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Religion

  • 31st December 2007

    Pope addresses ‘family’ rally in Madrid 8

    Benedict has consistently used family values arguments to oppose gay equality.

    2:15 PM — For the tens of thousands who turned out in Mardid yesterday for a celebration of the place of the family, the appearance of Pope Benedict XVI via live satellite link from Rome was the highlight of their protest rally.Conservative Spaniards took to the streets of their capital city to protest at the legalisation of gay marriage and the loosening of divorce laws enacted by the socialist government.The Roman Catholic Church campaigned against gay rights but found they no longer have the power they once had.

  • Service with gay clergy may have broken canon law

    The Church has been close to splitting over the issue of gay clergy since the ordination of openly gay Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

    12:01 AM — The Archbishop of Canterbury's recent communion with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) clergy was so secret that the Bishop of London did not even know about it, despite it being held within his diocese, The Times claims.The communion took place on the 29th November 2007 with 80 LGBT priests, monks and nuns by the Clergy Consultation support group.Canon law states that only a bishop can authorise services that take place in his diocese.

  • 23rd December 2007

    Simon Hughes says Blair conversion isn’t news

    Simon Hughes said that Blair's conversion isn't news

    12:01 AM — The openly bisexual, Christian, Liberal Democrat MP, Simon Hughes has criticised the media for overstating the importance of the conversion of former prime minister Tony Blair to Catholicism.Mr Hughes said: "In the 21st century the news that a former prime minister has moved from one branch of the church to another should not rate major headlines...If Tony Blair had changed from Christianity to Buddhism, Islam or Judaism it would be much more significant."

  • 22nd December 2007

    Blair converts to Catholicism 1

    Tony Blair's conversion was not a surprise

    1:01 PM — Former prime minister, Tony Blair, has converted to Catholicism, his spokesman confirmed today.He was welcomed into the church in a service last last night by the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor.Mr Blair's relationship with the gay community was seriously damaged following his appointment of the devoutly Catholic Ruth Kelly to the post of Minister for Equality in 2006. Ms Kelly, a member of Opus Dei had never voted in favour of gay rights despite her role holding responsibility for LGBT issues.

  • 16th December 2007

    Archbishop apologises for persecution of gays 9

    The interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu can be heard this Monday night from 8pm on BBC Radio Manchester.

    1:40 AM — Archbishop Desmond Tutu has apologised to gay people all around the world for the way they have been treated by the Church.He recently criticised Anglicans for being 'obsessed' with homosexuality.In a world exclusive interview with production company Made in Manchester, Tutu spoke to creative director Ashley Byrne.

  • 14th December 2007

    Gay bishop not welcome at Anglican meeting 17

    Conservative and liberal branches of the worldwide Anglican communion have been at loggerheads over the issues of homosexuality and same-sex unions ever since Gene Robinson was ordained as a bishop in the US in 2003.

    4:35 PM — Bishop Gene Robinson will not be invited to next year's Lambeth Conference, the Archbishop of Canterbury said today.Many Anglicans wrote letters of complaint to the Archbishop about the exclusion of the openly gay Bishop of New Hampshire and in June it was reported that Dr Williams was reconsidering.However, his office confirmed today that neither Bishop Robinson nor a rogue American priest who was consecrated a bishop by the Nigerian Church, Martyn Minns, will be asked to the 14th Lambeth Conference, the assembly of Anglican bishops held once every ten years.

  • 13th December 2007

    Swedish same-sex couples to get church weddings 3

    46 per cent of Swedish people supported gay marriage, and 31 per cent opposed it.

    11:50 AM — Sweden's main Church said yesterday it will endorse same-sex couples to wed in church.As the Swedish government prepares a "gender neutral" marriage law, the Church of Sweden agreed that marriage and partnership were equivalent forms of unions.It recommended however that the term "marriage" be referred only to heterosexual couples.

  • 12th December 2007

    Pope’s message – gay weddings threaten peace 14

    The pontiff theorises that peace and the family are inherently linked and any threat to the “traditional family“ will be opposed by Catholics.

    4:01 PM — The annual message from the head of the Roman Catholic Church to the world has been unveiled.Pope Benedict's statement will mark World Peace Day on January 1st.It is entitled The Human Family, A Community of Peace, and in it he calls for the dismantling of nuclear weapons and environmental co-operation and describes gay marriage as "an obstacle on the road to peace."

  • 11th December 2007

    Anglican gay rows harm relations with Rome 3

    Pope Benedict XVI has defined such requests as evidence of what he calls “cultural relativism“ towards ethic values

    3:40 PM — Divisions over sexual ethics could be harmful in the relations between the Anglican Church and the Catholic Church, a cardinal in Rome said.Speaking to the Pope and cardinals in a private meeting three weeks ago Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Pontifical Council for promoting Christian unity, said that there were disagreements with the Anglicans that had stalled talks."While progress is being made on theological divisions, new divergences are emerging in the ethical field," he said.

  • 10th December 2007

    Shootings at Haggard church target young people

    Two young missionaries-in-training, 26-year-old Tiffany Johnson and 24-year-old Philip Crouse, were killed.

    12:40 PM — Four people are confirmed dead after two shootings at Colorado religious institutions on Sunday.Two victims were killed at the Youth With a Mission (YWAM) centre in Denver yesterday morning in an attack that left two others injured.Another victim was killed at the New Life Church in a separate shooting on Sunday afternoon.The YWAM organisation has been criticised by some as a 'cult' and attacked for 'brainwashing' members and promoting anti-gay messages.

  • California diocese splits from US church

    A legal battle over the diocese's church property and assets could result from the split.

    10:45 AM — The diocese of San Joaquin in Central California has voted to secede from the US Episcopal Church over its tolerance and growing support of gays, according to United Press International.Delegates at San Joaquin's annual convention approved the split this weekend and accepted an invitation to align the diocese with conservative Anglican leader Archbishop Gregory James Venables of Argentina.More liberal policies toward homosexuality within the Episcopal Church have strained the Anglican community.

  • 8th December 2007

    “Bigot Bishop” apologises to rejected gay applicant 9

    John Reaney was rejected for a job because he is gay

    2:30 PM — The bishop who an employment tribunal found discriminated against a youth worker because he was gay has apologised for the "hurt and pain" he caused.John Reaney was previously employed as a youth officer for the Norwich and Chester Church of England diocese. In an application form for a similar job in Hereford, Mr Reaney stated that he is gay.

  • 5th December 2007

    Gay hate preacher’s BBC blasphemy case dismissed 7

    In August Rev Green questioned the presence of racist group the National Front at Pride events, on the basis that “homosexuals are not black or Asian as a rule.“

    11:54 AM — An evangelical minister who came to prominence for his protests at gay Pride events has failed to bring a private prosecution for blasphemy against the director general of the BBC.Reverend Stephen Green's actions related to the screening of the acclaimed production Jerry Springer - The Opera on BBC2 in 2005.An attempt to bring a private prosecution in January was dismissed by a district court.

  • 4th December 2007

    Religious forum pledges greater tolerance for gay Muslims 7

    Homosexuality is forbidden and considered a crime in most Islamic countries.

    2:35 PM — A gay Muslim last week came out to a group of Muslim scholars at an AIDS conference who had branded homosexuality "unIslamic" and "evil" days beforehand.Suhail AbualSameed spoke openly about his sexuality to an audience of ulama, distinguished Islamic scholars, at the International Consultation on Islam and HIV/AIDS in Johannesburg, South Africa, IRIN PlusNews has reported.Mr AbualSameed, a Jordanian living in Canada, said: "As a gay Muslim, I feel unsafe, unloved and unrespected in this space."

  • 30th November 2007

    Archbishop of Canterbury’s meeting with LGBT clergy 1

    The Church has been close to splitting over the issue of gay clergy since the ordination of openly gay Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

    1:30 PM — Yesterday the Archbishop of Canterbury attended a meeting of the Clergy Consultation, a support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and intersex clergy and their partners.Dr Rowan Williams presided and preached at a service of Holy Communion and later addressed the members present, responding to questions.The Rev Colin Coward, Director of Changing Attitude, was present at yesterday's meeting. "The Archbishop of Canterbury met with over 80 members of the Consultation yesterday," he said.

  • 26th November 2007

    Catholic adoption agencies seek ways round gay rules 18

    The Church was given 18 months to adjust its practices so that it can allow gay couples to adopt from its agencies or close them down.

    11:15 AM — Claims by the Roman Catholic Church that the government would be offering money to help them avoid new regulations in their adoption agencies have been dismissed by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.In a statement issued last week on the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales website, they claim the government will "pay for further work to be done to explore whether within the law there might yet be ways found which will enable the adoption work to carry on and for our agencies to continue."

  • 23rd November 2007

    Norwegian church lifts ban on partnered gay clergy

    Under Norwegian law, gay couples have rights comparable to those of married heterosexuals, apart from church weddings and adoption.

    5:30 PM — The Lutheran church of Norway has lifted an outright ban on clergy in same-sex relationships.However, it will allow each bishop to decide whether or not to employ them.The decision comes after a week of debate at the churches annual meeting, with the 86 member governing synod voting 50 to 34 to change the rules.

  • 22nd November 2007

    Chorister dismissed for coming out on TV

    Twenty year old Alberto Ruggin was dismissed by his priest after featuring on a television programme where he revealed his sexuality.

    11:25 AM — Italian gay rights groups have said the case of a chorister forced to leave his choir due to being gay proves the countries need for anti-homophobia laws.Twenty year old Alberto Ruggin was dismissed by his priest after featuring on a television programme where he revealed his sexuality.His priest, Don Paolino Bettanin, from the northern Italian town of Padua, claimed he was "disgusted" by the whole affair.

  • 21st November 2007

    Female priest takes up gay Christian role 2

    The Gay Christian Movement was originally established in 1976.

    2:30 PM — The Lesbian and Gay Christian movement has appointed a new assistant chief executive.Rev Sharon Ferguson, a Theology and Psychology graduate, said she hopes that she can work hard towards a time when groups like LGCM are no longer needed.She said she looked forward to a time: "When all people regardless of how they express they sexuality are treated as equal members of the body of Christ."

  • 18th November 2007

    Tutu hits out at Church of England over treatment of gays 6

    Desmond Tutu: Church has been “extraordinarily homophobic“

    1:00 AM — Archbishop Desmond Tutu has criticised the Anglican church for being "obsessed" with homosexuality, in a BBC radio interview to be broadcast on Tuesday. He said that if he believed that God was homophobic, he wouldn't be a Christian.The Nobel Peace Prize winner, said he was ashamed of his church because of its treatment of gays. He said that Rowan Williams has not demonstrated the attributes of a "welcoming God" to homosexuals.

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