St. Francis Chapel • Makerere University photo
Edited by John Martin
Makerere University in Kampala has appealed for 1,185,681,731 Ugandan shillings (about U.S. $350,000) to expand its 74-year-old St. Francis Chapel. The plan is to expand its capacity from 300 to 1,200 seats.
The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, Archbishop of Uganda, asked all Christians in the country, irrespective of their church affiliation, to support the chapel’s expansion.
“Let’s join hands to expand the house of worship so these students get saved,” Ntagali said at a groundbreaking ceremony.
St. Francis Chapel plays an important part in Makerere’s strong Christian culture. It has built a reputation for lively charismatic worship, and groups of worshipers often gather under trees because the chapel lacks space for them.
Liberia University’s Chancellor: The Rev Herman B. Browne, dean of Trinity Cathedral in Monrovia, Liberia, has been chosen as the new chancellor of Cuttington University, the Liberian Episcopal Church’s highest institution of learning.
Browne, 50, has served at the cathedral since April 2010. He studied at King’s College, London, where he earned a B.D. and Ph.D. in systematic theology. He then served on the staff of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
He is the son of the late Most Rev. George Browne, who became Bishop of Liberia in 1970 and was Archbishop of West Africa from 1982 to 1989.
Welby Defends Nigeria’s President: Two chance pick-ups by television cameras have recently embarrassed the British government. In one instance, Queen Elizabeth II was heard criticizing Chinese diplomats for “rudeness.”
In another, Prime Minister David Cameron said to the Queen, in the presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, that Nigeria and Afghanistan are “possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world.”
Archbishop Welby has said he prays often for Nigeria and President Muhammadu Buhari. He said this as Buhari paid him a visit at Lambeth Palace in London.
“This particular president is actually not corrupt,” Welby said, adding that Buhari is trying to stamp out corruption.”
“Nigeria is a country which has more promise, more opportunity, more potential than anywhere else that I know in many continents, not just in Africa. Its people are so intelligent, so full of energy, so full of commitment, that when Nigerians work together, the world — not just Africa — is affected by that beneficially.”
Archbishop Welby knows Nigeria well, visiting many times as an oil company executive and later in a role as mediator and peacemaker in the country’s troubled delta region.
Midwives Divided on Abortion: The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) became the center of a huge row after its chief executive professor, Cathy Warwick, backed a campaign to allow abortion up to term. More than 38,000 people have signed a petition denouncing the prospect of abortion without limits; Warwick did not consult the RCM’s 30,000 members to gain their support.
Opponents say moreover that Warwick has a conflict of interest, because she leads the board of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), which conducts 65,000 abortions every year. They say she should resign from one group or the other.
“Medical unions been taken over by socialist fanatics,” Conservative MP Nadine Dorries tweeted. “What kind of midwife supports aborting a baby at full term?”
MP Andrew Percy, who sits on the House of Commons Health Select Committee, criticized the RCM leader. “She represents midwives, many of whom will absolutely not agree with this campaign, and she should think very hard about whether or not her position is sustainable.”
The Roman Catholic newsweekly The Tablet said supporting abortion to term is not the proper job of RCM. “Clearly, control of the college’s policy on abortion has been captured by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service.”
Peter Saunders, chief executive of Christian Medical Fellowship, said Warwick’s dual role with BPAS since 2014 represented a “blatant conflict of interests.” He said society is judged “by the way it treats its most vulnerable members.”
In a 2012 survey of U.K. women, 98 percent said they opposed any rise in the abortion limit above 24 weeks, suggesting that women generally are opposed to Warwick’s position. Furthermore, the RCM in the 1980s actually supported lowering the upper limit for abortion from 28 weeks to 24 weeks.
RCM said it believes “this is not about being for or against abortion; it is about being for women and respecting their choices about their bodies.”