Fr Stephen Smuts

Posts Tagged ‘Breaking News

Earthquake In South Africa

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JOHANNESBURG – An earthquake — originally thought to be just a tremor — was felt across most parts of South Africa early on Tuesday afternoon.

It was reportedly also felt in Mozambique and Botswana.

According to the US Geological Survey website it measured 5.3 on the Richter scale and happened 6km east of Orkney in the North West province.

South Africans immediately took to Twitter to express their alarm.

That Twitter feed is #SAQuake.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

August 5, 2014 at 15:35

Eight South Africans Confirmed Dead in Kabul Attack

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SABC news:

Eight South Africans died in a suicide bomb attack which killed 12 in Kabul in Afghanistan this morning, the foreign ministry said.

“Our mission in Islamabad in Pakistan, which is also accredited in Afghanistan, has informed us that eight South Africans were among the dead in the explosion which occurred in Kabul early this morning,” foreign affairs spokesman Nelson Kgwete told AFP.

“They worked for a private aviation company,” he added.

The group were all believed to be men, Kgwete said.

“Our mission in Islamabad is working on the identity of the men and contacting their next of kin.”

Tuesday’s attack by a woman suicide bomber was the deadliest single attack claimed to avenge a US film that has sparked a week of bloody protests across the Muslim world.

More than 30 people have now been killed in the violent backlash over a YouTube trailer for the film “Innocence of Muslims”.

UPDATE:  The names of the South Africans killed in Kabul by a suicide bombing have been released here.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

September 18, 2012 at 12:05

Africa Elects First Anglican Woman Bishop: In South Africa!

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And who said the Ordinariate would never come to Africa? Perhaps it’s time for an urgent rethink?

The Rev. Ellinah Wamukoya elected Bishop of Swaziland.


Africa has elected its first female Anglican bishop. On 18 July 2012 an Elective Assembly meeting in Mbabane elected the Rev. Ellinah Wamukoya as fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Swaziland.

Bishop-elect Wamukoya (61) will be the first female Anglican bishop in Africa and the continent’s second female bishop of a mainline church – in 2008 the Rt. Rev. Joaquina Nhanala was elected the Methodist bishop of Mozambique.

Educated at the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, the new bishop has exercised a bi-vocational ministry. She serves as Anglican chaplain at the University of Swaziland and at St Michael’s High School in Manzini. Bishop-elect Wamukoya is also the Town Clerk and CEO of the City Council of the town of Manzini and is a skilled and seasoned financial administrator.

The new bishop enters the stage at a difficult moment in the political and ecclesial life of Swaziland. Her predecessor, the Rt. Rev. Meshack Mabuza has been a sharp critic of King Mswati III, the last absolute monarch in sub-Saharan Africa. King Mswati has ruled the landlocked mountain kingdom since 1986 and has been denounced by church and civil society leaders for mismanagement of the economy. The king also has earned a public image as a profligate ruler unconcerned with his subjects’ poverty.

Read on at Anglican Ink.

See here’s the thing. The Ordinariate is about providing a safe refuge for (former) Anglicans, who in good conscience, cannot go along with the theological malaise and error that has become such a characteristic of what Anglicanism now is. In this instance, you either believe that woman priestesses (and now, Bishopesses) are Biblical and sacerdotally acceptable, or you do not (cf. 1 Tim. 2:11–14). And if you depart from the apostolic Church and Biblical teachings (that they are not), then what is there to stop you from believing whatever other erroneous doctrines you see fit or choose to believe in? The greatest errors come from the smallest deviations/changes and the Episcopalian Church in the US now stands as a stark testimony to this very reality. I’ve come to see and learn, slowly, that it is all about authority, and the biggest problem is in the area of, and in the requirement for, obedience.

Dissent comes easy. But it just as easily turns ugly… and sinful. And there is a great need to flee from that which is wrong, to truth and light. The beleaguered faithful, assailed, trying, and burdened by usurping liberalism, will sooner rather than later, need to find relief and comfort from the storm. And where will that safe place be? Where will help come from?

Not so long ago Fr Peter Geldard called it in the Portal Magazine. Speculating on future Ordinariates, he stated and asked:

When I visited South Africa in the past, I was often reminded of Archbishop Fisher’s words that the Anglican Church there once “was the jewel in the Anglo-Catholic crown”.

Is anyone in that Province listening and responding. . . I wonder?’

The Diocese of Swaziland  with its Bishopess-elect is slap bang in the middle of South Africa, and part of the Province of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. So, Father Peter, we may soon enough get to see just who is ‘listening and responding’… If there was ever justification for Anglo-Catholics in Africa questioning their doctrinal position, then this has to be it!

Rev Ellinah Wamukoya’s position in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (if you still need further proof) is here.

UPDATEAnglican Communion News Service covers the above news, and the Episcopal Church rejoices:

The Rev. Canon Petero A. N. Sabune, Africa Partnership officer for the Episcopal Church, writes:

What a glorious day of Joy and wonder for the people of Africa. I was at the Synod in Swaziland in 1992, when the vote was taken to ordain women. The Synod was chaired by The Most Reverend And Metropolitan, Archbishop Mphilo Desmond Tutu and there were tears of joy and thanksgiving. At the Synod last year, Thabo the current Primate lamented on how few dioceses have women priests.This is the day the Lord has made let us Rejoice and be Glad ! Amen


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

July 19, 2012 at 15:38

Pope Benedict XVI Names 22 New Cardinals

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22 Cardinal Designates have been announced.

Here is the list of names:

1. Msgr. Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples;

2. Msgr. Manuel Monteiro de Castro, Major Penitentiary;

3. Msgr. Santos Abril Y Castellò, Archpriest of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major;

4. Msgr Antonio Maria Veglio, President of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People;

5. Msgr. Giuseppe Bertelli, President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and President of the Governorate of the same State;

6. Msgr Francesco Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts;

7. Msgr JOÃO Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life;

8. Msgr Edwin O’Brien, Pro Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem;

9. Msgr. Domenico Calcagno, President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See;

10. Msgr Giuseppe Versaldi, President of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See;

11. His Beatitude GEORGE Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro Malabar (India);

12. Msgr Thomas Christopher Collins, Archbishop of Toronto (Canada);

13. Msgr Dominik Duka, Archbishop of Prague (Czech Republic);

14. Msgr Willem Jacobus Eijk, Archbishop of Utrecht (Netherlands);

15. Msgr. Giuseppe Betori, Archbishop of Florence (Italy);

16. Msgr Timothy Michael Dolan, Archbishop of New York (United States);

17. Msgr. Rainer Maria Woelk, Archbishop of Berlin (Federal Republic of Germany);

18. Msgr John Tong Hon, Bishop of Hong Kong (China);

The Holy Father has also decided to raise to the dignity of cardinal a revered prelate, who carries out his ministry as Pastor and Father of the Church, and three worthy clergymen, who are distinguished for their commitment to serving the Church.

They are:

1. His Beatitude Lucian Muresan, Major Archbishop of Fagaras and Alba Julia of the Romanians (Romania);

2. Rev. Julien Ries, priest of the Diocese of Namur and professor emeritus of history of religions at the Catholic University of Louvain;

3. Fr. Prospero Grech, OSA, Professor Emeritus of various Roman universities and Consultant to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;

4. Fr. Karl Becker, SJ, Professor Emeritus of the Pontifical Gregorian University, Consultant for many years the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

They will be elevated on 18 February 2012.

Congratulations Your Eminence.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

January 6, 2012 at 13:57

Archbishop Hepworth’s Letter to the Traditional Anglican Communion College of Bishops

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UPDATE:   TAC House of Bishops Calls for Archbishop John Hepworth’s Immediate Removal here.

Has just been released:

* * *

5th December 2011

To the Archbishops and Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion

My Dear Brothers,

There has been considerable dissension in our midst in the past year. This has been partly caused by very different reactions to Anglicanorum Coetibus. Also, it has been driven by a serious conflict (that has included many beyond our own ranks) about the proper interpretation of the terms for unity offered by that Apostolic Constitution.  Likewise,  it has been propelled by very different expectations of the purposes for which our Communion exists, our relationship to other Anglicans, and the faith we profess.

Profound doctrinal and moral differences have grown between us. Matters that were not thought of sufficient significance to disclose in the documentation prepared for consecrations to the episcopate have suddenly taken on new and public significance.

I would have thought that we would follow the constant example of Christians of all ages, and seek to settle these doctrinal divisions before hastening to change our policy, for it in the way we behave as a church and in our relationships to other Christian communities that we proclaim our faith.

In the meantime, some of our number have begun the first steps towards serving as clergy in the Ordinariates that are now being established. I expect to shortly begin to receive resignations from members of our College as they advance towards this goal.  It will be some months before the membership of the College, and the presiding bishops of the member provinces, will be clear.

In the meantime, I remind you that those who hold the Catholic Faith as set forth in the Catechism of the Catholic Church hold the faith of this Communion, and those clergy and laity who are making their way into the fullness of Catholic Communion, are observing the policies of this Communion, and proceed with our joyful best wishes. These thoughts are much in our minds this week, as we celebrate the Prayer Book feast of the Conception of the Virgin, a feast Cranmer insisted remain in the Calendar for profound reasons of Christology. I will be observing the Feast with Bishop Mercer and the clergy and people of Saint Agatha’s in Portsmouth before having several weeks of quietness before Christmas.

It is my intention, provided the membership of our College is substantially clarified in the next few months, to tender my resignation as Primate at Pentecost. I have achieved what I was requested to do by those who elected me, and the proclamation of Anglicanorum Coetibus remains for me a cherished moment. Its significance is as yet almost entirely in the future. That future is for others to create. I remain the Bishop Ordinary in Australia and Japan, and under legislation of the Canadian General Synod, Primate of the ACCC. Those positions will be unchanged by the forthcoming resignation.

An election will then be conducted strictly according to the Concordat, and it will be for the newly elected Primate to arrange for a Plenary Meeting of our College and the Primatial Installation.

In the meantime, I remain a little whimsical at the fury with which some in our ranks seek to distance themselves from their signatures on the Portsmouth Petition. Instead, I wish each of you, and your families, the richest blessings of Christmas.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

December 8, 2011 at 14:14

Hurricane Irene Hits: Pictures

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Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

August 27, 2011 at 22:59

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Earthquake in Washington Area, Felt on East Coast

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AP is reporting:

A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, Va., shook much of Washington, D.C., and was felt as far north as Rhode Island, New York City and Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., where President Barack Obama is vacationing.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake was half a mile deep. Shaking was felt at the White House and all over the East Coast, as far south as Chapel Hill, N.C. Parts of the Pentagon, White House and Capitol were evacuated. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

It was centered near Louisa, Va., which is northwest of Richmond and south of Washington.

Obama and many of the nation’s leaders were out of town on August vacation when the quake struck at 1:51 p.m. EDT. The shaking was felt on the Martha’s Vineyard golf course as Obama was just starting a round.

The East Coast gets earthquakes, but usually smaller ones and is less prepared than California or Alaska for shaking…

More here.

CNN also has the breaking news and video here.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

August 23, 2011 at 20:52

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