Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Church split over beards

The worldwide Anglican communion is facing a damaging rift which observers say could lead to a formal schism in the Church. The Archbeard of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, told the General Synod yesterday that women risked humiliation if they, too, were not permitted to grow beards. Dr Williams has faced fierce opposition from smooth-cheeked traditionalists, who claim that they will only permit themselves to be shaved by other men. Archbishop Peter Jensen of Sydney, a leading hairless primate, claimed that bearded women could quite easily be mistaken for gays.

The Anglican Church is following the lead of other churches, such as the Church of Scientology, which has tolerated female beards for many years.

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