Talk says "consensus," but announcement won't come until later today
Journalists aren't being allowed in the London meeting of worldwide Anglican leaders. Neither are any other outsiders. Still, a few of the Anglican leaders (called primates) have talked about what's going on. Ireland's Robin Eames addressed British media outside Lambeth Palace, while Australia's Peter Carnley talked exclusively to the Australian Broadcasting Corp. They both talked about how each primate was given several minutes yesterday to give an opening statement. Today is the day to come to a consensus action.

That action, says the buzz and analysis of what little has come forth so far, won't include booting the Episcopal Church USA out of the Anglican Communion, as some orthodox Episcopalians had hoped. The church may still be censured in some form.

But so far, all of this is rumor, conjecture, and speculation—and the tea leaves would certainly be read differently if the primates speaking had been conservatives from Global South rather than liberals from the West. (If you're into the speculation, though, be sure to check out comments from David Virtue and Christopher Johnson.) The official announcement will come around 9 p.m. GMT today (about 4 p.m. Eastern). Stay tuned. In the meantime, here's the latest from the mainstream press:

Anglican woes:

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Other Anglican issues:

  • Melbourne synod votes to ordain women bishops | The Melbourne synod was expected to await approval of the motion at the national synod next October—a motion the powerful and conservative Sydney diocese is expected to vehemently oppose (The Sydney Morning Herald)

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Global Christianity:

Homosexuality and the church:

Church life:

  • Irreverent tones | Nothing rankles clergy like ringing phones (The Dallas Morning News)

  • Church sues Warrenton over steeple ruling | Recent Town Council decision prevents the church from replacing its damaged,130-year-old wooden steeple with a less expensive fiberglass replica (The Washington Post)

  • A place to worship, no place to park | Near new convention center, congregants driving from suburbs compete for fewer spaces (The Washington Post)

  • As famous for the food as for the sermons | The cafeteria at the United House of Prayer for All People, a Pentecostal church at 125th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, has been a well-kept secret for a long time (The New York Times)

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  • Move part of church, panel says | A city commission recommends relocating the facade of the 80-year-old Armenian Evangelical Church, which critics contend stands in the way of downtown Fresno development (The Fresno Bee)

  • A church brings a community together | 116-year-old nondenominational church in New Brunswick is kept up by those who appreciate its past (The Christian Science Monitor)

  • How could a vicar do this to our graveyard? | Vicar said he uprooted the memorials and laid them on the ground after the Church in Wales instructed clergy to make cemeteries safer (Daily Post, Wales)

  • Kirk enters the modern world | It might have John Knox turning in his grave, but 443 years on from the Reformation, the Church of Scotland is about to choose the first female moderator in its history (Edinburgh Evening News)

  • Also: Stained glass ceiling is shattered | Some critics, though, are unhappy about a process which they feel has been primed to provide a woman moderator (The Herald, Glasgow)


  • Crisis of Christianity | After a lull, there appears to be a renewed attack on the Christian community from various sections (Editorial, The Times of India)

  • Colombo urged to act on church attacks | The National Peace Council, a Sri Lankan peace group called on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's government Monday to investigate and prevent recent attacks on Christian churches (TamilNet, Sri Lanka)

  • Residents flee after deadly attack in eastern Indonesia | "Some wanted to flee but security authorities have assured them that they will be protected. Some of them left anyway," Poso deputy police chief Rudy Trenggono told AFP (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

  • Many flee after attacks on Indonesian Christians | Officials in Poso said that they were also investigating reports of a bomb blast in a nearby village but that there were no reports of casualties or damage (Reuters)

India missionary murder

Politics and law:

  • Bishops advise Catholic voters | Catholics need to take the moral absolutes of their religion seriously when they enter the voting booth, says a document prepared for release today by U.S. Catholic bishops (The Washington Times)

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Pledge of Allegiance:

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Ten Commandments:

  • Intolerance chiseled in stone hits city hard | Casper, Wyo., faces the prospect of having to allow a monument that condemns gay murder victim Matthew Shepard (Los Angeles Times)

  • Ten Commandments lawyers lose pay bid | "It takes more time and effort to stalk beasts in the backwoods than it does to shoot fish in a barrel. … [For this appeal] not much stalking by plaintiffs' counsel was required," the court said in the 2-1 opinion that reads like an ad for Ms. Kahn's legal talents (The Washington Times)

  • Christian Coalition hands out Ten Commandments to officials | Framed copies of the Ten Commandments now adorn the offices of several state officials thanks to an effort by the Christian Coalition of Ohio (Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, Pa.)

  • Houston keeps cool on court hot seat | In less than two months as Alabama's acting chief justice, Gorman Houston has experienced death threats, been forced to enact record budget cuts and had his morality questioned by strangers (Associated Press)

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Gay marriage:

  • Marriage issue rises in public debate | Conservative and religious groups across the country are campaigning to promote traditional marriage this week, but a California church group has fired back with "Marriage Equality Week," promoting same-sex "marriage" (The Washington Times)

  • Survivor in gay union appeals denial of benefits to boy | The two women were not legally married, as New Jersey law does not allow same-sex marriages, and "survivor" was not biological mother (The New York Times)

  • The marriage buffet | When it comes to commitment, a lot of options is not a good thing. (David Frum, The Wall Street Journal)

  • A commitment clear as glass | What seems to me so rich about America—this great, open, changing, diverse society—is what frightens and sometimes angers others. They see an assault on family values. We see family. Our family. Our values (Ellen Goodman, The Boston Globe)


  • Cardinal insists condoms unsafe against AIDS | "Relying on condoms is like betting on your own death," Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, the president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family, said (Reuters)

  • Misguided faith on AIDS | Increasingly, the Bush administration makes life or death decisions about sex-related initiatives abroad based on what appeals to conservatives at home (Editorial, The New York Times)

Missions & ministry:

  • Fijians say sorry to eaten Briton's family | The family of an English missionary who was eaten by Fijian tribes people 136 years ago are to receive an apology (BBC)

  • Also: Sorry, we ate your missionary | An apology is to be made by villagers in Fiji 136 years after their ancestors killed and ate a British missionary (The Guardian, London)

  • School may close Chicago homeless mission | The Pacific Garden Mission has been home to legendary evangelists like Billy Sunday, a famous weekly radio drama and thousands of homeless men who are offered a meal, a bed and a prayer (Associated Press)

  • Earlier: Trouble in the Garden | Historic Chicago homeless shelter is under siege by City Hall (Christianity Today, July 28)

  • A lifelong road to missions | Tragedy led Fory Vanden Einde to a stronger faith and an RV ministry building churches across the country (News-Leader, Springfield, Mo.)

  • No room in the budget for prison chaplains | State aims to save $1.3 million by cutting posts, but some doubt volunteers can take up spiritual slack (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)


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  • Are you there, God? | Where's the religion in Joan of Arcadia? (Slate)

  • The rise of Daystar | Marcus and Joni Lamb have built a Christian TV empire. Now they're feeling the pressures of success (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.)

  • A show of faith | Despite criticism, the TV network is confident in its evangelists (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.)

  • Glare of TV lights forces country vicar to quit post | Young priest found it difficult to cope as thousands of viewers turned to him for help (The Daily Telegraph, London)

  • Archbishop meets BBC over 'bias' | The Roman Catholic archbishop of Birmingham, who has accused the BBC of anti-Catholic bias, has held talks with a senior BBC executive (BBC)

  • KOCE group wins right to buy | Trustees vote to negotiate a sale with a foundation dedicated to keeping the Orange County television station public (Los Angeles Times)

  • Earlier: 2 drop bids for TV station KOCE | Trinity Broadcasting Network and another Christian organization pull out of the contest. Decision on whether to sell is due Wednesday (Los Angeles Times)

  • Also: KOCE group makes top bid | Two religious broadcasters still in running (Los Angeles Times)

The Passion:


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  • Washout for Rio Christ plans | Freak weather has thwarted plans to give the world-famous statue of Christ in Brazil a unique color change (BBC)

  • Earlier: Artist to bathe Rio statue in blue light (Associated Press)

  • Unholier than thou | It is impossible, runs the prevailing orthodoxy, for artistic freedom to coexist with religious piety. And yet music's great modernists have been deep believers (James MacMillan, The Guardian, London)


Church bus crash:


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Feast of Tabernacles:

  • At Christian Feast of Tabernacles, evangelicals support Israel | At a time when most tourists and pilgrims continue to avoid Israel due to the ongoing violence between Palestinians and Israelis, more than 3,000 evangelical Christians from 80 countries are expected to arrive in Jerusalem this week for the 24th annual Christian Feast of Tabernacles. They will be joined by 3,000 local Christians and non-Christians (Religious News Service)

  • Christians' Sukkot visit is morale booster for Israel | An estimated 4,000 Christians from some 70 nations, including approximately 1,000 local participants, gathered in Jerusalem this week for the annual Feast of Tabernacles Celebration, organized by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (Israel Insider)

Interfaith relations:

  • Racial vilification test case held | A seminar run by an evangelical Christian movement racially vilified Muslims by describing them as terrorists and rapists, a Melbourne tribunal heard today (The Australian)

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  • Egyptian monks help Muslims banish demons | Muslims and Christians gathered in the underground chamber have come to a festival in honour of a Christian saint to seek his help in banishing demons they believe are afflicting their relatives (Daily Times, Pakistan)

  • The house that three faiths rebuilt | Here is something unusual, and possibly unique: a single structure that has offered sanctuary to Christians, Jews and Muslims (The Newark Star-Ledger, N.J.)


  • World silence over slain Muslims | The elevation of the Israel-Palestinian issue above all others has several deleterious effects (Paul Marshall, The Boston Globe)

  • Ministering to the enemy | A writer who met Capt. James J. Yee at Guantánamo this spring wonders if the atmosphere there is bound to turn chaplains and translators into turncoats (Ted Conover, The New York Times Magazine)

  • Also: U.S. seeks new source of Muslim chaplains | The three Islamic organizations that recommend Muslim chaplains for the armed forces and federal prisons will no longer have that job to themselves (Associated Press)

  • Bush to meet moderate Muslim leaders | Risky stop on the island of Bali is designed to symbolize Bush's determination to keep pursuing terrorists (The Washington Post)

Nobel Peace Prize:

  • A Nobel opportunity missed | With all respect to Shirin Ebadi, the inspiring Iranian defender of women's rights, the failure to give it to Pope John Paul II this year may eventually reflect badly not on the pope but on the prize (Peter Steinfels, The New York Times)

  • Bigger than the Nobel | I like to think the members of the committee understood the central truth, that they could not give the prize to John Paul. He is too big and complex for their award. The project he is engaged in — still engaged in — defies their categories (David Brooks, The New York Times)

  • Nobel Peace Prize and piety | A Muslim woman leads Iran to a 'reformed' Islam (Editorial, The Christian Science Monitor)

  • Prize worthy | The Nobel committee's selection of Ms. Ebadi was inspired (Editorial, The Washington Post)

  • Nobels with a message | Between the lines of the Nobel announcement was an implicit argument that human rights activists such as Ebadi represent a better way to change repressive regimes than the U.S. soldiers now hunkered down in Iraq (David Ignatius, The Washington Post)

Pope John Paul II:

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Mother Teresa's sainthood:


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Academic studies:

  • Power of prayer found wanting in hospital trial | Earlier, less extensive, research suggested prayer could have a measurably beneficial effect (The Daily Telegraph, London)

  • Also: 'No health benefit' from prayer | The world's largest study into the effects of prayer on patients undergoing heart surgery has found it appears to make no difference (BBC)

  • Also: They haven't got a prayer | There is something richly comic about the spectacle of a group of scientists attempting to measure the power of prayer and, by implication, to monitor the workings of the mind of God (Editorial, The Daily Telegraph, London)

  • University of Rochester helps in gauging religious attitudes | Among findings :most American Catholics and mainline Protestants don't believe one of the key tenets of many religious faiths — that their religion is the one true path to God (Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, N.Y.)

  • Going straight | New research published last week claims that homosexuals and lesbians who undergo psychiatric therapy can change their sexuality (The Daily Telegraph, London)

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