1 in 33 Anglican clerics doubts the existence of God
And yes, I'm going to break my own rule against long posts... but this one is WORTH it! If you thought things were fairly lousy being a Catholic in modern day America, see what it's like in the various Protestant denomination. Especially the Anglican Communion.
a hat tip to Blosser at http://www.pblosser.blogspot.com/
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Delegates to ELCA's 2005 national convention in August angered homosexual activists in the 4.9-million-member denomination when they rejected a proposal to allow the church, under certain circumstances, to ordain gays or lesbians in long-term, committed relationships. The convention upset conservatives, however, by refusing to vote for a resolution that would remove the ambiguity from the denomination's regulations regarding whether or not a minister could bless same-sex unions.
- Episcopal Church in USA (ECUSA) The fallout from ECUSA's 2003 consecration of openly-gay Rev. Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire continues to roil the denomination, home to 2.5 million of the worldwide Anglican Communion's 77 million members.Six Episcopal congregations in Florida have asked Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury and figurehead leader for worldwide Anglicans, to allow them to report to a new bishop. The row was caused, the congregations said, because their current bishop, John Howard, approved of Robinson's consecration....
- United Methodist Church (UMC) Rev. Edward Johnson, pastor of South Hill United Methodist Church in Virginia, was placed on a year-long leave of absence by his UMC district superintendent. His ecclesiastical crime? He refused to allow a nonrepentant homosexual into church membership.Johnson's district superintendent, the Rev. William Layman, had twice ordered Johnson to accept the homosexual man into membership....When the pastor refused, he was removed from his position without salary. Johnson, who has been in the pastorate for 24 years, had pastored at South Hill for six years. Meanwhile, the Rev. Irene Stroud, who had lost her credentials last December following an ecclesiastical trial over her admission that she was in a committed lesbian relationship, will have a new day in court. In April, a UMC appellate court reinstated her ministry credentials after overturning her conviction on an 8-1 vote....
- Presbyterian Church (USA) A special PCUSA panel recommended that next year's General Assembly not change a 1997 church law that limits clergy and lay officeholders to sex within marriage.The battle over the issue has grown heated in the PCUSA. Homosexual activists continue to submit bills to repeal the rules. Meanwhile, conservatives have been frustrated that congregations continue to defy current church law and that the denomination allows ceremonies to bless same-sex couples. An example of such open defiance occurred in the Pittsburgh Presbytery, where a female minister, Dr. Janet Edwards, performed a "marriage" ceremony for two lesbians. The ceremony integrated the couple's Buddhist and Christian traditions.
But if you think that's sad, read this from the Times of London;
Clergy who don't believe in God
By Ruth Gledhill
Clergy and laity show signs of schism over homosexuality, miracles and the Almighty
HUNDREDS of Church of England clergy doubt the existence of God and fewer than two thirds believe in miracles, a study out today says. The report, published on the eve of the General Synod, refers to “very fragile faultlines along which the Church of England could be torn apart”. Congregations are much more conservative than most of the comparatively liberal clergy preaching to them.
The report says that if committed Anglicans are clear about one thing it is the existence of God: 97 per cent have no hesitation in affirming His existence. Yet, it continues, one in 33 clerics doubts the existence of God. If reflected throughout the Church’s 9,000 clergy the finding would mean that nearly 300 Church of England clergy are uncertain that God exists. Equal numbers of clergy and laity, eight out of ten, believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ but more laity than clergy believe in the Virgin Birth — 62 per cent compared with 60 per cent — and in the miracle where Jesus turned water into wine — 65 per cent compared with 61 per cent.
The biggest division comes over the issue of homosexuality. One third of clergy are in favour of the ordination of practising homosexuals as priests, compared with one quarter of laity. Nearly one third of clergy also support the ordination of gay bishops, but among the laity this falls to fewer than one fifth. Whereas 56 per cent of the laity believe that it is wrong for people of the same gender to have sex together, the proportion falls to 48 per cent among the clergy.
The Anglican Church has been brought to the brink of a schism over homosexuality, and the survey shows it to be at risk of further unrest. “In many ways ordained Anglicans look out on to a somewhat different world from the world viewed by lay Anglicans,” says the 180-page report, Fragmented Faith?. “Overall, it is the faultline between the clergy and the committed laity on the issue of homosexuality which may take the Church of England most by surprise.” The report suggests that, had he known how deep the divisions were, the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev Richard Harries, might have thought twice before he conducted his “courageous experiment” in recommending a celibate homosexual, Dr Jeffrey John, to be Bishop of Reading in 2003.
The opposition forced Dr John to step aside and he was made Dean of St Albans instead. The study, by Leslie Francis, Mandy Robbins and Jeff Astley, of Bangor University, grew from a partnership between Bangor’s practical theology department and the Church Times. More than 9,000 people responded, of whom nearly 8,000 were Anglicans in England, nearly 2,000 of them being laity. Dr Francis says that the divisions “reflect clearly identifiable faultlines in the very structure and composition of the Church of England”.