Church of Scotland ready to approve same-sex marriage as General Assembly Begins
The Church of Scotland’s General Assembly starts with a vote on same-sex marriages, a call for a conversion therapy ban and the confirmation of a Declaration of Friendship with the Catholic Church in Scotland as the main points on the agenda.
Earlier this month, the Church of Scotland revealed the majority of the presbyteries are in favour of allowing same-sex marriage after they were asked to express their view on draft legislation drawn up during last year’s General Assembly.
At least 29 presbyteries said they are in favour of bringing forward the legislation while 12 have said they are opposed. A final vote on the issue is expected to take place on Monday.
If passed, ministers will be required to register as a same-sex celebrant and no person would be required to participate in the ceremony or be involved in the arrangements unless they explicitly wish to do so.
The confirmation of a Declaration of Friendship with the Catholic Church in Scotland, which has already been approved, will also be part of Monday’s business. The document seeks to recognise the “hurt and the harm that our forebears did to each other” and “reaffirm that what we hold in common is often greater than what divides us.”
On Tuesday, the Church’s Faith Impact Forum proposal to urge the Scottish government to ban conversion therapy will be debated, as well as the war in Ukraine, support for asylum seekers and progress on work towards Net Zero Church by 2030.
The current Moderator, Lord Wallace of Tankerness will also hand over to his successor Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, minister of St Margaret’s Community Church in Dunfermline.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi barred from Catholic communion over abortion stance
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can no longer take communion
because she supports abortion rights and also publicly invokes her
Catholic faith, the archbishop of San Francisco said in a letter
released on Friday.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said in an open letter addressed
to Pelosi and in another directed toward the faithful that
“Pelosi’s position on abortion has become only more extreme over
the years, especially in the last few months.”
Pelosi’s office did not immediately respond to a request for
The archbishop’s decision comes after the leak earlier this month
of a draft Supreme Court opinion indicating the top court would
strike down the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion
Cordileone said Pelosi had not responded to his requests to meet
in the months since she pledged to codify abortion protections in
federal law after lawmakers in conservative states passed near
total-bans on abortions at the state level.
The archbishop said he sent Pelosi a private letter in April,
warning that he would bar her from communion unless she publicly
repudiated her support for abortion rights or stopped referring to
her Catholic faith in public.
Cordileone highlighted comments Pelosi made to the Seattle Times
editorial board this month, citing her Catholic faith and support
for abortion rights, then said: “They say to me, ‘Nancy Pelosi
thinks she knows more about having babies than the Pope.’ Yes I
do. Are you stupid?”
In his letter to the faithful, Cordileone wrote that “my action
here is purely pastoral, not political.”
“Speaker Pelosi remains our sister in Christ,” the archbishop
wrote. “Her advocacy for the care of the poor and vulnerable
elicits my admiration.”
China’s internet clampdown is step closer to ‘eradicating Christianity’
Christian websites in China have been suspended as new digital
content regulations take effect.
The measures, which require internet users who wish to post
religious content to obtain a permit, were introduced in March in
an attempt to regulate religious content posted online. The
Christian charity Open Doors says the move is “tightening the
screws on China’s churches and Christian media.”
A licence is only available for state-approved religious
institutions such as the Three Self Patriotic Movement and Chinese
Catholic Patriotic Association.
Open Doors says: “The goal is to further limit the scope of public
sharing of faith and to force all religions to align with Chinese
According to Open Doors’ local sources, the new rules are already
having a damaging effect.
After more than 20 years online, the Christian website “Jona Home”
closed on 12 April. Some accounts on WeChat – China’s number one
app – and Bible apps have already been closed – now just the
mention of the word “gospel” (fuyin) can be detrimental.
Government officials are also being trained in the implementation
of the regulations. Across China, online training sessions have
been set up for graduates in religious studies and others with a
similar background; it is understood that they will have the
necessary expertise to understand and vet religious content on
behalf of the Chinese Communist Party.
Those who do not comply with the new rules receive a warning. A
Christian website that offers news and devotionals, was blocked
for 10 days, as the owners were told to bring the content into
line with the new regulations.
The warning to the owners of the website read: “..no organisation
or individual should preach their religions, conduct religious
training, post or repost sermons or scripture preaching, conduct
religious activities or live stream or post texts, pictures or
recorded videos of religious rituals including services,
worshiping, incense burning, monkhood anointment, scripture
chanting, mass or baptism on the Internet.”
Dr David Landrum, Director of Advocacy at Open Doors UK and
Ireland, said: “Growing levels of control of the Internet in
combination with increased physical surveillance means that China
is on a path towards an Orwellian dystopia.
“The technological capabilities are all in place, and the
political will for this is a given. For Christians, the Internet
has become less free than for the average citizen, as they are
perceived as being allied with Western influences. ‘Cancelling’
Christianity in China seems to be a real goal for the CCP.”
China is currently number 17 on Open Doors’ World Watch List of
places where it is most difficult to live as a Christian.
Anti-abortion groups disguise as clinics in bid to make women change their minds
Anti-abortion groups in the US have set up fake clinics,
attracting women seeking to terminate their pregnancy and then
imploring them to change their minds about the procedure.
The advice centres are often run by Christian pro-life
organisations, but sometimes offer misleading or incorrect
Whilst they offer some medical services, such as ultrasounds and
pregnancy tests, they do not offer abortions, as their website
suggests, BBC News reports.
These clinics are being promoted in Google, placing them higher in
the search listings and drawing women to the doors of their
Once inside, some women are given information about the risks of
breast cancer and infertility.
Dr Kearney – who offers abortion reversal treatments in the North
East of England – says this information is largely misleading.
He told Premier that people of faith should be leading with the
truth, not by giving false information.
He said: “We should always be truthful. We should always be
upfront to say ‘well, this clinic does not refer people for
abortions – does not recommend abortions. This is what we offer
“We certainly shouldn’t give misleading information.
“I think, overall, we have to be honest, but that should be on
both sides of the divide. ”
He also brands some information given my abortion providers as
misleading, and calls for greater transparency from both sides of
Dr Kearney’s services allow women to reverse the abortion process
after taking the first pill.
Despite his work reversing abortions, he believes it’s important
to treat people with grace following the termination of a
pregnancy, especially when leaving the clinics.
He continued: “It’s certainly inexcusable for levels of criticism
to be used by anti-abortion groups, Christian groups, other
We shouldn’t be trying to shame people, we shouldn’t be trying to
make people feel guilty, we should be offering help.
“Many of those women are not there because of their choice –
sometimes it’s a perception of a hopeless situation.
“If you are there, you should be there to offer hope, love,
forgiveness – all the Christian virtues.
“We certainly shouldn’t be shouting ‘murderer’ or ‘you’ve killed
“There’s just no excuse for it for that, and it doesn’t work – it
will just make people more hardened in their views; ‘well, if this
is what pro-life people are about then I don’t want to be any part
“Whereas if forgiveness, understanding sympathy, compassion is
offered, then that is much, much more effective.”
Pastor killed and his church burnt down in French Guyana
A pastor has been shot and killed and his Evangelical church in
French Guyana burned down, the day after he met with a delegation
from the National Council of Evangelicals in France.
Pastor A. Kalloe of the Gado Lobi church in the town of Saint-
Laurent du Maroni was killed on Tuesday night.
He was a member of the Guyana branch of the National Council of
Evangelicals in France (CNEF) and was visiting to discuss the
implementation of a law on separatism,
Seven other people at least, including two sons of Pastor Kalloe,
were injured in the shooting and two others were taken to a
hospital in critical condition.
Within a Facebook Post, the CNEF wrote: “An investigation is
“Pastor A. Kalloe had met our CNEF colleagues the day before
yesterday, who are in shock…
“I had never seen a church totally destroyed by fire, we are
“All our prayers, and condolences to this brother’s family and
Man who posed as a Priest will face no further action
A man who posed a Priest and spent the night in Army Barracks will
face no further action.
The intruder gained access to the Victoria Barracks, near Windsor
Castle, which is home to the Coldstream Guards, in Windsor on the
27th of April.
The man ate with officers, offered a bed to sleep in and was given
breakfast the next morning, before the alarm was raised.
Thames Valley Police were called shortly afterwards and removed the
man from the barracks.
A police spokesperson said said no further action was taken against
the man and that he was not detained under the Mental Health Act.
An investigation is still being carried out by the Army how he got
The Ministry of Defence said the man, who has not been named,
called himself Father Cruz and claimed to know the battalion’s