Reform Media Statement, Jan 16th, 2016

ReformReform in the UK has published this media statement in the light of last week’s Primates’s gathering:

REFORM Media Statement – 16th January 2016
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‘Church ‘should repent’ over treatment of gay Anglicans’

church-should-repent BBC report“More than 100 senior Anglicans have signed an open letter calling on the Church of England to repent on its treatment of lesbian, gay and bisexual Christians.”

– More pressure on Archbishop Welby ahead of the Primates’ Meeting. And even more reason to pray for all at that gathering. Report from BBC News. (Image: BBC.)

The Queen’s Christmas message 2015

the-queens-christmas-message-2015-2Queen Elizabeth II has released her 2015 Christmas Message.

Watch it here.

And you can also read the Christmas 2015 sermon from Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, preached at Canterbury Cathedral. In part, he says, –

“Today, across the Middle East, close to the area in which the angels announced God’s apocalypse, ISIS and others claim that this is the time of an apocalypse, an unveiling created of their own terrible ideas, one which is igniting a trail of fear, violence, hatred and determined oppression. Confident that these are the last days, using force and indescribable cruelty, they seem to welcome all opposition, certain that the warfare unleashed confirms that these are indeed the end times. They hate difference, whether it is Muslims who think differently, Yazidis or Christians, and because of them the Christians face elimination in the very region in which Christian faith began. This apocalypse is defined by themselves and heralded only by the angel of death.”

Undermining the Reformation

Lee Gatiss, Church Society“Is the Reformation over? Was it a mistake? These are questions we may ask ourselves a number of times over the next two years, as the 500th anniversary of Luther’s 95 Theses approaches in October 2017.

I found myself wondering about them after the recent fiasco surrounding the Lord’s Prayer ‘advert’, and after General Synod…”

– At Church Society’s blog, Director Lee Gatiss quite rightly wonders what on earth is going on (to paraphrase him a little) in the Church of England.

Need Ministers be Theologians?

John RichardsonAt Church Society’s blog, Kirsty Birkett (who now teaches Pastoral Counselling and Youth and Children’s Ministry at Oak Hill College) reminds readers of a 1994 Churchman article by the much-missed John Richardson.

In his article, John draws some important conclusions for evangelicals in the Church of England, reflecting on his year of study at Moore College.

(Readers can also rightly give thanks to Almighty God for the growth of Oak Hill College in London in the years since John wrote that article.)

C of E Prayer website promotes Hail Mary and prayers to St. Christopher

justprayThe Proclamation Trust’s Adrian Reynolds is rather glad the Church of England cinema ad for The Lord’s Prayer was banned – for several reasons. [Watch the ad here.]

One reason relates to the website advertised by the ad:

“For there, on a protestant site, are prayers to pray including the Hail Mary and a prayer addressed to St Christopher for travelling mercies.”

Read it all here.

‘Historic day for Catholics of Anglican heritage as Pope names first Ordinariate Bishop’

steven-lopes“Catholics of Anglican heritage are getting an early Christmas present from Pope Francis: The Holy Father has appointed the first Catholic bishop ever to lead one of three non-territorial dioceses (known as ordinariates) established to preserve the Anglican patrimony in the Catholic Church…”

– from The National Catholic Register.

(Note: The Ordinariates weer established by the Roman Catholic Church for High Church Anglicans unhappy with the liberal drift in sections of the Anglican Communion.)

We’re all friends now, sexuality doesn’t matter, and the Reformation is over, Papal Preacher tells C of E General Synod

raniero-cantalamessaAt last night’s Eucharist at Westminster Abbey, for the opening of the new General Synod, Franciscan Priest and Preacher to the Papal Household, Raniero Cantalamessa, delivered the sermon.

He asserted that Christians should not be divided over “a moral issue like that of sexuality”.

The issues of the Reformation are past, since we all now agree on “Justification by faith”.

Martin Luther and Thomas Cranmer would preach “Justification by Faith” this way, he said.

Students of the Reformation (or the Bible, for that matter) might like to put down that coffee cup before reading the report from the Anglican Communion News Service. Here’s an excerpt –

“The sermon was given by Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the Preacher to the Papal Household.

He raised the forthcoming 500th anniversary of the Reformation – the great divide between the Western churches. “It is vital for the whole Church that this opportunity is not wasted by people remaining prisoners of the past, trying to establish each other’s rights and wrongs,” he said. “Rather, let us take a qualitative leap forward, like what happens when the sluice gates of a river or a canal enable ships to continue to navigate at a higher water level.

“The situation has dramatically changed since [Reformation times]. We need to start again with the person of Jesus, humbly helping our contemporaries to experience a personal encounter with Him. …

“We should never allow a moral issue like that of sexuality divide us more than faith in Jesus unites us.

“Justification by faith, for example, ought to be preached by the whole Church – and with more vigour than ever. Not in opposition to good works – the issue is already settled – but rather in opposition to the claim of people today that they can save themselves thanks to their science, technology or their man-made spirituality, without the need for a redeemer coming from outside humanity. Self-justification!”

Read the full report here. Photo credit:

New Church of England General Synod meets

The Rev Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream“The new General Synod is inaugurated today (Tuesday 24th), starting with a Communion service at Westminster Abbey, followed by an opening ceremony in Church House, at both of which her Majesty the Queen is present. The membership, recently elected and tasked with the governance of the Church over the next five years, features a high proportion of first timers. …

Anything to do with homosexual practice or same sex marriage has been kept off the agenda of this Synod. But the issue is there, hanging unseen over the proceedings. Rev Andrew Foreshew-Cain, vicar of a parish only a few miles north of where the Synod meets in Westminster, married his same sex partner last year in defiance of the Bishops’ clear guidance and plea for restraint. He takes up his place as one of the new Synod members; he is due to take Communion in the presence of the Queen and become part of the governing body of the Church. Behind the scenes strong letters will have been written to the Bishop of London and the Archbishop of Canterbury; some may decide not to receive Communion and make other acts of protest.”

– Anglican Mainstream’s Andrew Symes sketches an overview of the current C of E General Synod.

‘Doubting Thomas Welby is no help in these terrible times’

Archbishop Justin Welby“I doubted God after the Paris attacks, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby told a reporter for the BBC’s Songs of Praise. He said when the jihadis struck in Paris he was left asking why? …

I hate to think where Christianity would be if Welby’s predecessors had suffered from the same lack of conviction.”

– Opinion from The Conservative Woman.

Lord’s Prayer cinema ad ban ‘bewilders’ Church of England

lords-prayer“The Church of England has said it is ‘disappointed and bewildered’ by the refusal of leading UK cinemas to show an advert featuring the Lord’s Prayer…”

– Report from BBC News. Watch the ad here. (h/t Anglican Mainstream.)

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