Category : Alcoholism

(Baltimore Sun) Former Episcopal Church bishop Heather Cook seeks to serve rest of sentence for drunken-driving death at home

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Posted in Alcoholism, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops

(Local Paper Editorial) Arrington crash, 11-year-old’s death both needless. Drunk driving is a choice

Two high-profile DUI accidents serve as vivid reminders of just how destructive intoxicated driving can be. Two people are dead, two survivors are recovering from serious injuries, and all of their families are left in a world of hurt.

An intoxicated driver fatally struck a vacationing 11-year-old Danish girl walking with her family Monday night near Cannon Park, police said. This followed a head-on collision involving a drunk driver June 22 that nearly killed congressional candidate Katie Arrington and a friend. The wrong-way driver in that accident died of her injuries.

The young girl’s parents will no doubt be scarred forever. The 30-year-old driver, charged with reckless homicide and felony driving under the influence resulting in a death, faces a possible long prison sentence and a lifetime of regret. The fatal accident also leaves the city with a black eye, coming about the same time Travel + Leisure named Charleston its top U.S. destination for a sixth year in a row.

“This was preventable and never should have happened,” police Chief Luther Reynolds said at a news conference Tuesday alongside Mayor John Tecklenburg and other city officials. “I am very angry. … This hurts all of us.”

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Posted in * South Carolina, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Travel

(IB Times) Alcoholism epidemic: More than 1 in 8 Americans are now alcoholics

The largest change was in the most severe alcohol use category. The number of people who had received a diagnosis of alcoholism over the period of the two studies shot up by 49%, affecting 12.7% of the total population. This means 1 in 8 Americans received a diagnosis of alcoholism in the year before the latest survey.

“The increases were unprecedented relative to the past two decades,” study author Bridget Grant of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Rockville, told IBTimes UK.

Despite its prevalence, Americans are not sufficiently aware of the alcoholism crisis.

“The increases in alcohol related outcomes may have been overshadowed by increases in less prevalent drugs like marijuana and opioids, although all increases in alcohol and other substances are important.”

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Posted in Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, America/U.S.A., Health & Medicine

(ABC) Elizabeth Vargas and Her Story of Anxiety, Alcoholism and Hope

Today, when Elizabeth Vargas walks down the streets of New York City on a warm evening, passing wine bars filled with people enjoying glasses of wine, it’s a very different experience for her than it once was.

“I don’t look at them and think, ”˜I want one,’” Vargas said. “But I look at them and I think, ”˜I miss that.’ I miss that time when, you know, it felt so innocent and romantic. But that’s just me romanticizing something that turned out to be really monstrous for me.”

The veteran ABC News network anchor sat down with Diane Sawyer for a special edition of ABC News “20/20” to talk for the first time about her long struggle with alcoholism and anxiety, and her recovery process.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Alcoholism, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Theology

(CT) How Perry Noble's Alcohol Firing by NewSpring Compares to Other Churches

The church’s executive pastors met with Noble “over the course of several months” to discuss their concerns about his dependence on alcohol, which eventually resulted in his removal.
“In my opinion, the bible (sic) does not prohibit the use of alcohol, but it does prohibit drunkenness and intoxication,” Noble wrote to his congregation of 18 years. “I never had a problem drinking alcohol socially, but in the past year or so I have allowed myself to slide into, in my opinion, the overuse of alcohol.
“This was a spiritual and moral mistake on my part,” Noble wrote, “as I began to depend on alcohol for my refuge instead of Jesus and others.”
Noble’s addiction””and his church’s concern””are not new. Nearly one in five pastors report that they have struggled with addiction to alcohol or prescription drugs, according to a 2013 survey by Barna Group.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Alcoholism, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Health & Medicine, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

Perry Noble removed as pastor at NewSpring in Greenville, SC for alcohol addiction issues

About 2,000 members made the warm walk across the NewSpring Church parking lot in Anderson for each worship service Sunday morning.

Few were fully braced for the news that awaited: Perry Noble, the only senior pastor the church has known, has been removed from his duties for personal issues related to alcohol by the church’s leadership team.

Williamston Town Councilman Rockey Burgess said the news “did come as a shock” in the 9:15 a.m. service, even though recent rumors had prepared him to a degree.

“But the church isn’t made up of the preacher, and the church doesn’t worship the preacher,” he said. “The church is the people who go there, and we all love one another.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Alcoholism, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Telegraph) Gérard Depardieu gives up alcohol: 'I really no longer like drunkenness'

Gérard Dépardieu, the larger-than-life French star who once boasted that he sometimes drank 14 bottles of wine a day, says he has now given up the booze.

“I haven’t been drinking for some time now. I really no longer like drunkenness,” the 67-year-old, who is currently starring of the new Netflix series Marseille, told le Parisien newspaper.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Europe, France, Movies & Television

A Nice ESPN profile of Dabo Swinney, the Clemson Football Coach

McIntosh shielded her three sons from much of the domestic violence in their home. She hoped to keep her marriage intact until her youngest son graduated from high school.

“I kept thinking it would get better because I knew the good person in there,” McIntosh said. “I knew I wanted to keep a home for my boys and wanted to keep us together.”

Finally, Tracy Swinney told his mother she had to leave his father. They divorced, and the family’s home was foreclosed. When Dabo learned his parents were divorcing, he cried in the field house at his high school.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Alcoholism, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Poverty, Sexuality, Sports, Theology, Violence

(Saint John's Johns Island) Ron's Testimony "I am a grateful alcoholic"

In AA, you always introduce yourself by name and say,“… and I am an alcoholic.” Amongst other things, the Twelve Steps requires you to admit your own powerlessness and to turn your life over to the care of God. I know I am still an alcoholic ”“ my sponsor in AA has been sober for thirty years, and he is still an alcoholic too”“but I’m a grateful alcoholic, because I found Jesus.

One Sunday last Fall I came to St. John’s Parish for the first time; they were asking for help with the Feeding of the Multitude, so I signed up. I’ve been part of St. John’s ever since. Sometimes I attend services in the church, and other times I go to Walton Hall ”“ I love to sing There Is Power In The Blood ”“ but it doesn’t matter where I go, He is with me. It is phenomenal what Christ has done for me, the joy He’s given me.I regret missing it for so long.I can’t start over,but I can make a new beginning. Now I’m trying to be sensitive to see what His purpose is for the rest of my life.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Christology, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Soteriology, Theology

([London] Times) Middle-class children put at greater alcohol risk

Middle-class parents risk turning their children into alcoholics by offering them drinks at home, according to government research which showed that affluent teenagers were twice as likely as the poorest to be regular drinkers.

Young people from middle-class backgrounds are also more likely to have tried alcohol and to continue with the habit once they have started, said the survey of 120,000 15-year-olds.

Charities warned that many parents still mistakenly believe that introducing their children to alcohol at home, even a glass of wine with a family dinner, might protect them from becoming problem drinkers. Despite being legal, it is likely to have the opposite effect, campaigners said.

The study, the first of its kind published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, a body funded by the Department of Health, found that 70 per cent of boys and girls aged 15 in the least deprived areas had tried alcohol, compared to 50 per cent in the most deprived.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Anthropology, Children, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Theology

(W Post) A group of middle-aged whites in the U.S. is dying at a startling rate

A large segment of white middle-aged Americans has suffered a startling rise in its death rate since 1999, according to a review of statistics published Monday that shows a sharp reversal in decades of progress toward longer lives.

The mortality rate for white men and women ages 45-54 with less than a college education increased markedly between 1999 and 2013, most likely because of problems with legal and illegal drugs, alcohol and suicide, the researchers concluded. Before then, death rates for that group dropped steadily, and at a faster pace.

An increase in the mortality rate for any large demographic group in an advanced nation has been virtually unheard of in recent decades, with the exception of Russian men after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The rising death rate was accompanied by an increase in the rate of illness, the authors wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Middle Age, Parish Ministry, Sociology, Theology

Former Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook sentenced to 7 years in drunk-driving death of cyclist

Former Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in prison for killing a cyclist in a drunken crash in Baltimore two days after Christmas.

The sentence came at the end of a two-hour hearing in which the wife, mother and sisters-in-law of Thomas Palermo directed their grief and anger at the disgraced clergywoman.

Prosecutors said Cook was far above the legal limit for alcohol and sending a text message as she drove her Subaru Forester in Roland Park on the afternoon of Dec. 27. She struck and killed Palermo, a 41-year-old software engineer and father of two young children, as he enjoyed a ride.

She left the scene twice, a fact that weighed on judge Timothy J. Doory.

“Your leaving the scene at that time was more than irresponsibility, it was a decision,” Doory said.

Read it all from the Baltimore Sun.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(CNBC) The $249B hangover: How binge drinking costs the US

We’re all painfully aware of the toll binge drinking takes on the body but what may be less known is the damage it inflicts on the economy.

Excessive drinking cost the U.S. $249 billion in 2010, or $2.05 per drink, according to a newly-released study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a significant increase from $223.5 billion, or $1.90 per drink, in 2006.

The financial toll on the economy stems in part from reduced workplace productivity – in other words, hangovers. Crime, accidents and the cost of treating people for health problems caused by excessive drinking also add to the cost.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, Psychology, Theology, Young Adults

(AI) Former suffragan Bishop of Maryland Cook pleads guilty to vehicular manslaughter

The former suffragan Bishop of Maryland, Heather Cook, has pled guilty to manslaughter and accepted criminal responsibility for the death of a Baltimore cyclist whom she struck and killed while she was driving while intoxicated on 27 Dec 2014. Appearing in a Baltimore City Circuit Court on 8 Sept 2015, one day ahead of her scheduled trial, Cook (58) pled guilty to vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence of alcohol, leaving the scene of a fatal accident and texting while driving. Prosecutors have asked the former bishop, who was deposed from the ministry of the Episcopal Church on 1 May 2015, be sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, with ten years of her sentence suspended, followed by five years probation. – See more at: http://www.anglicanink.com/article/cook-pleads-guilty-vehicular-manslaughter#sthash.S2obYoFU.dpuf

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, Theology, Travel

(BBC) The inspiring story of Jason Day, PGA Championship winner

When Jason Day fell flat on his back at the US Open in June, his head swimming with debilitating vertigo, the first person to help him to his feet was the most important man in his life.
Colin Swatton is much more than just a caddie to the Australian star who broke his major duck with victory at the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits on Sunday.
Swatton’s support helped his ailing boss complete the US Open at Chambers Bay. Within two months Day fulfilled his golfing potential in brilliant style with a record-breaking major championship score of 20 under par.
To have risen from such a stricken position to the top of the golfing world, reflects the journey Day has taken in life with Swatton as mentor, coach and caddie.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Australia / NZ, Men, Sports, Young Adults

(HH) Report: Marriage can lead to reduction in heavy drinking among young adults

Research on alcohol-use disorders consistently shows problem drinking decreases as we age.

Also called, “maturing out,” these changes generally begin during young adulthood and are partially caused by the roles we take on as we become adults. Now, researchers collaborating between the University of Missouri and Arizona State University have found evidence that marriage can cause dramatic drinking reductions even among people with severe drinking problems. Scientists believe findings could help improve clinical efforts to help these people, inform public health policy changes and lead to more targeted interventions for young adult problem drinkers.

“A key conceptual framework psychologists use to explain maturing out and the ”˜marriage effect’ is role-incompatibility theory,” said Dr. Matthew Lee, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science at MU. “The theory suggests that if a person’s existing behavioral pattern is conflicting with the demands of a new role, such as marriage, one way to resolve the incompatibility is to change behavior. We hypothesized that this incompatibility may be greater for more severe drinkers, so they’ll need to make greater changes to their drinking to meet the role demands of marriage.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Theology

(RNS) Kenyan clergy joins battle against deadly homemade brews

Close to 4 million Kenyans consume illegal alcoholic brews, found a 2013 survey by the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse. The biggest challenge is corruption among government officials, said the agency’s John Mututho.

Some clergy have been joining community members to seek out and storm the makeshift breweries ”” many just drums or pots hidden in forests, private residences or buried near riverbeds.

“We commend the steps taken by the president. As clergy, we do not encourage drinking,” said Anglican Bishop Julius Kalu of Mombasa. “We urge more steps to ensure those addicted are rehabilitated.”

Kyalo agrees. The president, he said, “took bold steps, but he has to address the root cause of the problem. This is deeply rooted, where people are poor. He must deal with poverty, which is increasing.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Kenya, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

Former Baltimore Area Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook's Trial Postponed Until September

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, Theology

(NPR) Md. Episcopal Diocese Chooses Replacement For Defrocked Bishop

After the accident, it was revealed that leaders from the Diocese of Maryland knew Cook had been arrested for a previous DUI before she was hired as the assistant bishop. They failed to pass that information on to the committee that appointed her.

MONTAGNE: Now, the diocese has appointed a new assistant bishop, who is a recovering alcoholic. Chilton Knudsen has made addiction counseling a key part of her ministry. She took a break from a conference on clergy addiction to talk to us and said her selection was no accident.

CHILTON KNUDSEN: Renee, I’m confident that the Diocese of Maryland came looking for me because they know I’m a publicly acknowledged person in recovery. And so as an ordained person and a recovering person, I have a little palette of skills that I think are uniquely helpful in a situation like the diocese of Maryland has now.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, TEC Bishops, Theology

News from Maryland: TEC Bishop Heather E. Cook resigns+ is no longer a priest

The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton and the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland today announced the acceptance of the resignation of Heather E. Cook as bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. This means that Cook is no longer employed by the diocese. The acceptance of Cook’s resignation is independent of any Title IV disciplinary action taken by the Episcopal Church.

Read it all and there is more there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology, Travel

(Scotsman) Barbara O’Donell-Low-cost alcohol comes at a price

One of the key challenges confronting society today is how we can maintain a high-quality, responsive and publicly-funded health service. With an ageing population and more complex and costly medical treatments, it seems inescapable that the NHS will become increasingly stretched. However, not all pressures on the NHS are inevitable.

One of the biggest avoidable drains on NHS resources is alcohol.

From vomiting, unconsciousness, violence and injuries, to long-term, disabling illnesses including liver disease and cancer, alcohol puts a huge strain on all our frontline services. Last year there were more than 36,000 alcohol-related stays in Scottish hospitals and the vast majority of these resulted from an emergency admission.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, Scotland

(CSM) After 39 years in prison, an epic tale of innocence found and bitterness lost

Vernon testified that he hadn’t seen Franks die. He said the police fed him information ”“ the battery acid, the caliber of the gun ”“ and coerced him into testifying. He said they got mad whenever he got cold feet. They threatened to send his parents to jail. They controlled him with fear. And once told, Vernon’s story became a monster of its own volition.

“They were lies,” he testified.

“It was all lies?” the prosecutor asked.

“They were lies,” he said.

After Vernon’s recantation, Jackson took the stand. “Regardless of what happens here today,” he said, “somebody heard the truth for once. I spent 39 years of my life paying for something I didn’t do.”

In light of Vernon’s recantation, the state withdrew their case. The hearing ended on a Tuesday. That Friday, 39 years, 5 months, and 27 days after his arrest, Ricky Jackson walked out of the courtroom unshackled. He joined Ronnie and Wiley for a tearful, celebratory meal at Red Lobster.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Police/Fire, Prison/Prison Ministry, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

Charles Henry Brent for his Feast Day–A Historical Plaque for Him from Ontario, Canada

Confronted by the devastating moral and physical effects of opium addiction, Brent became an uncompromising advocate of drug control. He urged international co-operation in eradicating drug abuse and served as president of the Opium Commission at Shanghai (1909) and the Opium Conference at The Hague (1911-12).

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Canada, Church History, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Religion & Culture

Episcopal Priest on Staff at Cathedral of Saint John the Divine charged with DWI

An assistant priest at Manhattan’s famed Cathedral of St. John the Divine was busted on drunk driving charges Friday evening as she emerged from the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City Friday night, according to Port Authority police.

In addition to being hit DWI, reckless driving, and disobeying traffic law charges, Diane Reiners, a 53-year-old Episcopalian minister from Brooklyn, was also charged with criminal possession of a controlled dangerous substance after police found in her vehicle 31 pills of an anti-anxiety drug that was prescribed to someone else and more than 200 pills of tramadol, a potent pain killer, authorities said.

Police responded to reports at 6 p.m. of a woman driving through the Holland tunnel from Manhattan to New Jersey in an “erratic manner,” a report said.

According to witnesses, Reiners’ 2004 Toyota swerved between lanes and struck the tunnel curb.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, TEC Parishes, Theology, Travel

(Bal. Sun) Episcopal leader Jefferts Schori in spotlight after bp charged in Baltimore hit-and-run

Just over two months ago, when Heather Elizabeth Cook, a newly ordained Episcopal bishop, was involved in an accident that left a bicyclist dead, the tragedy made headlines around the world, while sparking controversy within and outside the church.

Cook ”” who was drunk at the time of the accident, according to Baltimore police and prosecutors ”” had been made a bishop despite an arrest on DUI charges four years earlier. The Dec. 27 crash raised questions about how the Episcopal Church, already split over dogma and facing steep membership declines, chooses its leaders.

And it has put the stewardship of the national church’s presiding bishop, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, in the spotlight.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, Theology

TEC Presiding Bishop–On Healing and Wholeness in the light of the tragic death of Thomas Palermo

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, Theology

(Washington Post) Manslaughter charge prompts Episcopal church to examine relationship with alcohol

With a history of sherries at church coffee hour and wine during Holy Communion, Episcopalians have long endured ”” and shared ”” jokes about their drinking. (For example: “wherever two or three are gathered, there’s a fifth.”) Yet the relationship is complicated.

The denomination stood out a century ago for saying alcoholism wasn’t an evil. And Episcopal clergy played a significant role in the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous.

So perhaps it was surprising that this week a top church leader said the case of Heather Cook ”” the Maryland bishop now accused of killing a cyclist while driving drunk ”” revealed Episcopalians’ “systemic denial about alcohol and other drug abuse.” Leaders will review church policies on drug and alcohol abuse for the first time in 30 years when they have their once-every-three-years meeting this summer.

One bishop is already proposing not drinking at the major gathering, and parishes are launching special worship services for people in recovery. Yet the Episcopal Church’s unusual history regarding drinking adds to the complexity of dealing with the issue.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, Theology

TEC Presiding Bishop further restricts the ministry of Bishop Heather Cook

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, Theology

Case of TEC bishop accused in bicyclist death opens debate about theology of addiction

The case of a high-ranking Episcopal bishop charged with drinking and texting before fatally hitting a bicyclist has raised questions about everything from church politics to bike lanes. But no debate about Bishop Heather Cook has been as intense as that about the theology of addiction.

Is it a sin? Does it qualify for forgiveness? Or are addicts blameless victims of disease, inculpable?

And how did these topics impact the leaders of the dioceses of Easton and Maryland ”” Cook’s last two places of employment ”” first when she was arrested for drunken driving in 2010, and then last year when she was selected despite that to become Maryland’s first female bishop?

In small church discussion groups, in sermons and on Christian Listservs, the ways Episcopal officials handled Cook have fueled debate about how Christianity really sees addicts.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops, Theology

Episcopal bishop indicted on 13 charges by grand jury in cyclist’s death including homicide

Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook was indicted Wednesday on 13 charges in the death of a Baltimore bicyclist, including homicide, drunken driving, texting while driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore City state’s attorney, had announced Jan. 9 that her office was charging the 58-year-old cleric from the Diocese of Maryland with killing Thomas Palermo on a Saturday afternoon in December while he was out for a ride.

Prosecutors have said since January that Cook could face more than 20 years in prison.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, TEC Bishops, Theology