Atheism might be considered "cool" and the concept may sell a lot of books, but people are looking to God more than ever, said Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.
Williams said that the growing popularity of atheism has not necessarily led to a decrease in the number of people who describe themselves as religious. His statement comes before the October release of atheist Richard Dawkin’s new book, The Magic of Reality.
"I'd want to know how many atheists The God Delusion created," Williams said during a recent public conversation. Referring to Richard Dawkins' 2006 book, Williams said, "The book sold, but did it make a difference to the number of people who were actually committed one way or the other?" more >>
Speculation that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, who is considered the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, will be resigning next year continues after a report from a U.K. newspaper Sunday.
Williams, 61, is reported to have first considered resignation at a summit of Anglican bishops held in 2008, when the conference was plagued by boycotts, divisions over homosexual clergy, and challenges to the archbishop’s authority, according to The Telegraph.
Williams, who has tried to keep the Anglican community together despite a major split between leaders and churches over the ordination of women and gay bishops, may accept a senior position at Cambridge University, reports said. more >>
More and more, conservative congregations are choosing to leave liberal denominations. Rarely does the opposite occur with a liberal congregation withdrawing to unite with a more conservative denomination.
“I think conservative Christians generally take their faith seriously,” says Dr. Jeffry Marlett, an associate professor of religious studies at The College of Saint Rose in Ablany, N.Y. “They feel that it’s better to stand by their faith and not become conformed to the ways of the world, which is why you see conservative congregations leaving liberal denominations and not vice versa.”
In December 2006, parishioners of Truro Epsicopal Church in Fairfax, Va., voted overwhelmingly to sever ties with The Episcopal Church (TEC), igniting a hailstorm of controversy. While church leaders pointed to TEC’s gradual shift away from the traditional teachings of TEC on the authority of Scripture and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the core reasons for the disfellowship, the straw that broke the camel’s back was the election of Gene Robinson, a practicing homosexual, as bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003. more >>
Religious leaders within the Church of England believe there is a real crisis when it comes to the future of the church, saying it will be dead in the next 20 years.
The Rev. Patrick Richmond, a Synod member from Norwich, warned the national assembly last week that the Church of England is entering into a "perfect storm" with an overabundance of elderly members. Richmond basically believes the Church of England as a whole is "dying off" because of the number of senior citizens attending church in comparison to younger members.
However, records from the Archbishops' Council's Research and Statistics Unit tell a different story. more >>
In the light of the debate within the Church of England about same-sex relationships as well as government laws related to discrimination in various contexts, the House of Bishops has decided to review the church’s policy on civil relationships and consider whether gay priests can be allowed to become bishops.
In a statement issued last Friday, the House said “there is a theological task to be done to clarify further our understanding of the nature and status of these partnerships,” even as it noted that it had been nearly six years since the church thought deeply over the issue.
The pastoral statement of 2005, which was made in the light of the U.K.’s Civil Partnership Act 2004, was the last time “when the House devoted substantial time to the issue of same sex relationships,” the statement said. more >>
As if the Church of England does not have enough troubles, word is leaking out of Lambeth Palace that the church is about to allow the appointment of openly gay bishops, so long as those bishops remain celibate.
The news has emerged in the form of a leaked internal memorandum prepared for the Archbishop of Canterbury by the church’s highest legal adviser. The legal guidelines are intended to bring the church into compliance with Britain’s Equality Act of 2010, even as the church is considering new criteria for the appointment of bishops. That law prohibits discrimination on the basis of several characteristics, including sexual orientation. The Equality Act has already been used to force some British churches to hire youth ministers and other workers who are openly homosexual.
Back in May, Andrew Brown of The Guardian [London] described the church’s predicament this way: more >>