Posted by Trevor Grundy 2 weeks 1 day ago
A new poll finds overwhelming support for assisted suicide for the terminally ill among Anglicans, Catholics, Hindus, Sikhs and Jews in Britain, with Baptists and Muslims the only groups that oppose changes to British law, which currently prohibits assisted suicide.But Britons are debating the topic intensely.More than seven-in-ten (72 percent) members of the established Church of England and 56 percent of Roman Catholics support assisted suicide for the terminally ill, the survey shows.
Posted by Trevor Grundy 8 weeks 3 days ago
LONDON — When journalist Henry Morton Stanley found the world’s most famous missionary barely alive at the tiny village of Ujiji on the shores of Lake Tanganyika on Nov. 10, 1871, he gave the English language one of its most famous introductions: “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”As Britain marks David Livingstone’s 200th birthday on Tuesday, Christians are being reintroduced to one of the greatest missionaries and explorers of the 19th century. A new book, meanwhile, introduces a darker side to Livingstone’s globe-trotting career and the corrosive effect it had on his marriage.That 1871 meeting in the heart of Africa is the stuff of legend.In 1864, Livingstone — already one of the world’s most famous men because of his trek across Africa and the 1855 “discovery” of the Victoria Falls that straddles modern-day Zambia and Zimbabwe — mounted an expedition to discover the source of the Nile River.As months stretched into years, nothing was heard from the famed explorer.
Posted by Trevor Grundy 10 weeks 3 days ago
Days after pulling out of the conclave to elect the next pope and vowing to fight the charges against him, disgraced Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien admitted Sunday to inappropriate “sexual conduct.”O’Brien, who until a week ago was the highest-ranking Roman Catholic cleric in England and Scotland, had served as archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh for the last seven years and was made a cardinal in 2003.
Posted by David Gibson, Trevor Grundy 11 weeks 4 days ago
Cardinal Keith O’Brien of Scotland resigned on Monday in the wake of explosive charges that he had made “inappropriate” sexual advances to four men, three of them priests, and one now a former seminarian, starting in the 1980s.O’Brien said he would skip next month’s conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, leaving the United Kingdom without a cardinal’s voice in the election of a new pope.In a statement, O’Brien said Benedict had accepted his resignation effective immediately, and he appeared to allude to the events surrounding his sudden exit.“Looking back over my years of ministry: For any good I have been able to do, I thank God. For any failures, I apologize to all whom I have offended,” said the cardinal, who turns 75 next month, which is the mandatory retirement age for bishops. Cardinals retain the right to vote in a conclave until age 80.
Posted by Trevor Grundy 14 weeks 3 days ago
LONDON — Justin Welby was confirmed Monday as the new archbishop of Canterbury at a centuries-old service at St. Paul’s Cathedral, six weeks before his formal enthronement inside Canterbury Cathedral on March 21.Welby, 57, was a banker and oil executive before his ordination as a priest in 1992, and has served as a bishop for less than a year.He takes over from Rowan Williams, 62, who returned to academic life at Cambridge University after a decade of turmoil throughout the worldwide Anglican Communion over questions of human sexuality and inside the Church of England over the role of women bishops.The new archbishop had been the bishop of Durham in northern England for eight months when he was ordered by a still unnamed person in the Church of England to apply for the church’s top job.
Posted by Trevor Grundy 18 weeks 5 days ago
CANTERBURY, England — The Church of England on Jan. 4 confirmed that it has dropped its prohibition on gay clergy in civil partnerships becoming bishops — but only if they agree to remain celibate.Speaking on behalf of the Church’s House of Bishops, Bishop of Norwich Graham Jones said in a statement: “The House of Bishops has confirmed that clergy in civil partnerships, and living in accordance with the teaching of the Church on human sexuality, can be considered as candidates for the episcopate. There had been a moratorium on such candidates for the past year and a half while the working party completed its task.”Jones added that the bishops agreed it would be “unjust” to exclude gay men from becoming bishops if they were otherwise “seeking to live fully in conformity with the Church’s teaching on sexual ethics or other areas of personal life and discipline.”
Posted by Trevor Grundy 22 weeks 3 days ago
CANTERBURY, England — The British government unveiled a proposal on Tuesday that excludes the Church of England and the Church in Wales from planned legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry in churches.Culture Secretary Maria Miller told Parliament the new plan would allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in some churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques, but definitely not in the established church, where both the outgoing and incoming archbishops of Canterbury insist that marriage remain between a man and a woman."We will write on the face of the bill a declaration that no religious organization, or individual minister, can be forced to marry same-sex couples or to permit this to happen on their premises," Miller told the House of Commons.Religious groups, including Quakers, Unitarians, and some liberal Jewish groups, welcomed the news because they favor same-sex marriage. The Church of England, the Church in Wales, the Roman Catholic Church, most Muslims, and Orthodox Jews oppose the move.
Posted by Trevor Grundy 22 weeks 3 days ago
CANTERBURY, England — New figures from the 2011 Census show that the number of people who identify as Christians in England and Wales has fallen by 4 million over the last 10 years.The data shows that numbers fell from 37.3 million in 2001 to 33 million last year.The statistics came as the outgoing archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, claimed that English cathedral congregations are growing dramatically, challenging the claim made by secularists that the Church of England is fading in Britain.
Posted by Trevor Grundy 24 weeks 22 hours ago
CANTERBURY, England — The Church of England plans to rush through legislation to consecrate women bishops after last week’s surprising defeat at the church's General Synod in London.The church's Archbishops’ Council ended two days of closed-door meetings on Wednesday (Nov. 28), and said a plan to allow women bishops needs to be "restarted" when General Synod reconvenes in July. Church leaders originally said the issue could not be reopened until 2015.The 19-member council acts as the standing committee of the three-tier General Synod made up of bishops, clergy and laity.
Posted by Trevor Grundy 24 weeks 3 days ago
CANTERBURY, England — When the Church of England scuttled plans to allow women bishops on Nov. 20, incoming Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby called it “a very grim day for women and their supporters.”Now, that grim day is turning into a church-state nightmare for Britain's established church.On Monday, The Times of London quoted from a leaked memo to church leaders from William Fittall, secretary general of the General Synod, who called the public and political fallout "severe."
Posted by Trevor Grundy 26 weeks 5 days ago
CANTERBURY, England -- Bishop Justin Welby, a former oil executive who's emerged as a critic of corporate excess, was named Friday (Nov. 9) as the 105th archbishop of Canterbury, primate of the Church of England and leader of the worldwide 77 million-member Anglican Communion.A statement from British Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed the appointment after two days of speculation. Welby, 56, succeeds Archbishop Rowan Williams, who will return to academia at Cambridge University next year. Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Welby said he is "utterly optimistic" about the future of the Church of England. He said that the question of gay marriage in his new global flock was a complicated issue "and not one to be handled today, off the cuff." But he offered a definite olive branch to the gay community despite reaffirming his opposition to same-sex marriage. Welby pledged to re-examine his own thinking on homosexuality while speaking out against exclusion and homophobia. "I know I need to listen very attentively to the LGBT communities and examine my own thinking prayerfully and carefully," he said.In the United States, where the Episcopal Church is the official American branch of Anglicanism, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori signaled that she's ready to work with Welby, acknowledging that "his gifts of reconciliation and discernment will be abundantly tested."
Posted by Trevor Grundy 31 weeks 3 days ago
LONDON — As Britain awaits the appointment of the next archbishop of Canterbury to lead both the Church of England and the far-flung Anglican Communion, there's renewed attention on the woman who officially gets the final say: Queen Elizabeth II, the "Defender of the Faith."The current archbishop, Rowan Williams, ends his 10-year tenure in December. A Church of England committee is sifting through candidates — two of whom will be submitted to Prime Minister David Cameron, whose top choice will be submitted to the queen for final approval.When he announced his retirement last March, Williams, 62, famously said his successor will need "the constitution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros.”Politicians and religious leaders say the next archbishop will need those qualities and more to handle deep divisions in the British church over female bishops and North/South divisions among his 77 million-member global flock over sexuality.But he'll also need something else: the ability to envision life when Elizabeth — who turns 87 next year — is no longer on the throne, and when Britain is no longer a Christian-majority country.
Posted by Trevor Grundy 40 weeks 1 day ago
The Church of England has sold its $3 million worth of shares in Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. due to concerns about the company's ethics.Eight News Corp. journalists have been charged by British authorities in connection with a phone-hacking scandal. They are accused of hacking telephone lines belonging to celebrities, politicians, law enforcement officials and crime victims; bribing police officers and paying private investigators for illegally obtained information."The Church of England was not satisfied that News Corporation had shown, or is likely in the immediate future to show, a commitment to implement necessary corporate governance reform," the church said in a statement on Tuesday (Aug. 7).The church also said it was concerned that Murdoch is both chairman and chief executive of News Corp.
Posted by Trevor Grundy 41 weeks 5 days ago
Scotland has announced it will allow same-sex weddings as early as 2015, becoming the first country in the United Kingdom to do so."We are committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal, and that is why we intend to proceed with plans to allow same sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships," said Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who made the announcement on July 25.The Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church were against the move, but gay-friendly Christian groups said they were "relieved" by the announcement.
Posted by Trevor Grundy 1 year 2 weeks ago
"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust." "All the deceits of the world, the flesh and the devil." "Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest."Shakespeare? The King James Bible? Close -- the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, the liturgical and literary masterpiece that along with the playwright and the landmark Bible helped shape the English language, marks its 350th anniversary this year.St. Paul's Cathedral in London celebrated the occasion on Wednesday (May 2) with a special service of evensong, or evening prayer, from the 1662 volume, often shortened to the BCP or Prayer Book. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was there, along with members of Prayer Book societies in Australia, Canada and the U.K. that are dedicated to keeping the work alive.
Posted by Trevor Grundy 1 year 8 weeks ago
CANTERBURY, England — The British government on Thursday launched a 12-week consultation that is widely expected to lead to the legalization of same-sex marriage in England and Wales, despite strong opposition from Catholics and some Anglicans."Should two people who care deeply for each other, who love each other and who want to spend the rest of their lives together be allowed to marry?" Home Secretary Theresa May wrote in The Times of London."That is the essential question behind the debate over the government'splans to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples."The coalition government led by Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy, Nick Clegg, has made it clear that it wants to see a same-sex marriage law before the next general election in 2015. It is also supported by the New Labour opposition leader, Ed Miliband.The consultation will also include an option of retaining the status quo and that has met with the approval of senior church figures, as well as a number of Conservative lawmakers.