop of Enugu, is working hard to reconcile a senator and the governor of this tumultuous state.

20 July 2002: Report on the Church of England Synod
Peter Owen's report on the 2002 Church of England General Synod.

20 July 2002: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to a reflection on translations of the Bible into English.

20 July 2002: Not Rwanda, but Sydney
The Church Times reports that the Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Revd Dr Peter Jensen, has suggested that his diocese might provide alternative episcopal oversight for dissidents in the Canadian diocese of New Westminster. Archbishop Jensen has written this letter to the Church Times, suggesting that they might not have provided the right emphasis in their coverage.

18 July 2002: Perhaps cremation will become more accepted
The Nation (Nairobi) asserted that 'The cremation of the wife of the former Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya shocked and confounded many African Christians. It brought to the fore the question of whether the practice is compatible with African Christianity and culture.' The essay goes on to suggest that perhaps this act will make cremation more acceptable.

17 July 2002: Archbishop calls for resignation of health minister
The South African Press Association (Johannesburg) reports that the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Njongonkulu Ndungane, says it is perhaps time Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang quits and looks for another job. The next day the Independent Online filed a similar report.


14 July 2002: On holiday
The big story this week is that The Guardian (London) has reported that Britain's Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has decided to appoint Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales, as the next Archbishop of Canterbury. Little stories included Charles and Camilla and others so little that we won't even mention them.

13 July 2002: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to Rowan Williams and the Pax Christi petition. The Telegraph also reported, as news, the archbishop's position and actions.

12 July 2002: Church of England Synod
The Church of England has held its General Synod this week. We'll show you a few of the newspaper reports that have come out, but in a week or two we will publish our own report on what happened. Highlights: 'Schism risk over women bishops' in The Telegraph, 'Potter and the archbishop' in The Guardian, 'Church rejects move to stop Prime Minister picking bishops' in The Telegraph, 'Church backs PM's right to choose' in The Guardian, 'Hope takes a swipe at Runcie in retirement tribute to Carey' in The Yorkshire Post.

12 July 2002: Obituary
The Telegraph today published an obituary of the Rt Revd Patrick Rodger, past bishop both of Oxford and of Manchester. So did The Times, but since those scoundrels started charging a 40-pound fee for overseas online access, we no longer link to stories in The Times. A few days later, The Independent published this obituary. Shortly thereafter, The Guardian published this obituary, written by Richard Holloway.

11 July 2002: 26 bishops sign a petition
The East African Standard (Nairobi) reports that twenty-six bishops of the Anglican Church of Kenya urged President Moi to announce a definite date for the next General Election. There are times when petitions by large groups of bishops can bring real value to the world, and this is one of those times. That same newspaper reports that 12 July is the deadline for nomination of candidates for the next Archbishop. Think about petitions like this in a country where the government appoints the bishops...

11 July 2002: Church faces 'gay clergy row'
The Telegraph reports that 'Church of England bishops are heading for an early clash with Dr Rowan Williams over their plans to defend the Church's ban on the ordination of practising homosexuals. The Observer also had something to say about this predicted dispute, which, in an editorial, it predicted would be quite bitter.

9 July 2002: The church must grow up and choose its own leaders
An opinion piece by Hugo Young in The Guardian calls it 'absurd that a politician gets to pick the Archbishop of Canterbury'. We concur.

9 July 2002: Former primate creates a furor by cremating his (dead) wife
The East African Standard (Nairobi) reports that 'there was shock and confusion among members of the Anglican Church yesterday when they learnt that the wife of the former head of the church, Archbishop Manasses Kuria, had been cremated in Nairobi.' Cremation is a very uncommon practice in Kenya. We dearly hope not to read of a schism in the Anglican Communion over cremation.


7 July 2002: Archbishop Carey on the fuss in Vancouver
The Telegraph (London) reports that the current Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Dr George Carey, has asked people to be calm in reacting to the recent decision in the Diocese of New Westminster (Canada) to permit the blessings of non-marital relationships. The newspaper seems not to have taken the Archbishop's advice; it refers to the New Westminster action as 'giving its blessing to gay marriages', which is not at all what took place there.

7 July 2002: Foot-dragging on women bishops
The Guardian (London) reports that women members of the Church of England synod yesterday expressed anger that a church working party set up two years ago to consider the possibility of appointing women as bishops should only so far have produced a 10-page progress report.

7 July 2002: Tail-dragging on Harry Potter
The Guardian (London) reports that the Most Revd Dr David Hope, Archbishop of York, yesterday called on believers to pay more attention to the Harry Potter generation and restore a sense of wonder and mystery to religious worship.

7 July 2002: Archbishop Williams and the fuss in Vancouver
The Telegraph reports that the Most Revd Rowan Williams has agreed to address a gay-rights conference entitled 'Halfway to Lambeth'. It also reports that anti-homosexuals are displeased with this plan.

7 July 2002: Bishop in Jerusalem accuses Israel of 'creating terrorism'
The Yorkshire Post reports that the Bishop in Jerusalem has made a scathing attack on Israel at the Church of England's General Synod, which started today.

6 July 2002: Church facing exile
The Telegraph reports that the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, declared the church is waning and facing a time of exile. We can see why many news reports describe him as a brilliant intellectual. One interpretation of history is that persecution has been generally good for the church, though not necessarily for the individuals who bear the brunt of that persecution.

5 July 2002: Church and State in Britain
The Guardian reports that bishops in the Church of England are outraged at a parliamentary action that has excluded them from the decision-making process of determining their future in the House of Lords. The next day, letter-writers rather sided against them. Two days later the BBC reported that Archbishop Carey stood firm for unity of the Church of England and the State of Britain.

4 July 2002: A retired bishop's obituary
When a bishop retires, there is always a question of what he should do next. Some retired bishops continue to act like bishops, speaking out and signing petitions and such. The Telegraph today published an obituary of the Rt Revd Haydn Jones, former Bishop of Venezuela, who took a different path.

3 July 2002: Nigerian bishop speaks out
This Day (Lagos) reports that the Most Revd Maxwell Anik-wenwa, Bishop of Awka and Archbishop of Province II in Nigeria, has condemned Nigerian leaders for failing to live up to the expectations of the people who elected them.

1 July 2002: Nigerian governor booed at Anglican synod
The Vanguard (Lagos) reports that Chimaroke Nnamani, Governor of Enugu, was booed at the Synod of the Diocese of Enugu. The details are too complex to summarise here, but are contained in the article.

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