Thursday, 25 June 2009

YouTube video shows church 'exorcism' of gay teenager

An American church has been condemned over a video showing a 16-year-old boy apparently being exorcised by church leaders trying to cast a "homosexual demon" from his body.

The 20-minute video posted on YouTube shows the teenager lying on the floor, his body convulsing, as elders of a small Connecticut church shout "Rip it from his throat!" and "Come on, you homosexual demon! You homosexual spirit, we call you out right now! Loose your grip, Lucifer!"

Later, the teenager is seen coughing and apparently vomiting into a bag before lying on the ground, limp and covered in a white sheet.

Gay and youth advocates claim the film depicts abuse and are demanding an investigation. But a spokeswoman from Manifested Glory Ministries, which posted the video on YouTube, this week denied any wrongdoing.

"We believe a man should be with a woman and a woman should be with a man," the Rev Patricia McKinney told the Associated Press. "We have nothing against homosexuals. I just don't agree with their lifestyle." Read more
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Canterbury is sufficiently gay, council inspectors rule

A government watchdog decided that Canterbury in Kent does enough to promote homosexual culture, rejecting a complaint by local activists.

The Local Government Ombudsman – who asked for the city's council to provide evidence of how it supported the gay community – said it was satisfied the pink pound was being catered for.

As part of the investigation, the council had to prove its inclusiveness by giving details of "touring plays and musicals, for example, which would be of interest to the LGBT community".

And it had to show that it had "put forward suggestions for small events that it might help fund, as well as proposals for other events such as exhibitions".

Rob Davies, spokesman for the council, said: "Obviously we're delighted with the outcome of the investigation.

"We feel we do a great deal for the gay community in Canterbury and we have always tried to support various gay events and promotions."

"But at the same time it is not the duty of any council to set up a gay bar – that's not what councils do."

The two-month investigation began at the end of April after a letter was sent from two representatives of Pride in Canterbury. Read more
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Wednesday, 24 June 2009

New US Province is formed

The Anglican Communion’s 39th Province-in-waiting was formed this week, as the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) held its founding convocation at St Vincent’s Cathedral in Bedford, Texas.

God, history, and provinces representing the overwhelming majority of the members of the Anglican Communion were on the side of the ACNA, Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan told the 234 delegates drawn from the ACNA’s 28 founding jurisdictions including four former dioceses of the Episcopal Church, representing some 700 congregations and 100,000 Anglicans in the US and Canada.

The break with the Episcopal Church was now complete, Bishop Duncan said. “There is no one here who will go back.”

Delegates attending the June 22-25 convocation formally adopted the ACNA’s Constitution and Canons and were also addressed by Bishop Duncan --- who was elected archbishop on June 21 by a meeting of the ACNA’s House of Bishops --- and California megachurch pastor Rick Warren, and Metropolitan Jonah, the head of the Orthodox Church in America. Read more
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Monday, 22 June 2009

Bishops face cull demand at General Synod

The posts of dozens of bishops, archdeacons and cathedral deans could disappear under proposals for cuts in the Church of England to be debated next month.

The General Synod, the Church’s parliament, will be asked to consider cutting the number of senior clergy in the established Church to bring them into line with falling clergy numbers.

The call appears to stand a good chance of winning backing from clergy and laity amid a feeling that a reduction by nearly a third in the number of stipendiary clergy over just two decades has left the Church top heavy.

Maintaining the episcopal apparatus in just one diocese, if a bishop’s house and support staff are taken into account, costs an average of £500,000.
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Added up across dioceses, these are fast becoming costs the Church can ill afford as parishioners are asked to find more cash for clergy pensions and historic assets of the Church fall in value because of the recession.

The Rev John Hartley will, on behalf of the Bradford diocesan synod, ask the General Synod at its meeting at York University in mid-July to “formulate proposals for reductions in the numbers of episcopal and senior clergy posts”. Read more
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Sunday, 21 June 2009

Gang rape: Is it a race issue?

[...] Gang rape, while constituting only a tiny percentage of all rapes in the UK, is a horrible reality in this country. The nature of the crime is so appalling that much more research needs to be carried out into its causes. But what seems evident from my investigation is that the key to preventing it will be changing the way young men view women and the kind of group sexual activity they are engaging in at such a young age.

Sheldon Thomas, a youth worker in Brixton, said: "We've got a generation that looks at sex as if it's nothing, and treats disrespecting women as if it's nothing. These guys are like 13, 14 and 15, and their actual attitudes towards young girls – towards sex – is mind-blowing. It's actually leaving you asking: where are their morals, where are their values?" Read more
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