In an effort to address the concerns of religious leaders, the British government has announced that it will be illegal for the Church of England to perform same-sex marriages, while other religious institutions will be allowed to perform such unions if they wish.
The government is pushing on with efforts to legalize same-sex marriage by 2015, although it has met opposition from the Church of England, Britain's major denomination, which has insisted that the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman needs to be preserved. It has also shared fears that its churches will be forced to conduct same-sex marriages if the practice is legalized around the country.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller tried to alleviate these fears on Monday, however, announcing before the parliament that the Church of England will be banned from conducting same-sex marriages, although other religious institutions will be provided with the opportunity of "opting in" should they express the desire, BBC News reported. more >>
A spokesman for the Diocese of South Carolina, which voted to leave The Episcopal Church over theological differences, has denounced the recent decision by the denomination to "accept the renunciation" of their bishop.
Episcopal News Service reported that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori "has accepted the renunciation of the ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church of Mark Lawrence."
The Rev. Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary for the diocese, told The Christian Post that the official report on the renunciation is inaccurate since Lawrence "never offered a renunciation of his orders." more >>
Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams has sent his final Advent letter to the Anglican Communion as he gets ready to retire this month as leader of the Church of England after a decade of service.
He wrote that in the 10 years he has been in charge, "our Communion has endured much suffering and confusion," but added that the Church has been privileged to "to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ in different ways within our common life."
"Despite many questions about how our decisions about doctrine and mutual responsibility are made in the Communion, and some challenges to the various 'Instruments of Communion,' the truth is that our Communion has never been the sort of Church that looks for one central authority," Williams wrote. more >>
An official with a diocese that recently voted to leave The Episcopal Church has explained that congregations opposed to the decision are free to remain with the mainline protestant denomination.
The Rev. Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary for the Diocese of South Carolina, told The Christian Post that "Continuing Episcopalians" are free to "re-associate" with the denomination.
"Churches wishing to leave the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and re-associate with the Episcopal Church are free to do so, in accordance with their own bylaws and articles of incorporation," said Lewis. more >>
A day after the Church of England failed to come to a two-third majority vote to pave the way for women bishops, its spiritual head, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, has suggested that the Anglican church has lost credibility and is "blind" to the trends of society.
"Whatever the motivation for voting yesterday, whatever the theological principle on which people acted and spoke, the fact remains that a great deal of this discussion is not intelligible to our wider society," Williams began.
"Worse than that, it seems as if we are willfully blind to some of the trends and priorities of that wider society," he continued. "We have as a result of yesterday undoubtedly lost a measure of credibility in our society." more >>
The Church of England has voted to block a proposal seeking to allow women to serve as bishops after a day-long debate on Tuesday at its General Synod.
The two-thirds majority needed to pass the legislation was narrowly missed, meaning that women will not be able to join the highest echelons of the clergy. According to church officials, it will likely be a minimum of five years before a new vote on the issue can be put on the table.
The vote in the House of Laity came down to 132 in favor of women bishops to 74 against, The Associated Press reported. In a separate vote, bishops voted 44 in favor and 3 against, while the rest of the clergy voted 148 in favor verses 45 against – so although most Anglican officials were in favor of the proposal, the crucial two-thirds majority was not met, falling short at 64 percent, or only six votes. more >>