News for Week Ending 5/9/2011
Archbishop appoints new flying bishopsIn what has been seen as a setback for women in the Church of England (CoE), Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has appointed two new “flying bishops” to replace bishops who have left the CoE for the ordinariate created by the Vatican. According to the Guardian, the Rev. Jonathan Baker and the Rev. Norman Banks will replace departed bishops Keith Newton and Andrew Burnham.
“Flying bishops,” officially called provincial episcopal visitors, minister to parishes that refuse to accept the ministry of women clergy. Women and the Church (WATCH), which seeks equality of men and women in the CoE, warned that the appointments threaten to undermine the authority of women clergy at a time when the church is seeking terms under which women can be made bishops. The archbishop pointed out that the new bishops, aged 44 and 57, respectively, will remain bishops, even after, as expected, flying bishops are eliminated.
Press releases from Lambeth Palace and WATCH, as well as related links, can be found at Thinking Anglicans.
Huron goes to court to retrieve propertyThe Diocese of Huron of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) went to court May 9, 2011, to regain the parish property of St. Aidan’s Anglican Church of Windsor, Ontario. Members of St. Aidan’s voted in 2008 to leave the ACoC and to join the conservative Anglican Network in Canada. The story was reported May 7 by The Windsor Star.
Presbyterians close to ordaining gaysThe Presbyterian Church (USA) may soon remove its ban on ordaining homosexuals. A constitutional amendment allowing such ordination needs approval by a single additional presbytery to become effective. The Currier-Journal reported May 9, 2011, that the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area or the Presbytery of Western Kentucky may shortly put the amendment into effect.
L.A. property case remanded to lower courtIn what seems like a never-ending legal struggle between the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and the congregation that now styles itself as St. James Anglican Church of Newport Beach, California, the Supreme Court of California, on May 5, 2011, remanded the dispute to the appeals court for further argument. (See court opinion here. The Pittsburgh Update story about the appeal to the high court is here.)
Although the Supreme Court has already ruled that the Diocese of Los Angeles and The Episcopal Church are the proper custodians of the parish property in dispute, the congregation has raised new issues not considered by the court. In a story about the latest development, the diocese asserts that the order of the Supreme Court “does not detract at all” from the earlier judgment. In a post on its Web site, St. James has announced its plan to argue that a 1991 letter from the Bishop of Los Angeles renounced Episcopal Church interest in the parish property.