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The News Centre
Archived News Headlines for Jul/Aug/Sep 2005

Link to main News Archives page

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30 September 2005: Tartan stoles
The Church Times reports that a Scottish Episcopalian specialising in ecclesiastical vestments has started a new line in tartan stoles.

30 September 2005: New Australian primate warns of new evils
News.com.au (Australia) reports that the Most Revd Dr Phillip Aspinall, Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, has delivered a strong warning against what he describes as the evils of materialism and the dangers of scientific advances. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has published this transcript of an interview with Dr Aspinall.

29 September 2005: Press briefing in Nigeria
The Church of Nigeria has issued this press release to explain its recent actions. Thinking Anglicans has good commentary on it here.

28 September 2005: Iraqi Anglicans killed
The Times (London) reports that the entire lay leadership team of St George's Church in Baghdad is presumed to have been killed after they were attacked while returning from a conference in Jordan.

27 September 2005: US House of Bishops reports on its recent meeting
The House of Bishops of the US Episcopal Church met recently in Puerto Rico. Such meetings are private, but at the end they issued this report.

27 September 2005: 50 years of being 'Anglican'
The Anglican Church of Canada notes that it was fifty years ago that Canada's Anglicans voted to change the name of their church from the 'Church of England in Canada,' to 'The Anglican Church of Canada'.


23 September 2005: First Peculiar woman
The Church Times reports that a female Canon has been appointed to Westminster Abbey, and that this appointment marks the first appointment of a woman to any Royal Peculiar.

23 September 2005: Disputed consecration to occur in Malawi
The Nation Online (Malawi) reports that the Diocese of Lake Malawi has started preparations for the consecration of its bishop-elect despite turbulent protests.

23 September 2005: Gene Robinson predicts a split
The Associated Press reports that Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire, who has been an icon in recent global church disputes, has predicted a division in the Anglican Communion.

23 September 2005: Lagos bishop vows to build 100 new churches
Christian Today reports that the Rt Revd Dr Peter Adebiyi, Bishop of Lagos West, has announced his plan to build 100 new churches in his diocese in the next few years.

21 September 2005: African archbishop cremated
The East African Standard (Nairobi) reports that the remains of the late Archbishop Manasses Kuria were cremated. Cremations are rare in Kenya, and Bishop Kuria had raised eyebrows when he arranged three years ago for the cremation of his late wife.

21 September 2005: New abbreviated Bible
The BBC reports on the publication of The 100-Minute Bible, designed for those who do not have time to read the full edition. It was given that name because a typical adult can read it front-to-back in under two hours.

19 September 2005: Bishops suggest apology for war
The BBC reports that 'Church of England bishops have suggested Christian leaders apologise to Muslim leaders for the war in Iraq.' The Cybercast News Service reports that Iraqi Christians could be adversely affected by this apology.


17 September 2005: Church blessing for English rail landmark
The BBC reports that a steam engine is to be blessed with holy water to mark the 175th anniversary of commercial rail travel.

16 September 2005: Southern Cone bishop insists Global South will not create split
The Church Times reports that the Most Revd Gregory Venables, Primate of the Southern Cone, has stated that the meeting of Global South leaders in Egypt next month 'will not be the occasion for a split in the Anglican Communion'.

15 September 2005: Church of Nigeria asserts that it has redefined the Anglican Communion
The Church of Nigeria today issued a press release entitled 'Church of Nigeria redefines Anglican Communion'. It would not be difficult to interpret this press release as announcing some form of split. In fact, Ruth Gledhill of The Times (London) reports it as exactly that. Reuters reports that Peter Akinola, the prime mover of the recent events in the Global South, says it isn't so.

15 September 2005: New bishop for Belize
Television Channel 5 Belize reports that The Revd Canon Philip Wright has been selected to be the next Bishop of Belize.

14 September 2005: Church of Nigeria again lashes Western liberals
The Church of Nigeria issued a press release quoting the Archbishop of South East Asia in his condemnation of Western liberals, specifically for their stance on sexuality.

14 September 2005: Sex shake-up in Sydney cathedral choir
Well, not exactly, but so much church news is about sex that it seemed only right to phrase the headline that way. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that St Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney will have an all-girl choir, which is a break with more than a century of tradition.

13 September 2005: Nigerian synod worries about tribalism
The Daily Independent (Lagos) reports that a major topic at the recent Nigerian synod was the destructive role of tribalism in Nigerian politics and church matters.


11 September 2005: Africans set to found rival Anglican church
The Scotsman (Edinburgh) reports that a group of African bishops is preparing to start a new Anglican church, based in Egypt, with Peter Akinola (Archbishop of Nigeria) as its leader.

10 September 2005: Australian bishop recommends female successor
The Daily Telegraph (Australia) reports that the Rt Revd George Browning, Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, told his annual synod meeting that he hoped that by the time he was ready to step down, the diocese would feel able to nominate a woman. He is not scheduled to step down for 3 more years, so this is all somewhat subjunctive, but the statement has people talking.

9 September 2005: Archbishop of Nigeria bans Archbishop of Brazil from meeting
The Church Times reports that the Archbishop Nigeria, Dr Peter Akinola, has excluded the Province of Brazil and its Archbishop, the Most Revd Orlando Santo de Olivera, from a meeting of Anglicans of the Global South to be held in Alexandria next month.

7 September 2005: General Synod in Nigeria
The Church of Nigeria has announced that it will hold its 8th General Synod from 10 September to 15 September in Onitsha.

4 September 2005: Anglican Bishop speaks at RC Mass in Ireland
Ireland Online reports that the Rt Revd Alan Harper, Bishop of Connor (Church of Ireland) today spoke at a Roman Catholic Mass to express inter-church solidarity following a series of sectarian attacks on Catholic churches and schools.


4 September 2005: Hurricane
The arrival and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina seems to have stopped most other news cold. There is a smattering of stories about how this or that group has helped in this way, or how this or that parish church was destroyed, but fundamentally the world is riveted on the aftermath of the hurricane rather than exotic politics. This is as it should be, but it makes our News Centre very brief this week. Cash donations to Episcopal Relief and Development seem to be the best way for you to help. The Diocese of Louisiana and the Diocese of Mississippi both have working websites on which they are posting updates about the status of their disrupted flocks.

This Hurricane Message Center was created to help displaced Episcopalians find one another and stay in touch. It has a section for each participating church that was damaged or destroyed.

4 September 2005: Nigerian primate calls president 'inhuman'
The Sunday Independent (Lagos) reports that the Most Revd Peter Akinola, Primate of the Church of Nigeria, looked President Olusegun Obasanjo in the eye and told him that he was harsh and inhuman.


26 August 2005: Ecumenical funeral in Taizé
The Church Times reports on the funeral of Brother Roger, founder of Taizé, who was stabbed to death last week. The service included a prayer of forgiveness for the assassin. The Church Times published this opinion piece about the event and the Taizé community. The Anglican Communion News Service filed this report on the Resurrection Eucharist.

26 August 2005: Zimbabwe ecclesiastical trial collapses
The Telegraph (London) reports that 'The ecclesiastical trial of an Anglican bishop who is an ardent supporter of President Robert Mugabe ended in farce yesterday when the presiding judge withdrew from the case before a plea had been heard.' The Herald (Harare) filed this report and this editorial.

25 August 2005: Lake Malawi consecration postponed
The Living Church reports that the Primate of Central Africa has postponed the consecration of an English priest as Bishop of Lake Malawi.

24 August 2005: Lawsuit in Connecticut
The American Anglican Council has issued a press release announcing a lawsuit filed in Connecticut against its bishop. It is not entirely clear to us why that organization issued the press release, as it is seemingly not a party to the lawsuit. There is good coverage of this event in Thinking Anglicans.

21 August 2005: Call for native bishop for Anglican Church of Canada
At the recent meeting of the Sacred Circle in the Anglican Church of Canada, the participants asked for an indigenous bishop with national scope to serve the indigenous Anglicans. Diocese of Saskatchewan has made available a video of Archdeacon Sidney Black, Co-Chair of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples, reading the petition for a national native bishop.


19 August 2005: Bishop of Worcester speaks out on civil partnerships
The Church Times reports that 'The Bishop of Worcester, Dr Peter Selby, has broken ranks with the House of Bishops over its statement on the Civil Partnerships Act.' His statement is on the Diocese of Worcester's website.

19 August 2005: Call to end official status of Church of England
The Guardian (London) reports that 'A leading Labour thinktank has called for the Church of England's preferential status to end and for its bishops to the lose the right to sit in the House of Lords.' Details of that report are on the Fabian Society's website.

16 August 2005: Taizé founder murdered
Many world newspapers have reported the murder of Brother Roger Schutz, founder of the Taizé community. The Tablet has an excellent reflection on Br Roger's life, more a tribute than an obituary.

14 August 2005: New Malawi bishop protested
The Nation Online (Lilongwe, Malawi) reports that there is a protest movement in Malawi to reject the recently-elected Bishop of Lake Malawi, the Revd Nicholas Henderson, because he is a foreigner and holds views 'not converssant with Malawian culture'.


14 August 2005: Expansion in Kenya
The Standard (Nairobi) reports that the Anglican Church of Kenya 'could have at least five archbishops and one primate in two years'. The newspaper refers to this as a 'power plan'.

12 August 2005: Nigerian diocese floats a debenture
The Vanguard (Lagos) reports that the Diocese of Lagos West has floated a debenture stock for the development of a hostel project.

12 August 2005: Superior court ruling favors breakaway parish
The Los Angeles Times reports that the Orange County Superior Court has ruled that St James Church owns its parish property.

11 August 2005: Anglican Indigenous Sacred Circle in Canada
The Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (Canada) has issued this statement after the recent meeting of the Sacred Circle.

10 August 2005: Anglican Francophone Network meeting
The Anglican Communion News Service reports (in English) on the recent meeting in Montréal of the Anglican Francophone Network. We have not yet managed to locate a French-language version of this report.

8 August 2005: Fallout from UK Civil Partnerships
The UK Parliament has passed a Civil Partnership Act, which will offer couples legal rights similar to marriage. The Church of England has seen much public turmoil resulting from this. The Telegraph (London) reports 'Gay Clergy to defy bishops over no-sex "marriages"'. That newspaper also published this column by a gay priest. The Bishop of Winchester has written this article for New Directions about the Act. The Church Times published this article about (and containing)
the reaction of the Archbishop of Nigeria.


6 August 2005: Bishops speak out in Australia
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that 'Australia's two most influential religious conservatives, Cardinal George Pell and Dr Peter Jensen' have spoken out against the Australian government's new industrial relations policies.

5 August 2005: Chichester Cathedral refuses entry charges
The Church Times reports that the Dean of Chichester, the Very Revd Nicholas Frayling, warned this week of the dangers of charging for entry to cathedrals. If you'd like to send them some money to say 'thank you' for this policy, here's how.

4 August 2005: Priest deposed in Eastern Michigan
Thinking Anglicans has covered the deposition of the Revd Gene Geromel by the Rt Revd Ed Leidel Jr, Bishop of Eastern Michigan. The local newspaper, the Flint Journal, wrote this report on the event.

3 August 2005: Akinola demand for C of E expulsion
The Church Times reports on a call by the Most Revd Peter Akinola, Primate of Nigeria, for the expulsion of the Church of England from the Anglican Consultative Council, and on the reactions to that call. That statement is on the website of the Church of Nigeria. Thinking Anglicans has collected further statements by various groups about the UK government's action.


30 July 2005: Episcopal Youth Encounter
More than a thousand Episcopal young people and about 50 bishops who felt young gathered this week in Berea, Kentucky, USA for the triennial Episcopal Youth Encounter. Nary a one was struck by lightning. A local newspaper, the Lexington Herald-Leader, filed this report.

29 July 2005: Church of England position on civil partnerships
The UK government will permit the registration of civil partnerships later this year. The Church of England's House of Bishops this week released a statement outlining the Church's position. The Church Times offers this report on that statement and Thinking Anglicans offers this roundup. Thinking Anglicans also has a roundup of a recent rumour regarding another statement on civil partnerships.

29 July 2005: New Council of allied provinces formed
Thinking Anglicans reports on the formation of the Council of Anglican Provinces of the Americas and Caribbean (CAPAC).

29 July 2005: Developments in Connecticut
Thinking Anglicans carries a good roundup of recent events in the feud between the Bishop of Connecticut and six priests. Numerous open letters and threats.

29 July 2005: Financial problems in Tasmania
Yahoo News reports that the Diocese of Tasmania is having financial problems, but that its bishop has announced that no parish will be forced to sell its church buildings.

27 July 2005: Third International Afro-Anglican conference
The Third International Afro-Anglican conference has completed at the University of Toronto. The Anglican Church of Canada issued this press release, which as we write has not been picked up by any newspapers.

25 July 2005: First appeal to the Panel of Reference
The Diocese of Fort Worth announced that it has appealed for help to the newly-formed Panel of Reference.


23 July 2005: Former treasurer of Diocese of Texas arrested for theft
The Houston Chronicle reports that the former treasurer of the Diocese of Texas was arrested for stealing half a million dollars from his diocese.

22 July 2005: Zimbabwe Bishop trial delayed
The Church Times reports that the trial of the Bishop of Harare, the Rt Revd Nolbert Kunonga has been postponed until 23 August.

22 July 2005: Murder trial in Melanesia
The Daily Telegraph (Australia) reports on the trial of those charged with the 2003 execution-style murders of three members of the Melanesian Brotherhood in the Solomon Islands.

22 July 2005: Conflict in Connecticut
Thinking Anglicans has a comprehensive report on the current state of the priest-vs-bishop conflict in Connecticut. It contains links to most other major coverage.

20 July 2005: Our report on the C of E's General Synod
Peter Owen, AO correspondent and member of the Church of England General Synod, has filed this report on the July 2005 Synod meeting. Thinking Anglicans has rounded up the press coverage of General Synod.

18 July 2005: ABC in Burundi
The Archbishop of Canterbury is in Burundi on an official four-day visit. He released this tribute to the Anglican Church in Burundi at which he preached during the enthronement service of the Rt Revd Bernard Ntahoturi as Archbishop of Burundi. Towards the end of his visit, in a speech at the university in Bujumbura, he noted how crucial is education to Africa.

16 July 2005: First awarding of Ramsey Prize
The Archbishop of Canterbury has announced the awarding of the first Ramsey Prize for Theological writing, to Bishop Tom Wright.

16 July 2005: Holy Spirits uncovered
The BBC reports the discovery of dozens of bottles of 19th-century gin in a hidden chamber beneath a church in Sussex, England.


16 July 2005: Archbishop speaks out in Ghana
Ghana Web (Accra) reports that the Archbishop of Ghana has spoken out sharply against the 'culture of lies' in that country's society.

15 July 2005: A step towards women bishops in England
The Church Times reports that the Church of England's General Synod voted on Monday to remove legal obstacles that prevent women from becoming bishops. Thinking Anglicans has good coverage of that General Synod.

15 July 2005: Panel of Reference holds first meeting
The Panel of Reference held its first meeting in London, after which it issued this Communiqué. The first part of the Communiqué explains what the panel is.

14 July 2005: Southern Africa Synod report
The Anglican Communion News Service has released a report on the recent Synod of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa. We note with amusement that, even though the first sentence of that report reflects the name change from 'Church of the Province of Southern Africa' to 'Anglican Church in Southern Africa', that the byline says 'Compiled by ACNS from CPSA sources'. Old habits die hard.

14 July 2005: Connecticut priest removed
The New York Times reports that the Bishop of Connecticut has inhibited a diocesan priest for violation of diocesan rules. This act is part of the ongoing sexuality squabbles, which we do not normally report, but there's not much else going on in the Anglican world this week.


9 July 2005: New Primate for Australia
The Most Revd Phillip Aspinall, Archbishop of Brisbane, 45 years old, has been elected Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia. This article from the Sydney Morning Herald does a good job of explaining the context of this election; Monday's story in the SMH includes the comment that 'the new leader of Australia's four million Anglicans has quickly stamped his progressive credentials on the post'. The Age noted that 'Bishops split on new Anglican leader: Clergy and laity voted strongly for Phillip Aspinall, but his peers were almost evenly divided'. The Brisbane paper, the Courier Mail, reports that 'Aspinall vows to be man of moderation'. (We note that this is one of the few online papers that includes a photo of the new primate.) Finally, The Australian includes in its Monday editorial says: 'Primate must be a man for all factions' and includes a feature article on the new primate: 'Primed for change'.

8 July 2005: General Synod begins in England
The Church of England's General Synod meeting has begun at the University of York. It will last five days. On Monday, the debate on women bishops will commence; AO's Simon Sarmiento is in York and will report on the significant occurrences. Meanwhile, much overwrought coverage is appearing in the paper. Christopher Morgan, in the Sunday Times, proclaims: 'Churchmen on brink of exodus over women bishops'. The BBC reports the remarks of the Bishop of Ebbsfleet — that 'hundreds of traditionalist clergy' will leave for the Church of Rome, should women be ordained as bishops in the Church of England — and the comments of Bishop of Reading, that 'the vast majority of people in the Church of England support this'.

7 July 2005: London bombings
The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued this statement on the transport bombings in London. He spoke about it the next day on the BBC Radio programme Thought for the Day. Many Anglican primates and archbishops -- along with a considerable number of the 600 Anglican diocesan bishops -- issued some sort of statement or call to prayer; that's too many to list here. The Times (London) reported that all major religious leaders condemned the attacks.

4 July 2005: South African church will change its name
The Independent Online (Cape Town) reports that the formal name of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa will change to the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. It seems no one knew what 'province' meant; perhaps it seemed, well, provincial.


2 July 2005: Anglican Church of Kenya disavows US Episcopal Church
The Standard (Nairobi) reports that the Anglican Church of Kenya has severed links with the Episcopal Church of America and demanded its expulsion from the global communion.

1 July 2005: Additional coverage of recent ACC meeting in Nottingham
The 13th meeting of the ACC (see below) has ended in Nottingham, England. Simon Sarmiento has written this further report for Anglicans Online. About two dozen reports from the US Episcopal News Service have been placed online here. There are also numerous reports and press releases on the Anglican Communion News Service page, most of which make us yawn. The Anglican Church of Canada has issued this statement on the ACC meeting. The Church Times reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said that most of his hopes for the ACC meeting had been met. The Church Times also reports on the continuing tumult over the ACC resolution on investments in Israel. Lest you think that the ACC only talked about sex, there were numerous other topics.

1 July 2005: Women bishops in the Church of England
The Church Times reports that six (male) diocesan bishops and others have signed a letter urging the General Synod to reject moves that would allow women to be consecrated as bishops in the Church of England. The Guardian published an essay by Judith Maltby on the topic of women bishops.


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