A top Anglican theologian has warned that traditional Christian teaching, such as believing that Jesus is the son of God, could become "criminalized" in the U.K. in light of the government's new anti-extremism orders.
The Telegraph reported on Monday that the Rev. Mike Ovey, a former lawyer and now principal of Oak Hill Theological College in London, was referring to British PM David Cameron's new "Extremism Disruption Orders" proposal. Ovey warned that the measures would be a "disaster area' for mainstream religious teaching.
"As a lawyer I think it is a disaster area and as a Christian believer and teacher I think it is a disaster area," said Ovey, who also worked as a parliamentary draftsman in the 1980s. "There has got be a better way to do it." more >>
A judge has ruled that a diocese in Texas which broke away from The Episcopal Church over theological differences is the rightful owner of its church property.
Judge John Chupp of Tarrant County ruled Wednesday that All Saints Episcopal Church belongs to the breakaway Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth rather than the national denomination.
An Anglican diocese in Quebec, Canada, has elected its first woman bishop, continuing the trend in the Anglican Communion of increased upper level female leadership.
The Diocese of Montreal announced Saturday that the Very Rev. Mary Irwin-Gibson was selected to become diocesan bishop, replacing the retiring Bishop Barry Clarke and making her the first woman to head the diocese.
Montreal Diocese is a regional body of the Anglican Church of Canada, whose General Synod is based in Toronto, Ontario. more >>
A group of female priests within the Church of England is calling for more gender-neutral language to be used when referring to God in church services, in what it says is a campaign for equality between men and women in the church.
"Orthodox theology says all human beings are made in the image of God, that God does not have a gender. He encompasses gender — He is both male and female and beyond male and female. So when we only speak of God in the male form, that's actually giving us a deficient understanding of who God is," said Rev. Jody Stowell, a member of Women and the Church group, according to The Guardian.
The Rev. Emma Percy, chaplain of Trinity College Oxford and a member of WATCH, added that both male and female language should be used in church services, in order to distance the church from "the notion that God is some kind of old man in the sky." more >>
A vicar in the Church of England has proposed a motion that would allow for a liturgical celebration of an individual's identity following gender transition, much like a baptism, and would include a renaming ceremony.
The Rev. Chris Newlands, the vicar of Lancaster Priory, recently proposed the motion for the church's General Synod to consider.
"That this Synod, recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person's gender transition," reads the motion. more >>
The Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev. Justin Welby said that the worst "poison pen letters" he receives are from other Christians. The leader of the Anglican Communion said that Christian groups are failing to show tolerance to one another, and said that religious leaders should look to confront the "profound differences" between faiths.
"The worst poison pen letters I get are from other Christian groups on the whole," Welby revealed during his address to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Independent reported on Sunday.
"The reality is that we do not as faith groups in our society always exhibit that secure tolerance to each other that enables us to speak powerfully of secure tolerance to the world around us. Christians are as bad as anyone at this – in fact, if I dare to be competitive, I think we're worse." more >>