- AUSTRALIA: First woman appointed as administrator of Perth diocese
- CANADA: Women are the new face of AIDS, conference speakers say
- ENGLAND: Archbishop of York begins seven-day vigil for the Middle East
- INDIA: Child labor ban requires enforcement, church officials say
- LAMBETH PALACE: Archbishop of Canterbury to visit China
- LAMBETH PALACE: Archbishop of Canterbury to welcome Chief Rabbinate to Lambeth
- SRI LANKA: Civil conflict forces thousands to evacuate
AUSTRALIA: First woman appointed as administrator of Perth diocese
[Source: Anglican Church of Australia] The Rev. Kay Goldsworthy has accepted an invitation from Archbishop Roger Herft of Perth to take on the responsibility of diocesan administrator following the retirement of Bishop David Murray, the first time in the diocese's nearly-150-year history that a woman has been appointed to the position.
Herft said he was delighted that Goldsworthy, a member of the Anglican Consultative Council, had accepted the appointment. "Given Kay's background, her national and international experience and her wisdom and knowledge, her input will be deeply appreciated and valued at this time,' he said. "She joins a remarkable group of Australian women who have influenced the life of the National Anglican Church."
CANADA: Women are the new face of AIDS, conference speakers say
[Source: Anglican Journal] The 16th International AIDS Conference opened in Toronto this weekend with calls for immediate, universal and equitable access to HIV/AIDS prevention, care, treatment and research for women and girls worldwide.
Speakers at the August 13 opening ceremonies, including Canada's Governor General Michaëlle Jean, American philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates and Frika Chia Iskandair, a young HIV-positive activist from Indonesia, all delivered the same message: the new face of AIDS is a woman's -- mothers, young ladies and teenagers -- and they are not getting the help they desperately need.
Gates, the world's richest man, underscored the need to empower women in the fight to end AIDS. Abstinence and being faithful are not enough to stem the pandemic, while using condoms is not a decision made by women, he said, to wide applause from tens of thousands of delegates.
"No matter where she lives. No matter who she is or what she does, a woman should never need her partner's permission to save her own life," he said. "Being faithful will not protect a woman whose partner is not faithful. We need to put the power to stop HIV into the hands of women."
Full story by Marites N. Sison
ENGLAND: Archbishop of York begins seven-day vigil for the Middle East
The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, had his head shaved and anointed with oil during the Sunday, August 13, morning act of worship at York Minster in preparation for a seven-day fast and prayer vigil for the Middle East.
After the service, Sentamu entered the tent which he has pitched in St. John's Chapel inside the Minster where he will be sleeping for the seven nights as part of his vigil.
The acts of preparation came as Sentamu announced his intention to forego his seven days' holiday to Salzburg in order to camp inside York Minster where he has asked people from all over the country to join him in heart and mind to pray every hour for peace in the conflict between Israel and Lebanon, and for good community relations in Britain.
"Around my neck I wear a cross which bears the words of Archbishop Oscar Romero: 'Peace will flower when love and justice pervade our environment.' The events of the past weeks show how far we are, as a world and as a nation, from that place which Romero describes," he said.
A selection of the prayers used by Sentamu in leading public intercessions in York Minster this week
INDIA: Child labor ban requires enforcement, church officials say
By Anto Akkara
[Source: Ecumenical News International] Church officials engaged in fighting for children's rights in India have welcomed steps by the government to curb child labor, but have warned that the regulation needs to be enforced to stop it being a mere gesture.
"We have many good laws that ban child marriage and other evils. Still, child marriages do take place," said the Rev. Enos Das Pradhan, general secretary of the Church of North India, a province of the Anglican Communion. "We hope this ban would not remain a paper tiger."
India's federal labor ministry announced August 1 that children would from October be banned working as domestic helps or in restaurants, including at roadside eateries and recreational centres. The following day, the country's legislature agreed a law aiming to prevent exploitation of children, deal with juvenile delinquency, and to set up state-level child protection units to prevent child labor and the harassment of children.
India has the largest number of child laborers in the world with the 2001 national census acknowledging more than 12 million child laborers, but activist groups put the figure at more than 50 million. The labor commission of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India welcomed the initiative on child labor. "But the question is how the government is going to enforce this ban," said the Rev. Jose Vattakuzhy, executive secretary of the Catholic commission.
Although the employment of children is banned in factories, several industries rely on cheap child labor to make their products competitive across India, Vattakuzhy noted. Still, the steps announced by the government would enable activists "to reduce the indifference to child labor issues and strengthen reporting such incidents to authorities", he said.
LAMBETH PALACE: Archbishop of Canterbury to visit China
[Source: Lambeth Palace] The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, is to visit China October 8-23 at the invitation of the senior leadership of the post-denominational Protestant Churches in China.
Starting in Shanghai before continuing inland, the visit will take in five cities, including the capital, Beijing. It is intended to provide a deeper understanding of the Church in China and the varied context in which it is developing.
The wide-ranging program will include opportunities to engage with religious leaders, academics, government officials, NGOs and business leaders on the contemporary challenges facing both Church and society. It will build on the visits of previous Archbishops of Canterbury in 1983 and 1994.
"I am greatly looking forward to my first direct encounter with China," Williams said. "I very much welcome this opportunity to come alongside the Church in China, as well as to gain a fuller appreciation of China's remarkable development in recent years and its unique cultural heritage."
LAMBETH PALACE: Archbishop of Canterbury to welcome Chief Rabbinate to Lambeth
[Source: Lambeth Palace] The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, will welcome the Chief Rabbinate of Israel to Lambeth Palace on September 5. Chief Rabbis Amar and Metzger will travel to London for a special meeting with Williams, during which a joint declaration will be signed, establishing a new joint dialogue process.
The dialogue, which will be developed in the coming years, is intended to bring a further important strand to the range of relationships between the Archbishop and other religious leaders and institutions internationally and in particular in the Middle East and is similar to the Anglican dialogue with Al Azhar established in 2002 and builds on relationships developed in the Alexandria Process. This latest initiative has been welcomed by the bishops of the Anglican churches of the region.
The dialogue will cover discussion of a range of subjects of mutual interest and will lead to better understanding and appreciation and to a strengthening of wider interreligious relationships in the region and beyond.
SRI LANKA: Civil conflict forces thousands to evacuate
[Source: Episcopal Relief and Development] Renewed fighting between the eastern and northern region of Sri Lanka has caused thousands of people to flee their homes. Homes and businesses have been burned and looted as the violence continues to escalate. In the town of Dili, one of the hardest hit areas, approximately 60 percent of the homes have been destroyed. This year alone, more than 700 people have been added to the list of casualties.
Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) is working through the Diocese of Colombo to provide critical aid to internally displaced people. Approximately 120,000 people from 11 different regions have been affected. Local churches have opened their doors to serve as temporary shelters, providing simple meals such as rice, curry and roti to the people. In Trincomalee, 479 families were given dry rations and temporary housing. The region of Ampara received 70 mattresses and in Navatkudah, relief packages were distributed in the various camps.
"I continue to be humbled as the church responds to the physical and spiritual needs of those who suffer in the cross fire of this increased violence," said Kirsten Laursen, senior director for ERD's Asia Programs. "The courage to serve people in need regardless of religion, ethnicity or political orientation is a hallmark of the work of the church."
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