Daily Archives: January 12, 2008

The Presiding Bishop inhibits San Joaquin Bishop John-David Schofield

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on January 11 inhibited Diocese of San Joaquin Bishop John-David Schofield.

In the text of the inhibition, Jefferts Schori wrote: “I hereby inhibit the said Bishop Schofield and order that from and after 5:00 p.m. PST, Friday, January 11, 2008, he cease from exercising the gifts of ordination in the ordained ministry of this Church; and pursuant to Canon IV.15, I order him from and after that time to cease all ‘episcopal, ministerial, and canonical acts, except as relate to the administration of the temporal affairs of the Diocese of San Joaquin,’ until this Inhibition is terminated pursuant to Canon IV.9(2) or superseded by decision of the House of Bishops.”

Jefferts Schori acted after the Title IV Review Committee certified that Schofield had abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church.

On January 9, Upper South Carolina Bishop Dorsey Henderson, committee chair, wrote to Jefferts Schori, telling her that the nine-member committee had met that day and that a majority agreed that the documentation provided to them “demonstrated that Bishop Schofield has abandoned the communion of this Church by an open renunciation of the Doctrine, Discipline or Worship of this Church.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

In Houston, Lord Carey says Anglican Communion is in crisis

“So what the American church has done by the election and then ordination of Gene Robinson is really actually turn its back on the voice, the moral voice of the Lambeth Conference. That’s the problem basically. There is no way out of the problem now.”

Still, Carey feels that if the Americans were to come out wholeheartedly for the Windsor Covenant, dialogue and reconciliation would be possible.

“If the Episcopal Church says, ‘No, dammit, we are not going to go that way’, then there is no dialogue,” he said. “They are actually saying they are walking away from the family, they are closing the door. But if they are prepared to say, ‘We will fall in behind the convenant,’ then we can find a resolution.

“But there is no sign that the American House of Bishops realizes how serious it is,” he said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Windsor Report / Process

Wash. Post: In Virginia Episcopal church Lawsuit, State Files to Join Episcopal Case

The case in Fairfax County Circuit Court is over whether the conservative congregations, which left the national church over disputes related to the interpretation of Scripture and the acceptance of homosexuality, can keep the land and buildings. After voting to leave in 2006 and 2007, the congregations filed court papers saying they had — under a Civil War-era Virginia law — legally “divided” from the national church and thus were keeping the property.

But the Episcopal Church and the Virginia Diocese, its local branch, argue that there has been no legal “division” — rather that a minority of dissidents opted to leave, and therefore have no rights to the land or buildings. Church lawyers also say it would be unconstitutional for the state to determine when a hierarchical church — such as the Episcopal Church — has had a fundamental division, that such a judgment is a religious matter. Meddling would be a violation of church-state separation, diocesan lawyers say.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

Tony Clavier: New Creed

We believe in Inclusion, the first and foremost virtue as long as we do not include those who believe that the calling to be a Christian involves embracing a chaste lifestyle or that when we fall, we are to confess our sins, and seek absolution; outmoded and stigmatizing habits not to be countenanced in our Brave New World. We believe in including all religions in equality and suspend judgment about any elements in other religions which may be perhaps unfortunate, poor dears!

We intend to celebrate every cause that comes along as long as we don’t use the word “sin” or imply that anyone sins except for those who are branded by their refusal to accept our latitudinarian lifestyles. We intend to doubt every article of the Creeds and to accept every article of the belief-systems of other religious groups.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Theology

Wash. Times: Law may be with Anglican Parishes Being sued by the Diocese of Virginia

Virginia’s attorney general is defending the right of 11 conservative Anglican parishes to use the state’s Civil War-era “division statute” to leave the Episcopal Church while retaining millions of dollars in assets and property.

Attorney General Bob McDonnell’s motion to intervene is a significant setback to the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia, which have said secular courts have no place in resolving the property dispute ”” the largest in the church’s history.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

A Pastoral letter from Archbishop Peter Akinola

The Bishops came together again from 7-12 January, 2008 for our annual retreat at the Ibru Anglican Retreat Centre at Agbarha-Otor. We were particularly pleased to have our brother Bishops from our outreaches to CANA (in the USA), and the Province of Congo with us. It afforded us the opportunity for further reflection on OUR LITURGICAL HERITAGE. We had as our chief resource person Archbishop Drexel Gomez, Primate of the West Indies (Anglican Communion) and we spent quality time rediscovering the Biblical foundations of our liturgy. We came to the conclusion that we do indeed have a rich and strongly biblical heritage which must be rediscovered, cherished, and guarded by all true Anglicans. Our Liturgy is a dramatization of The Bible and should therefore be held sacred without casual departures at the discretion of individuals. Our liturgy promotes fellowship, teaching, mission, and relevant spirituality. All of us ”“ Bishops, Clergy and Laity have a great role to play in this regard. We must take time to prepare prayerfully so that the liturgy does not become a cold and lifeless aspect of our worship life, but a vibrant, inspiring and liberating encounter with our self-revealing God. Our liturgy enables us to respond to God’s self-disclosure. As Anglicans, we are encouraged to live godly lives in the Church and in society. Our members in public office should go with a sense of mission as those who have been inspired by this encounter with the living God.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria

A Communiqué released by the Bishops of Nigeria

The House of Bishops received the briefing by our Primate, The Most Revd Peter J. Akinola, CON, on the forthcoming Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem with great enthusiasm, commending his unrelenting efforts and tenacity of purpose in the Anglican cause. We are firmly resolved to seek inspiration from the biblical roots of our faith.

We reaffirm our endorsement of all the steps taken by our Primate to broker a peaceful resolution of the Lambeth Conference 2008 impasse which unfortunately has met with subtle inflexibility. Believing the time has come for us to explore other options, we stand with all like-minded Primates, Bishops and leaders of our communion who are organizing a Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in a pilgrimage setting in the Holy Land (Jerusalem), in June 2008 with the stated goal of informing and inspiring the invited leaders to shape this future, and to reform the church and transform persons, ommunities and societies through the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our Anglican Liturgy is a dramatization of The Bible and should therefore be held sacred without casual departures at the discretion of individuals. Our liturgy promotes fellowship, teaching, mission, and relevant spirituality. We should therefore rediscover the treasures of our liturgical heritage and make it lively.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria

Virginia Attorney General Files a Brief in the Episcopal Church Dispute with Anglican Parishes Case

As stated in the Attorney General’s motion to intervene, “As a matter of federal constitutional law, the Episcopal Church is simply wrong. The Constitution does not require that local church property disputes be resolved by deferring to national and regional church leaders.”

“The Attorney General’s brief validates the position of our parishes and directly refutes arguments that were made by the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia following the November trial,” said Jim Oakes, vice chairman ADV. “Virginia has a long and rich history of deferring to congregational control of property. The Division Statute itself clearly states that majority rule should be the deciding factor in determining the ownership of church property when a group of congregations has divided from its former denomination. In his brief, the Attorney General ratified the authority of the Division Statute and noted that the interpretation of the Statute by ADV lawyers is ”˜both textually and historically accurate.’”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

Seducing Someone's Spouse? It May Cost You

A Mississippi millionaire must pay $750,000 to the man whose wife he stole away, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

Sandra Valentine had been married to plumber Johnny Valentine for four years when she began working for Holly Springs, Miss., businessman Jerry Fitch Sr.

Within a year, Sandra and Fitch, who was also married, began an affair. When Sandra got pregnant, Johnny, who suspected she was cheating, ordered a paternity test, which showed he was not the father.

Johnny filed for divorce and then sued Fitch, claiming “alienation of affection,” or, in other words, stealing his wife’s love.

Johnny won more than $750,000 in state court, and the verdict was upheld by the state Supreme Court. Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case, ending Fitch’s appeal.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family

For Many a Follower, Sacred Ground in Colorado

“TRUST an unknown future with a known God,” urges the sign in front of the Sangre de Cristo Christian Church on the outskirts of Crestone, Colo., which is close to a four-hour drive south of Denver off Highway 17. The town might seem to be in the middle of nowhere, but if you’re seeking a taste of the divine, you’ve probably come to the right place.

At 8,000 feet on the edge of the desert plains of the San Luis Valley beneath the Sangre de Cristo Range, this town and its environs have about 1,500 residents and two dozen different religious centers, including a cluster of Buddhist monasteries, a Catholic monastery, a Taoist retreat, a Hindu ashram, a Shumei center and several American Indian sanctuaries. This forested hillside haven, nestled on an enormous aquifer below the 14,000-foot Crestone Peaks, has long been considered sacred.

“The Navajo and Hopi think of this as holy ground,” said John Milton, a naturalist who runs shamanic Indian workshops on the serene 210-acre Sacred Land Trust along North Crestone Creek. “Elders from the community still come here to worship.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Religion & Culture

In Oregon Local voices raised in response to hold on domestic partnership law

John Denker said, “People are people. My partner and I have been together for 17 years. We just want to be treated without prejudice.”

Father Robert Morrison of St. James Episcopal Church said, “Life should be a celebration, not constantly looking over one’s shoulder. People need a degree of security so they aren’t constantly worrying.”

“It sad it has to be differentiated between gay and straight – people are people,” agreed Denker.

Kahn explained he and Denker thought of having a civil union in San Francisco but the license is not transferable in other states.

To this Morrison commented, “It should be transferable. You should be able to move, exit and enter a community.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

San Joaquin's remaining Episcopalians to gather

A January 26 gathering of continuing Episcopalians in the Diocese of San Joaquin and national church leaders, “Moving Forward, Welcoming All,” will focus on reconciliation, inclusion, and celebration, event organizers said.

“We are just so encouraged; we’re looking forward to welcoming more people,” said Cindy Smith, president of Remain Episcopal, a group which opposed the December vote to realign the Central California Valley diocese with the Argentina-based Province of the Southern Cone, which has about 22,000 members and encompasses the South American nations of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

Former Bishop John-David Schofield had urged the realignment, approved by 42 of the diocese’s 47 congregations. Clergy approved the split 70-12 and laity voted 103-10 for realignment.

But in recent weeks, momentum and enthusiasm have spiked as additional people and some congregations “have thought about what has happened, what it means to not be part of the Episcopal Church anymore” and sought out continuing communities of faith, said Smith.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

A faith-based stop for the president

After descending the stone stairs to the dim grotto beneath the Church of the Nativity, President Bush lit a candle Thursday and stood in silent, somber reflection at the place where Jesus Christ is believed to have been born.

Emerging a short while later into the sunlit courtyard outside, he described the experience as “a moving moment for me. … For those of us who practice the Christian faith, there’s really no more holy site than the place where our Savior was born.”

For Bush, a born-again Christian who visited Israel as Texas governor but did not enter the Palestinian territories, his first pilgrimage to the birthplace of Christ and other sites on the path of Jesus’ ministry adds a personal, devotional dimension to the daunting political mission of brokering peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The visits also underscore the religious tenets that have helped define Bush’s presidency, from his faith-based initiatives to the certitude with which his administration has approached the challenges of Sept. 11 and Iraq. Bush often has maintained that the advancement of freedom is a religious calling, and he did so again Thursday in Bethlehem.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Politics in General, Religion & Culture