Church of England clears way for gay, celibate bishops
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who leads the Church of England.
June 20th, 2011
06:29 AM ET

Church of England clears way for gay, celibate bishops

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

The Church of England cannot refuse to appoint bishops simply because they are gay, but it can insist that they remain celibate, the denomination's lawyers have told it.

It would be wrong for boards appointing bishops to take account "of the fact that a candidate had identified himself as of gay sexual orientation," says the legal advice, which the Church of England published Monday.

But church rules do bar anyone in a sexual relationship outside marriage from becoming a bishop - which implies that a gay man can become a bishop only if he is celibate.


- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Anglican • Gay rights • United Kingdom

Religious belief is human nature, huge new study claims
May 12th, 2011
12:46 PM ET

Religious belief is human nature, huge new study claims

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

London (CNN) - Religion comes naturally, even instinctively, to human beings, a massive new study of cultures all around the world suggests.

"We tend to see purpose in the world," Oxford University professor Roger Trigg said Thursday. "We see agency. We think that something is there even if you can't see it. ... All this tends to build up to a religious way of thinking."

Trigg is co-director of the three-year Oxford-based project, which incorporated more than 40 different studies by dozens of researchers looking at countries from China to Poland and the United States to Micronesia.


- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Culture & Science • United Kingdom

April 27th, 2011
01:39 PM ET

Religion will play leading role in royal wedding

With the Archbishop of Canterbury presiding over Friday's wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and with William in line to become supreme head of the Church of England, the royal nuptials will be steeped in religion. Watch CNN's Max Foster's story above to learn more.

Also, read about the dead at William and Kate's wedding - the famous British buried at Westminister Abbey.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Anglican • Christianity • Europe • United Kingdom

My Take: Should Christians spend a fortune on weddings?
Unlike William and Kate, the author did not have the Westminster Abbey choir perform at her wedding.
April 26th, 2011
08:55 AM ET

My Take: Should Christians spend a fortune on weddings?

Editor's Note: Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio is ordained in the Episcopal Church and has taught a variety of educational institutions, including Yale University. She is also the author of "God and Harry at Yale: Faith and Fiction in the Classroom."

By Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio, Special to CNN

In my last Belief Blog post, I expressed concerns about the cost of the upcoming royal wedding to taxpayers. Two days later, a friend e-mailed me (and I paraphrase):

You are in no place to criticize expensive weddings. You wear a diamond the size of a kiwi, the caterer served lobster profiteroles, a bagpiper led everyone in a procession from the church to the catering hall, and your whitened teeth looked as unnatural as Eva Longoria’s.

Though personal finances and not taxpayer dollars paid for our wedding, her words exhumed the Dr. Faust-style angel-devil debate between Danielle the Priest and Danielle the Bride that dominated my engagement. FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Episcopal • Opinion • United Kingdom

April 22nd, 2011
07:59 AM ET

The royal wedding and religion

The wedding between William and Kate is as much about spirituality as it is marriage.  The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will preform the ceremony.  He's speaking out now about the importance of the royal wedding.

CNN's Max Foster reports.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Anglican • Christianity • Europe • United Kingdom

Not just for royal weddings: Thousands buried at Westminster Abbey
A statue at Westminster Abbey pays tribute to composer George Frederic Handel, whose body is buried there.
April 21st, 2011
08:30 AM ET

Not just for royal weddings: Thousands buried at Westminster Abbey

Editor's Note: Tune in to CNN Sunday at 8 p.m. ET for a behind-the-scenes look at the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, on “The Women Who Would Be Queen.” And don’t miss a second of the big day on CNN, CNN.com and CNN Mobile, starting at 4 a.m. ET on April 29.

By Kyle Almond, CNN

(CNN) - Westminster Abbey, the extraordinary church where Prince William and Kate Middleton will marry later this month, is the final resting place for many of Britain’s former kings and queens.

But it’s not just royals who are buried on the church’s grounds.

Some of the nation’s most influential figures, including playwrights, poets, scientists and statesmen, are among the 3,000-plus people interred at the site in central London.

See inside Westminster Abbey with our high-resolution photo gallery

“One does get a real sense of history” when entering the building, said David Carpenter, a professor of medieval history at King’s College London. The location of many famous bodies can be found via inscriptions on the church floor or on raised tombs not far from where William and Kate will tie the knot.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Death • Houses of worship • United Kingdom

April 14th, 2011
04:26 PM ET

Muslim beauty contestant faces critics on all sides, she says

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

Manchester, England (CNN) - Shanna Bukhari gets some pretty nasty messages through Facebook, she says. They call her a "dirty Muslim." They say England is a "white nationality country" and she shouldn't be allowed to represent it.

But that's just what she hopes to do at the Miss Universe beauty contest this year. If the Manchester, England-based fashion model wins the British contest next month, Bukhari will become the first Muslim to represent Britain at the international contest.

The idea isn't going down well with everyone - Bukhari says she has gotten hate mail from across the board.

"I've had racists, I've had a minority from Muslim community, I've had it from all religions and all communities that dislike what I'm doing," she said.

The most upsetting messages, she said, are video links suggesting she should be murdered.


- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Culture wars • Europe • Islam • Muslim • United Kingdom

March 28th, 2011
03:16 PM ET

Tiny church finds original King James Bible

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

Hilmarton, England (CNN) - A little English village church has just made a remarkable discovery.

The ornate old Bible that had been sitting in plain view on a table near the last row of pews for longer than anyone could remember is an original King James Bible - one of perhaps 200 surviving 400-year-old original editions of arguably the most important book ever printed in English.

In fact, the Bible at St. Laurence Church in Hilmarton, England, was sitting right under a hand-lettered sign saying it was an original.


- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Bible • Books • Christianity • Easter • Houses of worship • United Kingdom

March 9th, 2011
07:51 AM ET

Blair launches new faith films contest for youth

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN Wire Editor

Last year, Tony Blair ran a film contest for young people, inviting them to make films about faith.

His Faith Foundation was overwhelmed by the response: hundreds of entries, from Jews and Christians, Muslims and Hindus, Sikhs and humanists, on five continents around the world.

Buoyed by the success of the first "Faith Shorts" film contest, Blair is now doing it again.

He was impressed not only by the quality of the films, he said, but what they said about the people who made them.


- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Faith • Movies • Teens • United Kingdom

February 23rd, 2011
05:52 PM ET

Airline apologizes for carrying pork on Israeli flight

A United Kingdom budget airline has apologized to its Jewish customers after loading ham and bacon baguettes on to the flight instead of the standard kosher food.

EasyJet said it made the mistake on a flight from Israel to London.

Read the full story about the mixup

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Food • Israel • Judaism • Kosher • United Kingdom

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.