As a global family of churches, the Anglican Communion has stood alongside other faiths in prayerful solidarity and compassion with victims and survivors of the recent extreme weather in many places around the world.
In Bangladesh and India, over 1,000 people died in an outsize monsoon flood. In the Caribbean and the United States, a succession of devastating hurricanes killed hundreds of people and cost thousands more their homes and businesses. In Hong Kong and southern China, over a dozen people were killed by a powerful typhoon.
Of course, hurricanes, monsoons and other types of extreme weather are a part of life on earth for many.… Seguir leyendo »
Tomorrow morning about a hundred middle-aged men and eight women will gather in central London to deliberate about homosexuality. Some will be gay themselves, though none openly. The men are the Church of England's bishops, the women are their advisers, and their debate for once is not an exercise in comic self-importance.
On the face of it, they are deciding whether to accept the recommendations of a committee that decided they should talk more about homosexuality. There is a small but determined faction that thinks they should not: the Bible has clearly condemned gay sex and there's an end to it.… Seguir leyendo »
They call it the Francis effect: the impact of Pope Francis in galvanizing the Catholic faithful. Since he arrived at the Vatican, church attendance has surged across the world, while in his homeland of Argentina, the number of people defining themselves as believers has risen by a reported 12 percent.
Not just Catholics but those of other faiths, and of no faith, have fallen under Francis’ spell. “Even atheists should be praying for Pope Francis,” as the Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland put it recently.
Yet how much has really changed? Francis may be transforming the perception of the church and its mission, but not its core doctrines.… Seguir leyendo »
Se advierte una cierta confusión en torno al viaje de Benedicto XVI al Reino Unido que mañana comienza. Mientras que para los ingenuos entusiastas éste es un plácido viaje comparado con los realizados por el Papa a Turquía o Israel, los maestros de la agresión defensiva han querido retratar esta visita prácticamente como una provocación del Vaticano, como un viaje a territorio hostil al estilo de Gaddafi en Roma, proclamando «que el islam ha de ser la religión de Europa». O como una moderna embestida de la Armada Invencible -477 años después del divorcio de Enrique VIII de la española Catalina de Aragón-, dispuesta a remover las raíces católicas de Inglaterra y Escocia.… Seguir leyendo »
There are many Catholic-minded Anglicans like me who have wondered, more than once whether we should become Roman Catholics. Rome is clearly the senior church of the Western tradition and I find so much to admire about it.
I rejoice in its internationalism, its capacity to produce saints in even the most unpropitious times and its ability to inspire poets such as Gerard Manley Hopkins, novelists such as Evelyn Waugh, and a number of distinguished modern composers.
I am deeply moved by the ministry of priests working in the shantytowns of Latin America and elsewhere. Then, of course, for those with an orderly mind, there is the ability of the Vatican to present a clear message for the outside world.… Seguir leyendo »
The election of Canon Mary D Glasspool as an Anglican bishop in the diocese of Los Angeles has been slated by some, praised by others. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, wants Episcopal church leaders to block her appointment, and has warned of "very important implications" if they do not. But to Giles Fraser, "This is another nail in the coffin of Christian homophobia."
Along with Canon Diane Bruce, she has been chosen as a suffragan (assistant) bishop in the Episcopal diocese of Los Angeles. In some ways, Glasspool is an unsurprising choice, a gifted parish priest now in the senior clergy team supporting churches across Maryland.… Seguir leyendo »
Es una tragedia: después de que el papa Benedicto XVI haya ofendido a musulmanes, protestantes y católicos reformistas, ahora le toca el turno a la Comunión Anglicana. Ésta comprende 77 millones de fieles y es, después de la Iglesia romana católica y la ortodoxa, la tercera confesión cristiana en número. ¿Qué ha ocurrido? Una vez conseguida la reincorporación a la Iglesia católica de la Fraternidad de San Pío X, hostil a la reforma, Benedicto quiere ahora rellenar las despobladas filas católicas con los simpatizantes anglicanos de la Iglesia romana. Y como para ello es preciso que se les facilite el tránsito a la Iglesia católica, los sacerdotes y obispos mantendrán su estatus, también en lo que respecta al matrimonio.… Seguir leyendo »
En vrai drame : après avoir heurté de front les juifs, les musulmans, les protestants et les catholiques réformistes, voilà que le pape Benoît XVI s'en prend maintenant aux anglicans. Forte de 77 millions de membres, cette communauté chrétienne est la troisième en importance après l'Eglise catholique romaine et l'Eglise orthodoxe. Que s'est-il passé ?
Après avoir réintégré les disciples de la Fraternité Saint-Pie-X, le pape voudrait combler les rangs clairsemés de l'Eglise catholique romaine en recrutant des anglicans favorables à Rome. Ces derniers devraient pouvoir passer du côté de l'Eglise catholique romaine plus facilement. Les prêtres et les évêques anglicans conserveraient néanmoins leur statut, même s'ils sont mariés.… Seguir leyendo »
After Pope Benedict XVI's offences against the Jews and the Muslims, Protestants and reform-oriented Catholics, it is now the turn of the Anglican communion, which encompasses some 77 million members and is the third largest Christian confession after the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox churches. Having brought back the extreme anti-reformist faction of the Pius X fraternity into the fold, Pope Benedict now hopes to fill up the dwindling ranks of the Catholic church with Anglicans sympathetic to Rome. Their conversion to the Catholic church is supposed to be made easier: Anglican priests and bishops shall be allowed to retain their standing, even when married.… Seguir leyendo »
The images and clichés came spluttering out of the laptops of church people and religious affairs correspondents on Tuesday: The pope has parked his tanks on the Church of England’s lawn; Rome has made a hostile takeover bid for Canterbury. It is understandable if people are at a loss for words, since the move has been made so decisively and so without warning. Even the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, knew nothing of the plan until a few days ago.
What has happened? Basically, it seems that Pope Benedict XVI has offered disgruntled Anglicans the opportunity to come over to Roman Catholicism en masse.… Seguir leyendo »
Any high church men tempted by Pope Benedict XVI's seductive offer this week to allow them to cross the Tiber to Rome, while remaining in some still unspecified way Anglicans, might do well to study the very small print before they leap.
The last remnants of those opposed to women's ordination within the Church of England are a small rump who have made a habit of shouting very loudly for their rights to protection against the taint, or even touch, of women clergy; and many will wonder why they didn't jump before.
Four hundred vicars of that tendency left, their clerical pockets stuffed with compensation, a decade ago after the CofE first decided that women could be ordained, and about a tenth of them came back.… Seguir leyendo »
The latest move from the Roman Catholic Church to extend an American experiment comes not a moment too soon. Two of our Church of England provincial bishops (the “flying bishops” of Ebbsfleet and Richborough) met Cardinal William Levada in Rome some months ago, and believed an offer would be made towards Anglican Catholics. The Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, had said to me more than ten years ago that Rome would have to be generous to Anglicans who could not accept women bishops.
The offer to extend the Apostolic Constitution to England and elsewhere is very welcome. In America a similar constitution allows Episcopalian priests, some married men with families, to become Catholic priests.… Seguir leyendo »
In the slow-moving train crash of international Anglicanism, a decision taken in California has finally brought a large coach off the rails altogether. The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church (TEC) in the United States has voted decisively to allow in principle the appointment, to all orders of ministry, of persons in active same-sex relationships. This marks a clear break with the rest of the Anglican Communion.
Both the bishops and deputies (lay and clergy) of TEC knew exactly what they were doing. They were telling the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other “instruments of communion” that they were ignoring their plea for a moratorium on consecrating practising homosexuals as bishops.… Seguir leyendo »
It is good news that those Anglican parishes that are strongly opposed to homosexuality are forming a new movement. The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) was launched last year as a pressure group within the international Anglican communion, but only now is it trying to exert grassroots influence, raising awareness for its cause on the parish level. If it is successful, then it will be easy to identify the sexual politics of your local parish church. It will be impossible to deny that there is a church within the church, that division has become schism.
This is good news because honesty is better than dishonesty.… Seguir leyendo »
Those eager for small talk with Gordon Brown should try Scots Presbyterian schismatism, on which he is remarkably well informed. British rulers since the days of Trollope have found the politics of religion an absorbing relief from the trials of office. It usually means someone in even bigger trouble.
But the show has always stayed on the road through the remarkable tolerance of the Anglican community, "broad of church and broad of mind, broad before and broad behind". From Anglo-Catholics to happy-clappies, old codgers to gays and lesbians, the ever benign Church of England embraced them all, no questions asked.
Now those versed in these things tell us that the elastic has stretched too far.… Seguir leyendo »
Archbishop Rowan Williams has tried to take the issue of gay marriage off the table at the Lambeth Conference, which begins in three weeks. But the celebration of a gay relationship at one of London's oldest churches last month, and the well-publicised gathering of anti-gay Anglicans in Jerusalem this week, suggest the controversy must eventually be faced squarely.
Conservative Christians say opening marriage to gay couples would undermine an immutable institution founded on divine revelation. Archbishop Henry Orombi, the primate of the Church of Uganda, calls it blasphemy. But, theologically, support for same-sex marriage is not a dramatic break with tradition, but a recognition that the church's understanding of marriage has changed dramatically over 2,000 years.… Seguir leyendo »
Maybe it's being in a company of saints - a most un-Anglican communion of the like-minded. But the rhetoric of the gathering of conservative churchmen in Jerusalem seeking to wrest control of worldwide Anglicanism from the woolly nuances of Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the wicked, gay-friendly liberalism of the Church of England and US Episcopal Church is already spiralling upwards on a vicious current of hot air.
Two days into the great realignment, we've already had the archbishops of Nigeria and Uganda denying that gays are ever persecuted in their countries - and failing to find the words to condemn the violence if they are; voices calling for biblically lethal punishment for homosexuals; and lip-smacking assertions that the old church has fallen prey to apostasy, brokenness and turmoil, in its attempt to "acquiesce to destructive modern, cultural and political dictates".… Seguir leyendo »
In an age when women have broken through the glass ceiling in most professions in Britain, it is strange that they still face discrimination in a church that believes there is "no male or female" in Christ. Women can become judges, surgeons, chief executives and heads of state, but in the Church in Wales - which waited until 1997 to ordain women as priests - they are as yet unable to become bishops.
I do not see how, having agreed to ordaining women to both the diaconate and priesthood, the church can logically exclude women from the episcopate. That is why I and my fellow bishops will be asking members of the church's legislative body today to vote in favour of a bill to allow women clerics to become bishops.… Seguir leyendo »
By Theo Hobson, the author of Against Establishment: An Anglican Polemic (THE TIMES, 26/12/06):
You have, if you are an Anglican, probably just attended your first church service of the year. You go to the dentist as often. But that’s all right: this is the Church of England. You don’t have to wear God on your sleeve in this country. We enjoy a subtle, restrained, understated form of religiosity that is compatible with staying at home on Sunday mornings and quietly cringing at dinner parties when cruder souls raise the subject of God.
Does this sketch still ring true? Only partly.… Seguir leyendo »
By Roy Hattersley (THE GUARDIAN, 02/10/06):
Tomorrow I speak at the launch of the Canterbury Cathedral Restoration Appeal. A more superstitious man would fear that, before the performance was finished, he would be struck down by a thunderbolt - punishment for the presumption that emboldens an atheist to answer the call to rescue a place of worship. But it is the rejection of superstition that stands between me and belief. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to join my father one day, on a big white cloud. But I cannot accept the idea of the resurrection, or any of the other mysteries and miracles of faith.… Seguir leyendo »