National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Canterbury, England

Church of England names its first woman bishop

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The Church of England announced on Wednesday that Libby Lane, a parish priest from Hale, a small village outside Manchester, would become its first woman bishop, ending centuries of all-male leadership in this country's established church.

The announcement from Downing Street, the prime minister's official residence in London, came just a month after changes to canon law making it possible for women to assume the role of suffragan and diocesan bishops.

Top Anglican calls for lifting seal of confessional in child abuse cases

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Anglican priests should no longer be bound by the centuries-old principle of confidentiality in confessions when they are told of sexual crimes committed against children, the Church of England's No. 2 official said.

Speaking at the end of an internal inquiry on whether senior church officials ignored abuse allegations involving children, Archbishop of York John Sentamu said that "what happened was shameful, terrible, bad, bad, bad."

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

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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

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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

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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.

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