• Brother Roger, the 90-year-old leader of Taizé, was killed Aug. 16
at the Christian community he founded in eastern France. Authorities
said a 36-year-old Romanian woman rose during a prayer service attended
by 2,500 people and stabbed Brother Roger in the throat three times.
The World Council of Churches responded with shock and sadness, as did
Protestant and Roman Catholic leaders worldwide. “Although he died as a
result of a violent attack, his life was one of complete commitment to
a peaceful and united world,” said Bishop Joseph Duffy, on behalf of
the Catholic bishops of Ireland. Brother Alois, a German Catholic, was
named the new head of the Taizé community.
• A Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) task force recommended that local congregations decide when to bypass a church ban on noncelibate gay clergy. The Task Force on Peace, Unity and Purity of the Church suggested that the official policy continue but exceptions be allowed on a “case-by-case basis” for ministers in committed same-sex relationships. The recommendations—including a call for the church to “make every effort to prevent schism”—will be considered by the denomination’s 2006 General Assembly in Birmingham, Ala. A similar proposal was defeated by the ELCA Churchwide Assembly Aug. 13 (see page 14). The ELCA and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are full- communion partners.
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