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World Report - July 19, 2006

7/19/2006
[Episcopal News Service] 
  • LAMBETH PALACE: Archbishop condemns Middle East violence
  • LAMBETH PALACE: Archbishop of Canterbury sends message of sympathy for Mumbai victims
  • MIDDLE EAST: Galilee sites where Jesus performed miracles hit by Hezbollah rockets 
  • NIGERIA: Bishop says women's ordination is 'not sinful'


LAMBETH PALACE: Archbishop condemns Middle East violence

[Source: Lambeth Palace] The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, has condemned the escalating violence in the Middle East.

Writing to the Heads of Churches in the Lebanon, Williams said, "I have been alarmed at the spiral of violence, the vicious circle of attack and retaliation, that has developed over the last few days. My prayers and sympathy are with the principal victims, the innocent civilians on both sides of the border, who now live in terror and are powerless to prevent the collective suffering at the hands of at the hands of Hizballah and the Israeli military.

"The distress felt at the destruction not only of life but also the infrastructure so painstakingly rebuilt after years of conflict will, I know, be acute and reinforce the sense of helplessness at being caught up in a wider regional struggle. My condemnation of this resort to violence is unequivocal."

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LAMBETH PALACE: Archbishop of Canterbury sends message of sympathy for Mumbai victims

[Source: Lambeth Palace] The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, has sent a message of sympathy for victims of the July 11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Addressing an interfaith memorial gathering July 14, Williams said that the anniversary of the 7/7 attacks has led people in the U.K. to a determination to stand with victims and assured all involved of his continuing prayers.

"It is shocking that such senseless acts of violence against innocent people continue, in Mumbai and other places around the world," he said. "Please be assured of my prayers for God's mercy on the deceased; for grace and fortitude for all the surviving victims; for the selfless dedication of the emergency services and all those working to help people rebuild their lives in the wake of the bombings; and for a deeper peace and harmony in the relations between the communities in the region."

Williams has also written a letter of condolence to the Indian High Commissioner in London.

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MIDDLE EAST: Galilee sites where Jesus performed miracles hit by Hezbollah rockets 
By Michele Green 

[Source: Ecumenical News International] Galilee sites where Jesus is said to have performed miracles have been hit by Hezbollah rocket fire as fighting deepened between Israel and the militant movement which is based in Lebanon.

Hezbollah rockets hit targets near Nazareth, Jesus' childhood home town, as well as Tiberias and the banks of the Sea of Galilee in Israel where the Gospels say that Jesus walked on water, performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes and calmed a storm.

"I sat on a bench facing the Sea of Galilee with my grandson and son and heard two fall and a few seconds later we heard a great explosion and we understood that it had hit close by," the former mayor of Tiberias, Asher Yaish, told Israel's Channel One Television on July 15 after a rocket strike.

World Christian leaders including Pope Benedict XVI and the Rev. Samuel Kobia, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, have expressed alarm at the new violence in northern Israel and in Lebanon. They have strongly urged all parties to stop hostile acts immediately.

The Pope on July 16 noted from Italy "the many victims among the civilian population." The roots of the conflict, he said, were found in "violations of rights and of justice."

On July 13, Kobia said, "The use of force and the harsh rhetoric of war are driving the new government of Israel and its neighboring states deeper into a chasm of killings and destruction, and further away from the prospect of peace."

Nearly 200 Lebanese, most of them civilians, and 24 Israelis have been killed in six days of fighting triggered by rocket attacks and the capture of two Israel soldiers by Hezbollah that was followed by Israeli aerial bombardments of the militant group's strongholds. Attacks were also launched on Lebanese infrastructure in the southern suburbs of Beirut and southern Lebanon. Hezbollah has since attacked Haifa with rockets.


NIGERIA: Bishop says women's ordination is 'not sinful'

[Source: The Tide Online] Bishop Simon Bala of the Anglican Diocese of Kubwa in Nigeria has said the ordination of women bishops is theologically justified and not a sin against God, responding to the recent decision by the Church of England's General Synod to vote in favor of admitting women to the episcopate.

Bala said that the Church of Nigeria was rejecting the ordination of women now, "not because it is sinful or that it is against the will of God, but because we are looking at our level of maturity in Christianity."

"I don't have any hard and fast rules whether women should be ordained or not," he added. "It all depends on our understanding of it. All I know is that it is not sinful to ordain women."

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