Roman Catholic Church leaders have criticized the Church of England's historic vote to allow women to serve as bishops earlier this week, arguing that such a move is an "obstacle" to Christian unity.
"The decision of the Church of England to admit women to the episcopate therefore sadly places a further obstacle on the path to this unity between us. Nevertheless we are committed to continuing our ecumenical dialogue, seeking deeper mutual understanding and practical cooperation wherever possible," read a statement by Archbishop Bernard Longley, Chairman of the Department for Dialogue and Unity, Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
The statement was echoed by the editor of Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. Giovanni Maria Vian said on Tuesday that the ordination of women bishops will have "an extremely negative impact" on steps to bring together the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. more >>
The University of Notre Dame has acquired the three-volume Bible of the first Roman Catholic priest to be ordained in the United States.
Notre Dame officially accepted the Bible of Father Stephen Badin, a native of France who was ordained in the United States in 1793.
Badin's Bible was delivered to the Indiana-based Catholic academic institution by the Sisters of Loretto of Nerinx, Kentucky, on Monday. more >>
In an effort to ensure a division among networks of Hispanic and Latin churches and organizations globally is not created, the newly merged group named NHCLC/Conela (National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and Conela) recently responded to a disagreement coming from the World Evangelical Alliance about which association truly represents "evangelical Christians in Latin America and beyond."
"The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)/Conela affirms and blesses every effort of unity in the Evangelical church," a joint statement from Mathew D. Staver, dean of the Liberty University School of Law and NHCLC/Conela's general counsel, and Ricardo Luna, executive director of NHCLC/Conela, released on Friday reads.
Last May, NHCLC, which represents "millions of Evangelicals and more than 40,000 churches in the U.S.," formally merged with Conela, a Latin America-based organization that "serves over 487,000 Latin churches across the world in a community of nearly 110 million believers as identified by the research center of PROLADES," according to the group, led by Hispanic evangelical leader the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez along with Luna. more >>
Despite the heated political debate about whether or not to deport the tens of thousands of immigrants who've entered the U.S. illegally through Texas, Christian charities operating in border states say they're serving those in need with a heart of Christ.
"The need is massive," pastor Chad Mason of Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, told The Christian Post Saturday. "The goal is to do the best we can to serve with the heart of Christ in Matthew 25. We still have a lot of work to do."
Mason estimates that last month alone, Catholic Charities and other volunteers in McAllen helped 6,000 Central Americans who've crossed into Texas seeking refugee status for asylum in the United States. more >>
Recently, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that two for profit corporations with sincerely held religious beliefs (Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties) do not have to provide a full range of contraceptives at no cost to their employees pursuant to the Affordable Care Act.1
As detailed by ABC News, "In a 5-4 opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito the court held that as applied to closely held corporations the Health and Human Services regulations imposing the contraceptive mandate violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. "2
Upon hearing the news American Evangelicals broke out in a collective shout of "Hallelujah!" and took to praising God via social media; while in the streets of an otherwise secular society there was wailing and gnashing of teeth.3 more >>
Wesleyan and Anabaptist perfectionisms are the emerging dominant forms of Christian social witness in America, according to this fascinating piece in First Things by Dale Coulter of Regent University. He's certainly right about their pervasive influence but unduly optimistic about their plausibility and sustainability, much less desirability.
As a Methodist, I hope thoughtful Calvinists will provide a corrective dose of realism and sturdy doctrine to the social cul-de-sacs and Utopianism towards which both perfectionist traditions seem to spiral when untethered from church teaching about the limits of fallen humanity. It's not fair to fault Methodism exclusively for the excesses of the Social Gospel, whose key early proponent, Walter Rauschenbusch, was a liberal northern Baptist. It was fueled by German romanticism and New England, post-Congregationalist Unitarian transcendentalism. But Wesleyanism, once liberalized and unhinged from supernatural teachings about Christian cosmology, generously watered the roots of the Social Gospel movement and ultimately fully embraced it.
Methodism as a mass movement provided much of the activist machinery for Social Gospel energy if not much of the intellectual formation. This storyline is often repeated. Wesleyans are more comfortably doers than deep thinkers, Much of official Methodism, as it transitioned through its Prohibition crusade, easily abandoned traditional Methodism's affirmation of human nature's total depravity and complete need for transformation through the new birth. The new imperative, displacing evangelism and holiness, became earnest intent and constant activity for societal improvement. No human condition was beyond the reach of social and political reform. more >>