Monday, 2 July 2012
I hope I can keep up this week with postings. I have scheduled some for tomorrow. At any rate, the important event I shall be following is the Anglican Church Synod, which is voting on women bishops this week, at the end of the week. Here is part of a report for the BBC today. The situation is messy.
Many Anglicans worry about the damage being done to the image of the Church of England, which only hits the headlines with rows over gay marriage or women bishops.
At Holy Trinity and St Mary's in Guildford, their female curate is about to be ordained and the local congregation were passionate about the need to move forward.
"It is absolutely ridiculous," one churchgoer told me. "It looks like we are stuck in the 1740s."
"My daughter loves this Church because of our attitude towards women but says she is not going to come back to the Church of England 'til they actually get this sorted out."
The Church had got itself in "a stupid situation", another told me.
After years of discussion about women bishops, draft legislation now allows for women as bishops, but says that a parish could request a male bishop if it wanted.
"The dioceses accepted it almost unanimously - 42 out of the 44," says April Alexander. She has campaigned for women bishops and is a member of the synod, so will be voting on the issue when it meets next week.
I lived in England in 1992 when the women priest issue was settled and it was a break with tradition and Scripture. I listened to the synod proceedings on the radio, and at that time, the anti-women priest side had much better arguments, but the liberals won the day.
This denomination will split over this issue.
From the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18665522
Islamist rebels occupying the ancient city of Timbuktu in Mali have vowed to smash every mausoleum, in the face of international protests.
A spokesman for the Ansar Dine group, Sanda Ould Boumama, said it would "destroy every mausoleum in the city - all of them, without exception".
The centuries-old shrines to Islamic saints, revered by Sufi Muslims, are regarded as idolatrous by the group.
Three mausoleums were reportedly destroyed by the militants on Saturday.
Eyewitnesses say militants equipped with tools such as chisels and hoes gathered on Sunday at another site, shouting "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Great").
Mali's Culture and Tourism Minister, Diallo Fadima Toure, urged the UN to take action to stop "crimes" against her country's architectural treasures.
Ansar Dine, which has ties to al-Qaeda, seized northern Mali in March, in tandem with ethnic Tuareg rebels.
However, the alliance between the two groups has frayed and the Islamists now say they control the territory after driving out their former allies....
Another spokesman for Ansar Dine, Oumar Ould Hamaha, told Reuters news agency by phone: "We are subject to religion and not to international opinion
"Building on graves is contrary to Islam. We are destroying the mausoleums because it is ordained by our religion."