CANTERBURY, England (RNS) While Christians waited to learn whether the Church of England would approve the consecration of women bishops, the church’s governing body — the General Synod — quietly voted to drop all future references to the devil in a new baptism service.
The simplified wording was written after priests said the traditional service was unnecessarily complex and might confuse people who are not regular churchgoers.
In the traditional service, godparents are asked whether they are ready to renounce the devil and all his works for the sake of the child being baptized.
The new wording, approved Sunday (July 13), only asks whether parents and godparents will “turn away from sin” and “reject evil.”
Speaking after the new wording was overwhelmingly approved, Bishop Robert Paterson denied that the baptism service had been watered down.