A weekly roundup of Anglican Communion news plus opinion, reviews, photos, profiles and other things of interest from across the Anglican/Episcopal world.
This edition includes...
New study reveals Anglican anti-communism was a powerful religious force in 1950s Cold War
By Daniel Clarke, from the Guardian, The Newspaper of the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide
The Anglican Church was deeply involved in the religious fight against communism in Australia during the early Cold War and its influence reached the highest echelons of power, a Victoria University study has found. In what is believed to be the first major Australian study of the influence of Anglicans in Cold War anti-communism, VU PhD graduate Dr Doris LeRoy reveals how political leaders used religion and the strength of the Church to “obtain their ends’’.
“While numerous studies have examined the role of the Australian Roman Catholic Church in fighting communism in the 1950s, little attention has been paid to the position and power of the numerically dominant Anglican Church,’’ Dr LeRoy said. “The Encyclical issued by the Pope at the time prevented any Catholics being involved with communism. But the pressure the Archbishop of Canterbury exerted on the Anglicans did not prevent some being admirers of the communist system, which meant there was conflict within the church.’’
Her study highlights the high number of Anglican representatives in influential positions in the government, the military and the judiciary during Cold War Australia. “These powerful elites were able to influence social opinion both directly and indirectly,’’ she said. “There were prominent members of the Anglican Church who were very helpful to the anticommunist Menzies government at the time. There were no overt statements about this link between Church and State but there probably didn’t need to be. It was all pretty well understood.’’
Dr LeRoy said one notable example was Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) head Brigadier Sir Charles Spry, New Study reveals Anglican anti-communism was a powerful religious force in 1950s Cold War who was an Anglican known for his conservative views. “Spry was affiliated with everyone but he was a very secretive man. He was part of a closely knit defence establishment elite in Melbourne which was known for its vehement anti-communism and its informal links with the Liberal Party.’’
Church newspapers were also used as a tool to spread anticommunist propaganda, particularly the evangelical titles, she said. “The papers disseminated anti-communist news items from local and international sources and were powerful shapers of opinion. It was quite amazing that there was so much fear considering the small numbers of communists in Australia at the time, estimated to be 20,000 at the most.’’
Dr LeRoy said her study had the potential to upset some Anglicans but the research was important “because it can be used as a lesson for the current fear, ignorance and misunderstandings of Muslims’’.
Tackling commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood - Mothers' Union asking for your help.
Reg Bailey, Chief Executive of the Mothers' Union, is carrying out an Independent Review to address parents' concerns about the pressures on children to grow up too quickly. Mr Bailey is very keen to hear from parents on this issue and the questionnaire should take about 10 minutes to complete. The views submitted through this questionnaire will help him develop his recommendations which will be published in May. Complete the questionnaire here
At the end of last year, Mr Bailey, was been asked by the British government to chair the Independent Review at the end of last year. The review has been commissioned by Sarah Teather MP, the UK Minister for Children and Families, and is part of a strong commitment made by both British Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to give a real measure of support to family life.
Rosemary Kempsell, the Worldwide President of Mothers' Union said "We are delighted that Reg has been asked to chair this independent review as Mothers' Union is absolutely committed to seeing children as children, not simply as consumers. We have been involved with the welfare of children for many years, but have more recently launched our Bye Buy Childhood campaign in precisely this area because so many parents express their concerns to us."
A new form of fly in/fly out ministry...
The Rev'd Peter Palmer an his wife Joy, The Bush Church Aid Society and the Dioceses of Willochra and Adelaide as well as some of the decision makers in the mining industry are exploring a new and exciting ministry possibility for the mining communities in the far north of the State.
In the past, mining towns were often newly built "suburbs in the bush" complete with all the infrastructure needed to attract the mining workforce and their families to isolated locations. Increasingly though, mining communities are constructed on a Fly In/Fly Out basis. Quick and relatively cheap air transport has made it possible for miners to work in the bush, while their families live in regional cities or in the major metropolitan areas. Miners commute, they Fly In/Fly Out on a regular schedule. There are many advantages to this arrangement, but it also raises new problems for families who have a parent around and then gone, upsetting the regular running of family relationships. For the men and women involved, there are particular strains on personal relationships. The money is good, although shifts are often long and the living conditions in the camps are usually very good. But living in two worlds brings high levels of stress and sometimes anxiety.
During his time at Coober Pedy, Peter has developed an excellent relationship with the Prominent Hill mining community, both workforce and management. Building on this firm foundation Peter is working with the other partners in this venture to establish an Adelaide based Fly In/Fly Out (FiFo) ministry. He will visit the mines regularly as part of the changeover of workers, flying to and from the mines as the workers shift. He will also spend time in Adelaide offering ministry to the families of FiFo workers and trying to connect them with local churches. BCA will help seed fund this project. The Prominent Hill mine has budgetted to share some of the costs, and it is hoped that in time the whole cost of this useful and much needed ministry might be met from the mining industry. The people of Coober Pedt are sad to see another minister move on, but they are excited that they have played an important role in developing new ways to minister in the bush. Please pray for new opportunities and graces as plans move forward.
Dear People of God,
Today, as I write, is Candlemas, the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, which draws the season of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany to a close. It is rather a ‘bitter-sweet’ day, as we celebrate with Simeon and Anna their recognition of the one who comes to be their Saviour, our Saviour – but also recognise that he must taste the pains of human suffering, if he is to share with us the promise of heavenly life.
We find the bitter and the sweet together so often in life. I have just returned from the Anglican Primates’ Meeting, where I felt both great sorrow at the painful divisions that led some Primates to stay away, and yet also was profoundly touched by the depths of our shared worship, Bible study and discussions. We did have some ‘business’ issues to address (including the harassment of Anglicans in Zimbabwe and persecution of Christians in Pakistan; political developments in Egypt, Korea and Sudan; violence against women and children, and the murder of the Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato; and climate change). But for the most part, we took counsel together on what it means to be a Bishop and a Primate in the Church of God, sharing one another’s joys and burdens in conversation and in prayer. In the cold Irish winter, sheltered at the Emmaus retreat centre, we were conscious of our weaknesses, and our interdependence, and kept those who were not present alive in our hearts, through a lit candle, remembering Christ, in whose body we are all members together, as our light.
Prayer and fellowship, study and reflection, are our bedrock, as we seek to care for one another, giving mutual support, and taking counsel with one another. Our aim is to deepen our relationship – especially on a spiritual level – and to help one another grow in Christ, by the leading of the Spirit, and so to be faithful to our individual and shared callings. This is the task of all Christians wherever we find ourselves: as Primates, in the Synod of Bishops, in Dioceses, and at Parish level and within our families too. We do not choose who we find ourselves alongside, and we often have very different backgrounds, or expectations, or personalities. It is not easy to get along with everyone, all the time, and sometimes we will disagree quite strongly. But wherever we recognise Christ as the cornerstone in the life of another person, we have no option but to continue striving to be built together as God’s ‘living stones’ (1 Peter 2). And so I came home full of hope that, without underestimating the challenges in our Communion, we nonetheless still have something dear to us, to hold on to and to cherish.
There have been other bitter-sweet moments in the life of our own Church. It saddened me greatly that the consecration of the Rt Revd Sebenzile Elliot Williams as the first Bishop of Mbhashe was only able to proceed after the courts threw out unsustainable challenges to his election. Of course, the church must uphold both the spirit and the due processes of our canons and the laws of our nations. But it perturbs me that when people do not get their own way through following the proper courses, there is such a temptation to dash to a lawyer to try to overturn what should be accepted with grace. We should take to heart Paul’s admonition that secular legal action is our last resort (1 Cor 6). At times, sadly, that point does come, as we found in the Diocese of George – so now we wish them a fresh and ‘sweet’ beginning, following the election of Revd Canon Brian Marajh as their new Bishop. He will be consecrated on 7 May. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.
Your prayers are also asked for Nelson Mandela, and all who love him. He is an old man of 92, and we cannot hope for him to stay with us for ever! We thank God for all he has done for South Africa, and the inspiration he has been to so many beyond our borders. But we must also commit him into God’s hands, asking, as the ancient prayers say, that when his time comes, he may have a ‘good end’ and not be afraid to make that final journey to his eternal home, trusting in the one who gave his life so that we might know the life of heaven with him. But until that time, we ask God to strengthen and uphold Madiba, and surround him with his love and care.
In the three years since becoming Archbishop of Cape Town, I have been twice to the Holy Land – a place of great bitterness and sweetness. Most recently Lungi and I travelled there last October as the guest of Mickey Glass, a former executive officer of the Jewish Board of deputies. Later this month I shall return, to participate in an international conference at the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, which will consider the theme ‘Challenging Empire: God, Faithfulness and Resistance’. I have found it humbling to listen to stories from all faiths, all backgrounds, and to walk alongside those from every background who desire a just and lasting peace. There are both parallels and differences with our own painful history. It is my deep prayer that we might be able to share the best of what we have learnt, in order to support and encourage Israelis and Palestinians, and the whole international community, to keep striving urgently for justice, and a sustainable solution for everyone. So soon after Christmas, as I continue to ponder the enormity of God taking human flesh as a baby, I am struck once again by the need to for us to see and encounter others – especially those ‘others’ who are different from us – as children of God, bearing his divine spark, living with the same human frailties as we do. It is in sharing our vulnerabilities and weaknesses that we build the trust that is necessary for going forward together.
I hope too, that I shall learn lessons about the public voice of our own Church, and the role we play in our own nations. That will be one of the subjects on the agenda of the Synod of Bishops, when we meet from 7 to 12 February. Please keep us in your prayers as we also elect the new bishop of St Helena. We wish Bishop John Salt a happy retirement and thank God for his ministry.
Yours in the service of Christ
+Thabo Cape Town
PUBLICATION OF THE WEEK
The Anglican Health Network newsletter
The Anglican Communion has a series of international self-funding networks that help profile various areas of interest in the Anglican world at large. One of these is the Anglican Health Network. Its website www.anglicanhealth.org describes it as: "The Anglican Health Network (AHN) aims to facilitate communication and cooperation between Anglicans who are providing health services around the world. It will provide forums to share experience and best practice, and manage donor and insurance programmes to deDEVr new investment. In this endeavour it also seeks to make connections with its healing ministries to encourage a more holistic approach to well being."
The latest newsletter, out today at http://anglicanhealth.org/resources/pdf/Newsletter2011/EN/AHN_Newsletter_Jan2011.pdf contains articles including:
Growing Together in Unity and Mission - Building on 40 years of Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue
Published by SPCK, 2007
An Agreed Statement of International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM), arising out of a meeting of bishops from both communions, offering practical suggestions on the way in which Anglican and Roman Catholic ecumenical participation can be fostered and carried forward.
Find the book here: http://shop.anglicancommunion.org/Details.cfm?ProdID=51&category=5
ANGLICAN CYCLE OF PRAYER Click here for the full ACP
Psalm: 139: 13-18 Prov. 13: 7-25
Malakal - (Sudan) The Rt Revd Hilary Garang
Sunday 13-Feb-2011 The Epiphany 6
Psalm: 144: 1-4 Prov. 14: 1-12
The Most Revd Henry Luke Orombi Archbishop of Uganda & and Bishop of Kampala
Suffragan Bishop of Kampala - (Uganda) The Rt Revd Zac Niringiye
Psalm: 149: 1-5 Prov. 14: 27-35
Manchester - (York, England) The Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch
Manchester - Bolton - (York, England) The Rt Revd Christopher Paul Edmondson
Manchester - Middleton - (York, England) The Rt Revd Mark Davies
Psalm: 119: 105-112 Prov. 15: 16-33
Manicaland - (Central Africa) Vacant
Thursday 17-Feb-2011 Janani Luwum, Archbishop of Uganda, Martyr, 1977
Psalm: 34: 15-end Prov. 16: 16-33
Mara - (Tanzania) The Rt Revd Hilkiah Omindo Deya
If you have any comments relating to the Weekly ACNS Review please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For subscription Information please go to: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/help/acnslist.cfm
To UNSUBSCRIBE or CHANGE your address, please send a message using your subscribed email address to: email@example.com
Disclaimer: The Weekly Review is a summary of news, information and resources gathered from around the Anglican Communion over the past week. The views expressed in Weekly Review do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Anglican Communion Office.