Dr John Shepherd’s appointment last week as interim director of the Anglican Centre in Rome.
But his suitability for the role has been questioned after video footage emerged of him appearing to question the traditional Christian understanding of Christ being raised from the death.
During a sermon delivered in Easter 2008, he said: “The resurrection of Jesus ought not to be seen in physical terms, but as a new spiritual reality.
“It is important for Christians to be set free from the idea that the resurrection was an extraordinary physical event which restored to life Jesus’ original earthly body.”
The comments – made when the Dr John was dean of St George’s Cathedral in Perth, Western Australia – attracted criticism from the Anglican evangelical group Church Society.
Director, Dr Lee Gatiss wrote on Twitter: ” We need clergy who actually believe that Jesus rose again from death – so basic!”
Dr John Shepherd continued: “…Jesus’ early followers felt His presence after His death as strongly as if it were a physical presence and incorporated this sense of a resurrection experience into their gospel accounts.
“But they’re not historical records as we would expect history to be written today; they are symbolic images of the breaking through of the resurrection spirit into human lives.
Member of the Church of England’s governing body, Dr Ian Paul told the Sunday Telegraph: “Is this a good moment to appoint as…
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