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The News Centre
Archived News Headlines for Oct/Nov/Dec 2003

Link to main News Archives page

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31 December 2003: Petition presented to ABC
The Guardian (London) reports that evangelicals opposed to gay Anglicans presented a petition to Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The presenters claim 13 million signatures, but those numbers include 8 dioceses whose bishop signed for the entire diocese and half a dozen countries whose primate signed for the entire country. We have not been able to determine the identity of those 8 dioceses.

29 December 2003: First graduates of Nigeria's Centre for the Study of Islam and Christianity
This Day (Lagos) reports that the Diocese of Kaduna has has graduated the first batch of students in its Centre for the Study of Islam and Christianity.

29 December 2003: Interview with Bishop of Durham
The Independent (London) published a major interview with the Rt Revd Tom Wright, Bishop of Durham. This interview was reported as news by rival papers, including The Guardian and The
Telegraph.

29 December 2003: Christmas in the Holy Land
The Church Times reports on Christmastide violence in Bethlehem.

28 December 2003: The world rests
Most sensible Anglican newsmakers have stayed home with their families this week, so there's precious little Anglican news. Even the Church Times has taken the week off. The Anglican Communion News Service offered this feature story about Christmas in Canterbury, and of the hundreds of Christmas messages from bishops around the world, we take note of those from Bethlehem, York, Canterbury, and Perth. News media coverage of those sermons: Bethlehem, York, Canterbury, and Perth.


23 December 2003: Mission church closed in Canada
The Anglican Journal (Toronto) reports that the Bishop of New Westminster has shut down a mission church in Abbotsford, B.C., two months after it joined a breakaway group of parishes opposed to the diocese's decision to sanction same-sex blessings.

21 December 2003: First female indigenous priest in Brisbane
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that the first female Aboriginal priest was ordained in Brisbane this week. The next day it reported that she was overjoyed at the ordination. However, shortly after running this news item, several Australian friends told us that Gloria Shipp was the first indigenous woman to be ordained a priest in that country.

21 December 2003: Battle for control of breakaway church in South Carolina
The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA) reports that an Episcopal church in a legal battle with the Diocese of South Carolina over ownership of church property is being brought under control of the bishop.

21 December 2003: North Dakota episcopal search stirs controversy
The Grand Forks Herald (North Dakota, USA) reports that the search committee for North Dakota's next bishop has decided against asking final candidates their views on gay bishops and same-sex marriages, angering some priests.

19 December 2003: Anglican Communion Secretariat moves to new offices
The London SE1 News reports that the permanent secretariat of the Anglican Consultative Council moves this week from its Waterloo Road building to a former convent in Westbourne Park.

18 December 2003: Another conservative Episcopal organization formed
The Chicago Tribune reports on the recent formation of the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes, and comments on its goals and possible impact.

17 December 2003: Anglican Church of Canada to seek revised Residential Schools judgment
The Anglican Journal (Canada) reports on the current status of that legal case.

17 December 2003: Beliefnet nominates Bishop Robinson for 'Most inspiring person'
Beliefnet, probably the world's largest multifaith website, has included the Rt Revd V. Gene Robinson in its nominations for the annual 'Most inspiring person of the year' award.


13 December 2003: Woman to be Dean of Salisbury
The Guardian (London) reports that Britain's Prime Minister has invited the Revd June Osborne to be Dean of Salisbury Cathedral.

12 December 2003: Canada's residential schools ruling overturned
The Vancouver Sun reports that the British Columbia Court of Appeal has overturned the residential school ruling that had held the Anglican Church of Canada partly to blame. The unanimous appeals ruling holds that Canada's federal government is entirely liable for the the abuse. If you are not familiar with this complex issue, the Anglican Church of Canada maintains this information site about it. The Globe and Mail offered this report.

12 December 2003: ABC to visit Middle East
The BBC reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury is to visit the Middle East next month. The Archbishop's office issued this brief press release.

12 December 2003: The expense of bishops
The Church Times (London) reports on some aspects of this year's survey of the money spent by the Church of England on its bishops.

12 December 2003: Numbers down, but church seen as important
The Church Times reports on the latest attendance figures for the Church of England.

12 December 2003: Churches Advertising Network Christmas campaign
The posters for this year's Christmas advertising campaign have started appearing around Britain. The campaign was announced in September. Thinking Anglicans has this commentary about the 2003 campaign. Wouldn't it be nice if every country had a Churches Advertising Network?

12 December 2003: Further Christmas shopping amusement
The Washington National Cathedral (USA) is offering for sale an 'Episcopopoly' game. Like all parodies of Monopoly, the fun of this is probably in seeing it and not in playing it. For US$40.00 it can be yours.

11 December 2003: We will work it out
The Associated Press reports that the Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church says that the church will resolve internal divisions over the consecration of its first openly gay bishop without direct intervention from overseas Anglican leaders. The US Episcopal Church had earlier issued this news release on that topic.

10 December 2003: First female British Army chaplain dispatched to Iraq
The UK's Army Press Centre reports that the Revd Juliette Hulme, Britain's first female 'Padre', has flown to Iraq to serve there.

10 December 2003: Update on anger over 'gay bishop'
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that church leaders in Botswana and several other provinces have denounced the US church and Bishop Robinson.

9 December 2003: Archbishop Carnley named new Anglican leader for ARCIC
The Catholic News (Australia) reports that Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, has appointed the Most Revd Peter Carnley, Primate of Australia, to lead the Anglican participation in the ongoing dialogue aimed at unity between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches.


7 December 2003: New ordination procedures in Tasmania
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that the recent ordination of six new Anglican priests and deacons in Hobart yesterday revealed the extent of change within the church.

6 December 2003: Archbishop speaks out on AIDS
World Press review reports that the Most Revd James Ayong, Primate of the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, has talked about AIDS in that island province.

6 December 2003: Shortage of deans hits Church of England
The Guardian (London) reports that seven of the church's 43 cathedrals are without deans. The men who administer the cathedrals are in short supply because of recent retirements and new appointment procedures.

6 December 2003: More details in criminal charges against bishop in Zimbabwe
The Church Times reports that more details have emerged of the charges made against the Bishop of Harare, the Rt Revd Nolbert Kunonga.

6 December 2003: Obituary
The Independent has printed an obituary of the Rt Revd John Richards, one of the first 'flying bishops' in the Church of England.

3 December 2003: IARCCUM conference (ARCIC related) postponed
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Roman Catholic and Anglican leaders have decided to postpone an international conference in Seattle after the Roman Church objected to the Episcopal Church consecrating an openly gay bishop. The Church Times reports in more detail on this situation. The Tablet, a British RC weekly magazine, had this news report. The Vatican had this to say about it. The Roman Catholic church in England and Wales issued this report. If you aren't sure what IARCCUM is and how it relates to ARCIC, you'll have to read the articles.

1 December 2003: Church and State in the United Kingdom
The BBC reports that a law prohibiting religious discrimination in the workplace could enable agnostic bishops in the Church of England. Sounds fascinating. And the vacancy in the Diocese of Hereford has been advertised in public media, creating the possibility of all manner of unusual applicants.


29 November 2003: A fierce wild priest
The Weekend Australian (Canberra) reports on the police work being expended to investigate past sexual abuse of boys in Anglican facilities in South Australia. There are currently 47 suspects and almost 200 victims.

29 November 2003: Frank Griswold resigns as co-chairman of ARCIC
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Most Revd Frank Griswold, Presiding Bishop of ECUSA, has submitted his resignation as co-chairman of the Anglican Roman-Catholic International Commission. The Telegraph (London) reports that this was a direct result of the recent New Hampshire consecration. The Episcopal News Service (USA) reported that Dr Griswold said that this was his idea.

28 November 2003: Nigeria bishops condemn US over gay bishop issue
The Church Times reports that the bishops of the Anglican Church of Nigeria have condemned “in its totality” the consecration of the Rt Revd Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire. There is an interesting profile of the Primate of the Church of Nigeria in our Worth Noting section.

28 November 2003: Expensive funerals in Africa
The BBC follows up on a question first raised by an Anglican Bishop in Uganda who denounced the practice of lavish funerals saying it was a form of corruption that impoverishes the bereaved families.

28 November 2003: Istanbul church heightens security
The Church Times reports that the Anglican church in Istanbul has been placed under heightened security after last week’s suicide-bomb attacks on British targets there. The BBC reports on prayer services for the dead there.

28 November 2003: Harare priest takes on bishop
The Church Times reports that a priest in Harare has charged the Bishop of Harare, the Rt Revd Nolbert Kunonga, with victimizing him. The Bishop is a well-known apologist for Zimbabwe's president, who many consider to be corrupt.

26 November 2003: Obituaries
The Independent and The Telegraph published obituaries of the Rt Revd Eric Mercer, former Bishop of Exeter. The Anglican Journal (Canada) published an obituary of the Rt Revd Allan Read, former Bishop of Ontario.

26 November 2003: Primate of South East Asia re-elected
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that Most Revd Datuk Yong Ping Chung, the Bishop of Sabah and the present Primate of the Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia, was re-elected.

25 November 2003: Nova Scotia elects third woman bishop in Canadian church
The Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island reports that it has elected the Revd Dr Susan Moxley as Bishop Suffragan. The Anglican Communion News Service has a longer article about her election.

25 November 2003: Two Australian dioceses issue statements on Freemasonry
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Diocese of Sydney has passed a motion condemning Freemasons, and the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn has issued a statement that more or less condemns Sydney's condemnation.

24 November 2003: Archbishop blows the whistle in South Africa
News 24 South Africa reports that the Most Revd Njongonkulu Ndungane, Archbishop of Cape Town, has demanded that the South African World Cup team management be taken to task for their treatment of that country's Rugby team.


23 November 2003: In Johannesburg, gays go to church
Business Day (South Africa) reports on the status of gay churchmembers in Johannesburg.

23 November 2003: Sydney archbishop considering separation from Canterbury
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Archbishop of Sydney is considering a separation from the spiritual authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury to join a Nigerian archbishop who opposes the ordination of homosexuals. The Age (Melbourne) has a similar version of the story, but includes a rare photograph of Dr Jensen in bishop's robes. Well, at least it's rare to us.

22 November 2003: Sydney launches 'defection crusade'
The Australian reports that the Most Revd Dr Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney, has signalled his intention to reassert conservative Christianity in Australia, starting with a controversial bid to poach disaffected members of the Uniting Church.

21 November 2003: Bitter church feud in Pakistan
The Church Times reports that a conflict over property from the days of British India, worth millions, has increased in vehemence after a forged claim that the Moderator of the Church of Pakistan supports gay clergy, and a further claim that he supports the drinking of alcohol.

21 November 2003: Abuse claim in Tasmania
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that the Diocese of Tasmania is dealing with another abuse claim, this time against a long-dead bishop. Several days earlier, The Australian reported that a [live] Tasmanian priest had confessed to using alcohol to seduce teenage boys.

20 November 2003: More bombs in Istanbul
The Archbishop issued this statement. Further reports of this bombing are in the Church Times, and Victoria Combe of The Telegraph wrote this quick tribute to Roger Short, British Consul General killed in the bombing and later filed this heart-rending story about Short's widow showing her children the spot where their father died. You can find here the usual exhaustive news coverage by Thinking Anglicans.

20 November 2003: Church politics in Nigeria
The Vanguard (Lagos) reports that the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Peter Akinola has cautioned against power tussle in the Anglican church to avoid the wrath of God.

19 November 2003: Adelaide church 'thwarts abuse victims'
The Australian reports that Australia's Anglican Church has frustrated alleged victims of sexual abuse in Adelaide by challenging their right to pursue it through a class action.

18 November 2003: ABC visits site of Turkish synagogue bomb
The BBC reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury has visited the scene of one of two Turkish synagogues attacked by suicide bombers.

18 November 2003: Australian conversions to Islam
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on Australian Christians who are converting to Islam.


15 November 2003: What an unholy mess
Guardian columnist Alexander Chancellor argues that a split might be good for the church.

15 November 2003: War on the church
Newsweek profiles the Revd Canon David Anderson, leader of the 'battle plan' against the US Episcopal church, and his 'war room'.

14 November 2003: Muslim to be head of Church of England School
The Church Times (London) reports that a Muslim, Rehana Siraj-Allan, is to lead a Church of England aided school in Bristol. The Bristol Evening Post has a more detailed report.

14 November 2003: Church of England to recruit communications professionals
The Church Times reports that an internal report has concluded that the Church of England needs to recruit a communications director, a national broadcaster, and a tabloid hack, to improve its “strategic positioning”. This paid advertisement appeared in the Church Times; note the link offering more information.

14 November 2003: Anglican and Orthodox leaders hold talks
The Scotsman (Glasgow) reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury will visit the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians in Istanbul next week.

13 November 2003: Former ABC visits Princeton
Princeton University reports that Lord Carey of Clifton, the 103rd Archbishop of Canterbury, and his wife Eileen, have just completed a visit to The Episcopal Church at Princeton University during which he gave a sermon to a congregation of nearly 1,000 on Sunday morning and a public lecture to over 120 people on Monday night.

13 November 2003: Status update on sex dispute in Canada
Canadian Christianity has a good summary of the current state of sexuality disputes in the Anglican Church of Canada.

12 November 2003: Uganda archbishop warns of dangerous scholarships
The New Vision (Kampala) reports that the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyooyo, has warned parents against fully sponsored foreign scholarships, because some of the scholarships are meant to lure people into homosexuality.

11 November 2003: Unchurched children in Australia
Cybercast News Service reports that the current generation of school-aged children in Australia is likely to be the first where the majority has had no experience of church.

10 November 2003: There never has been a Pink Plot...
Jeannette Winterson, writing in The Times (London) reminds her readers that there is no secret homosexual agenda.

10 November 2003: African priest confesses to his flock
The Independent (Johannesburg) reports that a priest in Johannesburg has made a public 'confession' to his congregation that he is gay.


8 November 2003: Bishops consecrated in Kansas, Florida
The Rt Revd Dean Wolfe was consecrated Bishop Coadjutor of Kansas, and the Rt Revd John Howard was consecrated Bishop Coadjutor of Florida. Bishop Wolfe's consecration was covered in the Wichita Eagle, and the Topeka Capital Journal. Bishop Howard's consecration was covered in the Florida Times-Union, and there is a good report, with pictures, on the diocesan website. World Magazine reports on the exclusion of Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold from the Florida consecration.

8 November 2003: Diocese of Pittsburgh prepares to leave
The Diocese of Pittsburgh held its diocesan convention. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette filed this report and this opinion column. Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh issued this press release.

8 November 2003: English bishop urges gays to seek psychiatric help
The Telegraph and The Guardian report that the Rt Rev Dr Peter Forster, Bishop of Chester, said that gay people should seek psychiatric help. Ananova and the Church Times and the BBC report that this statement caused the police to announce that they will be paying him a visit to see if he is in violation of British laws against hate crimes.

7 November 2003: Canadian bishop withdraws offer of alternative oversight
The Anglican Journal (Canada) reports that Bishop Terrence Buckle of the Yukon is withdrawing his offer of episcopal oversight to parishes in the diocese of New Westminster that do not agree with the blessing of same-sex unions.

7 November 2003: Political fight over Anglican school in Sydney
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on conflict in Sydney over government support of an elite private school, whose students include 'the sons of bishops'.

7 November 2003: Sex report is not a cudgel
The Church Times, reporting on the release of the new Church of England document Some Issues in Human Sexuality, observes that the church cannot paper over serious cracks in its teaching on sexuality.

6 November 2003: Ottawa yields on residential school suits
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) reports that the Federal government in Ottawa has backed down on a controversial waiver that was a big snag in its bid to speed settlements with 12,000 former students at native residential schools.

5 November 2003: Former archbishop and governor-general licensed in Melbourne
The Australian reports that former governor-general Peter Hollingworth has been licensed to minister in Melbourne.

5 November 2003: Restoration continues at burned Lunenburg church
Canada.com reports on the progress of the restoration of St John's Anglican Church in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, which was destroyed in a fire two years ago.

4 November 2003: African taboos force gays to keep a low profile
The Star (Cape Town) reports that Africa's Anglicans have reinforced a stigma against homosexuality that prevails across the continent.

4 November 2003: After the Robinson consecration
Those who consider the consecration of Bishop V Gene Robinson to have been a matter of global importance have been issuing statements and press releases this week. Everyone has remained in character: the conservatives and Anglobaptists have in general condemned it, and the progressives and Anglocatholics have applauded it. Thinking Anglicans has gathered the various official statements. Christianity Today has assembled a list of responses, if any, from all of the provinces of the Anglican Communion. We note that not all of them consider this sexuality issue to be of paramount importance. We're really quite weary of reading everyone's opinions, and urge those who are going to leave to just pipe down and leave, and those who are going to stay to get on with the business of being Christian. Advent will be here before you know it. We'd like to issue the News Centre Challenge: pick any one of the four gospels, read it through twice from beginning to end, and then ask yourself who that gospel, read in its entirety, urges us to exclude. If reading a gospel all the way through is too much for you, then here are some news stories for you to read.

3 November 2003: Canadian bishops 'struggle with dissent'
The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada reports that Canadian bishops have voted to strike a task force to study what the church should do to provide spiritual care for members who dissent from church policies.


2 November 2003: Gene Robinson consecrated Bishop Coadjutor of New Hampshire
In a hockey stadium in Durham, New Hampshire, the Rt Revd V Gene Robinson was consecrated Bishop Coadjutor of New Hampshire. We watched the whole event live on the BBC, and thought it was a glorious occasion except for a pornographic speech by a protesting cleric from Pittsburgh. Coverage includes Reuters, the BBC, the Associated Press, and hundreds more. The Episcopal News Service issued this press release announcing the consecration, and the American Anglican Council issued this press release bemoaning the consecration. The Archbishop of Canterbury issued this statement, on which the BBC reported, but the Associated Press reports that he thinks it will all blow over. All of the posturing and threatening took place in the weeks before this consecration, so in a sense there is no real news this week except that Bishop Robinson was not shot dead by a fanatic. Our press deadline is just 4 hours after the consecration completed, and we spent the afternoon watching it instead of working on AO, so we expect most press commentary and public response to be reported during the coming week. While waiting for the BBC live coverage to start, we read this profile of then-Canon Robinson by Stephen Bates of The Guardian (London) and this condemnation of him by J Grant Swank of MichNews (Troy, Michigan). We enjoyed shortly afterwards reading this column by Steve Blow in the Dallas Morning News. It was, if nothing else, a quotable event; the Associated Press has gathered these quotations from and about the consecration. This link will, each time you click on it, give you the latest press coverage of the consecration and its aftermath. This link will give you a number of good photographs of the consecration and the events surrounding it (both for it and against it).

2 November 2003: Call for church reforms in Ghana
The Ghana News Agency (Accra) reports that a lecturer at the Saint Nicholas Theological College in Cape Coast has called for radical reforms in the Anglican Church in Ghana to ensure its sustainable growth and development. He said the time had come for the Church to move away from the priest centred leadership to allow individuals to develop and practise their God-given talents.

1 November 2003: English Anglicans and Methodists sign covenant
The BBC reports that the Church of England and the Methodist church have signed a national covenant, under which they will move towards sharing services, clergy and resources. The Archbishop of Canterbury delivered this address at the signing.

29 October 2003: Anglican Communion Commission named
The Archbishop of Canterbury has announced the makeup and the terms of reference for a Commission to look at life in the Anglican Communion. News reports of this announcement include the Church Times, the Irish Examiner, The Australian, and the BBC.

28 October 2003: Church and lodge in Sydney
The Western Advocate (Bathurst, Australia) reports that the Sydney Anglican Synod has called on all Christian members of Masonic lodges to withdraw their membership and for church facilities not to be used for activities linked with Freemasonry. This happened last week, but somehow we overlooked the story in all of the ruckus about sex.


26 October 2003: Anglican bishop grabs white farm in Zimbabwe
The ZW News reports that the Sunday Times reports that an Anglican bishop has seized a previously white-owned farm for himself and his family in one of Zimbabwe’s prime agricultural districts. In the process, Nolbert Kunonga, the Bishop of Harare and a close associate of President Robert Mugabe, has evicted more than 50 black workers and their families to make way for his own staff.

26 October 2003: United Anglican Church leader dies in Rome
The Associated Press reports that Archbishop Gilbert McDowell, leader of the United Anglican Church, died in Rome after attending 25th anniversary celebrations for the Pope.

26 October 2003: Halfway to Lambeth
A conference in Manchester, England called 'Halfway to Lambeth' featured a number of speakers, but the only one who seems to have made the news is Canon Gene Robinson, who has been quoted heavily in ITV (UK), the Manchester Evening News (UK), the BBC, The Telegraph (London), and the New Zealand Herald. The Scotsman (Glasgow) reported on Michael Ingham's speech to that conference. The text of Bishop Ingham's speech was released by the Anglican Communion News Service, as was a press release about Canon Robinson's speech.

26 October 2003: Splashing in the shallow end of the pool?
The Independent (London) carries an opinion piece asserting that 'Statements from two of the Anglican church's leading archbishops yesterday put the Church of England on a seven-day countdown to a permanent split.' The Church Times reported 'Primates teeter on brink of split' and reported 'Dr Williams encourages "extended oversight"'. The American Anglican Council, which has been planning the split for a long time, issued this press release. The Church Times reports on efforts to clarify the mission of a new commission that might be created to implement a split, and published an editorial 'Wandering into schism'. The Church of Ireland Gazette (independent of the Church of Ireland) published an editorial 'Anglican realignment approaches'.

26 October 2003: A service ex cathedral
The BBC reports that Britain's Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) held its planned service in a Manchester parish church after it was cancelled at the cathedral.

25 October 2003: Avignon to Canterbury
British newspapers that are not easily available online have reported that planned changes in church law would empower the Archbishop of Canterbury to intervene in the affairs of churches outside England. IC Wales reports that the Church in Wales, from which the current ABC hails, is playing down such reports. The Australian (Canberra) republished one of the articles from The Times (London) that is not otherwise available online, with the headline 'Plan stirs fears of a new "pope"'.

25 October 2003: Lawsuit and dissent in Pittsburgh
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that a church in the Diocese of Pittsburgh has filed an ad litem lawsuit against its bishop and his inner circle. Meanwhile, a group of Pittsburgh Episcopalians who are opposed to schism have sent this letter to three Anglican primates.

24 October 2003: US presiding bishop writes to other Primates
The Episcopal News Service has released the text of a letter written to Anglican Primates by Frank Griswold, Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church (and hence its primate). Simon Sarmiento has gathered a few reports on the Primates' meeting here on the Thinking Anglicans website.

24 October 2003: Gene Robinson has a place to stand
The New York Times reports that the Revd Canon Gene Robinson, bishop-elect of New Hampshire, said he intended to proceed with his consecration despite the controversy.

24 October 2003: Follow the money
The Washington Post reports on the sources of the money that is funding the opposition to the US Episcopal Church.

23 October 2003: Priest opposed to gay unions loses job
Canada's National Post reports that 'An Anglican priest has had his pay cut off and his church has been recommended for "termination" after his parishioners voted to defy their bishop by refusing to support blessings for same-sex unions.' The Diocese of New Westminster wrote a letter to that newspaper asserting that the story was inaccurate, but the letter appeared only in a pay-to-read section of the website. If we find an online copy of the diocese's reply, we will link it here. The essence of the letter is that the priest was disciplined not for his beliefs, but for pledging his loyalty to a bishop not his own.

22 October 2003: New Anglican scholarly journal
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that Continuum Publishing Group (on behalf of Australia's Journal of Anglican Studies Trust) has announced the creation of a new international journal concerned with the study of Anglicanism in all its forms. The definitive statement of what this journal will be is online only as a Word file.

21 October 2003: Canadian Primate says Anglican Church of Canada to remain inclusive
The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada has released the text of a statement by Archbishop Michael Peers, in which he says that Canadian gays and lesbians will continue to be 'welcomed and received in our churches and to have their contributions to our common life honoured'.

20 October 2003: Ex-prostitute now a priest
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a former teenage sex worker with a criminal record has been ordained as a Church of England vicar. The next week's Church Times reports that she tells a different version of the story.

19 October 2003: Nigerian bishop denounces gay colleagues
The Vanguard (Lagos) reports that the Rt Revd Tunde Adeleye, Bishop of Calabar, has 'dared the gay bishops to tell the whole world if they were not worse than animals in the forest'. The newspaper quotes him as saying that homosexuality 'is immoral, sinful and unacceptable to both human beings and animals', adding that those who wish to practise it must be far less than animals.


19 October 2003: Gene Robinson reaffirms role
The BBC reports that the bishop-elect of New Hampshire, Canon Gene Robinson, has reaffirmed his belief that his consecration scheduled for 2 November should go ahead. The Diocese of New Hampshire has issued this press release.

19 October 2003: Warning to Williams: backing gays will cause riots and death
The Observer (London) reports that certain unidentified church leaders have told Rowan Williams that if he heeded calls to relax the Church's stance on homosexuality 'people would die'. This persuasion technique worked well in Chicago during the depression, but one doesn't normally see it used in modern Britain.

19 October 2003: Way of the cross
David Aaronovitch, writing in The Observer, asks 'Angry Anglicans are agonising over gay bishops. Aren't there more pressing issues to think about?'

18 October 2003: US bishops consecrated
New bishops were consecrated today in Milwaukee and New Jersey. The Rt Revd Steven Andrew Miller is now Bishop of Milwaukee, and the Rt Revd George Edward Councell is now Bishop of New Jersey. The Trenton Times published this backgrounder on the new Bishop of New Jersey.

18 October 2003: Reflections on the Primates' meeting
Nearly everyone has an opinion about what happened at the Primates' meeting. The opinions diverge widely. The Sydney Morning Herald asserts 'Anglicans two weeks from global split'. The Toronto Star asserts 'Christianity, Islam on collision course'. The Australian reports 'Church to survive gay split: Carnley'. The Age (Melbourne) published an essay by Muriel Porter 'Why Anglican schism would hurt those who force it'. Christianity Today published an interview 'One-and-one-half cheers for the Anglican primates' statement'. The Telegraph (London) published an editorial saying 'The Church's unity is more important than sexuality'. The Guardian (London) published 'That special relationship', by the Bishop of Durham. The Observer slyly reports that 'Bishops confuse liberals'. The Telegraph muses about the situation in 'Backward Christian soldiers' and columnist A N Wilson says 'I'd be sad to see my Church sundered by so small a thing'. The American Anglican Council issued this press release, and their archenemy, Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, issued this press release. The BBC, in reporting an interview with Rowan Williams, asserts '"Huge crisis" over gay bishop'. We duly note the report that the sky is falling, and tire of reading breathless reports of the pending crisis, but if you want to read more of them, you can find them here. You can find exhaustive reports of British coverage in Thinking Anglicans this week.

16 October 2003: Primates' meeting in London finishes
The Primates of the Anglican Communion met at Lambeth Palace this week. At the end of the meeting, they issued this joint statement and the Archbishop of Canterbury made this statement. Anglicans Online's Simon Sarmiento has written this report. The Church Times has filed this report. Other press coverage includes the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Age (Melbourne), the BBC, the Associated Press, This Day (Lagos), Fox News, and The Independent (London). Our rough summary of the situation is that all parties are declaring victory.

15 October 2003: Building up to the Primates' meeting
Now that the meeting is over, it might seem pointless to read predictions about it. But it's fun. Here's one from the Sydney Morning Herald, here's one from CNN, here's one from The New York Times, and here's one from Reuters.

13 October 2003: Christianity said to be in peril
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that in the opening address of the Sydney Synod, Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney, said that parts of Western Christianity were locked in a struggle to survive, and the issues of homosexual ministers and same-sex unions would prove the turning point.

13 October 2003: First female bishop faces a long wait
The Australian reports that Australia's first female bishop could still be a few years away.


12 October 2003: Gay English bishop to 'come out' in memoirs
The Sunday Times reports that a serving bishop in the Church of England is to disclose his homosexual lifestyle in an autobiography to be published on his retirement. The bishop claims some of the greatest Anglican pastors were gay — and confirms that at least seven of the present 113 Church of England bishops are either gay or bisexual. We are aware that only UK and Ireland residents can read this story without paying a fee, but we thought we'd mention it anyhow. In a related story, the Associated Press reports that gay Anglican priests are afraid for their careers should the conservatives' demands be met.

12 October 2003: ABC gambles to heal division over gays
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will attempt to prevent the acrimonious collapse of the worldwide Anglican Church at a crisis summit on homosexuality this week by gambling on an appeal to the middle ground. We're pleased that he can see middle ground to which to appeal.

12 October 2003: Melbourne synod votes to ordain women bishops
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the 'Melbourne Anglican synod has broken ranks with the rest of the Anglican Church, approving the immediate ordination of women bishops.' Additional coverage in The Australian, The Age, and the New Zealand Herald. As so frequently happens in public events where sex or sexuality is involved, the presidential address by Archbishop Peter Watson did not get as much coverage. The Sydney Morning Herald speculated on who might be the first female bishop.

12 October 2003: Majority of Church of England members back gay clergy
The Telegraph (London) reports that more than half of all Church of England worshippers believe that practising homosexuals should be allowed to join the clergy and more than two thirds support the ordination of celibate homosexuals. Presumably this also applies to people who are out of practice. Nevertheless, the Observer reports that Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, is prepared to declare the consecration of Gene Robinson to be in breach of the Church's position on homosexuality as set out in 1998.

12 October 2003: Archbishop urges Christians to end their obsession with gay priests
The Independent (London) reports that the Most Revd Winston Njongonkulu Ndungane, Archbishop of Cape Town, has told his fellow bishops to end their obsession with gay priests and start behaving more like Christians. The comments were made in Australia, whose newspaper The Age reported in more detail. The Church Times reports that he is calling for a high-level commission to tackle the contentious issue of sexuality, and he wrote this column for the Church Times, 'Our need for moral honesty'.

12 October 2003: US millionaire bankrolls crusade against gay priests
The Observer (London) reports that reclusive US millionaire Howard F Ahmanson Jr is the principal source of funds that support the organisations that oppose gay priests.

11 October 2003: Rumours of death of Anglican Church in Wales reported to be exaggerated
IC Wales reports that a survey of 9,214 Year 9 and 10 pupils found that around 20% of 13 to 15-year-olds were members of the Church in Wales.

10 October 2003: American Anglican Council meeting ends
The American Anglican Council held a widely-publicised meeting held near Plano, Texas this week. The AAC's news coverage of their own event is here. Outside observers were in general not welcome, so one must assume that in general the news coverage was written by those in sympathy with the AAC. That coverage includes this interesting speech from Diane Knippers. Newspaper coverage included the Washington Post, 'Conservative Anglicans Rebel'; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 'Dissident Episcopalians call for action'; the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 'Conservatives meet to realign Episcopal church'; Chicago Tribune 'Repent, Episcopal conferees tell liberals'; Associated Press 'Episcopalians prepare appeal to worldwide Anglican primates'; The Guardian (London) 'Rightwing aims "fuel gay bishop campaign"'; Time Europe 'The Schism of 2003'. This news search will give you dozens of stories from around the world. One result of the meeting was this 'Call to action'. Editorial responses include the Dallas Morning News and the ECUSA Presiding Bishop. The Guardian (London) reports that Cardinal Ratzinger 'egged on' the conflict, perhaps trying to encourage a schism. The AAC published the text of his letter. Doug LeBlanc of Christianity Today wrote this early report and several others. The rally was held at the Wyndham Anatole in Dallas. The original venue was Christ Church, Plano, but it was changed due to the number of registrations.

7 October 2003: Rome warns C of E over homosexuals
The Church Times reports that the Pope has left the Archbishop of Canterbury in no doubt about the dismay felt by the Roman Catholic Church over recent developments in the Anglican Communion.


5 October 2003: ABC meets Pope in Rome
The Archbishop of Canterbury went to Rome to meet with the Pope. The Pope's statement, in English, is here. The Archbishop's statement, also in English, is here. The BBC's report on the visit focused on a warning that we do not see in the Pope's statement. The Associated Press and Reuters reported on the visit. The Anglican Communion News Service filed this brief report and this photograph. The Telegraph's report was headlined 'Archbishop of Canterbury pays homage to "dying" Pope'. The Observer reported that 'Church rifts remain after Pope meets Archbishop'.

4 October 2003: Robert O'Neill consecrated Bishop in Colorado
The Denver Post reports that the Rt Revd Robert O'Neill was consecrated as Bishop Coadjutor in the Diocese of Colorado. As Bishop Coadjutor, he will succeed the current bishop, the Rt Revd Jerry Winterrowd, upon his retirement. There is no mention of this event on the diocesan website.

4 October 2003: Muddy in the Cathedral
The New Zealand News reports that Wellington's Cathedral of St Paul has a costly case of leaky-building syndrome just five years after its completion.

2 October 2003: Sydney asks US expulsion from Anglican Communion
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Most Revd Dr Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney, has asked that the US Episcopal Church be expelled from the Anglican Communion. That newspaper also published this brief interview with Dr Jensen, in which he referred to the current controversy as a battle for the soul of the west. The Age (Melbourne) wrote this report on his commentary. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has published this transcript of a radio interview with Dr Jensen. Dr Jensen's press office has published this commentary on his website.

2 October 2003: US Episcopal conservatives to meet in Plano, Texas
It is often said that the best explanation of 'Democracy in America' was that written by the Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville. In that vein, we refer you to coverage from Canada on the upcoming Plano conference being held by the American Anglican Council.

2 October 2003: Plot to silence the Primates' gay debate
The Church of England Newspaper (an evangelical publication not part of the Church of England) reports on a plot to silence the Primates' gay debate, reporting that 'bureaucrats have launched an attempt to manipulate the agenda and format of the forthcoming emergency Primates' Meeting'. We are dubious about this because we have never seen any instance in which faithful church people attempt to use political techniques to manipulate church decisions...

2 October 2003: Muriel Porter on George Pell
Muriel Porter, writing in The Age (Melbourne), argues that 'The rise of traditionalists in Catholicism and Anglicanism puts the gospel in danger.'

2 October 2003: Africans united
The Church Times reports that 'Primates and representatives from the 12 provinces in Africa are reported to have resolved not to split over homosexuality.'

2 October 2003: Former Cariboo diocese requests a bishop
The Anglican Journal (Toronto) reports that the former diocese of Cariboo, now called the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior, voted last month to ask the ecclesiastical province of British Columbia and the Yukon that it be allowed to elect a suffragan bishop.

2 October 2003: Credit in the Cathedral
The Church Times reports on the experimental use of a small Point-of-Worship terminal in Norwich Cathedral to take donations with credit cards rather than with the more-traditional cash.

1 October 2003: Church and politics in Canada
The Anglican Journal (Toronto) comments on difficulties in reporting on the upcoming meeting between the Anglican Council of I
ndigenous Peoples (ACIP) and leaders of the Anglican Church of Canada.

1 October 2003: Trinity Wall Street reassures African partners
Trinity Church, in Wall Street, New York City, is quite possibly the richest church in the world, because it has owned a lot of land for centuries in what is now lower Manhattan, and has managed its money wisely. Trinity Wall Street is one of the major sources of grants to needy Anglican organisations around the world. The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the head of the grants program of Trinity Church Wall Street has told partner churches in Africa that they will not be penalized for expressing views opposed to the policies of the Episcopal Church on the issue of human sexuality.

1 October 2003: Secret paper on Church of England spin control
The Telegraph (London) reports on a leak from the Archbishop of Canterbury's office of a document entitled 'Notes towards a Handling Strategy on Gay Issues'. Subsequent investigation, not reported by The Telegraph, determined that this document was written many months ago, and is not at all current. Presumably because he played some role in their acquisition or verification of this document, The Telegraph published this brief profile of Jeremy Harris, the ABC's secretary for public affairs.

1 October 2003: Vatican reportedly 'sees Anglican ties progressing'
The Associated Press reports that the Vatican is publicly stressing its progress in forging closer ties with the Anglican Communion despite deepening divisions over homosexuality.


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