Court cases in Fort Worth and San Joaquin Move Forward
On March 9, 2016 a three judge panel from the 5th Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on the remaining property issues between the ACNA Diocese and the Episcopal Diocese in San Joaquin over a year after the ACNA group announced it would appeal the final ruling awarding all property to the Episcopal Diocese. The Appeals Court must issue its verdict within 90 days. For the filing of the appeal see the Pittsburgh Update story here
. The ACNA diocese has issued this statement
on the oral arguments. Meanwhile, the ACNA group in Fort Worth finally filed
its briefs March 4 answering the appeal filed by Episcopalians in Fort Worth. After a rehearing of the original case, the trial judge reversed his original opinion and awarded all property to the ACNA schismatics. The Episcopal diocese filed its briefs for an appeal in early December, and after two extensions of time the ACNA group's responses are now with the court. For the Episcopal Church filing see Pittsburgh Update here
Japanese Church Calls for End to ALL Nuclear Power
On the third anniversary of the devastating earthquake and Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown in Japan, the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (Episcopal Church of Japan) has issued a call
to the rest of the Anglican Communion to join it working to end all use of nuclear power. The Church has been running regular trips to take children for recreation outside of areas at risk of radiation from the Fukushima disaster and providing care to elderly forced to relocate by the disaster. Church leaders are calling the disaster a "warning" from God.
Kenya Also to Stay Away from Anglican Consultative Council Meeting
To no one's surprise, the Kenyan Archbishop Wabukala announced
this week that Kenya would not send deputies to the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in April. Since Wabukala serves as chairman of GAFCON, his announcement was expected. Wabukala cited the fact that the Episcopal Church planned to attend and participate despite the statement issued by the gathering of primates in January as the reason for not attending. The ACC will meet April 8-19 in Lusaka., the capital of Zambia, which is part of the Anglican Province of Central Africa.
Canadian Report on Same Sex Blessings Continues to Make Waves
Controversy continues around the report on same sex couples' blessing in Canada. It resulted in the Anglican Church of Canada's House of Bishops issuing a statement that it was unlikely the House would be able to muster the required 2/3 votes needed to implement the report recommendations (see Pittsburgh Update here
). The House of Bishops' announcement at first seemed to be a reaction to the primate's gathering in January, but now
some Canadian bishops have stated they would leave the church if a rite for same sex blessings were approved. The Council of the General Synod issued its own statement
in response to the House of Bishops, noting that the report would be presented and voted on at the synod.
Diocese of Pennsylvania Elects New Bishop
After years of controversy with their former Bishop Charles Bennison, including in his deposition, restoration, and retirement, and then two years of stabilization under a provisional bishop, the Diocese of Pennsylvania has elected
Daniel G. P. Gutierrez, Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese of Rio Grande as their next bishop. A history major with an M.A. in public administration, Gutierrez entered the ministry in 2008 after a career in public service and economic development. He has a certificate in Anglican Studies from Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge (2007) and a Master's of Theological Studies from St. Norbert College (2011). St. Norbert's is a Roman Catholic College with a home campus in Wisconsin and a center in Albuquerque, N.M. Bishop-elect Gutierrez has also been deeply involved in projects in the Navaholand Area Mission.