Anglican Communion begins split after Canadian diocese's same-sex union ceremony
While leaders of the Anglican Communion met last week and reiterated the church's ban on same-sex unions, Michael Ingham, the bishop of British Columbia's New Westminster diocese, authorized such blessing ceremonies. On Wednesday night, St Margaret's Church in East Vancouver blessed the union of Michael Kalmuk and Kelly Montfort—and Kelly, in this case, is a man's name.

"We've kind of helped write history here tonight," Kalmuk told The Daily Telegraph of London. Just how historical the ceremony was remains to be seen. Such ceremonies have taken place in other Anglican churches (including some in the Episcopal Church here in the U.S.), but never with a diocese-provided rite.

It's "highly unlikely" that Ingham will be disciplined by either Canada's top Anglican leader, Michael Peers, or Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, reports the Vancouver Sun. Both privately support homosexual unions and the ordination of gay clergy, but criticized Ingham's actions. The Anglican leaders, known as primates, have "nothing approaching a consensus in support of same sex-unions," said Williams. "I very much regret the inevitable tension and division that will result from this development."

Indeed, the division has already begun. The Church of Nigeria, the largest Anglican diocese in the world, severed communion with Ingham and his diocese after the ceremony, and several other primates are taking similar measures. "He needs to repent," Archbishop Livingstone Mpalanyi-Nkoyoyo, Primate of Uganda, told the Telegraph. "His teaching is heretical."

The story is unlikely to be a flash in the pan, but just how deeply this will divide the Anglican Communion remains to be seen. Keep an eye on the Canadian Anglican News Network and the Anglican Communion News Service for more developments.

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Singing about God at graduation:

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  • Cracks in Jefferson's wall | It's good to see that common sense prevailed in the compromise that will allow a religious song to be sung during graduation ceremonies at Winneconne High School on June 8 (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

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