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The News Centre
Archived News Headlines for Jan/Feb/Mar 2003

Link to main News Archives page

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30 March 2003: Australian Jews ask Diocese of Sydney: 'please restrain your followers'
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that 'the precarious relationship between Sydney's Jewish community and evangelical Christians of the Anglican faith has reached a stalemate, with the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies calling on the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, to rein in his overzealous followers'.

29 March 2003: Bishop prays for rector's 'loutish' son
The Telegraph (London) and the BBC report that a Church of England bishop has called for prayers after the son of one of his clergy was given an anti-social behaviour order banning him from part of his home town for five years.

27 March 2003: Some English bishops support the war
The Church of England Newspaper reports that two Church of England bishops have spoken out in favour of the Iraq war. That newspaper also reports that the Bishop in Jerusalem is critical of the war.

27 March 2003: Mourning the dead
The Church Times reports on how a parish in Cornwall is mourning the death of the first British soldier killed in combat so far in Iraq. We know there will be more killed, at which point the news about how they are being mourned will become jumbled and summarized, so read this while it is alone.

27 March 2003: ABC writes about reparations after the war
The Times (London) does not permit access to its website from outside Britain, so we don't list Times stories. But the Church Times has helpfully reported on an article in The Times by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. Update: the article is now on the Archbishop's own website.

27 March 2003: Victim aid plans already underway
The Church Times reports that Iraqi churches are offering shelter to those bombed out of their homes. One such victim was a Chaldean bishop, Mar Emmanuel Dalli, whose church is participating in this effort. This photograph, published last month in Anglicans Online, shows Bishop Dalli with ECUSA's Bishop Pierre Whalon, who was visiting Iraq.

26 March 2003: Anglican Church of Kenya to provide AIDS education
The Nation (Nairobi) reports that the Anglican Church of Kenya will introduce a new AIDS syllabus in its theological schools and colleges as part of the campaign against that disease.

25 March 2003: US public supports war despite church leaders
The Kankakee Daily Journal (Illinois, USA), a newspaper in an agricultural community in the US midwest, reports that about 2/3 of US residents support the war in Iraq, despite the near-unanimous opposition by religious leaders.

25 March 2003: Possible unification of dioceses in England
The Telegraph (London) reports on the possibility of combining some of the dioceses in the Church of England to reduce the overall expense. This sort of unification is well known in Ireland, where (for example) you can find the United Diocese of Limerick, Ardfert, Aghadoe, Killaloe, Kilmacduagh and Emly. Each of those was once a regular diocese.

25 March 2003: New bishop in Ghana
The Accra Mail reports that the Revd Canon Daniel Sylvabnos Adotei Allotey, Rector of St Nicholas Theological Seminary at Cape Coast, is to be consecrated and enthroned as the 3rd Bishop of Cape Coast on 30 March.

24 March 2003: Vancouver parishes vote to accept outside bishop
The Vancouver Sun reports that members of seven Anglican churches opposed to the blessing of same-sex unions have voted to accept an offer of alternative oversight from Terrence Buckle, Bishop of the Yukon.


23 March 2003: Archbishop backs troops
The BBC reports that the Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, has written his support of the troops. Here is the full text of his letter.

23 March 2003: Australians call for end to war
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that churches across Australia have called for an end to the war in Iraq.

22 March 2003: British Muslim preacher slams ABC, who is busy calling for an end to the war
The Western Mail (Wales) reports that well-known Muslim preacher Abu Hamza criticised Rowan Williams for blessing soldiers when he knew that the war against Iraq was wrong and immoral. Earlier The Guardian reported that 'Faith leaders from the Archbishop of Canterbury to imams in Bradford added their voices yesterday to calls for a swift end to the war and an emphasis on building a lasting peace in the Middle East.'

22 March 2003: Obituary
The Guardian (London) has published an obituary of Lionel Dakers, an organ master who revived the state of Anglican church music.

21 March 2003: Pay apartheid victims now
The BBC reports that South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission has called for reparations to be paid quickly to victims from the apartheid era.

21 March 2003: Ndungane in new Zimbabwe peace move
The Church Times reports that Zimbabwe's President Mugabe has invited the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Njongonkulu Ndungane, to mediate between the opposing factions in Zimbabwe.

18 March 2003: May your lips be spared evil of cup-borne nasties
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a recent study, commissioned by the Anglican Diocese of, um, Sydney, indicates that the communal cup is unhealthy.


16 March 2003: Could the Archbishop of Cape Town become the saviour of Zimbabwe?
The Zimbabwe News (Harare) reports on the possibility that the Most Revd Njongonkulu Ndungane, Archbishop of Cape Town, might be able to fix the mess in Zimbabwe.

16 March 2003: Church and state in England
The Telegraph (London) reports that schools across Britain have been ordered by local authorities to abandon the ancient tradition of serving hot cross buns at Easter so as not to offend children of non-Christian faiths.

16 March 2003: Church and culture in America
The BBC reports to its primarily-British audience on the importance of faith and religious belief in American life.

16 March 2003: Virtual defrocking in Sydney
The Sydney Morning Herald reports 'Priest defrocked for sexual misconduct'. We find this slightly odd, because it is our understanding that most priests in that diocese do not wear frocks. So it would not be possible, in a literal sense, to defrock one. But you knew what we meant. Sometimes adhering to the literal meaning of language interferes with communication.

15 March 2003: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to the Muslim festival of Ashura.

15 March 2003: No victory prayers
The Church Times reports that bishops in the Church of England will refuse to pray for victory in the event of a war with Iraq. Instead, congregations should pray for the safe return of the troops, support for their families, and relations with adherents of other faiths. Unless, of course, those congregations are in Sydney, in which case they are encouraged to ignore the final clause.

15 March 2003: War and the Bible
The Washington Post reports that American radio commentator Larry King this week held a debate among religious leaders about the war in Iraq. The report notes 'Most remarkable about the discussion was the ease with which each side supported its position with different aspects of Jesus's Gospel teachings.'

13 March 2003: Ethnicity and religion inflame Nigerian politics
The Christian Science Monitor reports on the increased violence in Nigeria resulting from ethnic and religious differences.

12 March 2003: Archbishop Donald Mtetemela re-elected Archbishop of Tanzania
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that Donald Mtetemela has been re-elected to lead the Anglican Church of Tanzania (ACT) as Primate for the next five years.

11 March 2003: Diocese of Jensen begins retreat to Middle Ages
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the widespread scrambling among educated people in Sydney to distance themselves from Sydney's bizarre new dean, Philip Jensen. ABC Radio has produced this interview (RealMedia audio; transcript here) with Philip Jensen. A few days later, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that 'Elite Anglican schools feel a chill from the winds of Jensenism'. We wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised if that diocese soon announced its intention to assemble an army of crusaders to go conquer the Holy Land and rescue it from the infidels. Hubert Walter, Archbishop of Canterbury, was not willing to comment when we tried to contact him. The SMH also reports that Jensen was on everyone's mind, but not their lips, at the meeting of the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims and Jews.

11 March 2003: Canada closes the residential schools issue
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) reports that the Canadian federal government and the Anglican Church of Canada signed an agreement Tuesday to establish a settlement fund to compensate victims of abuse in native residential schools.


9 March 2003: News from the Diocese of Jensen
The Sydney Morning News reports that Sydney's new Anglican dean has lived up to the controversial reputation that preceded him into St Andrew's Cathedral. The diocese's new Archbishop, Peter Jensen, installed his brother, Phillip Jensen, as dean of the cathedral. Dean Jensen then proceeded to show the world why his appointment was not universally applauded. That newspaper also reported on the new dean's major changes to the choral worship there.

9 March 2003: Pope slams Scotland
The Telegraph reports that the Pope has declared that Scotland is no longer a Christian country and has become a spiritual wasteland. Scotland was, come to think of it, the country that invented golf. Hmm. Your News Centre editor is ethnically Scottish, and assures you that he, at least, is a faithful Christian.

8 March 2003: Americans say faith matters
The Dallas Morning News reports that a recent Gallup poll shows that a huge majority of US residents believe that spiritual factors matter greatly in their lives. That same day, the Washington Post reported that a federal judge in Alexandria has upheld the constitutionality of Virginia laws that require daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and the posting of the motto 'In God We Trust' in state schools. Meanwhile, The Observer reports that a British doctor says that having faith is good for you. This topic is showing up everywhere: the Atlantic Monthly has published an article titled 'Kicking the secularist habit'.

8 March 2003: Was Jesus a pacifist?
The Dallas Morning News reflects on whether Jesus would have supported a war, presumably such as the war proposed for Iraq.

7 March 2003: Sex and violence
The Wall Street Journal asks, in an editorial, why churches are being quicker about condemning war than about condemning sexual abuse.

5 March 2003: Old boards
The BBC reports that some of the timbers in Salisbury Cathedral have been found to be original Dublin oak from 1222. Previously, historians assumed such timbers were replacements.

5 March 2003: Hacky sack?
The BBC reports that a vicar who was sacked by the Bishop of Carlisle is not happy about losing his job. We know, we know. It's a slow news week, what with all of this buildup to war. Can't you see that the BBC is stretching, too? Oh, and Ananova reports that the new Archbishop of Canterbury participated in a pancake race on Shrove Tuesday.

3 March 2003: Bishop of Yukon offers to fly for Vancouver
canada.com (a joint venture of the National Post and the Canadian Press) reports that the Rt Revd Terry Buckle, Bishop of the Yukon, has offered to provide 'alternative Episcopal oversight' for those members of the Diocese of New Westminster who disapprove of their diocesan bishop, the Rt Revd Michael Ingham.


2 March 2003: Church and sex in Sydney
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that 'As churches argue about homosexuality, the congregation has moved on.'

1 March 2003: Canadian schools agreement a done deal
The Anglican Journal (Canada) reports that the last three dioceses to consider the native residential schools agreement—Eastern Newfoundland/Labrador, Fredericton and Calgary—voted to approve it, completing the ratification process that began Nov. 28 with the diocese of Keewatin. The Anglican Journal also reports that a former member of the negotiation team has spoken out sharply against the accord.

1 March 2003: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to George Herbert.

1 March 2003: New dean at San Diego cathedral
The Diocese of San Diego reports the call of the Revd Scott Richardson as Dean of St Paul's Cathedral.

28 February 2003: Enthronement of the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury
The Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams was today enthroned as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury. The BBC webcast of the enthronement will be at this link until 13 March. No aspect of this enthronement surprised anyone; it has been in planning for a long time and millions of words have been written about what would be said, worn, sung, and accomplished. In its coverage of the event, The Independent had an introductory sentence that we rather like: 'Rowan Williams was enthroned as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday with all the pomp and ceremony the Church of England could muster'. The sermon that Dr Williams preached has been uniformly reviewed as 'brilliant'. Besides the superb report in the Church Times, newspaper coverage included 'Church of England enthrones its 104th leader', 'Faith, hope, and political naivety' (Independent), 'Archbishop enthroned at Canterbury', 'Confidence trick' (Guardian), 'Human presence amid church pomp' (BBC), 'Williams: Speak out with passion', 'A simple priest beams through the pomp', 'Fervour in the cathedral', 'Herbert remembered' (Telegraph). Elaine Storkey of The Independent noted that 'There are none so blind as those with eight television monitors'. Dr Williams' friend Christopher Morgan, writing for The Tablet, describes what he sees as a 'New era in Canterbury'. The Pope sent this message. And Ship of Fools reviewed the enthronement in its 'Mystery Worshipper' section.

28 February 2003: Church of England general synod
The Church of England had its thrice-a-year general synod this week. Various news reports ensued. The Church Times offers day-by-day coverage on its front page. Some highlights: 'Synod says Iraq attack must be backed by UN' (Guardian), 'Do not go to war without UN agreement, synod begs Blair' (Church Times).

24 February 2003: Church and state in Zimbabwe
ZW News (Harare) reports that the Rt Revd Dr Sebastian Bakare, Bishop of Manicaland, has spoken out sharply against the Public Order and Security Act in Zimbabwe. A few days later, The Telegraph and The Guardian (London newspapers) reported that Zimbabwean police seized 21 clerics in Harare yesterday as they protested against the misuse of police power. It seems they were right about abuse of power, eh? The Zimbabwe Independent (Harare) offered this interpretation of the events.


23 February 2003: Bishop Whalon returns from Baghdad
Pierre Whalon, Bishop in Charge of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe and AO columnist, returned safely from several days in Baghdad. He met with religious leaders, visited St George's Anglican Church, and developed contacts that he believes will be useful for re-building after the Hussein régime. His visit was reported in wire service reports and noticed in a number of publications, amongst them Middle East Online and ABC News in Los Angeles (KABC). (The bishop did not in fact celebrate the Eucharist whilst in Iraq; this is an error.)
Bishop Pierre will provide a full report of his trip for Anglicans Online for our 2 March edition, next Sunday.

23 February 2003: War
The world is at the brink of war, which has consumed most of the attention of most Anglican leaders. In the last few weeks even the endless bickering about sex has slowed. We suppose that when someone is blown to bits by a bomb, it no longer matters, even to crusading archbishops, how that person's plumbing was structured.

23 February 2003: Synod in England
The Church of England is having a Synod next week. Expect twice-daily coverage in the Church Times.

22 February 2003: Bears further study
Ship of Fools is offering a Rowan Williams teddy bear for sale, and has attracted the attention of The Guardian.

22 February 2003: Trouble brewing
The Guardian reports on the travails of an English rector who is trying to make ends meet by brewing ale and selling it.

22 February 2003: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to a reflection on recent papal audiences with Tony Blair and Tariq Aziz.

22 February 2003: Building up to the enthornment
The Times reports on what Rowan Williams will wear to his upcoming enthronement, and who will and will not attend.

21 February 2003: Church and State in Zimbabwe
The Church Times reports that the Chancellor of the Diocese of Harare has exhorted the Archbishop of Central Africa to hold an inquiry into the affairs of the diocese and its Bishop, the Rt Revd Nolbert Kunonga.

21 February 2003: Church and State in Britain
The Telegraph reports that 'Church leaders are angry that a pornography baron can apply to run a radio or television station but Church organisations can not.'

20 February 2003: Joint Anglican/RC press release in Britain
The Archbishop of Canterbury and the (Roman Catholic) Archbishop of Westminster have issued a joint statement on Iraq. Here is the Anglican version of it and here is the RC version. They appear to be identical. This generated a great deal of press coverage, first in Britain (Independent, BBC (more), Guardian (more), Telegraph, Church Times) and then in other countries, including the CBC (Canada), The Balochistan Post (Pakistan), The Hindu (India), Voice of America, and The Washington Post (USA). Later in the week the BBC and The Telegraph reported that Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, held a press conference furthering his opposition to the war and objecting to the use of religious language to justify the war.

20 February 2003: Medieval altarpiece is restored
The BBC reports that Britain's largest surviving medieval altarpiece is returning to a village church following an eight-year restoration project.


15 February 2003: Known for taking stands
The New York Times, in a brief profile of the Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, notes that Dr Williams is 'known for taking stands'.

15 February 2003: Stop the war in Belfast
U.TV (Ireland) reports that the Anglican and Roman Catholic archbishops in Ireland have issued statements to be read at the Stop the War rally. We needed to read for several paragraphs to find out which war they were referring to; it's the one that will start once the US president's patience runs out.

14 February 2003: English and Welsh mostly call themselves Christian
The Telegraph (London) reports that a recent census shows that the first official count of religious affiliation shows that most people in England and Wales—71%—call themselves Christian. It's interesting to compare this number with church attendance figures. That newspaper published an editorial on this topic, entitling the editorial 'This Jedi isle'. The Church Times compared these numbers with actual church attendance, and found a bit of a discrepancy.

14 February 2003: New Zealand's fading Anglican tradition
The National Business Review (Auckland) has published an essay about a photographic exhibition at Christchurch's Centre of Contemporary Art examining the fading of the Anglican tradition in the once-starched city of Christchurch.

14 February 2003: Sydney's archbishop
The Sydney Morning Herald published an essay by Caroline Miley entitled 'A most un-Anglican archbishop'.

14 February 2003: New bishop for Durham
The Church Times (London) reports that Canon Tom Wright, Canon Theologian of Westminster Abbey, will be the next Bishop of Durham.

12 February 2003: Major interview with Rowan Williams
The Telegraph has published the full text of a significant interview with the Most Revd Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury. See also that newspaper's leader in the same issue about Williams and his role in the modern world.

12 February 2003: ABC says Prince of Wales must defend 'the Faith', not just 'Faith'
The Telegraph reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury has firmly discouraged the Prince of Wales from becoming Defender of Faith rather than 'the Faith' when he is crowned king.

10 February 2003: Obituaries
The Telegraph has published an obituary of the Rt Revd Edward Knapp-Fisher, past Bishop of Pretoria. And the next day it published an obituary of Prebendary Bill Atkins, notable rector, canon, and church scholar.

10 February 2003: Church videos intended to galvanize English clergy
The Telegraph reports that the Church of England is acknowledging its anxiety about the decline in church attendance in a video to be sent to more than 12,000 parishes. The video is part of a £100,000 campaign to persuade clergy to meet people 'where they are' rather than waiting for them to come to church. We wonder if it will be distributed on VHS or DVD.

10 February 2003: Bishop of Dallas speaks about Archbishop of Canterbury
The Dallas Morning News last month printed an article by the Rt Revd James Stanton, Bishop of Dallas, in which he talked about the new Archbishop of Canterbury. We managed to miss it when it first came out, but we now bring it to your attention. Better late than never.


9 February 2002: Terrorist to become priest in Australia
The Australian reports that Australia's first terrorist, Evan Pederick, is studying theology and training to become an Anglican priest. He was convicted and jailed for planting a bomb 25 years ago.

8 February 2003: Anglican bishop writes positively on the paranormal
Bishop Montefiore, formerly Bishop of Birmingham, talks to Mary Wakefield of The Spectator about his new book on the paranormal—and shows her his watercolours.

8 February 2003: Roman Curia finds much New Age thought all wet
In this week's Sacred Mysteries column in The Telegraph, Christopher Howse describes a new document from the Roman Catholic Curia on New Age spirituality. The report includes discussion not just of crystals but also of Madame Blavatsky, Gnostic esoterics, Rosicrucianism, mind-altering drugs and the Age of Aquarius.

7 February 2003: On religious leaders expressing opinions about war
Rod Dreher of The National Review Online disapproves of some of the anti-war statements being made by many senior religious leaders. We have in general refrained from covering here in the News Centre the arguments between church leaders and national leaders that are taking place in Britain, Australia, and the USA, because we have considered them to be national politics and not church politics. If you'd like to read those stories, click here for the USA, here for Britain, and here for Australia.

6 February 2003: Questions for divorcees seeking Church wedding
Divorcees wishing to remarry in a Church of England church will be expected to fill in application forms and answer intimate questions about previous relationships, according to The Telegraph's report on advice issued by the House of Bishops.

5 February 2003: Obituary
Canon Geraint Vaughan-Jones, who has died aged 73, was instrumental in rescuing from oblivion the ancient Welsh carol singing tradition of plygain. The Telegraph's obituary describes not only Vaughan-Jones' role in Welsh musicology, but also why he might be said to have had 'a slightly bohemian touch (by Welsh sensibilities)'.

4 February 2003: A new Bishop of Wakefield
Downing Street announces that The Queen has approved the nomination of The Very Reverend Stephen Platten BEd, BD, Dean of Norwich, for election as Bishop of Wakefield, in succession to the Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch MA, who resigned on 6 December 2002 upon his translation to the diocese of Manchester.

4 February 2003: Synod to debate chairs, fees
The Church of England, which has for decades debated feminist theories that God should be referred to as "She", is to turn its attention to the no less fraught issue of whether chairmen should be 'chairs'. The Telegraph says that another topic on the agenda at the upcoming General Synod, the first to be attended by Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury, will be the possible abolition of entrance fees at cathedrals.

3 February 2003: Woman-bishop-free zone considered
The Telegraph reports that Forward in Faith, the traditionalist umbrella group, is to present Dr Rowan Williams with a blueprint for legislation to allow the Church of England to establish a so-called 'third province' when women become bishops. Dr Williams is reportedly in favour of at least considering the idea as one way of avoiding a church split if and when women are ordained bishops in the Church of England.


2 February 2003: Westminster dean rejects Poet's Corner plaque for former poet laureate
The name 'Wesley Carr' has certainly come up in many combative contexts in this News Centre over the past 4 years. This time The Telegraph reports that Dr Carr has refused to display a commemorative plaque to Cecil Day-Lewis, the former Poet Laureate, in Poet's Corner.

2 February 2003: Diocese of Ottawa approves residential schools payout
The Ottawa Citizen reports that the Diocese of Ottawa agreed yesterday to pay CDN$1.6 million toward compensation for more than 2,000 aboriginals who claim they were physically and sexually abused in residential schools run by the church. A few days ago, Canoe News reported that the Diocese of Toronto pledged to raise $5 million for the same purpose.

1 February 2003: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week uses his column in The Telegraph to discuss 'In God we trust', the motto on US currency.

31 January 2003: Zimbabwe asks another country's archbishop to mediate
ZWnews (Zimbabwe) reports that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has invited the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Njongonkulu Ndungane, to play a mediating role—possibly between Britain and Zimbabwe—to resolve that country's economic and political problems. Britain's bishops have in the past not had much to say about Zimbabwe, and Bishop Ndungane is said to believe that Zimbabwe's problems are largely Britain's fault.

29 January 2003: Interfaith rally for peace at Boston's Trinity Church
The Boston Globe reports on public prayers for peace at Trinity Church in Copley Square, Boston.


25 January 2003: St Dwynwen's Day
We didn't notice this story in time to buy a St Dwynwen's Day card for our true love whom we were unable to marry, but the BBC reports that all Tesco stores in Wales will be selling St Dwynwen's Day cards to augment or supplant cards for the more-familiar St Valentine's Day. (St Dwynwen's Day is named after a 5th Century Welsh heroine who fell hopelessly in love with a man she could not marry.)

24 January 2003: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to a discussion of Islamic saints.

23 January 2003: Should the EU be godless?
We assume that it is just an accident that this article in The Independent coincided with Peter Jensen's visit to Britain, but Joan Smith argues that the EU should remain entirely secular.

23 January 2003: Israeli missiles hit Anglican church and hospital
Canada.com reports that Israeli attack helicopters fired missiles that made direct hits on an Anglican hospital and church in Gaza City.

23 January 2003: Tutu calls for boycott of Israel
The Church of England Newspaper reports that Desmond Tutu has called for boycotts and divestment against the Government of Israel, with the aim of ending its occupation of Palestinian territories.

23 January 2003: Interview with Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome
ZENIT, a religious news agency based in Rome, has released this transcript of an interview with the Rt Revd Richard Garrard, to whom they refer without title. Bishop Garrard is the Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome.

23 January 2003: New liturgical colours in Norwich Cathedral
The BBC reports on a new colour scheme for an evensong in Norwich Cathedral, yellow and green.

22 January 2003: Maybe she was hungry?
The Ottawa Citizen reports that Roman Catholic Church officials say Canada's Anglican Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson, should not be taking communion in Roman Catholic parishes.

22 January 2003: Sydney in the news again
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Most Revd Peter Jensen has come under fire from the head of the Australian Church, who has accused him of arrogance and divisiveness. The Guardian (London) reports on what Dr Jensen said. As usual, the argument is about sex. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has published a transcript of today's 'The World Today', a radio interview programme. The next day the Sydney Morning Herald, having obviously talked to Dr Jensen overnight, published this explanation of why he is entirely right. On Friday the Church Times reported on reaction to him, and included a quote suggesting that people should learn to transcend Anglicanism, and learn not to be too keen on bishops. We presume that he is leading by example. The Church Times' Pat Ashworth interviewed Dr Jensen; you can read the interview here.


19 January 2003: War in Iraq
There are many news stories in the world press about bishops and a war in Iraq. We recommend that you look at them via Google News, because each time you click on that link, you will get the newest stories and not just the stories that had appeared as of our press time. The official statement by English bishops is here. An earlier statement by the US National Council of Churches is here.

19 January 2003: Sexuality in Africa
The Sunday Times (Johannesburg) reports that Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, primate of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa, has asked its members to reflect upon their attitudes towards homosexuality.

19 January 2003: Fire in Australia
The Australian (Canberra) reports that the Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn is among those horrified by today's bush fires in Canberra. The Edmonton Sun reports that he said '"This is undoubtedly the worst crisis that Canberra has faced in its history.'

18 January 2003: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to Sacred Space, a website produced by the Irish Jesuits.

18 January 2003: Court bans priest
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) reports that a retired Anglican priest has been banned from leading congregations after being found guilty, in a rarely used ecclesiastical court, of disrespectful conduct toward a bishop. The CBC reports that he plans to appeal.

17 January 2003: Church merger in Scotland?
The Church Times reports that four of Scotland’s mainstream churches (including the Scottish Episcopal Church) will be asked to break with 'the ghosts of ancient feuds and controversies', and work together in ecumenical parishes.

16 January 2002: Obituary
The Telegraph and The Independent have published an obituary of Monica Furlong, one of the greats of religious writing.

14 January 2003: Injured Australian priest remains in critical condition
A month ago the Revd Nancy Scott was badly injured in a parish hall accident in Australia. See News Centre report dated 15 December 2002. Her parish keeps a log of her condition, and things are not going well. Pray for her.

13 January 2003: Bishop speaks out in Kenya
The East African Standard (Nairobi) reports that the Rt Revd Mwai Abiero, Bishop of Maseno South, asked Kenya's Government not to relent in its crackdown on Mungiki. The bishop also asked Kenyans to assist the Government flush out adherents of the sect.

11 January 2003: Queen asked to return relics
Ananova reports that an amateur historian has written to the UK's Queen asking her to return a collection of body parts of saints which he claims was stolen from a cathedral hundreds of years ago.


11 January 2003: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to a historical perspective on Rowan Williams and the archbishopric of Canterbury.

11 January 2003: Church unity follies in Scotland
The Telegraph reports that some churches in Scotland are facing schism to make sure that they are not involved in a proposed church union.

11 January 2003: Downshifting bishop in Grafton
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the list of Australians 'downshifting' to less-stressful jobs includes the Rt Revd Philip Huggins, Bishop of Grafton.

10 January 2003: Britain fixes licensing bill to permit church music
The Telegraph (London) reports that the culture minister of Great Britain has said that churches will be given some form of exemption from the Government's Licensing Bill. Although this is not specifically global news, we mention it because this bill could set a very bad precedent if it stood.

10 January 2003: Easter eggs already on sale
The Queensland Sunday Mail reports that four days after Epiphany, Easter eggs and hot cross buns are on supermarket shelves in Australia.

10 January 2003: Choir's dream trip touched by tragedy
Canada's Anglican Journal reports that a trip to London by the cathedral choir of the diocese of Huron was marred by tragedy when a member of the group died of an apparent heart attack on the first day of the visit.

9 January 2003: Australian bishop goes to England
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Rt Revd Dr Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney, has gone to England to challenge the episcopal structure there.

9 January 2003: Ugandan bishop to reward virgin brides
The Monitor (Kampala) reports that the Rt Revd Dunstan Bukenya, Bishop of Mityana, has agreed to pay 100,000 Shillings (about 50 Euros) to every Anglican girl in his diocese who is still a virgin when she is married. The North-South Institute (Ottawa) reports that the average monthly wage for Ugandan women of marriageable age is about 50,000 Shillings, so this is a reward of about two months' wages.

9 January 2003: Ugandan MP wants inquiry into consecration of Bishop of Muhabura
The Monitor (Kampala) reports that MP Nsaba Buturo yesterday asked the government to set up a commission of inquiry to probe 'wrangles' in the Diocese of Muhabura.

8 January 2003: Quebec priest put on trial for disrespect
We mostly ignore news stories about church trials of late, because they are usually not so much trials as political wrangling about sex. But this week's announcement by the Anglican Journal that the Revd Keith Perry-Gore is being tried for disrespect in an ecclesiastical court is the real deal, not secretly about sex.

8 January 2003: Cathedral repairs
The great Anglican cathedrals are precious treasures for the whole world. Most of them are in England, where the money to repair them and the desire to spend it is waning. The Telegraph reports that the British government has allocated money to repair the oldest, Ripon Cathedral. The BBC reports that the Anglican cathedrals in Norwich and Peterborough, and the Roman Catholic cathedral in Norwich, have received government grants for repairs. The Church Times has a good summary article on the cathedral-repair grants.

6 January 2003: Anglican priest becomes Roman Catholic bishop
The Vatican News Service reports that the Revd Alan Stephen Hopes, formerly a priest in the Church of England, has been appointed auxiliary bishop in the Roman Catholic diocese of Westminster. Note that they did not consider his Anglican ordination to be valid, and re-ordained him.

5 January 2003: Britain's Home Secretary responds to ABC's Dimbleby lecture
The Spectator (London) has published an analysis by Home Secretary David Blunkett of Rowan Williams' recent Dimbleby lecture.

5 January 2003: Homosexuality issue seen as inevitably schismatic
Barney Zwartz, writing in The Age (Melbourne) asserts that the disagreement as to whether or not homosexuality is the most important topic in the Bible is sure to tear the church into two pieces. 'Divisions so deep cannot be smoothed over.'


5 January 2003: Dissociation in Australia?
Muriel Porter, writing in The Age (Melbourne) wonders aloud whether it is time to restructure the church to make room for dissidents on the left and right, and move on.

5 January 2003: A view of Rowan Williams from outside the church
Columnist David Aaronovitch, writing in The Observer, comments on the secular perception of Rowan Williams, who 'actually looks like God (or Albus Dumbledore perhaps, and that's almost as good)'.

5 January 2003: Primate of West Africa to retire
The Akkra Daily Mail (Ghana) reports that the Archbishop of the Province of West Africa, the Most Revd Robert Garshong Allotey Okine, has announced his intention to retire.

4 January 2003: The twelve days of Christmas
The New York Times, as hungry for news as the rest of us, reports on the theological meaning of the lyrics to the 'Twelve days of Christmas' song.

4 January 2003: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse this week devotes his column in The Telegraph to a discussion of Epiphany.

4 January 2003: Axeman badly damages ancient abbey
The Telegraph and the BBC report that a man swinging two axes injured people in a town centre and then went on to vandalize Waltham Abbey, in England.

4 January 2003: English bishop says harassment complaints mishandled
The Guardian reports that the Bishop of Carlisle admitted yesterday that years of complaints about the behaviour of a vicar in his diocese had never been properly investigated by the church.

4 January 2003: Return to sender
The National Post (Toronto) reports that the Revd Dorian Baxter, who calls himself Elvis Priestly and who was more or less drummed out of the Anglican Church of Canada, has formed his own denomination, the Grace-Land Independent Anglican Church. If they find a validly-consecrated bishop and make a website, we promise to list them in our NIC section.

3 January 2003: Prayer for the people of Iraq
The BBC reports that the Church of England has issued a prayer for the people of Iraq.

1 January 2003: ABC speaks against...
There are a number of news stories this week about the new Archbishop of Canterbury making strong public statements. A number of them we consider to be UK domestic politics; you can read them here if you like. The Telegraph (London) reports that he spoke out against the obsession of image and brand; here is his speech as written.

1 January 2003: Rector vs congregation in England
The Telegraph reports that a rector who attempted to stamp out criticism of his 'happy-clappy' services by suspending choristers, 'demoting' the organist and trying to oust the captain of bell-ringers has quit.


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