Anglican and Roman Catholic authorities in Britain issued on Tuesday official declarations stating their firm opposition to government plans to change the legal definition of marriage, saying that despite reassurances claiming otherwise, clergy may very well be forced to perform same-sex marriages.
"The uniqueness of the institution of marriage is based on the fact that the human person exists as both male and female and that their union for the purpose of procreation, mutual support and love has, over the centuries of human history, formed a stable unit which we call the family," said the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales in a statement.
The U.K. government has been deliberating whether to change the traditional definition of marriage to include same-sex couples by 2015, a proposal backed by British Prime Minister David Cameron. Same-sex civil partnerships have been legal in England since 2005. more >>
Three Maryland clergymen who were originally ordained in The Episcopal Church have accepted ordination into the Roman Catholic Church.
Fr. Jason Catania, Fr. Anthony Vidal, and Fr. David Reamsnyder, all from Mount Cavalry Church in Baltimore, were ordained as priests in a ceremony performed on Saturday at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.
The three former Episcopal clergymen ordained as priests will become part of the Catholic Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. The Ordinariate is a recently created church territory similar to a diocese yet national in scope. It was created specifically for Anglican clergy and congregations who sought to become part of the Roman Catholic Church while retaining their Anglican heritage. more >>
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and the Anglican Church in North America affirmed core teachings of the Christian faith they share and expressed hope to jointly fight some key social challenges, including homosexuality, abortion and secularism, after concluding the first round of theological discussions.
The cooperation between the two denominations is a reason for joy at a time when "there is a widespread failure to recognize the biblical teaching regarding the creation of man and woman and their biblical roles, life-issues, and other grave challenges that society faces," LCMS President the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison said in a statement Friday as the two bodies released a joint report summarizing the areas of agreement.
There are some differences in doctrine, Harrison agreed, but quoted a Lutheran theologian as saying that churches who can honestly discuss where they have disagreements in doctrine are in fact closer to each other than churches who cannot discuss such matters. more >>
A final vote by the Church of England on women bishops is set to go ahead in July, although protests from liberals this week threatened to push it back further.
Traditional voices within the Anglican community managed to get in some final amendments on Monday on a law being reviewed by the Church over the position of women in the clergy, which has angered liberals who stand in opposition to all-male priests and bishops.
The House of Bishops from the Church of England approved legislature on Monday paving the way for allowing women bishops, but only after including some key amendments for those holding more conservative theological views. Among the exceptions was a provision for those uncomfortable with women bishops to submit themselves to an alternative male bishop if they so choose. more >>
The Book of Common Prayer, a work considered by many to be as influential as the King James Bible and the plays of William Shakespeare, turned 350 this month.
The Rev. Richard Hoyal, vicar of Christ Church in Bristol, England, told a British publication that even in an increasingly secular England the BCP holds an appeal.
"The people who come here to worship do so because they enjoy hearing this traditional form of service – there is a continuity and beauty to it that the more modern versions of Anglican service just don't have," said Hoyal to the Western daily Press. more >>
The Church of England took a step toward allowing women to become bishops on Monday when the House of Bishops approved some widely-debated legislation after making only a few amendments.
During the meeting, the House approved some key amendments for those who hold to more conservative theological views, The Telegraph reports, including an exception that would allow those who are opposed to women bishops to submit themselves to an alternative male bishop if they felt the need to do so.
"The legislation now addresses the fact that for some parishes a male bishop or male priest is necessary but not sufficient," the House said in a statement. more >>