Rowan Williams, the head of the Anglican Communion, is making one final push for the ordination of women bishops before he officially retires from his position as the Archbishop of Canterbury in December.
"No-one is likely to underrate the significance of November's debate on women bishops in General Synod," Williams wrote in an article for the Church Times published on Friday. "It will shape the character of the Church of England for generations – and I'm not talking only about the decision we shall take, but about the way in which we discuss it and deal with the outcome of it."
Although women can serve as deacons and priests in Anglican churches, they are still fighting for ordination into the highest echelons of the clergy. Many from the more liberal side of the Communion have insisted that the law should change to allow women to be ordained as bishops, but conservatives maintain that Christ's disciples were all men, which is an example they should follow. more >>
A 16-member committee has failed to agree on a successor to Dr Rowan Williams as the next Archbishop of Canterbury. Despite deliberating for a scheduled three days the group was unable to make a choice for the next spiritual head of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
It was hoped that the committee would be able to come up with two names - a "preferred candidate" and a "runner-up" - to send to the British Prime Minister and then the Queen for approval.
The search for the new Archbishop of Canterbury has been unique in that there has been no clear outstanding candidate for the job, as well as the fact that for the first time ever candidates have been interviewed by the Crown Nominations Commission. However, despite the unprecedented move to question candidates face-to-face the committee has been unable to come to a conclusion. more >>
Ahead of the official departure of Dr. Rowan Williams the Archbishop of Canterbury, officials are meeting to decide who will serve as the successor to Dr. Williams and become the spiritual leader of 77 million Anglicans.
The grouped tasked with recommending an appropriate candidate is known as the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC). Members of the CNC, who are also responsible for appointing senior Church of England officials, will begin a 3-day meeting today to choose a candidate that will fill the position that has been held by the Archbishop for the last decade.
The CNC will continue its deliberations at a secret location. The commission, which has 16 voting members, is chaired by former Conservative arts minister Lord Richard Luce. Once the members have decided on a candidate and a second-in-line candidate, a formal submission will be delivered to Prime Minister David Cameron. more >>
The Episcopal Church's 77th General Convention concluded Thursday with the adoption of a long list of resolutions, from one that calls on the U.S. Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act to another providing rites for pet funerals.
Episcopal leaders, who met in Indianapolis for over a week, considered dozens of resolutions – the most controversial being the approval of transgender ordination and rites for the blessing of same-sex unions.
In protest, leaders from the Diocese of South Carolina, including its bishop, left the convention early after expressing clearly their belief that the decisions mark a departure from Scripture and Anglican tradition. more >>
Conservative Episcopalians are calling Tuesday night's approval by leaders in The Episcopal Church of a rite for the blessing of same-sex unions "unbiblical."
"This General Convention action is unbiblical, unchristian, unanglican and unseemly," said the Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall Harmon, canon theologian for the Diocese of South Carolina, in a statement Wednesday. "By making this decision, The Episcopal Church moves further away from Jesus Christ and his teaching."
The General Convention of The Episcopal Church passed, by a large majority, a resolution authorizing for provisional use the rite "The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant." Beginning Dec. 2, the first Sunday of Advent, clergy – with permission from their bishop – will be able to bless same-sex relationships using the liturgy approved Tuesday. more >>
The General Synod of the Church of England deferred on Monday a final vote on whether to allow ordination of women bishops after traditionalists proposed a last-minute amendment.
The governing body of the global Anglican Communion's mother church voted Monday to hold further deliberations on a last-minute proposal that traditionalist parishes be allowed access to an alternative male bishop who shares their views about women clergy, Agence France Presse reported.
The amendment proposed at the meeting at the University of York angered senior female clergy of the church, who said it would reduce them to "second-class bishops." more >>