WCC general secretary appeals for peaceful settlement between Congo and Rwanda
World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel
Kobia has urged Joseph Kabia and Paul Kagame, the respective presidents, of the
Democratic Republic of the Congo and of the Republic of Rwanda, to
"resolve the current crisis in the border area between Congo and Rwanda
through dialogue, mediation and peaceful settlement".
In separate letters sent on 24 June to the two presidents, Kobia emphasizes that the WCC is "deeply concerned and troubled by the current developments on the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo". Together with the All African Conference of Churches, the WCC has been actively involved for over a decade in efforts to bring about a just and lasting peace for the Great Lakes region in general and, more particularly, between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
Roman Catholic diocese files for bankruptcy
In United States of America the Roman Catholic diocese of Portland has filed for bankruptcy. The Portland Diocese is the first in the US to file for bankruptcy as it faces multi-million-dollar sex abuse lawsuits. According to Times Online News service, Archbishop Reverend John Vlazny said in a statement that "This is not an effort to avoid responsibility It is in fact the only way I can assure that other claimants can be offered fair compensation” According to the Archbishops statement his diocese had already settled more than 100 claims against it over the past four years, paying $21 million dollars out of its own funds in the last year alone. The Archbishop wrote in his statement "We have worked diligently to settle claims of clergy misconduct. Major insurers have abandoned us and are not paying what they should on the claims." The steps to file bankruptcy were taken as two major cases against the church are set to go on trial.
Faithful America.org weblaunch gains 100,000 members in one month
It’s only one month old, but is already one of the most successful web launches in history.
According to the National Council of Churches in the United States, Faithfulamerica.org is a new online advocacy service for people with religious motivations for being involved in civic life.
Their first major project has been a television ad targeting a Middle Eastern audience, which features Americans of faith expressing sorrow for the Iraqi prison abuse.
General Secretary for the National Council of Churches, Dr. Robert W. Edgar, comments:
<Well Americans and Middle Easterners have really appreciated it. We’ve gotten many anecdotal comments particularly from Muslim colleagues, and our Middle Eastern colleagues who were appalled by the sinful and systematic prison abuse. This is not something we think about when we think a bout democracy They felt very good about faithful America being in a way in which not only the would the ads take place but thousands of Americans would know about the ads.>
The National Council of Churches is described as the US’s leading ecumenical organisation, working to promote peace, justice and the integrity of creation.
Church backing Climate Plan
The Church of England has declared its support for a proposal to tackle the threat of climate change.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, says the plan offers a way to act justly towards the poorest.
This idea has won backing from the World Council of Churches, the Chairman of the UK’s royal commission on environmental Pollution, and of eminent climate scientist Sir John Houghton.
According to the BBC, Dr. Williams urged the UK government to take the lead impressing this agenda, as it calls for a new sense of public seriousness about issues affecting the environment.
Philippine cardinal issues call for unity as protests continue
In the Philippines Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was sworn in for a further
term as president on June 30. Ecumenical News international reports that the political wounds left by a hotly-contested election have prompted a Roman Catholic archbishop to appeal for "healing and reconciliation" so this Southeast Asian country can move forward. Archbishop in the central Philippine city of Cebu, Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, said that "The time has come to leave divisive politics behind us, to address the wounds that have been decaying our national fabric, and to begin the process of launching a new life as a country
with a sense of unity and hope,"
Jeffrey John installed as cathedral dean as controversy continues
In United Kingdom Jeffrey John, the openly gay Anglican priest who a year ago
turned down an appointment as a Church of England bishop, has become a cathedral dean of St. Albans. As the appointment last year caused controversy in the worldwide Anglican Church, Jeffery John withdrew his candidacy for Bishop, while in America Gene Robinson another openly gay clergy was named bishop in Hew Hampshire. The new appointment of Jeffrey John as Dean of St. Albans has caused less controversy in the media than last year appointment to bishop.
ADRA Yemen assists with Aser Fire
In June, a massive fire broke out in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen.
After approximately 4 hours, the firefighters quenched the fires. Adra Yemen, in coordination with other local Non governmental organizations, contacted victims and assessed their needs.
ANR reports that ADRA urgently assisted with food, provided basic kitchen items, and is building toilets in the camp where the victims are temporarily living.
In India a chrisitan factory has started production on low cost drugs for the poor. Ecumenical News International reports that ten tablets of Nifedipine, a drug used to treat high blood pressure, costs in India, at its market price, the equivalent of US$1.70 but a church-sponsored pharmaceutical factory is providing the same product at a fifth of the price to charitable and government hospitals. "We are producing high quality essential drugs and selling them at cost price to make them affordable to the poorer sections of society," said Moses P. Manohar, director of the Inter-Church Service Association, which is responsible for the trust that runs the factory.
Provide Women With Life Skills
In Zambia Churches are being encouraged to provide women with Life skills. Community Development and Social Services Minister, Marina Nsingo, has urged the Church to provide valuable life skills to women in order to empower them to lead self-sustaining livelihoods. AllAfrica news reports that Marina Nsingo’s plea came as she officiated at the Lusaka Baptist Fellowship Churches Association (LBFCA) annual meeting. The minister said the Government wanted the Church to take keen interest in empowering women because they were anchors in families. In a vote of thanks, LBFCA chairman, Peter Mwila, said the Church was willing to be a social partner of the Government in mitigating socio-economic hardships among citizens, but he also urged the ministry of Community Development, to embrace the Church,because both parties were closer to the poor people. Mr Mwila also pointed to that the Church was not getting the kind of support that many secular organisations were getting despite the fact that it was doing a lot in poverty alleviation and HIV/AIDS mitigation.