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Hallo again to all.

While it took the world press a few days longer than it should have to notice the appalling outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, it has now been reported in essentially every news medium in the world. We therefore assume that you know about it, even if you haven't internalized how awful it is.

So what does an epizootic of a livestock disease have to do with the Anglican world besides causing misery in our mother country? We think that a contributing cause to the current epizootic is the mobility of our modern world. If a cow in Nazareth had had this disease, it would never have lived long enough to infect an animal in Rome or Ephesus or Corinth. People and animals lived and died not far from where they were born, and travel was rare. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was certainly the same A Model-T Ford motorcarGod as that of Cwmhir, Blaengwrach, and Maenclochog, but they never got a chance to exchange the peace or send faxes and email.

The means of global travel have existed for a century or two, but only in the last few decades has global travel and global communication been the norm. So the balance has been upset only recently: the foot-and-mouth Aphthovirus is transported farther than ever before, and its level of contagion is suddenly more significant. An Eastern Airlines aeroplane, late 1960s.

We don't see that this is good or bad; it just is. The modern world is what it is, and diseased livestock are probably not going to change it very much. We offer this as an example of how a change in global communication and global mobility can upset the balance of a situation that has stood in balance for some time, even if the population behaviour does not otherwise change.

It seems to us that the conflict we see in the Anglican world is magnified much the same way by global communication and global travel. Traditions and principles from another era have a very different effect today, not because human nature is different, but because people have more freedom to be different.

Anglicans Online exists because we believe that global communication is beneficial, but we know that all power tools are dangerous, and we Anglicans of the Global Village need to be aware of cause and effect.

Our New This Week section is always a tale of (more than) two cities in this Global Village we call the Anglican Communion. You'll find parishes in Sabah and in Schenectady, a cathedral in Adelaide and a church in Calgary. Weary of winter, all ye in the northern hemisphere? Stop by St Philip and St James Church in Palma de Mallorca and feel warmer straightaway.

See you next week.

Cynthia McFarland's signature
  Brian Reid's signature
Cynthia McFarland
  Brian Reid

Last updated: 4 March 2001