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Religion

  • 27th February 2008

    Tutu calls on Ugandans to protect LGBT community 1

    Desmond Tutu has joined 120 Christian and Jewish leaders in a call to the government of Uganda to stop homophobia in the country.

    7:25 PM — The former Archbishop of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu has joined 120 Christian and Jewish leaders in a call to the government of Uganda to stop homophobia in the country.In a letter to President Yoweri Museveni they demanded an end to "verbal assaults and legal attacks of your government on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) people."Most of the signatories were clergy in the Metropolitan Community Church.

  • 23rd February 2008

    Rowan Williams holding “secret” talks to avoid gay split 4

    Rowan Williams will aim to avoid more splits

    4:00 PM — Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury is understood to be backing plans that would create a "parallel" conservative Church in America in a bid to for American conservatives to avert prevent further splits over the ordination of gay clergy and wider attitudes to homosexuality.The Daily Telegraph reports that Dr Williams has held talks with senior American bishops who oppose some of the more liberal approaches taken by the Episcopal Church.

  • 14th February 2008

    Ugandan bishops will boycott Lambeth conference

    The 14th Lambeth Conference will take place in Canterbury between 16th July and 4th August 2008.

    1:40 PM — The Archbishop of Uganda said today that bishops from the country will not be attending the Lambeth conference later this year.The conference of Anglican church leaders from across the world is held once a decade.The 2008 gathering has been dominated by fights about the place of gay and lesbian people in the Anglican church. The Archbishop of Canterbury said that 70% of bishops had already accepted invitations to attend.

  • 11th February 2008

    Archbishop unerpentant over Sharia comments 5

    The Synod, the Church of England's parliament, was addressed by Dr Rowan Williams this afternoon.

    4:15 PM — The Archbishop of Canterbury has told the General Synod of the Church of England that he accepts responsibility for confusion about his comments on Islamic law in the UK.But he added that is was right of him to raise the concerns of faith communities and some of his remarks had been misinterpreted."Some of what has been heard is a very long way indeed from what was actually said," he told Synod members gathered in London for a pre-planned meeting.

  • 10th February 2008

    Williams under continued pressure over Sharia law speech 50

    Rowan Williams says he didn't call for Sharia law

    10:30 PM — Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury is preparing to defend himself following his comments on Sharia law during his address to the Church of England General Synod in London tomorrow.Since saying that the adoption of elements of Sharia law in the UK "seems unavoidable", he has been under attack from all sides. The previous Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey wrote in the News of the World: "He has in my opinion overstated the case for accommodating Islamic legal codes."

  • 9th February 2008

    Archbishop denies he called for Sharia law 50

    Rowan Williams says he didn't call for Sharia law

    12:19 PM — The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has denied that he called for the introduction ofSharia Law.In a statement he said that he "certainly did not call for its introduction as some kind of parallel jurisdiction to the civil law".He said that he was "exploring ways in which reasonable accommodation might be made within existing arrangements for religious conscience".

  • 6th February 2008

    Fundamentalist Christian poster breached advert code 27

    The ASA ruled that the statement was “likely to be understood to represent the prevailing view of the gay community.“

    12:10 PM — A advertising poster for the Christian Congress for Traditional Values which claimed that gay people want to abolish families has been found to breach the advertising standards code.In an adjudication released today the Advertising Standards Authority judged the poster to be in breach of rules on social responsibility, decency, substantiation, truthfulness and matters of opinion.A mobile poster for the CCTV showed a family consisting of a man, a woman and a young son and daughter. Body copy beside it stated "GAY AIM: ABOLISH THE FAMILY."

  • 5th February 2008

    Bishop regrets actions over gay cleric’s promotion 3

    The Rt. Rev. James Jones was one of nine Diocesan Bishops to have objected publicly to the proposed consecration of Dr John because of homosexuality.

    3:40 PM — The Bishop of Liverpool has said he "deeply regrets" his public opposition to the promotion of Canon Jeffrey John and said that in his view "gay rights are civil rights."Dr John was forced to step down as Bishop of Reading in 2003 amid controversy about his sex life. He is now Dean of St Albans.The Rt. Rev. James Jones was one of nine Diocesan Bishops who objected publicly to the proposed consecration of Dr John because he was in a gay relationship.

  • 29th January 2008

    Bishops will bring partners to Lambeth conference 1

    The 14th Lambeth Conference will take place between 16th July and 4th August 2008.

    5:10 PM — The wife of the Archbishop of Canterbury has revealed that she expects to host the male partners of Anglican bishops attending this year's Lambeth conference.Jane Williams was speaking at the launch of the conference at the University of Kent.She is organising the Spouses Conference, which runs in parallel with the meeting of primates and church leaders from across the globe.

  • 18th January 2008

    Jewish leaders back homophobic incitement law 5

    The Board of Deputies of British Jews said that their community's experience of prejudice was the reason they were supporting the government's proposal.

    3:31 PM — A proposed new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation has been backed by the main body representing British Jews.The Board of Deputies of British Jews said that their community's experience of prejudice was the reason they were supporting the government's proposal.The Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill was passed by the House of Commons last week and will now be discussed in the Lords.

  • 17th January 2008

    Orthodox bishop links homosexuals to paedophiles 6

    Since 1989, Bishop Kirill has been active in the activities of the Russian Orthodox Church.

    4:40 PM — A senior Russian church leader has condemned social acceptance of homosexuality, declaring that it is the church's "duty" to correct public opinion.In an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegal, Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, who is head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, said that not viewing homosexuality as a sin will lead to a variety of other sexual perversions."If you excuse homosexuality, why not excuse paedophilia?" he said.

  • Protesters halt Papal visit to university 1

    Protesters had planned to mount loudspeakers on a truck and create a “sonic siege“ if the Pope set foot on campus.

    10:50 AM — Science students and academics at the University of Rome La Sapienza have successfully stopped Pope Benedict XVI from visiting the campus today.Vatican Radio accused them of censorship, while the Italian Prime Minister said their determination to block the Pope from speaking "provoked an unacceptable tension and a climate that does not honour the traditions of civilisation and tolerance in Italy."LGBT students also planned to protest the Papal visit.

  • 16th January 2008

    Presbyterian church allows lesbian ordination

    The San Francisco Presbytery encompasses nearly 80 churches with 28,000 parishioners.

    5:01 PM — In the first test of a new policy allowing local Presbyterian churches the right to welcome into the clergy candidates who object to church teachings, the Presbytery of San Francisco has granted a lesbian deacon her wish of becoming a minister.The regional body yesterday voted 167 to 151 in favour of Lisa Larges, who had twice before been denied ordination.Since 1978 the US Presbyterian denomination bans sexually active gay or lesbian people from the ministry.

  • 9th January 2008

    Gay Christians question evangelical’s employment tribunal

    Revd Kirker said it was “interesting, if not a little paradoxical,“ that Dr Storkey is claiming religious discrimination in this case.

    2:35 PM — The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement has highlighted the employment practices of a development agency whose UK President has taken the Bishop of Liverpool to an employment tribunal.Dr Elaine Storkey, an academic and contributor to BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day, claims she was dismissed from her at an Oxford theological college, Wycliffe Hall, because she was "the wrong type of Christian Evangelical."The LGCM described the principal of the college, Reverend Richard Turnbull, as an "ultra-conservative fundamentalist evangelical."

  • 8th January 2008

    Church refused property insurance over gay-friendly stance 1

    United Church of Christ, formed in 1957 by a merger of the New England Congregationalist churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church, is known for its history of social activism.

    4:12 PM — A Protestant church in the US state of Michigan has been deemed too risky for property insurance because of its denomination's support for gay rights.The West Adrian United Church of Christ, a small church in Adrian, Michigan which has weathered controversies since it was established in 1836.It was turned down by Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co. of Fort Wayne, Indiana, because of its national governing body's approval of gay marriage and the ordination of homosexuals, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

  • Pope orders continuous prayer to cleanse clergy 2

    When the paedophile scandal erupted in Boston five years ago, Pope Benedict, or cardinal Ratzinger as he was then, accused the media of exaggerating the crisis.

    3:08 PM — Pope Benedict XVI has instructed Roman Catholics to pray "in perpetuity" to cleanse the church of paedophile clergy.All dioceses, parishes, monasteries, convents and seminaries will be expected to organise continuous daily prayers to express penitence and to purify the clergy the Times has reported.Vatican officials said every day each parish or institution should designate a person or group to pray that the church rids itself of the scandal of sexual abuse by clergy.

  • 7th January 2008

    Anti-gay bishop in trouble after inflammatory Muslim comments 30

    Bishop Nazir-Ali regularly generates headlines with his forthright pronouncements on gay issues.

    2:45 PM — A senior Church of England clergyman best-known for his opposition to equality for gay people has been heavily criticised for making inflammatory comments about Britain's Muslim community.The Right Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, claimed in a newspaper article that parts of the country have become "no-go areas" because of extremist Muslims and suggested that mosques stop using speakers to broadcast the call to prayer.The bishop has previously spoken out against the Sexual Orientation Regulations and civil partnerships.

  • Erect Jesus statue stirs controversy among Christians 8

    All the art pieces are from the private collection of Newcastle-born Anita Zabludowicz.

    11:23 AM — An art gallery in the North East is under fire after exhibiting a 1ft high statue of Jesus with an erection.The artwork, by gay Chinese-born artist Terence Koh, is being exhibited by the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.The gallery has received complaints from Christians and visitors alike who argue the sculpture degrades the Christian faith. Koh's exhibition, entitled Gone, Yet Still, consists of 74 plaster models, ranging from statues of Mickey Mouse to ET, all with full erections.

  • 2nd January 2008

    US church leader: there are more gay bishops 2

    Bishop Jefferts Schori's appointment as head of the US Anglican communion in 2006 caused even more tension.

    2:30 PM — The leader of the Anglican church in the United States has stoked the controversy surrounding gay ordinations by claiming there are senior gay clergy and some of them are in relationships.Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, speaking on BBC Radio 4, said that the Episcopalian church, as Anglicans are known in the US, has been unfairly targeted over the ordination of Gene Robinson as the Bishop of New Hampshire.Bishop Robinson is openly gay and lives with his partner.

  • English Cardinal attacks gay people in New Year message 21

    Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor's message marks the Feast of the Holy Family.

    10:20 AM — The leader of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales has linked gay people to drug and alcohol abuse and claimed that parents want their children to be taught that marriage is superior to all other "lifestyles."Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor's message, which was read out at church services across the Diocese of Westminster, marks the Feast of the Holy Family.It has been interpreted as an attack on the government's stance on equality for gay people.

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