Archbishop of Canterbury: church must not drift toward divorce
Speaking at the opening of the new headquarters of the Evangelical Alliance, Archbishop of Canterbury warned that the church must not be like a couple drifting apart, leading separate lives, and headed for divorce. The statement came four days after the Archbishop met with six conservative Communion Partner bishops from The Episcopal Church. The partners issued a letter
about that meeting on their Web site. Church Times
reported on the Archbishop’s remarks August 30, 2013. His comments could be interpreted as referring either to problems within the Church of England or within the Anglican Communion.
Diocese of Fort Worth receives setback from Texas Supreme Court
On August 30, the Texas Supreme Court vacated the summary judgment of the Tarrant County District Court that had awarded assets of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth to the continuing diocese. The breakaway group led by Jack Leo Iker had made a direct appeal to the Supreme Court, bypassing appellate courts, which is allowed in Texas in special cases. The Supreme Court ruled that the trial court used the wrong legal theory in deciding the case, and sent the case back for retrial. Several justices argued vigorously that the Supreme Court had no justification for reviewing the case on direct appeal. The Diocese of Fort Worth issued a statement
on the Supreme Court action, which includes links to the majority and minority opinions, as well as to a letter to the diocese from Bishop Rayford High. Iker wrote a pastoral letter reacting to the court decision that can be found here
Chicago and Quincy dioceses merge
As of September 1, 2013, The Episcopal Church has one fewer dioceses. On that date, the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy, reduced in size by schism, rejoined the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago to become the Peoria deanery of the Chicago diocese. The two dioceses voted to merge June 8. (See Pittsburgh Update story here
.) Bishops with jurisdiction and standing committees of Episcopal diocese approved the union. Details can be found in the news release
from the Diocese of Chicago.
South Carolina Releases and Removes Clergy
Rather than wait for the full 60 days to expire and then depose clergy for abandonment of the communion of The Episcopal Church, Bishop vonRosenberg, of the Diocese of South Carolina, has issued letters removing and releasing over 100 clergy who are no longer participating in The Episcopal Church. The diocese announced the removal in an August 30, 2013, news release
. The removal, based on Canon 16. Section 4 of Title IV, makes it easier for clergy to return to The Episcopal Church than if they had been deposed for abandonment. The Standing Committee of diocese gave its approval to this approach on August 13, 2013.