With the search for a new leader for the Church of England unfolding, a claim that racism is taking hold within the Anglican Communion has spurred a debate about snobbery, elitism, and race within the nearly 80-million member body, whose majority of worshippers hail from the African continent.
In March, Rowan Williams, the current spiritual leader of the Anglican Church and head of the Church of England, announced that he would be stepping down as the Archbishop of Canterbury and returning to the ranks of academia. Williams had previously served as a professor of divinity at Oxford University. His fture role is the position of Master at the Magdalene College at Cambridge University.
Upon the announcement of Williams' departure, Ugandan-born John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, quickly emerged as an early favorite to replace him. Sentamu is the only black bishop within the Church of England – the mother church of the Anglican Communion, affiliated with Anglican and Episcopalian churches worldwide. more >>
Another married gay man may succeed the retiring Bishop V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in The Episcopal Church, the Diocese of New Hampshire announced.
The Rev. William W. Rich, a married homosexual, is senior associate rector at Trinity Church in Boston, and is one of the three candidates for the position of bishop. The other two candidates are the Rev. Penelope Maud Bridges, rector of St. Francis Episcopal Church in Great Falls, Va., and the Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld, rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Amherst.
A group of Anglican Church leaders, including some from the General Synod, the Church of England's governing body, has stated in a public letter opposition to the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, and a desire for it to include same-sex couples.
Homosexual marriage has been a controversial issue in Britain and especially in the Anglican Church. British Prime Minister David Cameron and several other political groups and leaders in the country want the government to allow same-sex couples, who already can partake in civil unions that allow them many of the same benefits as heterosexual couples, to make vows and marry.
A continuing congregation of The Episcopal Church held its first Easter service in a Virginia church since the majority of the members voted to break away from the denomination.
The Falls Church, a piece of ecclesiastical property that traces its origins back to the 18th century, was one of seven church properties that The Episcopal Church won in a court battle back in January.
Henry Burt, secretary of the Diocese of Virginia who grew up as a member of The Falls Church, told The Christian Post that the Episcopal service at The Falls Church last Sunday was well attended. more >>
Is the "aggressive polemic" concerning faith and animosity toward the church in the United Kingdom easing off? In his final Easter sermon as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams suggested Sunday that "there are a few signs that the climate is shifting ever so slightly."
"Recent years have seen so many high-profile assaults on the alleged evils of religion that we've almost become used to them; we sigh and pass on, wishing that we could have a bit more of a sensible debate and a bit less hysteria," the archbishop said during the annual holiday sermon at Canterbury Cathedral on Sunday. "But there are a few signs that the climate is shifting ever so slightly – not towards a mass return to faith but at least towards a reluctant recognition that religion can't be blamed for everything – indeed that it has made and still makes positive contributions to our common life."
Williams, who announced on March 16 that he would be stepping down by the end of the year, pointed out that some prominent economists have given religion credit recently when assessing economic trends and especially the recent recession, finding that "without some input from religious thinking our ludicrous and destructive economic habits are more likely to go unchecked." more >>
The second-most senior figure in the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of York, has recorded three video messages to mark Easter this year.
The videos include short reflections by Dr. John Sentamu for Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, and have been added to social media website YouTube.
The Archbishop said it was important that the Church gets the good news of Easter out to as many people as possible. more >>