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Anglican leader retires, speculation turns to successor


rchbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said in March he

will step down at the end of 2012, setting the stage for the unique process of government officials appointing the leader of the 77 mil- lion member worldwide Anglican Communion. His surprise announcement

stunned the religious world. Wil- liams, 61, has led the Church of England since 2002. Traditionally, the archbishop is chosen by a committee of Anglican clergy and laity, who then draft a short list of candidates to submit to the British prime minister. While Queen Elizabeth II is the supreme governor of the Church of England and formally appoints the arch- bishop, the decision is based on the final determination of the prime minister.

The favorite to replace Wil-  11

weiger, Protestant pastor for Hoechst am Main, has led two such ceremo- nies in her community, where 40 percent of the population is Muslim and 15 percent Protestant. She said clergy requested the guidelines, add- ing, “It’s a complicated subject for pastors … [this gives] them concrete help for the practical considerations.”


Wonderful, glorious things are in store for you if you will only believe, obey and endure.

Thomas S. Monson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in an address to 20,000 women and girls in Salt Lake City. He was quoted by The Salt Lake Tribune.

liams, according to numerous observers, is Ugandan-born John Sentamu, the archbishop of York and the No. 2 official in the Church of England. Sentamu, the sixth of 13 children, fled his homeland and its dictator, Idi Amin, in 1974. Williams told reporters his successor will need “the consti- tution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros.” Next January, Williams will

serve as master of Magdalene Col- lege in Cambridge, returning him to the academic life that defined his early years. Williams worked to prevent a global schism as the Episcopal Church in the U.S. ordained two openly gay bishops and allowed same-sex unions. Such steps, he warned, tear at the “bonds of affec- tion” that keep the Anglican Com- munion as one.

Marriage review Britain’s government is holding a consultation on same-sex marriage. It’s expected to lead to legalization of same-sex marriage in England and Wales, despite opposition from the Roman Catholic Church and conser- vative elements within the Church of England. “Should two people who care deeply for each other, who love each other and who want to spend the rest of their lives together be allowed to marry?” asked Home Secretary Theresa May in The Times of London (March 15). Civil partnerships were introduced in the United Kingdom in 2005.

Priest put on leave A Roman Catholic priest who alleg-

12 The Lutheran •

edly denied communion to a lesbian at her mother’s funeral is on leave pending an investigation of unre- lated “intimidating behavior toward parish staff and others,” the Arch- diocese of Washington said. Marcel Guarnizo, a Moscow priest who has been serving in the archdiocese, lost his assignment at St. John Neumann Church in Gaithersburg, Md., March 9. Guarnizo made headlines when Barbara Johnson said he denied her communion.

Pensions for Buddhist leaders As tensions, self-immolations and protests increased in Tibet, China’s government said it would offer pen- sions for Buddhist monks and nuns. According to Xinhua (China’s state- run news agency), 37 monks in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa have begun to receive a basic pension of $19 a month. Llasa officials said that about 1,900 people past age 60 are eligible. Protestors denounced Chi- nese restrictions and called for free- dom to speak their own language, equality of nationalities, and an end to the intense military build-up in Tibet.

Senegal: Peaceful elections

Religious leaders hailed Senegal’s presidential run-off election as a model for democracy in Africa. After a peaceful March 25 election, Abdoulaye Wade conceded defeat to opposition candidate Macky Sall. It had widely been feared that Wade, 85, who has been president for 12 years, would cling to power. “What [Wade] has done is rare and extraor- dinary and deserves public affirma- tion given the fact that the major- ity of African leaders continue the unsupportable habit of disregard- ing constitutional order,” said Ish- mael Noko, a Lutheran pastor and president of the Interfaith Action for Peace in Africa. 

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