A couple days after the Roman Catholic Church installed its 266th pope, the Anglican Communion – a global Protestant Christian body based in the United Kingdom – now has a newly inaugurated spiritual head.
The Rt. Rev. Justin Welby, formerly the bishop of Durham, England, was inaugurated as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, the highest position in the 85 million-member Anglican Communion.
The inauguration ceremony, held at the historic Canterbury Cathedral on Thursday, included representatives from across the global body. Those present included high church officials and members of the British royal family. more >>
After stepping down from 33 years as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minn., John Piper, 67, will begin the transition of the church's leadership in May by moving his family to Tennessee.
In an open letter to his congregation on Wednesday, Piper explained that he wants Bethlehem's new pastor, Jason Meyer, an assistant professor of New Testament at Bethlehem College & Seminary who was voted as Piper's successor last May, to develop a strategic vision for the church without distractions.
"The aim is to give Jason and his team unencumbered freedom to discern God's leading and move forward," wrote Piper. "I am thrilled with our new leadership and have total confidence in their spiritual discernment for the future. Love them as you have loved me," Piper wrote. more >>
Up to 20 churches have decided to no longer be under the direction of Sovereign Grace Ministries because of disputes over the leadership capabilities of the group's president, Pastor C.J. Mahaney, and its executive board, say former and present associates.
A pastor who was at one time a close adviser to Mahaney compares the behavior by the SGM's leadership team, including Mahaney, during the fallout due to the controversy, to that of President Nixon and his staff during the Watergate scandal of the early '70s.
"I also expect C.J., the Leadership Team, the interim Board and the current Board will all get full pardons like Nixon by those who fill their shoes," stated Brent Detwiler, who has offered his opinion and documented what transpired at SGM in his blog over the last two years. He told The Christian Post on Tuesday that as one of the original leaders at SGM, he was considered Mahaney's right-hand man. more >>
The newly installed Bishop of Rome has called upon Christians and non-Christians alike to be "protectors" of the environment, the poor, and their families. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was formally installed as Pope Francis Tuesday morning. He is the 266th pope and the first from Latin America.
According to the Catholic liturgical calendar, the date for which Pope Francis was formally installed was the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As such, Francis focused on Joseph's role as protector for Jesus and Mary.
"How does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand," said Pope Francis in his homily. more >>
Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, the Archbishop of Durban, South Africa, has apologized after recent comments in which he said that priests who engage in pedophilia are not criminals but in need of mental help.
"I apologize sincerely and unreservedly to all who were offended by the botched interview, and especially to those who have been abused and need every help and support that the Church can give," Napier said in a statement.
"Child sexual abuse is a heinous crime among other things because of the damage it does to the child. In that concern I include the abused who has become an abuser," he added. more >>
Survivors of child sexual abuse who have been urging the Roman Catholic Church to start taking real steps to tackle the problem believe that newly elected Pope Francis provides "a glimmer of hope" that things can change for the better.
"Certainly, Francis is a man who loved to teach and was meek and understanding of the plight of the downtrodden and the marginalized in our society," said Mark Crawford, a member of SNAP, a network for survivors of clergy abuse, according to ABC News. "That's why I have this one glimmer of hopeful expectation. But he has to be assertive and aggressive."
But Crawford, 51, remains cautious, knowing any change would not come easy. more >>