The Church of England has for the first time in its history appointed a woman bishop, breaking centuries of tradition that had defined the position as exclusive to men. The Rev. Libby Lane was announced on Wednesday as the new Bishop of Stockport, with her consecration ceremony scheduled for January.
"I am grateful for, though somewhat daunted by, the confidence placed in me by the Diocese of Chester. This is unexpected and very exciting. On this historic day as the Church of England announces the first woman nominated to be Bishop, I am very conscious of all those who have gone before me, women and men, who for decades have looked forward to this moment. But most of all I am thankful to God," Lane said, responding to the news.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, praised the news and said that he is "delighted" that Lane was chosen for the position. more >>
The 80-million strong global church body known as the Anglican Communion may be ripped apart by recent debates over homosexuality and female ordination, according to its leader.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, head of the Anglican Communion, recently stated that current controversies within the Communion may lead to at the least a temporary fracturing.
In an interview with the United Kingdom publication the Times, Welby said that the global church body may experience "a sort of temporary separation." more >>
An official with the Church of Pakistan has confirmed that a Christian couple was beaten and burned alive over a false accusation made by their employer who claimed they ripped pages out of a Quran and threw them into a brick kiln furnace.
Raheel Sharoon, development officer of the Diocese of Raiwind, said Thursday that Shehzad Masih and his wife, Shamah — who were beaten in the streets Tuesday by a Muslim mob of 1,500 to 1,600 that tore off their clothes beat them before throwning them into a furnace — were killed because their employer said they owed him money, and he started the rumor to exact revenge.
"The real story is that the owner of brick kiln, Yousaf Gujjar, lent some money to the couple and when he asked for the money to be returned there was a confrontation since a majority of brick kiln workers cannot return their loans in cash, but do it by working at the brick kiln. After which he started spreading rumors of desecration of the Quran," Sharoon said, according to the Episcopal News Service. more >>
John Sentamu, the archbishop of York, has said that he's "deeply ashamed" over allegations of child abuse by a former dean in a recently published report that has revealed "systemic failures" by the Church of England in dealing with such cases.
"I have already been in contact with those who gave evidence to the inquiry regarding their alleged abuse by Robert Waddington. As I have said to them, I am deeply ashamed that the church was not vigilant enough to ensure that these things did not happen, failing both to watch and to act, where children were at serious risk," York said, according to The Guardian on Wednesday.
The report by Judge Sally Cahill made abuse allegations against the late Very Rev. Robert Waddington, formerly dean of Manchester. It stated that at least two men made claims in 1999 and sometime in 2003-2004 that they had been abused as children. The acting Archbishop of York at the time, Lord Hope of Thorne, and other church officials were criticized for not acting on the allegations, and therefore putting other children at risk, BBC noted. more >>
There has been a lot of attention paid lately to the alarming numbers of a decreasing membership in mainline Protestant denominations in the United States in recent years.
Denominations like The Episcopal Church and Presbyterian Church (USA) have annually reported losses in membership and attendance figures for their churches.
However, the denominations are not losing members at as high of rates as in 2013, according to their spokespeople. more >>
When The Episcopal Church recently released its statistics on membership among its dioceses for 2013, the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina was listed along with the others.
There is one problem, however: the South Carolina Diocese's leadership voted to leave the denomination back in 2012, taking most of the members and congregations with them.
Since 2012, the diocese and the denomination have been fighting a legal battle for ownership of the numerous properties presently held by the breakaway leadership. more >>