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World Report - August 23


Diocese of York by Martin Sheppard
Archbishop Sentamu breaks his week-long fast by receiving Communion outside his tent in St John's Chapel from Canon Glyn Webster.   (Diocese of York by Martin Sheppard)

[Episcopal News Service]   
    • AUSTRALIA: New Anglican Archbishop elected for Melbourne
    • CANADA: AIDS envoy challenges governments, institutions on inaction
    • ENGLAND: Sentamu ends fast, calls for new efforts for Middle East peace
    • NIGERIA: Virginia priest consecrated Bishop for Nigerian convocation
    • SOUTHERN AFRICA: Cape Town diocese launches program to combat abuse of women
    • SUDAN: International pressure needed to implement peace, Church leaders say

AUSTRALIA: New Anglican Archbishop elected for Melbourne

[Source: Anglican Communion News Service] The Rt. Rev. Dr. Philip Freier has been elected by an overwhelming majority as the new Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne.

Bishop Administrator of the Diocese, Dr. John Wilson, said, "I am delighted with the election -- this is a wonderful choice. Bishop Freier brings a very rich experience, coming out of an Australian context."Archbishop-elect Freier, 51, who was elected by a two-thirds majority of Synod members at the special election meeting August 14-19, has been bishop of the Northern Territory since 1999. He was ordained priest in 1984, and previous positions include examining chaplain to the Archbishop of Brisbane (1993-1999); area dean of the Burnett, Diocese of Brisbane; rector, Christ Church Bundaberg, Diocese of Brisbane; and rector, St Oswald's Banyo, Diocese of Brisbane.

Full story

CANADA: AIDS envoy challenges governments, institutions on inaction

[Source: Anglican Journal] Stephen Lewis, the United Nations special envoy on HIV/AIDS for Africa, accused the United States of "neo-colonialism" for imposing conditions on its AIDS grants to developing countries in his strongest indictment yet of some world leaders' stand on AIDS.

In his closing keynote address to the 16th International AIDS Conference, Lewis also slammed the South African government for promoting theories about the disease "more worthy of a lunatic fringe than of a concerned and compassionate state."

In his speech, marked by passionate, rapid-fire delivery, Lewis blasted governments and institutions like the UN for the continued "diminution of the rights of women," and said that as long as men "control the bastions of power," AIDS will not be broken.

"We will never subdue AIDS until the rights of women become part of the struggle," said Lewis. "I challenge you, my fellow delegates, to enter the fray of gender inequality. There is no more honorable and productive calling. There is nothing of greater import in this world. All roads lead from women to social change, and that includes subduing the pandemic."

Lewis has spoken to Canadian Anglicans on many occasions, including General Synod in 2004.

Full story by Marites N. Sison and others relating to the 16th International AIDS Conference

ENGLAND: Sentamu ends fast, calls for new efforts for Middle East peace

[Source: Diocese of York] Archbishop of York Dr. John Sentamu ended his seven-day vigil for peace August 20 by calling for the international community to renew its efforts in working for a sustainable solution to conflict in the Middle East.

Speaking at the morning Eucharist service in York Minster, where he has spent the past week praying, fasting and sleeping in a tent, Sentamu said, "The events of the past weeks, in the Lebanon, Israel, the United States and Britain have demonstrated that we cannot afford any longer to leave the issues of the Middle East in the pending tray of unresolved business. There is no greater recruiting sergeant for would-be jihadists than the conflict in the Middle East. Without urgent action on our part, for their sakes and our own, the spiral of violence that has lasted longer than the whole of my lifetime -- and I am 57 -- will continue unabated, as new generations become mired in the enmity of their forefathers.

Sentamu also called for the development of a sense of inclusion, safety and civic society in Britain as being required to build peace at home as well as abroad.

"We must each and every one of us hold responsibility for seeking peace in our own time, in our own streets and in our own homes as well as continuing to pray for the world," he said. "We must look at our own nation, our own children growing in a society which does not always foster inclusion and generosity as our priority. It is surely fear and anxiety which leads to aggression. We must build a sense of safety. If we seek for others an integrity and legitimacy of civil society, we ourselves must strive to think about our own."

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NIGERIA: Virginia priest consecrated Bishop for Nigerian convocation

[Source: ENS] The Rev. Martyn Minns, rector of Truro Church in Fairfax, Virginia, was consecrated for the Church of Nigeria as bishop of the Convocation for Anglicans in North America (CANA) on August 20 at the National Christian Centre (formerly National Ecumenical Centre) in Abuja, Nigeria, with three other bishops-elect.

The consecration “signals the commissioning of new mission to America initiated by the Church of Nigeria," according to a news release on the Nigerian church's website.

Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola has asked that Minns remain Truro's rector while serving as a bishop with oversight of CANA, originally called the Convocation of Anglican Nigerian Churches in America.

Virginia Bishop Peter Lee told his diocese in an August 13 letter that he and Minns will release a statement before the end of August responding to the "various jurisdictional and pastoral challenges" raised by Minns' election as a bishop in the Church of Nigeria. Lee had previously called Minns’ election "an affront to the traditional, orthodox understanding of Anglican Provincial Autonomy."

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Cape Town diocese launches program to combat abuse of women
[Source: Church of the Province of Southern Africa] The Anglican Church in Cape Town launched a program of action to combat abuse of women at its Synod on August 19.

Unacceptable levels of violence against women and children topped the agenda of the three-day meeting of bishops, clergy and parish leaders, held in retreat.

"We have talked about this for over 10 years -- now we must act," said the Rev. Michelle Walker, introducing the debate. "We have allowed the gospel of Jesus Christ, which should be good news of liberation for everyone, to be interpreted in ways that diminish women. We must change our attitudes and our teaching."

A wide range of speakers passionately endorsed proposals for the Church to engage courageously with religious and cultural beliefs and practices, and to review its teaching materials, especially for Sunday schools and confirmation classes.

The Synod unanimously approved the proposal to develop a program of action and monitoring, and to work harder at changing attitudes. They issued a call for the Church to stop being part of the problem, and to take a lead in providing solutions.

Full story

SUDAN: International pressure needed to implement peace, Church leaders say

[Source: Anglican Communion News Service] Sudanese Church leaders have decried the slow implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in January 2005. Grave concern has been expressed at the prevalence of violent conflicts and ethnic clashes in many parts of Southern Sudan, and at the lack of development and services to the people.

More than eighteen months after peace was signed, critical elements of the agreement have yet to be implemented. Among these are the determining of North/South boundaries and the boundary to the disputed area of Abyei, and the repealing of important laws affecting human rights which are contrary to the peace agreement.

Speaking after a meeting of Sudanese church leaders in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, Bishop Daniel Deng, chairman of the Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Commission of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, warned that a failure to implement the agreement could endanger the peace.

"International involvement is needed to see that peace is implemented," warned Deng. "We are very concerned at the delay in implementing the Abyei Commission report. We appeal to the international community to see that the issue of borders is settled very soon. This is urgent for safeguarding the CPA."

    Full story