The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, has stated that Christians wearing crosses has little significance and that the cross is largely a decorative symbol these days.
His comments come in light of the current European Court debate that argues that Christians do not have the right to wear a cross as a visible manifestation of their faith, and those that do so at a workplace that prohibits them may face the risk of being fired. On the other hand, Muslim and Hindu adherents are allowed to wear religious clothing without fear of losing their jobs, the Telegraph reported.
The case is being debated by the European Court of Human Rights in which two British women are seeking to establish their right to display the cross at their workplaces, but the court is arguing that since wearing the cross is not a "required" part of Christianity, they should not be entitled to such a right. more >>
Although Prime Minister David Cameron has tried to assure British churches that any new same-sex marriage legislation will apply only to civil law, lawyers from the Church of England are arguing that the new legislation would force them to perform same-sex ceremonies in spite of their beliefs.
"If Parliament were in due course to legislate for same-sex marriage, as recently suggested by the Prime Minister, we would of course be in new territory," said the General Synod of the Church of England in a recent paper.
The proposed legislation is expected to allow civil same-sex marriage ceremonies that could be held in state register offices or other "approved premises," such as large homes. more >>
The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music of the Episcopal Church has released the first draft of the rites for consecrating same-sex unions, although the final draft probably will not be completed for many years.
In 2009, the 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church decided that individual bishops would be allowed to decide whether or not to allow same-sex unions within their bishoprics, rather than outright banning the practice or creating an official rite.
However, the Convention also asked the Commission to draft "theological and liturgical resources for blessing same-gender relationships," which would then be voted on during the 77th General Convention in 2012. more >>
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and head of the Catholic Church Pope Benedict XVI will come together in prayer this coming Saturday in a symbolic gesture of solidarity and unity after years of tension over Anglicans shifting to the Roman Catholic Church.
Tensions between the Anglican and Catholic churches were heightened in 2009 when the Vatican launched a controversial program to allow disaffected Anglicans to join the Catholic Church.
The churches have divergent perspectives with regard to the ordination of women, homosexual bishops, and same-sex marriage. The Catholic Church has maintained a traditionalist stance on gender and homosexuality. Meanwhile, homosexual and female priests have been ordained in the Anglican Communion, which has been undergoing intense internal debate on those issues, leaving some of the church's 77 million members worldwide distressed. more >>
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual head of the global Anglican Communion, voiced support Tuesday for the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in a call for nations to respect the human rights of gay individuals in countries where they are often targeted for violence, also suggesting that anti-gay legislation is akin to racial discrimination.
Williams states in the text of a lecture prepared for the Geneva-based World Council of Churches (WCC), which meets this week, that laws specifically targeting gays and lesbians were equivalent to racial discrimination.
"Many societies would now recognize that legal interference with some sorts of consensual sexual conduct can be both unworkable and open to appalling abuse (intimidation and blackmail)," Williams wrote. more >>
A group of American churches that left The Episcopal Church over theological differences is experiencing its own issues with breakaway congregations.
The Anglican Mission in the Americas, a South Carolina-based denomination connected to the Anglican Church of Rwanda, has found itself in a complex power struggle that has thus far resulted in 20 of its 250 affiliate churches and congregations leaving.
This whole episode began with the varied responses that several conservative Episcopal congregations had as their church hierarchy became increasingly liberal on social and theological issues. The increasingly liberal hierarchy of The Episcopal Church resulted in several congregations leaving the denomination. more >>