Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Church of England Recognizes Breakaway US Anglicans
- No Consensus for Obama Advisers on Tricky Church-State Issues
- Americans Await News on Sponsored Kids in Haiti
- Irish Sex Abuse Victims Ask Church for $1 Billion
Church of England Recognizes Breakaway US Anglicans
Christian Today reports that the Church of England's General Synod has voted to welcome the breakaway Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) with open arms. The motion, passed yesterday, does not commit the Church of England to formal relations with the breakaway province. Instead, the motion was designed to "recognize and affirm the desire of those who have formed the Anglican Church in North America to remain within the Anglican family" and recognize "the distress caused by recent divisions within the Anglican churches of the United States of America and Canada". The ACNA officially formed in summer 2009 after a protracted schism from The Episcopal Church in the U.S. over issues of homosexuality and scriptural orthodoxy.
No Consensus for Obama Advisers on Tricky Church-State Issues
Religion News Service reports that the 25-member council advising the White House on faith-based issues has voted on two contentious issues for religious charities that receive government funds. By a vote of 13-12, the council members said the government should require houses of worship to form separate corporations in order to receive direct federal funding for social services. Separately, when asked whether the government should permit charities to offer social services in rooms containing religious art, symbols, messages or scripture, 16 said yes, two said no, and seven said they should be permitted if no other space is available. Melissa Rogers, chair of the President's Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, said the votes will be included in a forthcoming report for President Obama.
Americans Await News on Sponsored Kids in Haiti
The Christian Post reports that child development groups in Haiti are still trying to account for thousands of sponsored children who may have been affected in the Jan. 12 earthquake. "I am praying and waiting to hear if my child's family was affected or not. She lives in St. Marc," Dawn Higley commented on the Compassion International website. "The task at hand is monumental as records are lost and many families have left the city for the countryside," said Stephan Archer, U.S. Communications Specialist for Compassion. Ongoing communication problems have hampered efforts. Approximately one in ten of the 64,000 children sponsored through Compassion in Haiti live in the severely affected areas around Port-au-Prince.
Irish Sex Abuse Victims Ask Church for $1 Billion
Religion News Service reports that Irish victims of clerical sex abuse have asked Pope Benedict XVI for over $1.37 billion in compensation. The request was made in a letter that the head of Ireland's Catholic Church will hand-deliver to the pope next week. The letter also requests a meeting with Benedict during his forthcoming visit to Britain, expected to take place in September. The pope will receive the letter when he meets with Irish bishops next Monday and Tuesday, reportedly to discuss last November's Murphy Commission report. That report traced a pattern of clerical physical and sexual abuse over three decades, from 1975-2004, which had been covered up by the Archdiocese of Dublin. In December, Benedict expressed "outrage," "shame," and "profound regret" over the report's revelations. Four Irish bishops have already resigned as a consequence of the Murphy Commission's revelations.