News for Week Ending 6/1/2009
Church of Sweden makes history in bishop electionThe Rev. Eva Brunne was elected Lutheran bishop of Stockholm May 26, 2009. Brunne, who is currently dean of the Stockholm diocese, is thought to be the world’s first openly lesbian bishop. She lives with the Rev. Gunilla Linden in registered homosexual relationship that has been blessed by the Church of Sweden. The story was reported here by Religious News Service. Note that the Church of Sweden is in communion with the Church of England.
Canadian Council will not ask for same-sex blessings in 2010According to Anglican Journal, the Anglican Church of Canada’s Council of the General Synod will not ask the 2010 General Synod to extend marriage to same-sex couples. The General Synod roughly corresponds to the General Convention of The Episcopal Church, and the Council is analogous to the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church. The Council met May 8–10, 2009, and reviewed various reports on how the church should deal with same-sex relationships. The group decided not to bring forward any resolutions favoring the blessing of same-sex unions, as explained in a message to the Anglican Church of Canada published on its Web site. The Council concluded that there is no consensus in the church as to what action should be taken. It will develop a resolution for the 2010 General Synod that will “ask for continued study, discussion and discernment within the church of what God is saying to us about publicly authorized rites for the blessing of unions, the blessing of civil marriages, and marriage in the church, of same-sex couples.”
British Columbia Supreme Court begins hearing New Westminster caseThe Supreme Court of British Columbia has begun hearing the case that will decide the disposition of property of four Diocese of New Westminster parishes that have left the Anglican Church of Canada for the Anglican Network in Canada, which claims to be in the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The court action is being covered extensively on the Web. The Anglican Network in Canada is maintaining a page with links to not only its own material and commentary about the case, but that of the Diocese of New Westminster and other sources as well. You can find that here.
Group named to revise covenantAnglican Communion News Service reported May 28, 2009, that Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, have announced the composition of the group that will study section 4 of the latest draft for an Anglican covenant. The working groups consists of the Most Rev. Dr. John Neill, Archbishop of Dublin (Chair); the Most Rev. Dr. John Chew, Primate of South East Asia; Dr. Eileen Scully, Anglican Church of Canada; and the Rt. Rev. Dr. Gregory Cameron, Bishop of St. Asaph in the Church in Wales and former Deputy Secretary General of the Anglican Communion.
As reported by Pittsburgh Update here, at the recent meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council, sections 1–3 of the proposed covenant were well received, but section 4, a controversial section focused at enforcing doctrinal conformity within the Anglican Communion, was singled out for revision. Churches of the Communion are to send comments on the section to the working group by November 13. The working group will meet November 20–21 and report to the Standing Committee (formerly, the Joint Standing Committee) at its meeting December 15–18, 2009.
Anglican Journal offers a longer story on the appointments here. According to its story, responses to section 4 need to be submitted by “late October.”