News for Week Ending 4/18/2011
Dioceses decide against CovenantTwo widely spaced dioceses have decided to oppose adoption of the Anglican Covenant in their respective churches.On April 13, 2011, the General Convention deputation of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, citing extensive discussions in the diocese, issued a statement saying that its members had decided “to recommend that The Episcopal Church not endorse the final draft of the Anglican Covenant,” but that they support continued conversations within the Anglican Communion. (A report from the diocese can be found here.)
On April 18, 2011, it was announced by the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia that a diocese, the Maori diocese of Te Manawa o Te Wheke, has rejected the Covenant as a threat to Maori sovereignty. This is the first diocese in the church to decide against adopting the Covenant. More information can be read here.
Diocese regroups after chancellor lossThe death of a chancellor would be an occasion of sadness in any diocese, but it is especially worrisome in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, which returns to court in its long-running property dispute April 25, 2011. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Bishop Shannon S. Johnston wrote to his diocese April 15 in the wake of the unexpected death of Chancellor Russ Palmore. The bishop indicated that attorney Henry Burt will continue the work of Palmore in the litiagation around parish property, and that J. P. Causey Jr. is being appointed acting chancellor. The bishop’s letter can be found on the diocesan Web site here.
San Joaquin moves toward blessing same-sex unionsWhile acknowledging that same-sex marriage is not presently legal in the state of California, the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin has issued a document titled “Some Questions and Answers: The Sacramental Blessing of a Sacred Union.” The eight-page document was prepared by the Commission on Equality of the diocese, based on work originally done by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. The document begins with this introduction:
The Provisional Bishop of San Joaquin is authorizing the use of a rite for the “Sacramental Blessing of a Sacred Union.” This sacramental rite maybe used to bless the union of a man and a woman or it may be used to sacramentally unite persons of the same gender.San Joaquin, is one of the four diocese, including Pittsburgh, that split over issues related to sex.