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 >>
A debate over legalizing assisted suicide for the terminally ill in the U.K. has unfurled in the Anglican Communion after a number of former Anglican archbishops backed a proposed bill, while the Church of England confirmed its opposition.
"Some people opine that with good palliative care there is no need for assisted dying, no need for people to request to be legally given a lethal dose of medication," Anglican archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace laureate, wrote for The Observer.
"That was not the case for Craig Schonegevel. Others assert their right to autonomy and consciousness – why exit in the fog of sedation when there's the alternative of being alert and truly present with loved ones?" more >>
The General Synod of the Church of England voted in favor of approving women bishops for the first time in its history on Monday, receiving the required two-thirds majority. While many Anglican leaders have praised the significant move, they and others have warned that the theological debate on women's place in the Church will continue.
"The challenge for us will be for the church to model good disagreement and to continue to demonstrate love for those who disagree on theological grounds. Very few institutions achieve this, but if we manage this we will be living our more fully the call of Jesus Christ to love one another. As delighted as I am for the outcome of this vote I am also mindful of those within the Church for whom the result will be difficult and a cause of sorrow," said the Archbishop of Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
"My aim, and I believe the aim of the whole church, should be to be able to offer a place of welcome and growth for all. Today is a time of blessing and gift from God and thus of generosity. It is not winner take all, but in love a time for the family to move on together." more >>
Zealot, the controversial book about Jesus Christ written by Muslim author Reza Aslan, is set to be made into a movie by David Heyman, the producer behind the "Harry Potter" series. Deadline.com reported on Monday that Heyman, who is also behind 2013's critically-acclaimed "Gravity," will produce the movie alongside Jeff Clifford. Focus Features Chief James Schamus will be writing the adaptation.
"Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Dr. Aslan sheds light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived," Lionsgate, which acquired the rights for the title in December, said.
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, drew controversy in 2013 after several scholars responded to the work, which depicts what it says is the historical Jesus, but leaves out much of the divine inspiration found in the New Testament. more >>
A conservative Christian campaign group has called Sir Elton John's comments that Jesus would support same-sex marriage if he were alive today "remarkably ignorant and staggeringly arrogant."
Campaigns director Andrew Marsh of Christian Concern told BBC Radio Wales:
"Sad to say, these are remarkably ignorant and staggeringly arrogant comments, presuming to dictate to Jesus Christ what he should think when the reality is He has spoken quite clearly on this subject." more >>
The United Reformed Church in the U.K. fell short of reaching a full consensus on changing its traditional definition of marriage to include same-sex couples during its General Assembly.
The Rev. John Proctor said that a "clear majority" of the 300 delegates were in favor of seeing URC become the U.K.'s biggest church that embraces same-sex marriages, but the church body needed a "full consensus," BBC News noted on Sunday.
"A clear majority of members of Assembly expressed the view that local congregations should be permitted to offer same-sex marriage to those who seek that opportunity," Proctor said of the debate. more >>