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Showing posts with label Church of England. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Church of England. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

As a Catholic, the Church of England’s Troubles Sadden Me

And we should not think we are immune from such problems

From the Catholic Herald (UK)
By Francis Phillips

Vote on female bishops

Whatever a Catholic’s views on the matter, it has been a sad spectacle watching the Church of England falling into increasing disunity, this time over the question of women bishops. Once you allow the principle of female ordination, you can’t, as someone remarked, then try to impose a stained-glass ceiling. I feel sorry for those women priests who, with sincerity, see the problem as one of continued inequality with men; I feel sorry for those who voted against women bishops on the grounds that this development is unscriptural; I also feel sorry for those who voted against the motion because they believe provision for conscientious objectors is not good enough; and I feel sorry for Justin Welby, future Archbishop of Canterbury, who is soon to enter this minefield. It is all a mess and does not serve the vigorous Christian witness that this country desperately needs.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Britain's Bishops at War: Head of Catholics Leads Furious Backlash after Archbishop of Canterbury's Attack on Coalition

By James Chapman and Steve Doughty

The Archbishop of Canterbury is embroiled in an extraordinary war with David Cameron and rival Church leaders after a bitter attack on the Government.

In the most brazen political intervention by a head of the Church of England for more than two decades, Dr Rowan Williams questioned the democratic legitimacy of the Coalition.

He claimed 'no one voted' for flagship policies on welfare, health and education, which he said were causing 'anxiety and anger'.

The remarks prompted a furious backlash from the Prime Minister and the leader of England's Roman Catholics, Archbishop Vincent Nichols. Dr Williams's attack came in a leading article for the Left-wing New Statesman magazine which he had been invited to guest-edit.

Dr Rowan Williams, left, sparked a furious backlash from the Prime Minister and head of the Catholic Church in Britain, Archbishop Vincent Nichols
He dismissed Mr Cameron's Big Society initiative as 'painfully stale' and condemned 'punitive' action against 'alleged abuses' in the benefits system.

The Archbishop also accused ministers of encouraging a 'quiet resurgence of the seductive language of “deserving” and “undeserving” poor'.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Religious Practice on the Rise in Great Britain

The number of Anglican churches in Britain has risen for the first time in more than a decade, according to new research. 

By Jonathan Wynne-Jones

New congregations are being formed to take over old redundant church buildings or to provide more youth-friendly services, helping church membership numbers to rise.

The figures, to be published this week by Christian Research, also reveal that the Roman Catholic Church is continuing to enjoy a rise in attendance at Mass, that the number of Pentecostal worshippers is increasing rapidly and that Baptist churches are also enjoying a resurgence.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Church of England Rejects Compromise on Women Bishops; 70 Clerics Meet with Catholic Bishop

(Photo: AP Images)
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, speaks during the debate on Women Bishops being held today at the General Synod, Central Hall, York University.

Paving the way for the ordination of women bishops with full governing powers, the House of Clergy of the Church of England has rejected a compromise proposal put forward by Archbishop Rowan Williams, the church’s primate, that would have permitted traditional parishes to be governed by a male bishop.

Seventy Anglican clergy met with Catholic Bishop Malcolm McMahon of Nottingham on July 10 to discuss the possibility of converting to Catholicism under the provisions of Pope Benedict’s 2009 apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus. One Anglican cleric estimated that 200 Anglican clergy are considering conversion.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Following Atheist Trend, Britons Seek 'De-Baptism'


More than 100,000 Britons have recently downloaded "certificates of de-baptism" from the Internet to renounce their Christian faith.

The initiative launched by a group called the National Secular Society (NSS) follows atheist campaigns here and elsewhere, including a London bus poster which triggered protests by proclaiming "There's probably no God."

"We now produce a certificate on parchment and we have sold 1,500 units at three pounds (4.35 dollars, 3.20 euros) a pop," said NSS president Terry Sanderson, 58.

John Hunt, a 58-year-old from London and one of the first to try to be "de-baptised," held that he was too young to make any decision when he was christened at five months old.

The male nurse said he approached the Church of England to ask it to remove his name. "They said they had sought legal advice and that I should place an announcement in the London Gazette," said Hunt, referring to one of the official journals of record of the British government.

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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Church of England Puts Its Faith in Al Gore's Investment Arm

From Religious Intelligence
By George Conger

The Church of England’s Church Commissioners have gone green, investing £150 million with former US Vice-President Al Gore’s environmentally minded investment firm, Generation Investment Management.

On Nov 18 the First Church Estates Commissioner, Andreas Whittam Smith reported that in late September the Commissioners had placed the funds with Gore’s boutique management firm which follows an “environmentally sustainable global equities mandate.” Funding for the investment came from “cash and Treasury bills”, he said, and not from the sale of UK equities as initially planned.

In Oct 2007 Mr Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in raising awareness of the potential threats from climate change. Generation Investment Management was founded in 2004 by Mr Gore and David Blood, former head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, and had almost £5 billion under management before the market collapse.

The firm invests in companies that follow “socially responsible” business model such as insulin manufacturer Novo Nordisk, Swiss food conglomerate Nestlé, and San Francisco’s New Resource Bank --- a “green” lender in the US.

Speaking at a press conference last March in Geneva, Mr Gore said private industry should take the lead in creating environmentally friendly market capitalism noting that “more money is allocated by markets around the world in one hour than by all the governments on the planet in a full year.” “The principles and ways and values that have an impact on the way markets allocate resources can have an enormous effect" in tackling climate change, he said.

Institutional investors in his fund are “more attracted to the strategy we follow are managing long-term assets toward long-term goals.”

"Those looking for a quick hit in the market place, to skim the cream and go somewhere else, those are not the investors attracted to this strategy,” Mr Gore said, according to wire service reports.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Day of Reckoning for Anglicans Amid Split Over Women Bishops

From The Times (UK)
By Ruth Gledhill

The Church of England will today be plunged into one of the fiercest debates in its 400-year history as traditionalists go head-to-head with liberals over women bishops. Church leaders will attempt to avert new splits with a compromise plan for “super bishops” to minister to traditionalists who oppose women bishops.

Liberals will fiercely resist the plan, which is being seen as an
attempt to appease traditionalists in order to get women bishops consecrated.

Campaigners for women's ordination will respond with an all-or-nothing proposal to consecrate women that includes no safeguards or concessions at all for opponents.

More than 1,300 clergy have threatened to walk out if the Church goes ahead with approving the consecration of women bishops without statutory provision to safeguard the traditionalists' place in the Church.

Women and liberals insist that they would rather not have women bishops at all than have a new, extra-geographical diocese legally established as a safe haven for Anglo-Catholics.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Dr Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu, are understood to favour a compromise that would avoid an exodus of the Church's Catholic wing, but they do not want the consecration of women jettisoned altogether because of the difficulties in appeasing both sides.

Dr Williams yesterday described the “agonies and complexities” facing the Church as it struggles with the issues of homosexual priests and women bishops. Preaching to members of the General Synod at York Minster, he said that, were Jesus present in the debate, he would be with every faction of the Church, including traditionalists.

“He will be with those in very different parts of the landscape who feel that things are closing in, that their position is under threat and their liberties are being taken away by those anxious and eager to enforce new ideologies in the name of Christ,” he said.

“He will be with those who feel that their liberty of questioning is under threat, he will be with gay clergy who wonder what their future is in a Church so anxious and tormented about this issue.”

His sermon, which left some worshippers close to tears, restored some faith in its mission as a Christian Church to a Synod meeting where the misery has been almost palpable, as different factions struggle to remain in communion with each other while staying true to their beliefs.

In a last-minute rescue attempt, a senior bishop will urge the Church's governing body to placate traditionalists by considering the appointment of three senior clerics to lead a “Church within a Church”. The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, the Right Rev John Packer, will propose an amendment that would allow the creation of complementary or “super bishops”. Traditionalist parishes would be allowed to opt into the care of the super bishops - as they can do now with flying bishops, who were set up when women were first ordained.

He is seeking a delay of eight months before the Church makes up its mind. His amendment will also allow the Church to fall back on straightforward legislation, with a code of practice, if the concept of super bishops cannot be made to work.

Dr Miranda Thelfall-Holmes, chaplain at Durham and representing the universities on the General Synod, will put down a rival amendment designed to remove altogether any protection for traditionalists and to have women consecrated by a simple measure or law allowing them to become bishops.

Christina Rees, of the lobby group Watch, which has campaigned for women bishops and who will speak in support of Dr Threlfall-Holmes's amendment, criticised Bishop Packer's proposal as unnecessary. She said: “We do not need further time. Synod is ready to make up its mind about how it wants to proceed. I am in favour of simple statutory arrangements to allow women to be bishops. Anything that muddles this and makes it more complex or changes the nature of what it means to be a bishop in the Church should be resisted.”

Under the compromise tabled by Bishop Packer, the new super bishops would have powers similar to flying bishops but with more authority. He said the proposal meant that the Church would not be divided. “The parishes that put themselves under the care of a complementary bishop would still be part of the local deanery and diocese and would continue to be funded through the diocese and to be in a structure of fellowship with their neighbours.”

The super bishops would care for traditionalist bishops and congregations in the same way flying bishops have done to date, but would also perform consecrations as well as ordinations and other pastoral duties for Anglo-Catholic parishes. This means that, in the eyes of Anglo-Catholics, the “apostolic” ministry would not be “tainted” by the hands of a woman. Traditionalists believe that the actions of Jesus in appointing 12 men as His disciples - as well as centuries of Church tradition - mean that women bishops go against Church order.

The move for a compromise came as a senior Roman Catholic priest cast doubt over claims of high-level consultations that are said to have taken place between Church of England bishops and Vatican officials in Rome. Monsignor Andrew Faley, ecumenical officer to the 22 Catholic bishops of England and Wales and the Catholic observer at the General Synod, said that no information had reached him or his bishops about such a meeting, although informal meetings took place regularly between bishops and lay members of both churches.

Bishops from both the Church of England's evangelical and Catholic wings are said to have held a secret meeting in Rome to discuss the Church's difficulties over women and gays. Up to six bishops, who have not been named, bypassed leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Britain to hold the consultation with officials from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Anglican Traditionalists Wait For Vatican Ruling

AN ANNOUNCEMENT on the Vatican's relationship with the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) may be made following the July 16-Aug 3 Lambeth Conference, sources in Rome tell The Church of England Newspaper.

Leaders of TAC, home to over 400,000 Anglo-Catholics who have left the Episcopal and Anglican churches over the past thirty years, have been in talks with the Vatican over creating an Anglican-rite enclave under the authority of the Bishop of Rome.

While the curia under Pope John Paul II had opposed attempts to bring Anglicans en masse into the Roman Catholic fold, under Benedict XVI the Vatican appears to have adopted a different line. Anglicans wishing to be received into the Catholic Church are welcome to do so, as individuals, rather than as part of a larger ecclesial body. The talks between TAC and Vatican , however, have focused on allowing whole groups to enter the Catholic Church while maintaining their own orders and liturgy.

The National Catholic Register reported that "discussions at the Vatican on devising a possible structure for [TAC] to come into communion with Rome are understood to be nearing completion." It added that during their May 5 meeting, Archbishop Rowan Williams asked Benedict that "any potential announcement be delayed until after the Lambeth Conference."

However, a spokesman for Dr Williams told CEN the report was untrue. The TAC issue "didn't come up with the Pope," a press spokesman for the Archbishop said.

The Rt Rev David Moyer, former president of Forward in Faith USA and a Bishop in TAC, also declined to comment on the negotiations with Rome , stating only that "We in the TAC are on our knees for something positive to happen.We remain very hopeful."

The Bishop of Fort Worth, the Rt Rev Jack Iker -- who is currently in Rome on study leave -- told The Church of England Newspaper "conversations with TAC - and others-have taken place at high levels in the Vatican and that it is thought that the Pope is sympathetic to the dilemma of traditionalists in the Anglican way."

However, no formal dialogue exists between TAC and the Congregation for Promoting Christian Unity -- the Vatican agency tasked with ecumenical relations.

Speculation on a possible Anglican enclave within the Catholic Church comes amidst a tightening of views on women bishops within the Church of England. One traditionalist leader speculated that the House of Bishops' decision to go ahead with women bishops without providing safeguards for those opposed, may have been predicated on the calculation that the Catholic Church would resolve the women clergy issue for the Church of England.