News for Week Ending 3/8/2010
English bishop calls for acceptance of diversity on sexual issuesTimes columnist Ruth Gledhill reported March 6, 2010, that Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt. Rev. James Jones, whom she describes as a “leading evangelical,” is calling on Anglicans to accept a diversity of opinion on matters of sexual ethics in order to maintain unity and to move forward on mission. Breaking ranks with many on the Anglican right, Jones asserts that homosexuality is not a choice. According to Gledhill
Even if the traditionalists are right, he [Jones] says, and gay sex is wrong, it is unclear precisely what sin will have been committed by gay couples other than “in a world of such little love two people sought to express a love that no other relationship could offer them.”More information on Jones’s address to the Synod of the Diocese of Liverpool is available from The Lead. The complete address can be read on the Diocese of Liverpool Web site.
ACA votes to join RomeThe Anglican Church in America, a member of the Traditional Anglican Communion, voted March 3, 2010, in Orlando, Florida, to join the Roman Catholic Church, thus taking advantage of the offer by the Vatican to become Roman Catholic while maintaining certain Anglican traditions. The Traditional Anglican Communion is not part of the Anglican Communion. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Spero News has reported on the decision by the ACA House of Bishops. More information is available in an editorial by Catholic Online.
Glasspool nearing approval by standing committeesThe Rev. Canon Mary Glasspool, one of two priests elected suffragan bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles on December 4, 2009, now has 55 of the needed 56 consents from diocesan standing committees to her consecration. (See Pittsburgh Update story on the election here.) The news about Glasspool, who has been partnered for 19 years with Becki Sander, came in a weekly update on the consent process published by the diocese on 3/3/2010. The Rev. Canon Diane Jardine Bruce, the other suffragan-bishop-elect achieved sufficient standing committee consents on February 17. To allow for her consecration, each candidate will also need consents from a majority of Episcopal bishops with jurisdiction. The Presiding Bishop’s office does not announce those votes in advance. It has just been announced, however, that Canon Bruce has now received all the consents required for consecration.
The Living Church has published a story about various comments made about consents for Glasspool by bishops and members of standing committees. Pittsburgh’s Standing Committee has not yet acted on the Glasspool election. Consents must be received by the Diocese of Los Angeles by May 5.
Judge backpedals in El Paso caseThe Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande thought it had won a quick victory over a breakaway congregation, but Judge Gonzalo Garcia changed his mind and has ordered parties to appear in his court March 3, 2010. The judge had initially entered an order for summary judgment February 10 in favor of the diocese in its dispute with the congregation of St. Francis on-the-Hill Episcopal Church in El Paso. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The congregation voted in 2008 to leave The Episcopal Church and now operates under the name of St. Francis on-the-Hill Church. Its property is said to be worth millions of dollars.
It appears that the El Paso dispute will be decided by an actual trial. Details of the affair can be found in a March 5 story by Episcopal News Service.
Virginia case to go to state Supreme CourtOn March 3, 2010, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia announced that the Virginia Supreme Court will hear the appeal of the diocese in The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Virginia v. Truro Church, et al. beginning April 12, 2010. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) A lower court awarded parish property to breakaway congregations on the basis of a nineteenth-century law peculiar to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Property litigation continues in Fort WorthThe Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth filed a brief March 3, 2010, in the ongoing property litigation resulting from the schism in that diocese. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The diocese has responded to, among other arguments, the suggestion that The Episcopal Church is not a national church but a regional one in which the diocesan bishop, not the General Convention is the supreme authority. The brief can be read here.
Washington bishop lets priests preside at same-sex marriagesOn March 4, 2010, one day after same-sex marriages became legal in the District of Columbia, Bishop of Washington John Chane announced that priests of the diocese may preside at same-sex weddings, though no priest will be required to do so. Episcopal News Service reported the story here. The diocese issued a press release and a six-page set of guidelines.
Dallas endorses covenant, declares nullification of GC resolutionsMeeting in special convention March 6, 2010, the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas passed a resolution endorsing the Anglican covenant, while simultaneously affirming “our full membership and participation in The Episcopal Church and the world wide Anglican Communion.” Bishop of Dallas James M. Stanton made it clear at the outset that separation from The Episcopal Church was not an option. The convention also passed a resolution “dissociating” the diocese from acts of the 2009 General Convention: Resolution C056 and Paragraphs 4–7 of Resolution D025. The Living Church reported on the convention, as did David Virtue. The diocese itself has posted the resolutions here.
Pittsburgh Cursillo meeting scheduledA meeting of Cursillistas interested in revitalizing the Cursillo movement in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh will take place March 11, 2010, at the diocesan office. Under former bishop Robert Duncan, Pittsburgh Episcopal Cursillo became closely associated with the bishop, and many Cursillo leaders were among those who left The Episcopal Church when the diocese experienced its October 4, 2008, schism. Provisional Bishop Kenneth Price will meet with the group.
Cursillo is a movement that began in the Roman Catholic church and seeks through various programs to develop lay church leaders. Cursillo is active in many Episcopal dioceses, always under the auspices of the bishop.
Details of the March 11 meeting can be found on the diocesan Web site.