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Archived News Headlines for Apr/May/Jun 2018

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30 June 2018: Denmark's first female Anglican vicar
Copenhagen Post Online reports that the new chaplain at St Alban's church, the Revd Smitha Prasadam, is the country's first female Anglican chaplain. Ms Prasadam was born in South India, and has been ordained for eleven years.

28 June 2018: Global South theologians reflect on evangelism throughout the Anglican Communion
According to the Anglican Communion News Service 'a group of 10 theologians from five continents have met to discuss insights on evangelism and how the Anglican Communion engages in evangelism in different contexts. The group, from the Global South, met in Dallas this month for the event hosted by Bishop George Sumner and the Diocese of Dallas'.

28 June 2018: Episcopal Church’s General Convention to meet this week
The triennial General Convenion of the US-based Episcopal Church will begin its two-week meeting of bishops and lay and clerical deputies this Thursday in Austin, Texas. A media hub is available tracking legislation and giving daily briefings. A wide variety of topics are expected to be discussed, ranging from prayer book revisions to environmental concerns.

26 June 2018: Anglican bishop riding for reconciliation
SOOToday reports of retired Canadian bishop, the Rt Revd Rob Hardwick's cross country bicycle ride in the name of unity, healing and reconciliation. Along his trip he has spoken with indigenous and church groups.

22 June 2018: C of E's 2010 abuse inquiry declared 'flawed' and 'failed'
The BBC reports on an inquiry into a past inquiry: a review in 2018 of the actions and findings of the 'Past Cases Review' in 2010 has found that the Review did not present an accurate picture of the abuse being investigated, calling that Review 'botched' and 'flawed'. Protecting the interests of the church was found to have been given a higher priority than uncovering the truth. Abuse survivors have in the past accused the Church of a 'wholly inadequate' response, and this review has found that they were right. The Guardian assures us that although the PCR's negative aspects were downplayed by the review board, there was 'no evidence of a planned and deliberate attempt to conceal information'. The full text of the 2018 review, referred to as 'The Singleton Report', is here on the Church of England website.

21 June 2018: US Episcopal Church hosts vigil to protest immigration policies
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports the US Episcopal Church is holding a vigil in Washington DC to protest against immigration policies which have seen children separated from their parents.

19 June 2018: GAFCON participants lay claim to Anglican orthodoxy
The Church Times, reporting on the third GAFCON meeting held recently in Jerusalem, notes that those who attended the meeting have laid claim to being the keepers and standard-bearers of Anglican dogma. The Anglican Communion News Service filed this initial report on the meeting. As is GAFCON's custom, they issued a communiqué at the end of their meeting.

18 June 2018: Major financial boost for 2020 Lambeth Conference
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the organisers of the 2020 Lambeth Conference have received a major boost with the announcement that Allchurches Trust have made a £750,000 grant to help fund attendance by bishops from developing countries.

17 June 2018: Upcoming legislative meetings for Church of England and US Episcopal Church
The triennial General Convention of the US Episcopal Church meets in Austin, Texas from 5 to 13 July. The triannual General Synod of the Church of England meets in York, England from 6 to 10 July. We are not aware of plans for a video conference (Skype or Zoom or FaceTime) between them.

17 June 2018: Church of England accused of being greedy about use of church steeples for mobile phones
Premier Media (UK) asserts Anglican churches are charging telecom companies too much money to allow them to improve broadband and mobile connectivity in rural areas by installing phone masts on spires.

15 June 2018: C of E hopes to adapt to lessons from US Bishop Curry
The Times (London) reports the 'Church of England intends to capitalise on the success of the African-American bishop at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex by linking with British churches in black communities that share his style of sermons.'

15 June 2018: Bishop issues ruling in Connecticut parish dispute
Sometimes these intramural parish feuds continue for weeks or months, but the Bishop of Connecticut has issued a ruling in the bitter dispute at St Paul in Darien, Connecticut. The Episcopal Café reports.

14 June 2018: Cape Town Archbishop welcomes easing of restrictions on sexual violence prosecutions
The Anglican News Service reports the Archbishop of Cape Town has welcomed the decision by South Africa's Constitutional Court that makes it easier for victims of sexual violence to seek justice.

11 June 2018: US Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal by breakaway diocese in South Carolina
The US Episcopal News Service reports on the refusal by the US Supreme Court to consider a petition for overruling the South Carolina Supreme Court decision in favour of the Episcopal Church and against the breakaway group. The breakaway group has signalled that they have no intention of giving up; we don't know what this means, because the legal system in the USA has now said that they must.

10 June 2018: New archbishop for Rwanda
KB Press (Kigali) tells us the Rt Revd Laurent Mbanda was consecrated as the fourth Archbishop of Rwanda. We haven't found an English version of the news release from the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda, but if you can read Kinyarwanda, the announcement from the provincial office is here.

9 June 2018: St Andrew Abu Dhabi serves Iftar meals to Muslims
The Arab News (Abu Dhabi) reports 'St. Andrew's Anglican Church in Abu Dhabi opened its doors to serve Iftar to Muslims in an unprecedented ecumenical gesture during the holy month of Ramadan.'

8 June 2018: Bishop of Guyana urges review of discriminatory same sex laws
Stabrock News (Georgetown, Guyana) reports that Charles Davidson, Bishop of Guyana, has urged review of that country's same-sex intimacy laws, which he says are discriminatory.

7 June 2018: Bishop of Lagos fights back on corruption charges
The Premium Times (Abuja) tells us the Bishop of Lagos, Adebola Ademowo, has 'pushed back vehemently on claims that he misappropriated N260 million belonging to the church.' That sum is about 580 thousand Euros.

3 June 2018: Brazilian Anglicans 'yes' to marrying same-sex couples
Ekklesia reports that the synod of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil voted (57-3 with two abstentions) to open up church marriage to same-sex couples. The move would not require liturgical changes, since gender neutral language had already been introduced into its marriage service. Civil same-sex marriages have been legal in Brazil since 2012. (This article focuses on the Brazilian context. The report in ACNS features Josiah Idowu-Fearon's response that Brazil's decision was 'a move away from the faith and teaching upheld by the overwhelming majority of Anglican provinces.')

3 June 2018: Bishop of Haiti runoff vote
The Living Church and Mark Harris both noted that on 2 June 2018 there was a runoff election for bishop coadjutor in the Diocese of Haiti. We have heard unofficial reports that the election was controversial and will be contested. The Revd Kerwin Delicat is the announced winner of the election, but there have been protests and accusations of fraud.

2 June 2018: New bishops in Scotland
The Scottish Episcopal Church has announced the election of the Revd Canon Ian Paton as Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane, and the Very Revd Andrew Swift as Bishop of Brechin.

1 June 2018: Earliest Gospel of Mark manuscript fragment discovered
The Episcopal Café reports on the recent discovery by the Egypt Exploration Society of the earliest known papyrus fragment of the Gospel of Mark.

29 May 2018: Families fearful Tasmanian church sales will destroy cemeteries
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reports on the concerns about the future of Tasmanian cemeteries as the Diocese of Tasmania prepares to sell a large number of church properties. The diocesan synod had earlier approved the sale of 108 church-owned properties (including 76 churches).

29 May 2018: Bishops in Massachusetts join declaration of climate change emergency
The US Episcopal News Service reports on the endorsement by Massachusetts bishops of the Faith and Science Joint Appeal for Climate Action.

26 May 2018: Clergy buy cassocks recycled from bottles as Church of England joins war on plastic
The Telegraph (UK) reports fair-trade clothing manufacturer Butler & Butler 'has begun selling a men's cassock made from 100 per cent recycled polyester made from reclaimed PET bottles.'

25 May 2018: Long-time spokeswoman out at Episcopal Church (USA)
The Living Church reports Neva Rae Fox, who served for over a decade as the Public Affairs Officer and de facto spokeswoman for the US-based Episcopal Church, was abruptly relieved of her position on Wednesday. This is particular timing both due to the prominence of that province's primate following the royal wedding and the close proximity to their triennial General Convention this summer.

24 May 2018: Church of England offers prayers read by Amazon's Alexa
The BBC notes that the Church of England has created an Alexa 'skill' (a set of responses) that enables the smart speaker to read daily prayers and answer several questions, including where someone might find a church in or near their town.

23 May 2018: Archbishop welcomes ceasefire agreement as South Sudan peace talks continue
Five days of peace talks between warring parties, led by Archbishop of South Sudan drew to a close according to the Anglican Communion News Service.

19 May 2018: A wedding in England
The Royal wedding in England has made news all around the world; we shan't report it further here. But we will refer you to some selected commentary on it. We enjoyed Jon White's review of the sermon and its context, published in Episcopal Café. The Religion News Service commented 'Episcopalians scramble to capitalize on royal wedding opportunity'. The official report, from the Anglican Communion News Service, doesn't even read like an official report. Vox Media (New York) was blunt about it: 'Bishop Michael Curry stole the show with his sermon at the Royal Wedding', and also noted 'Michael Curry brought the black American church to the royal wedding'.

14 May 2018: New metropolitan archbishop in Canada
Canada's Anglican Journal reports on the election of Melissa Skelton, bishop of the diocese of New Westminster, as metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of British Columbia and Yukon, becoming the first woman in the Anglican Church of Canada to have the title 'archbishop'.

14 May 2018: Conservatives launch breakaway Anglican church in Brazil
Christian Today (London) tells us a breakaway Anglican church has been launched in Brazil 'following disputes in the worldwide Communion over sexuality'. The total number of Anglicans in Brazil, broken away or not, cannot be very large.

14 May 2018: Discord and rumblings in Nigeria over recent synod decisions
The Nigerian publication Pulse has an entire section entitled 'Homosexuality', and today in that section there is a report 'Anglican Church votes in favor of same-sex marriage' referring to the recent New Zealand synod decision.

14 May 2018: Bishop election in Barbados still deadlocked
Barbados Today reports ' Anglican Church still divided over new bishop', noting the continuing failure to choose between the two remaining candidates for the bishopric.

11 May 2018: Setback to same-sex weddings in Australia
The Church Times (London) reports that bishops in Australia have declared that it is not “appropriate” for same-sex weddings to take place in Anglican churches or halls, or the chapels of Anglican schools or other Anglican organisations.

11 May 2018: US Presiding Bishop asked to preach at upcoming royal wedding
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, will preach at the upcoming wedding of Prince Henry of Wales and the US actress Meghan Markle.

10 May 2018: Episcopal Church of South Carolina seeks return of property and identity
The Times and Democrat (a newspaper in South Carolina, USA) reports on a court petition filed by the US Episcopal Church and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina to execute the state Supreme Court's decision and return church properties currently being controlled by a breakaway group calling itself the 'Diocese of South Carolina'. And return the name. The petition also asks the court to appoint a Special Master to oversee an 'orderly and expeditious resolution' of the issues.

10 May 2018: Bomb explodes at Episcopal church and school in Texas
Episcopal Café reports that a bomb exploded at St Stephens Church and All Saints Episcopal School in Beaumont, Texas, USA early this morning. No injuries have been reported, as the building was unoccupied at the time. The Diocese of Texas released this information.

9 May 2018: New Zealand synod approves same-sex blessings
Anglican Taonga (New Zealand) reports that the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has paved the way for the blessing of same sex relationships, but Anglican churches in Polynesia will all opt out.

9 May 2018: Anglican primate of Nigeria urges Nigeria to leave the commonwealth
When the Commonwealth Heads of Governments met in London last month, the Archbishop of Canterbury preached a sermon in which he said that the Commonwealth was a blessing to the world. The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, said that she regretted that her country had introduced sodomy laws across its empire, and the legacy of discrimination and violence that they brought with them. Anglican Ink reports that over half of the Commonwealth's 53 member states, including Nigeria, criminalize homosexual acts. The Guardian (Nigeria) interpreted her remarks as an argument in favour of same-sex marriage. It reported that church leaders quickly defended their government's stance, and that the primate of the Church of Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh, was bitter with May's statement, and said Nigeria should leave the Commonwealth.

8 May 2018: Obituary: Mfaniseni Sigisbert Ndwandwe
The Anglican Communion News Service has published an obituary of Mfaniseni Sigisbert Ndwandwe, former suffragan bishop of Johannesburg. Bishop Sigisbert was a leader in the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa.

4 May 2018: New legal action against New Hampshire Episcopal school
The Episcopal Café reports that two former students of St Paul's Episcopal School (USA) have sued the school for its failure to protect them from sexual predators. There were earlier lawsuits making similar allegations.

3 May 2018: More pushback on letter from Archbishops' Council Secretary General
The Episcopal Café reports on additional controversy within the Church of England over the content of and standing behind a letter written by William Nye, who claimed to have been writing on behalf of the Church of England. Nye is the Secretary General of the Archbishops' Council, a member of the Council's staff but not of the Council itself.

3 May 2018: Diocese of Chile moving forward with plan to become a full province
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that 'The Diocese of Chile in the Anglican Church of South America could become its own autonomous province of the Anglican Communion by the end of the year. An extraordinary Synod of the diocese will be held later this month to confirm a resolution to that effect. This transition would create four new dioceses, Valparaíso, Santiago, Temuco, and Concepción.

3 May 2018: New revelations about translators of King James Bible
The Guardian (London) has published an article disclosing new information about the identity of translators for the King James Bible. The information is too complex to summarise here, but you can read it for yourself.

2 May 2018: Extra bell found while preparing to rededicate carillon in Pittsburgh cathedral
The Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh) reports that as Trinity Cathedral in the Diocese of Pittsburgh was preparing to rededicate its bells after a steeple renovation project, they found an extra bell in a box in the cellar. It has never been mounted in the steeple, but it was rung by hand during the rededication ceremony. No one currently associated with Trinity Cathedral knows what the bell is or where it came from, and there were no records.

2 May 2018: Former US bishop Heather Cook applies to serve rest of sentence on home detention
The Baltimore Sun reports that Heather Cook, who was Bishop of Maryland until a criminal conviction, has petitioned to be released from prison and into home detention. She was driving drunk and texting when she hit and killed a bicyclist. His family is said to be opposed to the release.

30 April 2018: C of E intervenes in dispute over building car park over graveyard
The Guardian (London) reports that 'The Church of England has intervened in a row over plans to build a car park and crematorium on a historic graveyard containing the remains of 1,171 former hospital patients.' The graveyard is in Lancashire in the Diocese of Blackburn, which has received a request from the developer for a formal deconsecration of the land that would be covered by the car park.

28 April 2018: Obituary: A. Theodore Eastman, former Bishop of Maryland
The Washington Post published an obituary of the Rt Revd A. Theodore Eastman, who helped the US Episcopal Church re-locate the via media. Somewhat later, the Baltimore Sun published its obituary. Baltimore is the see city of the Diocese of Maryland.

27 April 2018: New bishop for Diocese of the Amazon in Brazil
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports the consecration of the Rt Revd Marinez Bassotto as Bishop of the Amazon in the Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil. She had been a parish priest in several parishes in that region, and was formerly Dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral. The Diocese of the Amazon was previoiusly classified as a Missionary District.

27 April 2018: Ongoing discord about letter to US marriage task force
Earlier this week a letter written last year by the Secretary General of the Archbishops' Council in the Church of England to the US Episcopal Church came to light. Its publication has resulted in spirited debate, to which readers of Episcopal Café and the Church Times have had front-row seats. If you are not a subscriber to the Church Times, this article in Episcopal Café distils the debate fairly well.

23 April 2018: Bishop of Tasmania confirms church sales won't all benefit abuse victims
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation [ABC] quotes the Rt Revd Richard Condie, Bishop of Tasmania, as saying that about three quarters of the proceeds from property sales will be kept by the Anglican church as operating capital. Earlier news reports had indicated that all of the proceeds of the sell-off would benefit victims of sex abuse. The ABCV also reports 'Heritage experts confident historic Anglican churches will be preserved after sale.'

22 April 2018: Tasmanian Anglican churches could be sold to fund abuse survivors redress
The Diocese of Tasmania has made plans to sell properties to cover up to an estimated 8 million AUD in liability payments to sex abuse survivors. These plans potentially include properties still in active use. The Bishop of Tasmania has noted that this 'significant sacrifice' was necessary to meet the diocese's obligations but also underscored the importance of doing so as a matter of justice.

22 April 2018: Hereford Cathedral choir to make history at Vatican mass
The BBC reports that the choir of Hereford cathedral will join with the choir of the Sistine Chapel to sing on St Peter's day in St Peter's basilica in Rome. They were invited as part of the pope's program to encourage religious diversity, and it will be the first Anglican cathedral choir to sing at a papal mass since the reformation..

21 April 2018: Former US First Lady Barbara Bush funeral held in US, Texas, Episcopal Church
Barbara Bush, the second woman to be both wife and mother to US presidents in that country's history, died on 18 April at the age of 92. Her funeral was held at St Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, where both she and her husband, George H. W. Bush were members. St Martin is the largest church by membership and attendence in the Episcopal Church (USA). Several former presidents were in attendence. The Presiding Bishop of the US church issued a statement as well.

20 April 2018: Death of the Revd Ann K. Fontaine
Frequent letter writer to Anglicans Online, and a loud voice online in issues of Anglicanism Ann Fontaine died on 18 April in her home in Wyoming, USA following weeks of hospice care, at the age of 76. Episcopal Café has a tribute to her life and work.

19 April 2018: Government support for historic church buildings banned by New Jersey Supreme Court
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports that a state supreme court has ruled grants for the historic preservation of church buildings near New York City have been ruled unconstitutional by the New Jersey Supreme Court.

13 April 2018: Missouri faith leaders unite against proposals to ease restrictions on guns in sacred spaces
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that a bill is being considered in Missouri that would make it easier to carry concealed weapons into places of worship. When faith leaders joined to protest the idea, Bishop Wayne Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri suggested some alternative measures the legislators could take, such as limiting high-capacity magazines, better resources for mental health care, and the strengthening of background checks.

12 April 2018: Young English adults still value church weddings
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on a recent study whose conclusion is almost three quarters of unmarried adults under the age of 35 still dream of getting married. The survey also shows that most of those couples place a high value on church weddings.

12 April 2018: Kenya archbishop speaks out against
The Anglican Communion News Service reports the Archbishop of Kenya, Jackson Ole Sapit, has spoken out against polygamy after a Kenya MP urged more of it in that country. Meanwhile the news site HiviSasa (Mombasa) quotes him saying same sex marriages will amount to going against Biblical teaching that supports man-woman marriages.

10 April 2018: Los Angeles church re-opens after 3 years in stasis
The US Episcopal News Service reports a congregation in Southern California that had been barred from its church for three years amid a property dispute with the diocese has returned to the building 'with a spirit of reconciliation and hope'.

6 April 2018: Texas Court of Appeals rules in favour of US Episcopal Church in Fort Worth
The Diocese of Forth Worth (USA) has announced a ruling from the Court of Appeals in favour of 'the loyal Episcopalians of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth'. Some years ago Jack Iker, who was at the time Bishop of Fort Worth, led a schism over the usual issues. The dispute ended up in civil court, which they usually do. Since the Court of Appeals is not the highest court in the land, we assume this dispute is not settled, but the Diocese of Forth Worth that is affiliated with the US Episcopal Church sees this ruling as a victor
y. Its announcement is here. The breakaway group does not seem to have issued a statement, but there are informal reports quoting Jack Iker as saying only 'Appeal to the Texas Supreme Court'. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram published this report.

6 April 2016: China bans online Bible sales
The Episcopal Café reports that China, as part of an effort to promote "traditional" values, has further restricted Christianity by banning online Bible sales.

4 April 2018: British government announces plans to support important undermaintained church buildings
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on a pilot program in two English dioceses for the government's culture ministry to involve itself with the management and maintenance of 'listed' church buildings, regardless of their current use. Listed status, in three grades, is given to buildings of special architectural or historic interest. Almost half of all Grade I listed buildings — the top grade — in England are Anglican churches.

2 April 2018: Vatican to hold exorcism training course
The Guardian (London) reports the Vatican will hold an exorcism training course for priests next month. Vatican officials claim that demands for deliverance from demonic possession have greatly increased worldwide.

1 April 2018: Easter messages
Most bishops and archbishops worldwide have issued Easter messages. It's part of the job. The Anglican Communion News Service has gathered a goodly number of them for your contemplation. The message from South African Archbishop Thabo Makgoba is particularly interesting; Cape Town's Eyewitness News comments here.


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