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The News Centre
Archived News Headlines for Jul/Aug/Sep 2006

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29 September 2006: CAPA intervenes in Malawi
The Church Times reports that CAPA, the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa, has stepped in to the feud between the Diocese of Lake Malawi and the Province of Central Africa over who is to be the next bishop of that diocese.

28 September 2006: Statement overload
This week's batch of statements and press releases has overloaded our ability to find news in them, so for a while we're going to stop acting as though public statements are news, and try to report on actual events, which the issuing of statements is not. We've noted just a couple of statements below, and filed all the rest.

28 September 2006: US Presiding Bishop issues 'reflection' on recent gatherings and statements
The Episcopal News Service (USA) released a 'reflection' by the US Presiding Bishop on recent meetings in Texas and Rwanda that ended in the issuance of statements or communiqués.

28 September 2006: US House of Deputies president issues statement on Kigali communiqué
The Episcopal News Service (USA) released a statement from the president of the House of Deputies about the recent statement issued by some Global South primates in a meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. The ENS also issued a press release entitled 'More objections voiced to Kigali communiqué'.

28 September 2006: Review committee finds no violation of canon in Diocese of San Joaquin
The Episcopal News Service (USA) reports that the committee formed to address charges brought against the Bishop of San Joaquin has unanimously reached the conclusion that the bishop's actions '"do not constitute abandonment" of communion as defined by the Canons of the Episcopal Church.'

26 September 2006: Pennsylvania Standing Committee rejects bishop's nominee for Chancellor
The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Pennsylvania issued a brief report stating that it had not approved the candidate nominated by the bishop to be Chancellor of that diocese. When a diocesan standing committee has its own website, distinct from the diocese's website, you know there is conflict there.

26 September 2006: Archbishop criticizes anti-gay clergy
The Times (London) reports that the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Njongonkulu Ndungane, has said that conservative African bishops 'are in danger of placing themselves outside "authentic Anglicanism" because of their actions on homosexuality'.

23 September 2006: Perhaps it's only grievous if you oppose the incumbent government?
The US Internal Revenue Service quite some time ago expressed its dismay at a sermon delivered in All Saints' Church, Pasadena, California, in the Diocese of Los Angeles. Recently it has raised the stakes, and has issued two summons. The church's website is too muddled and Microsoft-centric for us to be able to see the various press releases and statements on our Macs, so we can't link you to them, but if you are using a Windows system you can probably click around the church's website and see the various summons, letters, editorials, and so forth. The Episcopal News Service (USA) issued this press release last week. The New York Times would have us believe that the IRS is also investigating churches preaching support of the current government, though we must confess we find that hard to believe. The Los Angeles Daily News printed this editorial, and the Los Angeles Times points out that the IRS is ignoring nearby churches whose preaching supported the incumbent government. The Church Times (London) wrote this report for a British audience.

23 September 2006: New biography of Desmond Tutu has many interesting tidbits
These will likely get more press coverage in coming weeks, and of course we will all buy the book and read it. But: The Times (London) reports that Desmond Tutu had been considered for the Archbishop of Canterbury vacancy that ended up going to George Carey, and the Associated Press reports that 'Tutu said he was ashamed of his Anglican Church's conservative position that rejected gay priests.'

23 September 2006: Ordinary human elected Bishop of Newark
The Episcopal News Service reports that the Revd Mark M. Beckwith was elected as the tenth bishop of Newark. As far as we can tell, the only people to whom his manner of life might be offensive would be his teenage children, if he should have any, which we don't know....

22 September 2006: More details trickle in about New York bishops' meeting
The Church Times (London) reports that 'More details have emerged about last week's meeting of Episcopalian bishops in New York.'

22 September 2006: Dumping prayer books in Boston Harbour?
The Global South Primates, meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, issued this communiqué, presumably intended to be provocative. We interpret this as a long-planned step in the formation of the Nigerian Communion, and everyone that we've seen be provoked by it appears to be acting in character. We've heard that the weather is much better in Canterbury than in Abuja. Perhaps Jonathan Petre's headline writer in The Telegraph (London) had the best summary: 'Traditionalists plan parallel anti-homosexual Church'. Thinking Anglicans has a copy of Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane's response to the Kigali communiqué and has written this analysis of its larger impact.

22 September 2006: 21 bishops meet, send letter to those who didn't
The Episcopal News Service reports that after a meeting at Camp Allen in Texas, a small group of bishops, in general the same bishops whose names are in the newspaper a lot, sent a letter to the larger House of Bishops. The ENS reprints that letter. The ENS also offered this news release about the meeting. As far as we can tell, this letter changed no one's opinion about anything of substance.

21 September 2006: Religious riots in Nigeria
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that a Christian-vs-Muslim conflict resulted in the destruction by fire of St Peter's Cathedral and the destruction of the bishop's office and automobile in the Diocese of Dutse. Each Nigerian newspaper in which we found online coverage of these riots had a different point of view, including the Daily Trust (Abuja) and the Vanguard (Lagos).

17 September 2006: Nigerian Communion polishing its position
The Church of Nigeria has issued this statement to its members and this 'Message to the Nation'. The new Nigerian Communion bishop in the USA, who supports himself by serving as rector of an Episcopal parish in Virginia, has written this short note to his US supporters about the state of things in Nigeria.

16 September 2006: New bishop for South Carolina
The Episcopal News Service reports that the Very Revd Mark J Lawrence was elected bishop of South Carolina. He is currently the rector of a church in Bakersfield, California, in the Diocese of San Joaquin.

15 September 2006: Jesus in an empty beer glass
The UK's Churches Advertising Network each year devises a national advertising campaign. The CAN has some serious talent contributing to it, and they usually manage to grab your attention. The Church Times reports that this year's poster features the face of Jesus in an empty beer glass, with the caption 'Where will you find him?'

15 September 2006: Former ABY is again former parish priest
The Church Times reports that 'Ill health has forced the former Archbishop of York, the Rt Revd Lord Hope, to resign from the full-time parish ministry to which he returned in March 2005.'

15 September 2006: Texas parish, seceding, will buy church building from diocese
The Episcopal News Service (USA) reports that a church in Plano, Texas, which has separated from the Episcopal Church, has worked out a deal with its bishop to buy the church properties from the Diocese of Dallas.

13 September 2006: Meeting on primatial oversight adjourns without agreement
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that a meeting of bishops convened in New York to find some agreement on the new concept of 'Alternative Primatial Oversight' has adjourned without reaching an agreement. The Archbishop of Canterbury issued this terse statement on the non-event. The Episcopal News Service (USA) issued this press release, and also published this summary of reactions to that meeting and its non-outcome. Two days later the ENS published 'More bishops offer reflections on New York meeting'. The Living Church published this report on the meeting.

Thinking Anglicans has gathered the whole gory mess of statements and counter-statements. Such posturing. No one has behaved out of character here; all of the participants and issuers of statements have done what you would expect them to do and said what you would expect them to say. We find Mark Harris' analysis to be particularly insightful. Meanwhile, we are preparing a petition for Alternate Mayoral Oversight (AMO) in case our candidate for Mayor of our town loses; we certainly wouldn't want to submit to a mayor that we didn't vote for and don't believe in.

10 September 2006: Church and State in Australia
The Australian reports that Sydney Archbishop Peter Jensen says he will consider seeking clemency for the Australians on death row in Indonesia for their role in a heroin smuggling ring.

8 September 2006: Church and State in Australia
The Age (Melbourne) reports that the Anglican bishop to the Australian Defence Force has warned churches against being seen as aspiring political players. He said the Anglican Church had to be especially watchful because several senior Government figures were members of it. Almost certainly there is something political encoded in that statement, but we aren't sufficiently attuned to Australian politics to be able to figure it out. The previous day, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation had reported that Australia's 'Prime Minister and a string of senior ministers will offer unusual access to Christian church leaders as the Government considers its policies ahead of next year's election.'

8 September 2006: Episcopus imperator: bring your gifts to the throne
The Church Times reports that the Bishop of Harare, the Rt Revd Nolbert Kunonga, has decreed that all the Anglican churches in the diocese are to be closed on Sunday 10 September to celebrate his 33rd wedding anniversary.The Associated Press picked up the Church Times story and expanded on it somewhat.

6 September 2006: ABY might represent Church of England at Primates' Meeting
The Living Church reports that it has been proposed that the Archbishop of York represent the interests of the Church of England at the annual gathering of the 38 archbishops, presiding bishops and moderators of the Anglican Communion. This would free up the Archbishop of Canterbury to run the meeting and avoid the need for him to have a dual role.

5 September 2006: Uganda primate proposes change to Church of Uganda Constitution
The Living Church reports that the Most Revd Henry Orombi, Primate of the Church of Uganda, has proposed altering the provincial constitution in a manner that would separate it from the entire progressive wing of the Communion. The Church of Uganda previously declared that it had broken communion with the US Episcopal Church. We presume that in breaking with the Anglican Communion, the Church of Uganda would join the Nigerian Communion.

5 September 2006: ABC announces agreement signed with Israeli rabbis
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and the Chief Rabbis of Israel, Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger, today signed a joint Declaration which sets out a framework for continuing dialogue between them. Dr Williams described the agreement as historic.

3 September 2006: A petition from Rwanda
Thinking Anglicans has a report on the long and not entirely clear Petition to the Third Global Anglican South to South Leadership Team and Primates Advisory Group. We wasted a bit of time looking nearby for the Students Conservatory Band, but failed.

2 September 2006: Obituary: Verna Dozier
The Episcopal News Service (USA) and the Washington Post published obituaries of religious educator Verna Josephine Dozier. This review in The Lutheran of a biography and compendium of her work will help you understand who she was.

1 September 2006: Standoff in Virginia over whether Nigerian bishop can remain a Virginia priest
The Times Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia) reports that Peter Lee, Bishop of Virginia, and Martyn Minns, a priest in that diocese who was recently made a bishop in the Nigerian Communion, have not reached agreement about Minns' remaining in his job as a parish priest in the Episcopal diocese. Given that this is a binary issue—the only possible answers are 'yes' or 'no'—there isn't really much opportunity for compromise.

27 August 2006: Melbourne has an archbishop
After a rocky and oft-delayed search, the Diocese of Melbourne has elected a new archbishop, the Rt Revd Dr Philip Freier, currently bishop of the Northern Territory. News coverage in Australia has been extensive, including this 'breaking news' announcement in The Australian and this in The Age; this public statement reported by The Age; and this profile in The Australian and this in The Age. The Courier Mail (Brisbane) seems to have wanted an earlier candidate to win, and ran this paean to him in the Sunday paper.

27 August 2006: Fight club
The high-profile feud continues between the Anglican cathedral in Tasmania and a business leasing space from it, which is operating a strip club. We shan't try to summarize, but you can read the news coverage.

26 August 2006: Cuban bishop to visit Florida church
The Miami Herald reports that the Bishop of Cuba will visit an Episcopal church in Coral Gables, Florida.

25 August 2006: More anxiety in Zimbabwe
The Church Times reports that Zimbabwe appears to be on the brink of having a second diocesan bishop-election crisis similar to the one that's been simmering in Harare for at least a year. This time it's the Diocese of Manicaland, which has no website. We've not yet found coverage in any African newspapers, but we'll keep looking.

22 August 2006: US Presiding Bishop on the widely-misunderstood September bishops' meeting
The Episcopal News Service (US) reports that 'Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold has issued a statement of clarification regarding a group of bishops who will meet in New York in the first half of September....' The brief and cryptic announcement of that meeting by the Anglican Communion Office has fuel ed much speculation.

21 August 2006: Virginia priest made bishop in Nigerian Communion
The Church of Nigeria published this report of the consecration of several new bishops, including a bishop for the USA. In the process of looking for news reports about this consecration, we were intrigued to discover that the website for the Church of Nigeria is physically located in Baltimore, Maryland on a server owned by a hosting company in Lawrence, New York. It might suggest that the intended audience of the Church of Nigeria's website is not Nigerians but the USA.

21 August 2006: US Federal court dismisses Connecticut church lawsuit
The Episcopal News Service (USA) reports on the moderately complex issue of the dismissal by a US Federal court of a lawsuit filed on behalf of six unhappy priests in Connecticut. Every imaginable lobbying organization has issued a statement about this dismissal, and we think we are best serving your needs by not referring you to any of them. If you want to wade in with hip boots, Thinking Anglicans has it all.

20 August 2006: Choosing an archbishop in Melbourne
The Age (Melbourne) reports on the continuing struggle to elect an archbishop in Melbourne.

19 August 2006: Church and state in Australia
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that 'The Anglican Church is the latest religious organisation to back out of the government's controversial welfare to work program.' We haven't been able to track down just what programme it is talking about, but it is nonetheless interesting.

18 August 2006: Church and state in Sri Lanka
The Church Times reports that the Bishop of Colombo has called for 'moral resistance and mature leadership' in the worsening situation in Sri Lanka.

18 August 2006: Small meeting of US bishops requested by Canterbury
The Anglican Communion Office has issued this brief statement announcing an upcoming meeting of a small number of bishops in the US to talk, presumably about the breakaway topic. The Episcopal News Service (USA) then issued this more-detailed report. Thinking Anglicans has assembled here all of the statements, press releases, counterstatements, and interviews.

15 August 2006: English bishop blames 'multiculturalism' for misbehaving Muslims
The Telegraph (London) has published an essay by the Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, in which he looks for reasons for the 'perversion' of young Muslims in the UK.

13 August 2006: Letter from +Virginia about consecration of Virginia priest as Nigerian bishop
The Diocese of Virginia has published this letter to the Diocese of Virginia by its bishop, on the subject of the consecration of the rector of a Virginia congregation as a bishop in the Nigerian Communion. That bishop, Martyn Minns, wrote this article about his new mission. There is a head-spinning amount of documentation on Thinking Anglicans of all of the charges, countercharges, and repositionings involved in this. Look here and here and here and here to see the subtle evolutions of purpose and direction. Lest you think all of this is anything new, go back and re-read 'The Prince.'

12 August 2006: Choosing an archbishop in Melbourne
The Australian reports on the impact of global Anglican politics on the local task of nominating candidates to be the next archbishop of Melbourne.

12 August 2006: Tasmanian strip club opens for business in church-owned building
The Mercury (Hobart, Tasmania) reports that Players Sports Bar, operating on land owned and leased out by the Diocese of Tasmania and directly next door to the cathedral, has opened for business with strippers dancing on a mirror-lined stage. We presume that as long as the strippers are not the same sex as the patrons, it ought not offend Anglicans.

11 August 2006: Archbishop of York leads Middle East protest
The Archbishop of York announced that he will launch a week-long protest vigil during which he will live inside the confines of York Minster and pray for peace in the Middle East. News reports and commentary include the BBC, the Yorkshire Post, and Reuters.

11 August 2006: Getting ready to consecrate US priest as Nigerian bishop
The Church Times reports on the build-up to the consecration on 20 August of Canon Martyn Minns, who is and will remain Rector of Truro Church in Fairfax, Virginia. Nigerian newspaper The Tide filed this report.

11 August 2006: Meeting of conservative US bishops in Texas
The Episcopal News Service (US) reports that the Bishop of Texas is hosting a 'consultation for bishops' on the topic of 'Solidifying Communion after Windsor'.

5 August 2006: Australia's youth turn away from religion
The Age (Melbourne) reports that than half of Australia's young people believe in a god and many believe there is little truth in religion. We know that zealots everywhere are going to issue press releases announcing the reasons for this dropoff. We think it's because church people seem to spend too much time arguing about sex and not enough time, um, er, we oughtn't finish this sentence.

5 August 2006: NYT on Newark and global politics
The New York Times reports on issues surrounding the upcoming election of the next Bishop of Newark. If you've ever wondered what Louie Crew looks like, about whether he might have red horns or a gold halo, his picture is included in that report.

5 August 2006: Church of Australia finally apologises for sex abuse
The Age (Melbourne) reports that the Anglican Church has apologised to the child sex abuse victim whose allegations led to the downfall of former governor-general Peter Hollingworth and the first defrocking of an Australian bishop. This apology came 11 years after the incident was first reported to the Church.

4 August 2006: More on action against the Bishop of San Joaquin
The Church Times reports in more detail on the challenge to the Rt Revd John-David Schofield, Bishop of San Joaquin.

4 August 2006: Church thieves in England
The Church Times reports that thieves are posing as contractors, and stripping lead off church roofs, removing statues, and taking metal fittings to sell for scrap.

3 August 2006: Nigeria schedules consecration of US bishop
The Church of Nigeria has announced a schedule for the consecration of the Revd Canon Martyn Minns, appointed by that Church to be Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, which is part of the Church of Nigeria.

31 July 2006: Anglican Communion Network meets in Pittsburgh
The Anglican Communion Network (officially the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes) held its annual meeting in Pittsburgh this week. The Moderator's Address contains Bishop Duncan's views on what that Network is, and what the Anglican Communion is. The Episcopal News Service (USA) reports that the delegates to the ACN meeting are 'still developing' their confessional statement. The ENS also reports statements by Via Media USA, which represents people in the so-called 'Network dioceses' who do not support the Anglican Communion Network.

28 July 2006: Is travel selfish?
The Church Times reports that 'the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, has said that buying a car or flying on holiday are "selfish choices" and "a symptom of sin".' The Church of England's environmental campaign has launched, including the bizarrely-named website We'll definitely look into taking the train from Palo Alto the next time we have business in London; we can't manage the wardrobe needed to travel by ship.

26 July 2006: Bishop in Jerusalem writes on the 'current crisis' in the Middle East
The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, on its bizarrely-named website, has published a letter to the world written by The Rt Revd Riah H. Abu El-Assal, Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem.

26 July 2006: Year-old presentment against Bishop of Connecticut makes slow progress
The Living Church reports that the church attorney 'has begun his investigation of a formal complaint against the Bishop of Connecticut'.

25 July 2006: Harshness in Melbourne, or in Fleet Street?
A couple of weeks ago The Age, a Melbourne Newspaper, published an article entitled 'Anglican Church under fire over "harshness"'. Recently we noticed that Anglican Media Melbourne has posted what Peter Corney actually said, and has posted responses by the three assistant bishops in that diocese. Makes us wonder if we should be looking for a Page 3 person in The Age.

24 July 2006: Church and state in Ghana
The Ghanaian [we dare you to say that word twice quickly] Chronicle (Accra) reports that 'The Sekondi branch of the Anglican Church has been enmeshed in total confusion emanating from intertwined legal tussles that have resulted in the jailing of a priest of the church and three other members.' By this we think they mean that the bishop and the dean have been at odds. Graphic Ghana reported on the same events. Whenever we read about knock-down drag-out feuds between bishops and deans, we remember the sign that we saw once in a dean's office that said 'It might be your diocese, but it's my cathedral'. We oughtn't tell you where we saw this, so we'll just say it was seen on the Isle of Eels.

23 July 2006: Disciplinary complaint filed against Bishop of San Joaquin
The Living Church reports that four bishops with jurisdiction in the state of California have asked a disciplinary panel to approve an expedited deposition of the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield, Bishop of San Joaquin. This unsigned response is on the diocese's website. Remain Episcopal (an affiliate member of Via Media USA) has various coverage both of this event and of its background.

23 July 2006: Reports available on Church of England General Synod
Thinking Anglicans has a complete collection of various reports on what happened at this month's Church of England General Synod.

23 July 2006: New Zealand parishioners fall for email scam
Radio New Zealand reports that 'New Zealand Anglicans acting as good Samaritans have been taken advantage of by an email scam.' African News Dimension released a more-detailed report. Both were likely based on this press release.

19 July 2006: ABC condemns Mideast violence
The Archbishop of Canterbury has written a letter condemning the escalating violence in the Middle East. He has also released a transcript of a recent interview on this topic that he granted to the BBC. (Thanks to Thinking Anglicans for drawing our attention to this interview).

18 July 2006: Church of England now offers RSS news feed
The Church of England has issued a press release telling the world that they now offer an RSS feed of their news service. This is excellent technical progress.

16 July 2006: Melbourne church accused of 'harsh corporate culture'
The Age (Melbourne) reports that a Melbourne bishop has said that 'the Anglican Church in Melbourne has a harsh corporate culture that is wearing people out'.

15 July 2006: Interviews with US Presiding Bishop-elect
Time Magazine published '10 Questions For Katharine Jefferts Schori' and The Living Church published this new interview with the Rt Revd Katharine Jefferts Schori.

14 July 2006: More progress on women bishops in the Church of England
The Church Times reports that 'women bishops cleared two more hurdles at the General Synod sessions in York last weekend'. We must confess to worrying about the metaphor of a woman leaping over hurdles while wearing a bishop's regalia. It's normally done in athletic attire. That newspaper also ran this leader about women bishops.

14 July 2006: More on the Bishop of Harare
The Church Times reports on the current state of legal action involving the Rt Revd Nolbert Kunonga, Bishop of Harare, in Zimbabwe.

12 July 2006: Church of England Synod is over
The thrice-yearly General Synod meeting of the Church of England has finished its business. Little of that business was of international import save the discussion about women bishops. We expect full reports on this Synod to appear next week.

11 July 2006: Statement from the Archbishop of Cape Town
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Archbishop of Cape Town has written to the Primates of the Anglican Communion issuing a strong call to uphold the 'broad rich heartlands of our Anglican heritage.'

10 July 2006: Retired bishop and ex governor-general preaches sermon for Queen's birthday
The Age (Melbourne) reports that the sermon in St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne for the 80th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II was delivered by Peter Hollingworth, who three years ago was fired from his job as governor-general of Australia by that same Queen.

10 July 2006: Laish Zane Boyd consecrated 18th Bishop of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands
The Anglican Church of St George, cardinal parish in the Diocese of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, has published news of the recent consecration of the Rt Revd Laish Boyd, formerly Rector of Holy Cross Anglican Church, as bishop coadjutor.

9 July 2006: Church of England Synod votes to support women bishops
The Independent (London) reports that 'The ruling body of the Church of England has given its overwhelming backing for women to be ordained as bishops.' This vote received wide coverage in the world press, including the New York Times, most British newspapers (including The Observer and The Telegraph), and the BBC. The Sunday Times, rather than reporting the vote itself, reported that 'Traditionalists the Church of England are preparing for a possible breakaway over women bishops by taking legal advice on whether they could claim property worth more than £1 billion.'

9 July 2006: Church of England Synod isn't over
There's nothing else on the agenda as newsworthy as the vote on women bishops, but when the Synod is done, we'll have a report for you. Here's an example of the sorts of business they are conducting.

7 July 2006: ABC address to General Synod on the state of the Anglican Communion
The Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, gave this address to the Church of England General Synod.

7 July 2006: The Nigerian Communion
The Church Times reports that the Church of Nigeria has announced that the Global South and Council of Anglican Churches in Africa (CAPA) will hold their own alternative to the Lambeth Conference in 2008, unless the "apostles of revisionist agenda repent and retrace their steps". Here is the statement from Nigeria.

6 July 2006: Four Anglican jurisdictions in Europe consider draft covenant
The Episcopal News Service (USA) reports that the College of Anglican Bishops in Continental Europe (COABICE) met to discuss developing a covenant among the four Anglican jurisdictions in Europe.

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