St. James Newport Beach Back in Court
Last week the trial judge in the property disputes around the sale of the parish property for St. James in Newport Beach heard arguments and made rulings on a number of motions. The "Save St. James" group posted some comments
about what went on in court on their Facebook page. The judge ruled against Bishop Bruno on several issues in these preliminary skirmishes and deferred others to a later hearing. A trial date has now been set for August. For a quick refresher on this on-going saga, look at the Update story here
Emanuel AME Church Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
The way Emanuel AME Church in Charleston responded to the slaughter of members attending a Bible study class was impressive and measured. At the instigation of a group of Illinois lawmakers, church members and others around the country, a nomination has been submitted to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee as a candidate for the Peace Prize. The competition will be stiff. Pope Francis is another of the nominees. The Charleston Post and Courier
carried a good story
on the nomination.
Latest Revelations Raise Question About "Unity" at Primates Gathering
As more and more information trickles out about the gathering of Anglican primates in Canterbury, there is less and less certainty that the meeting accomplished anything. It is now clear that a number of the GAFCON primates left Thursday night
(supposedly to catch planes, although the meeting had always been scheduled to run through Friday). They left after the group did not get as strong a statement
against the Episcopal Church as they wanted, and when Presiding Bishop Curry would not disavow the actions taken at General Convention. This meant that the GAFCON archbishops were not present when the sections of the "Communique" that apologized for ill treatment of LGBTQ people and promised to work against punitive measures were passed. As commentators continued to point out that this was not even an official meeting of the primates, and that the primates had no authority
to set any kind of "consequences," the Executive Secretary of the Anglican Communion, Bishop Josiah Fearon was telling people
that the "consequences" were a done deal. The Episcopal House of Deputies has issued a statement
noting that the primates gathering was not binding and that TEC representatives to the Anglican Consultative Council were planning to go and participate in the April meeting. The "Old Crusty Dean," Tom Ferguson (Academic Dean at Bexley Seabury Seminary) has an insightful blog
on the governance issues raised by the primate's gathering. A group of 55 Irish Anglican clergy sent a letter
to Presiding Bishop Curry offering their prayers and support for TEC and repudiating the "Communique." Meanwhile in England, Archbishop Welby was not only dealing with pressure from liberals
demanding he hold African provinces accountable for their treatment of LGBTQ people, but with a survey that showed growing support
by Church of England members for same-sex marriage, with 72% of members under 35 years of age supporting same-sex marriage.
Southern California Dioceses and Western Mexico Plan Joint Way of the Cross Service
Once again, the Dioceses of San Diego, Los Angeles, and Western Mexico shall come together
for a joint stations of the cross service held in Friendship Park which straddles the Mexico U.S. border. As part of the day, a motorcade will come from Los Angeles led by a vehicle with a six foot high statue of Jesus at the front. The final station of the cross, will be at the border itself with a eucharist celebrated by the bishops from both countries. Because there is no border crossing in the park, they will celebrate at altars divided by the wire fencing of the border. The service began in 2012 as a joint way to call attention to border and immigration issues.
Latest Statement Reveals How the Episcopal Church of Scotland Was Left Out of Ecumenical Agreement
Pittsburgh Update carried an earlier story
on the way an announcement of an agreement between the Church of England and the Church of Scotland surprised the Episcopal Church in Scotland. The Episcopal Church of Scotland has now issued
a formal statement outlining why they dropped out of talks several years ago, and how they will now try to work with the agreement between the Church of England and the (presbyterian) Church of Scotland. At issue is whether an ecumenical agreement was even appropriate given the fact that this involves a form of border-crossing in the Anglican Communion.