AIDS, Iraq focus of ACC resolutions

By on November 1, 2002

Archbishop John Paterson, primate of New Zealand and Polynesia and bishop of Auckland was narrowly elected chair of the ACC

The Anglican Consultative Council passed two resolutions opposing war against Iraq, reviewed Anglican programs on HIV/AIDS in Africa and launched a revitalized Anglican Communion web portal.

The anti-war resolutions expressed opposition to unilateral action by the United States against Iraq, and affirmed the position of the U.S. Episcopal church (ECUSA).

In June, ECUSA presiding bishop Frank Griswold spoke against action in Iraq. In September, he said such military action ?would surely inflame the passions of millions, particularly in the Arab world, setting in motion cycles of violence and retaliation, further straining tenuous relationships that exist between United States and other nations.?

In other ACC developments:

Archbishop John Paterson, primate of New Zealand and Polynesia and bishop of Auckland was narrowly elected chair of the ACC. The other nominee was George Koshy of India, a lay person, who was ultimately elected vice-chair.

A major expansion of the Anglican Communion Web site was announced. The new site. www.anglicancommunion.org will be an official Anglican web portal and a source for news, photos, information and education resources. It will have links to other official Anglican web sites around the world. Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York City, is funding the initiative for two years.

In other measures, Canon Ted Karpf, who assists the Archbishop of Capetown in his ministry in the fight against HIV/AIDS, said in a presentation that ?the whole Communion has woken up? to AIDS in Africa in the past year. He attributed this to the Anglican HIV-positive priest, Rev. Gideon Bymugisha, who has ?traveled the world telling the Uganda story.?

Canon Karpf said an AIDS clinic has been established at the provincial office of the archbishop in Nigeria, to model the role of the church in the local community and to ?correct local myths and profiteering.? The Church in Tanzania, Canon Karpf added, has endorsed the use of condoms against AIDS.

AIDS prevention training is offered to Sunday school teachers in Ghana, and in South Africa the church has just completed planning in 22 dioceses with more than 1,000 people. Canon Karpf noted that famine throughout Africa is severely hampering efforts to fight HIV/AIDS.

In his address to the ACC, Canon John Peterson, secretary general, said that he was ?bitterly disappointed? at how slow the church has been to respond to AIDS.

Who and what makes up the ACC?

The Anglican Consultative Council which met for 11 days in Hong Kong this September, consists of representatives of Anglican churches or provinces throughout the world. It includes priests and lay people.

The ACC meets between Lambeth conferences, which are held once a decade and include only bishops.

The approximately 75 members of the council consider and vote on resolutions on various topics arising from the 38 Anglican provinces around the world. The resolutions are advisory only, since every province of the Anglican Communion is an autonomous body. Although it has no formal power, the group?s views are influential.

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