Church

Bishop(ess) Proposes Church Remove all Christian Symbols… to Create Space for Muslims

In Sweden.

Calling Muslim guests to the church “angels“, the Bishop later took to her official blog to explain that removing Christian symbols from the church and preparing the building for Muslim prayer doesn’t make a priest any less a defender of the faith. Rather, to do any less would make one “stingy towards people of other faiths”.

The bishop insisted this wasn’t an issue, after all airports and hospitals already had multi-faith prayer rooms, and converting the dockyard church would only bring it up to speed. Regardless, the announcement has aroused protest.

Father Patrik Pettersson, one of the priests in her diocese and active in the same parish as the Seaman’s mission church has hit back in a blog of his own, complaining there is no way you could equate a consecrated church with a prayer room, remarking “I should have thought a bishop would be able to tell the difference”.

How novel. Oh, by the way, the Bishopess is also the world’s first openly lesbian bishop. I wouldn’t bet on Muslim being as reciprocating…

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Church

Pope Begins Promoting Christian Unity

Patriarch Bartholomew I (L) and Pope Francis in 2013

Theology and Society:

Enzo Bianchi — appointed on July 22 as consultor of the Pontificial Council for Promoting Christian Unity — said the Pope could allow a council of bishops, including Greek Orthodox bishops, to assist in governing the Church, the Catholic News website reports today (August 3, 2014).

Reform of the Synod of Bishops and the growth of synodality within the Catholic Church would greatly enhance the opportunity for union between Rome and the Orthodox churches by making the papacy less “monarchical” and the Catholic Church less centralized.

Bianchi — Prior of the Bose monastery in northeast Italy — said: “I believe that the pope wants to achieve unity by reforming the papacy.”

Pope Francis feels that union with the Orthodox Churches in particular is “an urgent goal,” Bianchi emphasized. “I believe that the Pope has one particular concern, that unity should not be achieved in the spirituality of unity but rather is a command by Christ which we must carry out,” he told the Italian daily “La Stampa.”

Reform would involve a new balance between collegiality and primacy, Bianchi explained. “The Orthodox have synodality, but not primacy. We Catholics have primacy but a lack of synodality.”

Church

Archbishop Welby’s Unity Plea to Pope Francis Over Women Bishops

The Archbishop of Canterbury has written to Pope Francis in a plea to prevent the ordination of women bishops from derailing plans for the eventual reunification between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches…

June 2013: Pope Francis meets Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at the Vatican

Archbishop of Canterbury insists differences over women bishops should not halt moves to Anglican-Roman Catholic unity saying: ‘We need each other’ …

The Telegraph has the rest.

 

Church

The Photo Of Rev Anne Robertson And Cardinal Sean O’Malley That Sent Shock Waves Through The Internet (And Church)

Not the greatest idea, Cardinal: An ecumenical baptism reaffirmation ritual (whatever that is?!)

Rev. Anne Robertson was the only female clergy member to assist at an ecumenical worship service that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the historic event when Cardinal Richard Cushing spoke at the Methodist church in Sudbury at a time of tension between Catholics and Protestants, reports The Patriot Ledger.

Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley surprised many people when he asked Rev. Robertson, a pastor in the United Methodist Church, to anoint his forehead with consecrated water in an ecumenical baptism reaffirmation ritual at Sudbury United Methodist Church, reports The Patriot Ledger. The spontaneous and genuine gesture moved Robertson almost to tears.  She told The Huffington Post that she is “grateful for those times when people can see across the divide and see our common humanity– and in this case our common faith.”

Robertson wrote about the experience in her personal blog:

Ecumenical gatherings are not always warm, fuzzy events for women of the cloth.  Most of us have experienced many types of exclusion, even within our own congregations, let alone when we try to join with Christian groups that don’t believe women are fit for ordination.  And in this group there might well be those who wouldn’t have wanted such a blessing from any Protestant, even a male one.  I was deep in thought as I received my bowl.Our exit toward the overflow room took us directly past Cardinal O’Malley.  Fortunately, Tom’s [a fellow clergy person at the gathering] brain was more engaged in the moment, and he was not about to lose out on the chance to have the man who might well be Pope someday anoint him.  Tom stopped in front of the Cardinal and asked for his blessing.  I stopped with him and Cardinal O’Malley was gracious enough to anoint me, too.

And then, as the two of us stood there together, Cardinal O’Malley looked me in the eye and asked me to anoint him.  I did.  The divorced, Scotch Protestant clergywoman anointed the Irish Catholic Cardinal in front of a pew of Catholic clergy and a Catholic Bishop, any one of whom would probably have given their eye teeth to have the honor.  I choked back sobs all the way to the overflow room.

Reactions to the photograph have been mixed…

And understandably so… ‘The divorced, Scotch Protestant clergywoman anointed the Irish Catholic Cardinal…’

Says it all.

 

Church

Is Anglicanism a Variant of Lutheranism?

“Variant” may not be quite the right word. But in this very engaging episode of “Anglicans Unscripted,” Peter Ould, a CofE priest (and blogger and Twitterer), offers his take on Anglican identity, that shape-shifting wonder of the Christian world.

Even though Henry VII was just a selfish Roman Catholic, basically, men like Cranmer and Ridley and Latimer were deeply imbibing of the Lutheran theology. … Anglicanism is inherently Lutheran.



Rest of the post is at Strange Herring.