The Church of England will shortly be ordaining a woman as bishop for the first time. This has been widely welcomed. But many were baffled to learn of the novel way in which a male bishop will be ordained not long afterwards. Savi Hensman explores the differences, and the underlying issues of church polity in a changing cultural context.
New Zealand’s Anglican church has agree to explore ways of blessing same-sex relationships, while protecting the freedom of those who disagree. Meanwhile senior Church of England clergy have warned that opposing inclusion is undermining Christian witness.
Letting same-sex couples marry in the Church of England would be catastrophic for Christians in countries such as South Sudan, Nigeria and Pakistan, claimed Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. He also has “real hesitations” about equal marriage because of the Bible and tradition.
Church leaders who have encouraged mistreatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) have defended their behaviour, after the archbishops of Canterbury and York reminded fellow-Anglicans of a pledge to offer pastoral care and support regardless of sexual orientation. Church of England senior clergy Justin Welby and John Sentamu wrote after harsh new laws were passed in Uganda and Nigeria.
Archbishop Nicholas Okoh has praised Nigeria’s president for signing an anti-gay bill into law and criticised its opponents, according to a Channels Television news report. The new law, misleadingly called the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, goes far further in undermining human rights, contrary to Nigeria’s constitution and Christian values.