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International briefing

5/17/2006
[Episcopal News Service]   
  • ANGLICAN COMMUNION: Panel of Reference holds second meeting, issues communiqué
  • CANADA: Church leaders appeal to PM to launch initiatives on HIV/AIDS
  • LAMBETH PALACE: Archbishop of Canterbury awards Lambeth Degrees
  • SOUTH AFRICA: Anglican bishops condemn maltreatment of women
  • SOUTH AFRICA: Ndungane calls church to account on priorities


ANGLICAN COMMUNION: Panel of Reference holds second meeting, issues communiqué

[Source: Anglican Communion News Service] The Archbishop of Canterbury's Panel of Reference held its second plenary meeting May 9-12 in Saint Andrew's House, London. The Panel is grateful for the welcome and hospitality of the Anglican Communion Office during its meeting.

The Panel began its work by considering progress so far. Since the Panel's first meeting ten months ago, it has received three references from the Archbishop of Canterbury. These were received by the Panel at the end of October 2005. The Panel indicated in its first communiqué that speed of response was an important consideration, and that normally it would seek to give its response to the Archbishop within six months of reference.

The first reference to the Panel arises from an appeal by the Diocese of Forth Worth in the Episcopal Church USA. The second reference relates to the Diocese of Connecticut in the Episcopal Church USA, and to an appeal by six parishes against the oversight of their Bishop. The third reference is an appeal by parishes in the Diocese of New Westminster in the Anglican Church of Canada for alternative episcopal oversight.

Full communiqué


CANADA: Church leaders appeal to PM to launch initiatives on HIV/AIDS

[Source: Anglican Church of Canada] Twenty Canadian church leaders, including Anglican Primate Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, have appealed to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to promptly announce six new initiatives in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The sweeping measures the church leaders want include cancellation of debts owed by countries with HIV/AIDS rates above 1.1 percent of the population and amendments to Canadian legislation to facilitate the export of medicines.

The church leaders, writing under the letterhead of the Canadian Council of Churches, also ask for a meeting with the Prime Minister before he speaks to a UN group at the end of May.

Full story and letter


LAMBETH PALACE: Archbishop of Canterbury awards Lambeth Degrees

[Source: Lambeth Palace] The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, is to award eight Lambeth Degrees this summer.

Those to be awarded degrees are: the Rev. Professor Donald Allchin, Rabbi Tony Bayfield, the Rev. Dr. George Lovell, the Rt. Rev. Peter Lee, Madeleine Bunting, Peggy Hartley, the Rev. Malcolm Johnson, Ernest Warrell.

The Lambeth Degree is conferred in recognition of significant contribution to religious, academic and public life and can be awarded in Divinity, Law, Arts, Literature, Medicine and Music.

The Archbishop will preside over a ceremony at Lambeth Palace on Thursday, July 13, when the degrees will be awarded.

Full story


SOUTH AFRICA: Anglican bishops condemn maltreatment of women

[Source: Church of the Province of Southern Africa] Anglican bishops, under the leadership of Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, have said that they continue to be deeply concerned about the treatment of women in Southern African society. In solidarity with all women in Southern Africa the bishops intend to organize a series of special events on August 9, 2006.

This decision was taken during a five-day, bi-annual meeting of the Synod of Bishops in Bloemfontein last week.

The Anglican Church hopes to use National Women's Day, as well as the Sixteen Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women and Children -- held in November/December -- to honor women, to pray and to proclaim the church's support for the place of women in all societies of Southern Africa. The bishops will invite leaders of all faith groups, of business, government and civil society to join them in these events. The bishops urge these leaders to promote the good of women and children in all that they do.

Full story


SOUTH AFRICA: Ndungane calls church to account on priorities

[Source: Religion News Service, Washington Post] Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, Primate of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (CPSA), has called for an end to the church's "practices of discrimination," suggesting that the Anglican Communion should be at "the forefront of fighting social ills and not bothering about what Gene Robinson may be doing or not doing," the Religion News Service reports.

In a recent interview, Ndungane identified homosexuality as a "pastoral, secondary problem," and estimated that 70 percent of the world's 77 million Anglicans have grown tired of discussing the divisive topic and wish to return to the "life and death issues of this world."

Included in Ndungane's fundamental issues are alleviation of severe poverty, the HIV-AIDS epidemic and educational inequalities.

Full story