Displaying items by tag: bishops
A recent meeting of the College of Bishops discussed the next steps of the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) discernment process. LLF entails churches discussing whether to allow same-sex marriage in the CofE. One bishop, Steven Croft, published a 52-page essay on 3 November, detailing why he is calling for the Church to back same-sex marriage. It was suggested that when bishops engage with the media, they honour their pledge to be open about their diversity of perspectives. Some want the Church to be more inclusive with regards to same-sex marriage: others believe allowing gay marriage in Church would depart from Biblical teaching. Their debates will be brought to February’s General Synod for decision-making.
Financial data released by the Church of England shows that each bishop costs almost £120,000 a year, in addition to receiving £46,000 per year as a stipend. ‘As a member of General Synod for over a decade I have questioned the cost of bishops’ lavish lifestyles and opulence at the top while parishes up and down the country struggle to meet their bills, and even close their door,’ said Sam Margrave, a lay member of General Synod and a former local councilor, in a written statement submitted before last weekend’s synod meeting. The CofE spends, on average, £70,800 on the ongoing maintenance of each bishop’s house; 26 bishops live in houses that have more than six bedrooms.
President Moïse was assassinated on 7 July amid rising political tensions and violence. He was killed after pursuing an aggressive agenda, including rewriting the country’s constitution. The Bishops' Conference said the proposed changes to Haiti’s constitution while in the middle of a socio-political crisis were not wise. Vatican News reported violence had escalated under Moïse’s rule, and the Haitian people were bearing the brunt of it. The bishops wrote, ‘The daily life of the Haitian people is reduced to death, murders, impunity and insecurity. Discontent is everywhere, in almost all areas.’ They called on Moïse to step down as his five-year term had expired in February. Jamaica’s prime minister said, ‘The assassination is a stain on Haiti and a sorrowful time for the Caribbean. May God be a special covering over his family and over the people of Haiti during this dark time in the nation’s history.’
Two bishops have asked the Government to help prevent the annexation of the West Bank. Israel is preparing to annex parts from 1 July, but the Catholic bishop of Clifton and the Anglican bishop of Southwark said the annexation plans were not supported by local communities and the situation is rapidly deteriorating. ‘Annexation would only bring more conflict, suffering and division’, they said. Their comments follow strong criticism of the plans from the Archbishop of Canterbury and Cardinal Vincent Nichols. They said in letters to the Israeli ambassador and prime minister that they unambiguously support the fundamental right of Israel's citizens to live in peace and safety and ‘pray for peace and flourishing for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Israel and Palestine and all living in the Holy Land.’
During lockdown written answers were given to various bishops’ questions on free school meals, on coal and renewable energy in India, on modern-day slavery and the two-child benefit limit. Parliament met in Westminster and online from 2 June. The Bishop of Chelmsford began each virtual sitting day in the Lords with prayers, spoke in a debate on the economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and asked the Government about reducing poverty by raising universal credit payments. The Bishop of St Albans entered the debate on Hong Kong protests and supported regulations on direct payments to UK farmers; while the Bishop of Winchester asked the Government about the impact of Covid-19 on apprenticeship schemes. Also, 2020’s national parliamentary prayer breakfast will be live-streamed this year on Tuesday 30 June from 8.30am. The Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin will address the theme of ‘Hope and peace in a time of fear and suffering’. See
The URC has said Dominic Cummings should ‘consider his position’ following his account of his 260-mile trip to his parents’ farm when he and his wife were ill, despite government advice to stay at home, especially if you had coronavirus. It said his actions were a blow to trust and integrity. ‘Dominic Cummings’ explanation of his actions shows how important it is to maintain a clear sense of what is right and wrong, along with the ability to be sorry for mistakes made; none of which he displayed. Trust is built on integrity and his actions have been a blow to both.’ Some bishops have received death threats after commenting on Cummings. The Bishop of Worcester was warned, ‘Stay out of politics or we’ll kill you’. The Bishop of Ripon was told, ‘Stay out of politics or it will be the death of you’. The Bishops of Newcastle and Liverpool also received hate mail. See
Indigenous tribes see the Catholic church as a key ally in the ecological fight – and an unprecedented synod is focused on how to stop the destruction.
by Dan Collyns in Puerto Maldonado
A hundred years ago the Harakmbut people were nearly wiped out.
Inhabitants of a vast jungle region where Peru intersects with Brazil and Bolivia, the tribespeople were enslaved by rubber barons and murdered en masse, only surviving thanks to the help of Dominican missionaries.
Now a new threat of extinction looms, and once again they are appealing to the Catholic church.
As wildfires and de-forestation drive the Amazon rainforest towards a tipping point beyond which it cannot recover, Yesica Patiachi, a Harakmbut leader from Peru, is heading to Rome to take part in an unprecedented synod of Catholic bishops from across the region.
Although she is not a practising Catholic, the 32-year-old schoolteacher sees the church as a key ally to save the rainforest.
“Eden is here in the Amazon and we are destroying it,” she said. “We cannot pray to God when we are destroying his creation.”
Starting on Sunday, bishops from the nine South American nations that share the Amazon will meet in the Vatican to try and muster the spiritual and earthly forces to pull the world’s largest rainforest back from the brink of destruction.
One of the synod’s organisers, Father Peter Hughes, said the three-week gathering would set out a new view of ecology based on Christian faith in God as the creator of a “common home”. Hughes said the Catholic church should firmly place itself alongside the region’s indigenous people and defending their territorial rights and way of life.
“The life of the [Amazon] people is intrinsically, inherently part of the territory. If the territory is injured, the people are injured,” he said.
Organizers insist that the church is not simply fighting for its share in the market of souls. Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the president of the synod, said this week that the Amazon was facing a crisis in which ecological problems were inseparable from social issues.
To find a solution, the world must hear “both the cry of the earth and that of the poor”, he said.
Additional reporting by Angela Giuffrida in Rome
Pray: that the plundering and destruction of these natural resources will stop.
Pray: for the voices of the indigenous people to be heard and acted upon.
Pray: for the people of the Amazon region whose lives and livelihoods have been affected.
A group of Church of England bishops has issued an open letter on the prospect of a 'no-deal' Brexit and the need for national reconciliation.
The full text can be found below:
The Archbishop of Canterbury has conditionally agreed to chair a Citizens Forum in Coventry and, without prejudice for any particular outcome, we support this move to have all voices in the current Brexit debate heard.
However, we also have particular concerns about the potential cost of a No Deal Brexit to those least resilient to economic shocks.
As bishops with pastoral responsibilities in communities across urban and rural England, we respond to the call by Jesus to tell the truth and defend the poor. We also recognise that our obligations go beyond England and impact on relations with the wider UK and our neighbours in the EU.
Exiting the EU without an agreement is likely to have a massive impact on all our people and the Government is rightly preparing for this outcome.
The Government believes that leaving the EU on 31 October is essential to restoring trust and confidence. It is unlikely, however, that leaving without an agreement, regardless of consequences, will lead to reconciliation or peace in a fractured country.
“Getting Brexit done” will not happen on exit day, and we have to be transparent about the years of work ahead of us in bringing the country together for a better future. We also need to be frank about the potential costs.
Our main social and political priority must be to leave well, paying particular attention to the impact of political decisions on those most vulnerable.
We hold different views about Brexit and how our country should proceed from here. However, although we agree that respecting a public vote is essential, democracy and committed debate do not end after the counting of votes. Our concern for the common good leads us to express concern about a number of matters. Our conviction is that good governance can only ever be based on the confidence of the governed, and that includes minorities whose voice is not as loud as others.
Seeing the evidence of division in every part of England, we are deeply concerned about:
Political polarisation and language that appears to sanction hate crime: the reframing of the language of political discourse is urgent, especially given the abuse and threats levelled at MPs doing their job.
The ease with which lies can be told and misrepresentation encouraged: leaders must be honest about the costs of political choices, especially for those most vulnerable.
The levels of fear, uncertainty and marginalisation in society, much of which lies behind the vote for Brexit, but will not be addressed by Brexit: poor people, EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in Europe must be listened to and respected.
The Irish border is not a mere political totem and peace in Ireland is not a ball to be kicked by the English: respect for the concerns on both sides of the border is essential.
The sovereignty of Parliament is not just an empty term, it is based on institutions to be honoured and respected: our democracy is endangered by cavalier disregard for these.
Attention must be paid not only to the Union, but also to the meaning of Englishness.
Churches serve communities of every shape, size and complexion. We continue to serve, regardless of political persuasion. We invite politicians to pay attention with us to the concerns we register above and encourage a recovery of civil debate and reconciliation.
Pray: for all the politicians to adopt mutual respect, thoughtful and non-antagonistic wording and tones of speech and behaviour that are commensurate with the responsibility and status of their positions.
Pray: that the issues affecting the marginalised, poor and vulnerable people will not be side-lined.
Pray: for a workable 'deal' and implementation plan to be brokered that is acceptable to all parties.
Pray: for peace, patience and calmness to prevail among the people of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom. Pray for reconciliation of the issues that have divided them.
Twenty-five CofE bishops have issued an open letter on the prospect of a 'no-deal' Brexit and the need for national reconciliation, notwithstanding the prorogation of Parliament. They are concerned about political polarisation and the use of language that appears to sanction hate crime, and the ease with which lies can be told and misrepresentation encouraged. Leaders must be honest about the costs of political choices, especially for those most vulnerable. The Irish border is not a mere political totem, and peace in Ireland is not a ball to be kicked into touch by the English: respect for the concerns on both sides of the border is essential. The levels of fear, uncertainty and marginalisation in society among poor people, EU citizens in the UK, and UK citizens in Europe must be listened to and respected. For the full text of the letter, click the ‘More’ button.
During five days in Westminster the House of Lords bishops spoke on serious youth violence; the need to scrap the ‘two-child limit’ welfare policy; climate change; child refugees; independent living for disabled people; higher education funding; music education; prescription opiates; and gambling and gaming machines in the armed forces (see next article). The foreign secretary was questioned about religious literacy training for diplomats, and about landholdings in Scotland. Please pray for God’s anointing and wisdom on our bishops as they raise issues of injustice and comment on how government policies are being implemented.