Religion news 25 July 2022

Archbishop Justin Badi, chair, Global South Fellowship of Anglican churches. Image credit: GSFA

Fury at same sex marriage ban on Lambeth conference agenda

There has been a furious response to the decision to re-introduce the controversial resolution I:10 banning same sex marriage, at the forthcoming Lambeth conference of worldwide Anglican bishops. The issue has caused deep division in the Anglican communion and there has been painstaking work over many years seeking to reconcile and forge deeper understanding among the 1,000 bishops. It is feared that this unexpected inclusion is likely to further damage relations and torpedo any chance that the conference, starting this week, would be remembered for the church looking out into the world instead of within itself to internal disputes. The shocked Anglican global responses are compiled here . They use words such deceit, lack of honesty, terrible unforced error, betrayal, a colonial ploy by an empire that is perhaps holding on to the last vestiges of its arbiter role.

Justin Welby intends to stay as Archbishop of Canterbury til 2026

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has given an interview to The Telegraph where he said he intends to stay in post until he is 70 – in January 2026. This is the Church of England’s mandatory retirement age and he said he would stay if he remained in good health and “people are happy” that he was still there. Speaking just before the Lambeth conference of bishops, expected to be, once more, a lively disputatious affair, he said: “Every stimulating job is gruelling and will have tough moments. But I am still enjoying myself enormously. It’s such a privilege to do this job. I never take it for granted.”

Date for your diary – 2000th anniversary of the resurrection 17 April 2033

The Rev Nicky Gumbel, associated with the leadership of Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) for 46 years, held his final service as the vicar yesterday, with an extraordinarily ambitious vision for his retirement. He is continuing as Chair of Alpha International and his goal is to make the Alpha course available to everyone on the planet by 17 April 2033, which he says is the 2000th anniversary of the resurrection of Jesus. He said 30 million people have already done the Alpha course and its further global expansion will include creating films in different languages and translating the Bible into every language. Alpha is a ten week course where people meet for a meal and discuss the Christian faith using HTB resources and ideas. It always includes an element of participants asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit, often leading to speaking in tongues. Its history is told in “Repackaging Christianity – Alpha and the building of a global brand”. Keep watching our website for a media interview with its author, Andrew Atherstone.

Pope arrives in Canada on trip of penance

Pope Francis has arrived in Canada for a five-day trip where he will apologise for the abuse of indigenous children sent to residential schools run by Roman Catholics. The story has unfolded in recent years with the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves and harrowing reports of terrible violence against children forcibly removed from home to assimilate them into Canadian society. He told reporters it was a trip of penance. He landed in Edmonton on Sunday and is also visiting Quebec City and Iqaluit, the capital of the territory of Nunavut.

Religious credentials of Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss

The religious credentials and voting record of the two people vying to be leader of the Conservative party and the Prime Minister are the subject of some analysis. But Dr Jonathan Chaplin, author of Faith in Democracy, told the BBC Radio 4 Sunday programme that he didn’t expect religion to figure highly in the leadership campaign as there’s a “tremendous allergic reaction” among politicians to mention religion in relation to public life. Rishi Sunak was brought up a Hindu. The leader of his family’s temple in Southampton told the programme that Sunak attended Sunday School there and carried the values with him. Liz Truss has a more opaque past but is said to be a Christian.  Christian Concern has published an account of both candidates’ voting records on moral issues such as abortion, conversion therapy and same sex marriage.

Rabbis urge swift action to meet net zero target

After weeks of high temperatures,  the Rabbinic team at EcoJudaism, a cross-denominational group of British rabbis, is urging the Jewish community to meet the net zero carbon target.  They say the rise in  atmospheric temperatures caused by fossil fuel emissions are contributing to extreme weather and this is a time to be absolutely clear about the effects of climate change on our lives, livelihoods, and communities. Jewish News story here.

Saudi man arrested after Jewish reporter enters Mecca

Police in Saudi Arabia have arrested a Saudi citizen who allegedly helped a Jewish journalist enter the holy city of Mecca. There is a ban on non-Muslims entering Mecca, but the journalist, Gil Tamary, an American citizen working for Israel’s Channel 13, filmed himself visiting  Mount Arafat, where pilgrims gather for prayer during the Hajj pilgrimage. He has been arrested for complicity in arranging the journalist’s entry.

Common goals of multi faith Pacific rim military chaplains

Military chaplains from the Pacific rim – Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Republic of Korea and the United States – gathered in Hawaii to discuss their common approach to their work. The Christian, Muslim and Buddhist chaplains said the meeting reinforced harmony in achieving common goals, with several saying their goal was the wellbeing of servicemen and women, helping them live life to the full, and another saying that developing friendships, connections and interoperability across all the nations was an important takeaway.



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