The Episcopal Church continued its long trend of decline in 2015, with recently released statistics showing the Mainline denomination losing more than 37,000 members last year.
In statistics released earlier this week by the Episcopal Church Office of Research, in 2015 the Church had approximately 1.77 million members in its domestic dioceses, down from about 1.81 million members in 2014.
2015's membership numbers contrast strongly with the Episcopal Church's membership count 10 years earlier, which stood around 2.2 million members. This represents a decline of nearly 20 percent over the past decade. more >>
The Church of England announced last week that it is establishing a panel to review the ever increasing controversies surrounding gay marriage and the Church, though some liberal Anglicans have criticized it for only including members who adhere to the biblical definition of marriage.
The CofE explained last week that the "Bishops' Reflection Group on Human Sexuality," as the panel is called, will take a look at "theological, biblical, ecumenical, Anglican Communion, pastoral, missiological, historical and societal considerations" that the church is facing, especially in regard to same-sex relationships.
"A wide ranging agenda included presentations and discussions on Safeguarding, the Renewal and Reform program, the post-Brexit political landscape, clergywomen in leadership, clergy wellbeing and issues of sexuality," read a statement from the College of Bishops about discussions in the wake of the formation of the panel. more >>
The departing Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, used his final address to reignite the gay marriage debate by arguing that just as there are a number of different views on controversial subjects in the Bible, there is a way to interpret committed gay relationships as being acceptable in the eyes of God.
Morgan, who spent nearly 14 years as head of the Church in Wales, making him the longest serving archbishop in the worldwide Anglican Communion, according to BBC News, examined a number of controversial topics in the Bible, from mass murder to incest and slavery, and assessed that while some passages condemn such acts, others suggest they could have been acceptable in the proper context.
"There is therefore overwhelming biblical support for slavery. Yes, masters are exhorted to treat them fairly but as an institution it is regarded as being a good thing. Indeed, during the American Civil War, some Christians advanced arguments based on biblical texts for owning slaves," Morgan pointed out, after offering a number of biblical verses that he said could support slavery. more >>
An atheist organization has asked Ohio Governor John Kasich to meet with the atheist community after recently calling Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe "weird" for not believing in God.
Following a New Hampshire event in which Kasich officially endorsed Republican Chris Sununu, the former presidential hopeful went to a bookstore and noticed the latest Harry Potter book on the shelves.
The Church of England is condemning a group of gay clerics who are seeking to out gay bishops and other clergy in the Church, arguing that the accusations could spark a witch hunt against priests.
The Rev. Colin Coward, founder of the gay pressure group Changing Attitude, said that a number of bishops within the CofE are gay.
"There are at least 10 other bishops in the Church who are gay, many of whom are in some kind of relationship," Coward told the Sunday Times. more >>
Nearly a dozen ministers within the Church of England are expected to reveal in a letter that they are gay and have married their same-sex partners despite the Church's biblical opposition to gay marriage.
The Guardian reported on Sunday that the letter from the clergy to the Church will ask for permission to carry out blessings for people entering gay marriages.
"Our marriages are legal, celebrated and widely accepted in society," said Andrew Foreshew-Cain, one of the first priests to defy the CofE's ban on gay marriage. more >>