National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Canterbury, England

Vatican cricket team may need divine intervention in match with Church of England

A recently formed cricket team from the Vatican may need some divine intervention as it gets ready to take on more experienced English players at a historic game Saturday.

The Vatican team will play against the British Army chaplains as part of a "Light of Faith" tour at the Kent County Cricket Club, a stone's throw away from Canterbury Cathedral, where it will play again next week against the Church of England's team.

Church of England set to vote on women bishops

Women's rights activists greeted with delight signs the Church of England is poised to relent and allow women to be consecrated as bishops.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will preside over a historic General Synod meeting at the University of York when a make-or-break vote on the subject is expected Monday.

"I think we're there at long last," American-born Christina Rees, one of the church's leading women's rights campaigners, said in an interview Thursday.

Activists call on British government to deport African exorcist

A Pentecostal preacher who claims to deliver people from witchcraft is a danger to children and should be deported from England, activists say.

Helen Ukpabio, a woman who wears colorful West African clothes and hats and who calls herself a "Lady Apostle," is the founder of the controversial Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries in Nigeria. It has 150 branches in Africa and Europe.

She specializes in "liberating" captives in "deliverance sessions" and holds house meetings in London with people who believe she has power to expel demons.

Britain's Girl Guides drop oath to God

For more than 100 years, Britain's Girl Guides took an oath to "love God and serve the King/Queen."

But on Wednesday, the movement announced it would scrap its oath to God in an attempt to broaden its appeal and attract children from secular, nonbelieving families.

The controversial shakeup is seen by some as the biggest in the Girl Guides' history.

Beginning in September, all new members who make the promise to be good and useful citizens will pledge an oath to "be true to myself and develop my beliefs" and "to serve my Queen (Elizabeth II) and my country."

British bishops resist move to allow monarch to marry a Catholic

A royal row has broken out between Church of England bishops and Prime Minister David Cameron's liberal-minded coalition government over a planned bill to change ancient laws governing the royal line of succession.

The government wants to pass the proposed Succession to the Crown Bill in time for the birth of a baby to Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, this summer.

The new law would ensure that if the first royal baby is a girl, she will become heir to the throne rather than have to yield to a male sibling.

Christianity in Britain losing ground to secularism, Islam

New figures from the 2011 Census show that the number of people who identify as Christians in England and Wales has fallen by 4 million in the last 10 years.

The data show numbers fell from 37.3 million in 2001 to 33 million last year.

The statistics came as the outgoing archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, claimed that English cathedral congregations are growing dramatically, challenging the claim made by secularists that the Church of England is fading in Britain.

Pages

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

October 10-23, 2014

10-10-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.