News for Week Ending 1/5/2009
C of E seeks accommodation on women bishopsThe issues of ordaining women priests and consecrating women bishops are largely settled in The Episcopal Church, but the Church of England, which ordains women priests but has provided “flying bishops” to minister to those who cannot accept them, is now struggling with how to implement its decision to allow women bishops in the face of continued opposition. Proposed legislation, which would effectively perpetuate “flying bishop” (to be called “complementary bishops”) seems unlikely to satisfy either proponents or opponents of women bishops. Church Times summarized the proposal here. More detailed information can be found at Thinking Anglicans here and here.
California Supreme Court rules for Episcopal Church in property disputesIn a long-awaited opinion, the California Supreme Court ruled that the property of three breakaway parishes in the Diocese of Los Angeles belongs to the diocese and not to the congregations of the churches, which claim to be under Ugandan jurisdiction. The court handed down its unanimous opinion on January 5, 2009. The parishes involved in the litigation are St. James Church, Newport Beach, All Saints’ Church, Long Beach, and St. David’s Church, North Hollywood. Although the churches prevailed in the trial court, the decision was reversed on appeal. The Supreme Court decision upholds the appeals court decision. It is unclear whether the dissident congregations will continue their legal battle. Los Angeles bishop Jon Bruno described himself as “overjoyed” at the decision and spoke of possible reconciliation with the three congregations.
A number of news stories are available about the court decision, and more should follow soon. The Los Angeles Times story is here. Episcopal News Service has a story here, with links to statements by Bishop Bruno and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.