Tag Archives: Church England

Female Bishops, Anyone In Church of England?

The fight over rights women possess in the Church of England has gone on for a few decades with gradual empowerment of females within the confines of those with power. A few years ago about 500 priests left for other religious climes because women were allowed to be ordained as priests and now the struggle is the next step as to whether or not they will be allowed to become a bishop. The General Synod argued the issue until finally 370 of the 480 present voted to allow this topic to be sent to the 45 dioceses in the Church of England for discussion and analysis. It is expected there will be a favorable outcome and women in about two years will be on the path to become a bishop. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury urged delegates to avoid dropping this topic into the basket of “too difficult” to handle and address what must be done.

As one who is not a religious institution minded person, this is another of those who the heck cares issues that religious people spend years discussing even though the answer is clear– all are equal before God and equal means women as well as men. People are starving in the world, there is conflict and anger, but so-called religious leaders prefer arguing if women should become bishops. Sorry, this is a storm in a teacup issue.

Churches In Conflict Over Gay Marriages

The Church of England and the Church of Sweden clashed over the issue of whether same-sex couples had the right to religious wedding ceremonies. Two high ranking bishops in the Church of England let Swedish church officials know that by granting wedding rights to gays and lesbians they were engaged in a “fundamental re-definition of the Christian doctrine of marriage and of basic Christian” thinking. The Swedish church is engaged in the process of changing wording in the marriage ceremony so that the words, “man and wife” would now become, “lawfully wedded spouses.” The Church of England has its own internal conflict over the issue of gays and lesbians, so those in positions of power do not intend to allow any church to open the door to gay and lesbian marriages.

There is no question many churches in the western world are attempting to reconcile their fundamental beliefs with the reality of cultural changes which now indicate most people accept the right of same-sex relations and marriage. Perhaps, the more fundamental issue in this conflict is whether church officials or members of the congregation decide what is Christian.

Church Wars Rage In United Kingdom

The war over the right of women to become bishops in the Church of England took a new direction when traditionalists warned they might leave the church and seek refuge in the Catholic Church. The Vatican expressed its “regret” over the Church of England decision to allow women to become bishops. The Church of England’s Bishop of Ebbsfleet, Andrew Burnham, who administers to parishes which refuse to go along with the policy of sanctioning the presence of female bishops, asked Pope Benedict XVI for a “magnanimous gesture” which might allow Church of England members to become de facto Catholics.

The Pontifical Council for Christian Unity insisted the idea of women bishops is a “step backward” for the reconciliation of faiths since it breaks with the “apostolic tradition maintained by all churches from the first millenium.”

We are in the year 2008 where the role of women in society has made dramatic changes for the better. A majority of members of the Church of England seek to move forward and not return to earlier days of prejudice against women. It certainly is a matter of debate how Christ would view this issue.

Church Of England Heads For Split

The Church of England is headed for an historic split as conservatives reacted with angry over the decision to allow women to become bishops in the church. The General Synod supported the right of women to become bishops and rejected proposals put forth by conservatives for the creation of “super bishops” who would be given power to oversee parishes that did not want to allow females as bishops. The 468 member body rejected any compromise on the central issue that women should be allowed to become a bishop in the church. Opponents like the Bishop of Winchester, Michael Scott-Joynt, derided the rejection as “mean spirited” and short sighted. Stephen Venner, Bishop of Dover, expressed his anger at failure of the majority to recognize the feelings of the minority.

There is scant doubt the Church of England will split and traditionalists who are strong in Africa and Asia will lead the way towards creation of a more conservative Church of England. Church conservatives are also upset at the growing acceptance of gays and lesbians in church roles.

Church Of England Holy Wars Heat Up

The Church of England, like many other long standing European religions, is confronting declining church attendance and increasing evidence young people are not as much into attending churches as their parents. But, the main issues confronting the Church of England general synod this summer will revolve around issues of women and gay rights. William Fittall, general secretary of the synod, admitted “there is no doubt we are at an unsettled moment in the Church of England.” Last week, the Bishop of London ordered an investigation into the so called “marriage” between two gay priests who exchanged rings and vows at St.Bartholomew church. Fittall believes the issue of women being ordained as bishops in the church and gay priests will dominate the summer meeting.

There are those who strongly oppose these changes and have threatened to take action if they occur. Stephen Parkinson, director of Forward in Faith, is concerned the feelings of those who are against these changes is not heard. “We do not want to leave but the church is not dong enough to accomodate us.”

A decade ago the religious wars revolved around ways to attract more people to enter church but today the issues revolve around those who currently are in the church. Ironically, as institutions such as the Church of England divide over these issues, other religions are growing in strength.

Gay Priest Upsets Church Of England

We live in the 21st century, but continue fighting issues of the past, particularly when they involve issues of sex and marriage. A gay priest in the Church of England upset many of its members by exchanging vows with another man during a church ceremony which celebrated his civil partner ship. The Rev. David Lord “felt it appropriate to lay down his clergy license” in light of the conflict his marriage to a man. Nigel Sneed, a church lawyer, claims there was nothing in the ceremony that violated church procedures or doctrine since they already had a civil ceremony. People are allowed to celebrate good events.

The resignation is simply another aspect of our inability as humans to accept the right of people to come together in marriage. Their action did nothing other than to allow two humans a moment of joy. One can assume that is the purpose of what any deity seeks.

British Bishop Defames Muslims

A senior Church of England bishop emphasized that many parts of England have become “no-go” areas for non-Muslims. the Bishoip of Rochester, Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, argued in the Daily Telegraph that non-Muslims faced a hostile reception if they entered areas in which most people were of the Muslim faith. He criticized the government’s integration ideas as lacking a “moral and spiritual vision” because it failed to give priority to the established church which has resulted in an incoherent approach to multiculturalism. Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, argued there was no evidence to support the contention that non-Mulims fear entering areas which have large Muslim populations. “There is a legitimate debate to be had about the meaning of multiculturalism,” but to argue there is fear of entering non-Christian areas, “seems to me to be a gross caricature of reality.”

The bishop’s comments most probably reflect confusion and uncertainty among many Christian leaders of England as to the apparent decline in church attendance. For some, it may indicate a decline in the number of people who regard themselves as Christians while the bishop probably believes the Muslim faith is growing in numbers as well as power. If that hypothesis is correct, it would make more sense focusing on ways to attract Christians back to Christianity instead of blaming other religions. As for the contention there are areas in which people should not venture, I would assume such areas do exist and they contain people of multiple backgrounds and faiths.