While reading the Church Times in bed last week, I flicked over to the adverts and saw an announcement that disgusted me. It was advertising the “Commemoration of the martyrdom of King Charles I”. It listed two eucharistic services, in London and Edinburgh, each led by a bishop, to mark this “martyrdom”.
Nigerian Anglican bishops have condemned the Church of England decision to allow celibate clergy in civil partnerships to be bishops, threatening further action. The statement highlighted ambiguous attitudes to the Bible among Church of Nigeria leaders.
Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda has condemned the decision by Church of England bishops to allow celibate clergy in civil partnerships to be bishops, claiming this violated biblical faith and Anglican agreements.
Clergy in civil partnerships can become bishops provided they are celibate, the Church of England House of Bishops agreed. Though this falls far short of full equality, some have labelled it a major shift in church policy.
The Church of England has announced that people in same-sex relationships can become bishops if they do not have sex. It is tempting to see this as a sign of progress, but for many gay and bisexual people it will be the latest message telling them that they are not welcome as equals in the Christian Church.
Though the job he has in hand is widely regarded as impossible, the Archbishop of Canterbury-elect, Justin Welby, has done more than enough already to suggest that he has the capacity to nudge the Church of England through the decidedly choppy waters of change.
Dozens of clergy, including Lord Harries, the former Bishop of Oxford, have signed a letter to the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, coordinated by Changing Attitude, protesting the proposed ban on any Church of England solemnisation of same-sex marriages.