Tuesday, March 20, 2018

ACNA diocese contemplates secession, dissolution

From Anglican Ink-

Fears for its future and disquiet over the Anglican Church in North America’s stance on the ordination of women has prompted the Missionary Diocese of All Saints (MDAS) to explore relations with non-Anglican bodies.

The bishops of the MDAS  have not withdrawn the small traditionalist Anglo-Catholic diocese from the ACNA, however in his presidential address to the 15-17 March  2018 meeting of his diocesan synod in Ocean City, Md., the Rt. Rev. William J. Ilgenfritz stated the diocese was speaking to “non-Papal Catholics” with a view to joining a new denomination.

While no decisions on withdrawal is imminent, diocesan sources tell Anglican Ink, but Bishop Ilgenfritz’s speech highlights the disquiet traditional Anglo-Catholics feel over the church’s policy of “two integrities” on women’s orders. The address also comes as Bishop Ilgenfritz and his suffragan, the Rt. Rev. Richard Lipka, prepare for retirement, raising questions as to the viability of the 34-congregation diocese’s survival.


Is Mark Rylands the humblest bishop in the Church of England?

From "Archbishop Cranmer"-

The Rt Rev’d Mark Rylands is presently Bishop of Shrewsbury. He is well-known to readers of this blog for being a thoughtful and intelligent advocate for UK secession from the European Union – the Church of England’s only Brexit Bishop, indeed. It has been announced that he is leaving his area bishopric in the Diocese of Lichfield and returning to parish ministry in the Diocese of Exeter. He explains:

“It will be sad to leave. And for some it may seem a surprise move. But, for me, I have sensed God’s beckoning to serve as a parish priest again. For the last 16 years, as both diocesan missioner and area bishop, much of my ministry has been to encourage, challenge and help churches and church leaders to embody and share the Good News of Jesus Christ in the local community. I have heard God calling me now to ‘go and walk the talk’.

“I am acutely aware that I have a great deal to learn in becoming a parish priest and am not unaware of the challenges I face. However, I have a heart for rural mission and ministry and am greatly looking forward to getting to know the people of Ashburton and the Moorland Team in Exeter Diocese, to seeing where God will lead us. I am slightly daunted but also know that, where God calls, he also equips.

You may ponder perfectly reasonable questions:

More here-


Meet the Candidates for Election to be the next Bishop of the Diocese of the Rio Grande

From Rio Grande-

"The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande is delighted to announce a slate of three candidates for the office of Bishop presented to us by the Bishop Search Committee," said Dr. Kathleen Pittman, president of the Standing Committee.

"The people of our Diocese have prayed diligently and faithfully for God to send us good candidates. Our prayers have been answered," she said.

The electing convention will be May 5, 2018, at the Cathedral of St. John, Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Service of Ordination and Consecration is scheduled for November 3, 2018, with the Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, Presiding Bishop, officiating.

The candidates are:

The Rev. Canon Lucinda Ashby, Canon to the Ordinary, The Episcopal Diocese of Idaho
The Rev. Canon Michael Buerkel Hunn, Canon to the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church
The Rev. Simon Charles Justice, Rector, Church of the Good Samaritan, Corvallis, Diocese of Oregon

More here-


Archbishop Justin Welby urges Commonwealth leaders to have “the courage to dream big”

From ACNS-

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has spoken of his hopes that the Commonwealth heads of government will have “the courage to dream big” when they gather in London next month for their biennial meeting. The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) will take place in London and Windsor Castle from 19 – 20 April. In the three days ahead of the meeting, a number of forums will take place at which a number of civil society organisations – including provinces of the Anglican Communion – will take part.

“The great majority of members of the Anglican Communion are also members of the Commonwealth,” Archbishop Justin said in a video published by the Commonwealth secretariat. “The Commonwealth is one of those rare international bodies that is both useful and crosses all kinds of cultural and linguistic and historic boundaries.

More here-


God revealed through people with disabilities

From Living Lutheran-

His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him” (John 9:2-3).

I was born with one arm. I was 10 when I heard my mom tell the story of bringing her newborn to worship, only to be confronted by another member who insisted that God was punishing one or both of my parents by sending them a child with one arm.

Experiences like this have left me asking: “Is that what the church thinks of people with disabilities?”

When congregations never talk about disability, it sends the message to people with disabilities and their loved ones that they don’t really matter to the church. And when congregations talk about disability thoughtlessly or unkindly, it sends another message—that people with disabilities aren’t really welcome.

I’m a lifelong Lutheran and a lifelong person with a disability, and I need both of those parts of my identity to be welcome in the church. It’s not just up to leaders like pastors and deacons to make a congregation welcoming to people with disabilities. Every member of the body of Christ has the responsibility and power to make every other member welcomed and included.

More here-


Monday, March 19, 2018

The Episcopal Church changed course for our LGBT members

From Kansas City-

For more than 40 years the Episcopal Church has stood in support of the rights of gay and lesbian people and in more recent years has expanded that to include transgender people. This support for LGBT rights isn’t a political stance but a theological one, based in the knowledge that people are beloved children of God and worthy of respect.

It was one of the first Christian denominations to recognize in 1976 that “homosexual persons are children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance and pastoral concern of the Church.” This resolution was passed only one year after the American Psychological Association voted to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. At its next General Convention in 1979, the Episcopal Church declared that there is no barrier to the ordination of homosexual people.

Over the next 36 years, we struggled with the recognition of the faithful and monogamous relationships between gay and lesbian couples. Our denomination has its conservative wing, and we were unable to reach a consensus to give full recognition to these relationships.

Read more here:


Matthews resigns her position as Bishop of Christchurch

From New Zealand-

Victoria Matthews resigns her position as Bishop of Christchurch

After ten years of leadership of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch Bishop Victoria Matthews will step down from the Diocese on 1 May this year.

Bishop Matthews describes her time here in Christchurch as “an extraordinary privilege.”

“I want to thank the people in this Diocese for their faithful service. This beautiful Diocese has been through many challenges brought about by earthquakes, wind, fire and floods. But through it all, people have been their best selves by helping others, working together and finding new ways of doing things.”

More here-


and here-


and here-


Modern Christianity’s Mental Health Stigma Must End

From Relevant-

“Are you OK, Rachel? You don’t seem yourself. You’re making quite a lot of mistakes.”

I could hear the disapproval in his voice. I watched my feet as I shuffled them side to side. I couldn’t look him in the eyes.

I wish I never told you about my anxiety.

It was in that moment when I drew the conclusion that I had made a terrible mistake—the mistake of disclosing my mental health struggle to my previous boss.

The only thing more threatening than mental health stigma is someone’s ability to hold your mental health against you. That’s what happened to me with a previous employer. Amidst a myriad other factors, I felt discriminated against for having anxiety in the workplace. And get this—it was a Christian organization!

“Have you prayed about this? You might want to consider getting prayer.”

More here-


How Eastern Orthodox's ‘Forgiveness Sunday’ could save us from our Facebook feeds

From American Magazine-

As we enter deeper into Lent and continue to abstain from certain foods and habits, even those who have given up constantly checking Facebook and Twitter cannot retreat entirely from our divided, toxic political environment.

Partly because of my work in community and government relations for a Jesuit university, and partly the responsibility of simply being a citizen I will continue to take in news. This means I will inevitably be exposed to the usual mix of “fake news,” political grandstanding and negative partisanship—what the Stanford political scientists Shanto Iyengar and Masha Krupenkin call “a primal sense of ‘us against them.’”

Can our preparations for Easter help us cope with this reality? Can they do so not only now, but throughout the year?

In the Eastern Orthodox tradition in which I worship, the season of Lent begins with a “Forgiveness Vespers.” At the end of the service, each member of the community proceeds to the front of the church to exchange with the priest and fellow parishioners—the whole church—a plea of repentance.

More here-


Sunday, March 18, 2018

New abuse claim hits church

From South Africa-

THE ANGLICAN church has been rocked by another disclosure of sexual abuse, a few weeks after a well-known author broke a 40-yearsilence on his own experience.

The latest victim to come out is battling to reconcile with the church’s decision at the time to move alleged perpetrators of sexual abuse to another town “where they possibly damaged the lives of many more”.

This week, David Fields (not his real name) recalled how the abuse started in the late 1970s until the early 1980s when he was about 13 years old.

“As a young boy I grew up in church. Our parents wanted us to attend church and priests were looked up to in the community as people with authority and power.

“The priest and another one in the parish started taking an interest in me but at the time I didn’t know why nor could I understand what the interest was all about. Then the abuse started with touching and led to sexual activity.

More here-


A ‘Social Gospel’ in an age of religious diversity?

From Cape Cod-

While the incentives for these expressions remain the fundamental beliefs of the various faith traditions involved, institutional survival can also be a motivating force. St. George’s Church-Stuyvesant Square, an Episcopal congregation in New York City, was faced in the 1870s with a departing upper-class congregation and a growing lower-class immigrant population in its neighborhood when, with the support of J. Pierpont Morgan, the Rev. William Rainsford was called to be its rector. Under his leadership, the concept of a church that served the educational, medical, and social needs of that community was fully realized and in time shared in his widely implemented “The Administration of an Institutional Church.”

That was then. The Social Gospel did not survive the disillusionment of World War I, and for many contemporary religious institutions the Institutional Church no longer works as a model for parish life, a vehicle for survival, or an effective tool for mission and ministry. In addition, the modern world has complex challenges and social issues that are beyond the capacity of a single church, denomination or even religion to address fully. These range from substance abuse to human trafficking, gun violence to immigration, racism to economic inequality. What worked in the inter-bellum era no longer adequately addresses the third role of religion in our age. What then should replace them?

More here-


Welcome to the House of Deputies Newsletter

From The House of Deputies-

Impairment Task Force Report Released

Executive Council commission examines leadership and addiction

 In March 2015, the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, by affirming a House of Bishops resolution,  created and funded the Commission on Impairment and Leadership. The group was charged with exploring "the canonical, environmental, behavioral and procedural dimensions of matters involving the serious impairment of individuals serving as leaders in the Church, with special attention to issues of addiction and substance abuse." The group's appointment was precipitated by a 2014 crash in which then-bishop Heather Cook, who was driving while drunk, killed bicyclist Thomas Palermo.

The commission's report, which includes recommendations about the church's ordination, training, transition, deployment, wellness, management and oversight processes, is now available online.

More here-


Episcopacy, Priesthood, and the Priesthood of the Church

From The Living Church-

It is a great pleasure to join you this evening to honour one of the great Anglican theologians and Bishops of the 20th century, Michael Ramsey. I have many illustrious predecessors as Van Mildert Professor at Durham. I count it particularly daunting but inspirational and a source of enormous pride to follow Michael Ramsey. Whilst I would never pretend for a moment to his depth of learning and spirituality, we do share an unswerving devotion both to Catholic and orthodox Anglicanism and the capacious nature of Anglican ecclesiology, a commitment to ecumenism and a deep love of this beautiful church and its liturgical and preaching ministry.

When Ramsey arrived in Durham as Van Mildert Canon Professor of Divinity in 1940, he was just 35 years old and came from a brief spell as vicar of St. Benet’s. The Gospel and the Catholic Church, written whilst he was a tutor at Lincoln Theological College, was not well-liked by some in Durham and he was regarded as very eccentric. Before his marriage to Joan Hamilton in the Galilee Chapel at Durham Cathedral in 1942, Ramsey lived alone in 12, The College (the cathedral close), a huge building that looks like a castle that the cathedral now lets as six substantial flats. You may know that Ramsey served as an air-raid warden during the war, although he was less distinguished in this role than he was as a theologian or bishop. He never quite grasped the difference between the air raid siren and the all-clear. He would often mistake them and rush round The College waking the residents as the all-clear was sounded, just in time for them to see the German bombers return from Newcastle.

More here-


Saturday, March 17, 2018

A model settlement: The wise resolution of a church property dispute

From Pittsburgh-

This week the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and nine churches that broke away from the diocese in 2008 finally settled their differences over property rights, and they did so in a refreshingly evenhanded way.

Pittsburgh was the center of a national debate about orthodoxy within the Episcopal Church that had been brewing for years. When the national church named an openly gay priest as bishop of New Hampshire in 2004, the Pittsburgh diocese and many of its members objected and began the process of splitting into two separate dioceses. 

The agreement that the Episcopalians and the breakaway Anglican Church of North America announced allows the nine churches to continue their ministry in the buildings they currently occupy. The parishes continue as title holders to their property, while the Episcopal Diocese retains its role as legal beneficiary. The nine will pay annual fees to the Episcopal Diocese for the use of the properties and will not be able to sell their properties without approval.

More here-


Turkey seeks life sentence for U.S. pastor

From World-

Turkish prosecutors are seeking a life sentence for a U.S. pastor accused of participating in the 2016 coup that attempted to oust Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A private Turkish media outlet reported the news Tuesday after getting a look at the indictment. Prosecutors must win approval from a court before they can pursue the case. Andrew Brunson, who has pastored a church in Turkey for 23 years, has been jailed since October 2016. The indictment reportedly charges Brunson with being a member of and leading a terror organization. Turkish government officials accuse him of having ties to the Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who now lives in Pennsylvania. U.S. officials have denied Turkish requests to extradite Gulen, who denies involvement in the failed coup. 

Brunson also denies any involvement in the coup, as well as any links to Gulen. Erdogan has offered to free Brunson in exchange for Gulen. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) condemned the indictment, urging the Trump administration to redouble its efforts to secure Brunson’s freedom. “No stone should be left unturned in our efforts on behalf of this unjustly imprisoned American,” USCIRF Vice Chairwomen Sandra Jolley and Kristina Arriaga said in a statement. “We call again for his immediate release and, if this is not forthcoming, for the administration and Congress to impose targeted sanctions against those involved in this miscarriage of justice.”

More here-


Friday, March 16, 2018

National Council of Churches Announces April 4th A.C.T. to End Racism Rally on National Mall

From PRN-

Today, the National Council of Churches (NCC) announced plans to hold a rally to end racism on the National Mall on April 4. The A.C.T. to End Racism Rally is the starting point of a multi-year effort, launched by NCC, to remove racism from the nation's social fabric and bring the country together.

In remembrance of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who inspired and challenged America to confront and put an end to racism, the rally will take place on the day the nation marks 50 years since his assassination. "We have for too long lived under the scourge of racism in our society. To begin the process of healing our nation, we as Christians must join with people of all faiths in holding ourselves accountable for our complicity, and commit to righting the wrongs," said Jim Winkler, president of NCC.

NCC and its coalition of over 50 partners recognize that the faith community and those of moral conscience have a specific responsibility to address and eliminate racism, but also unique gifts that enable them to do so. "As we look at our society today, it is painfully evident that the soul of our nation needs healing. We must not only pray, but take concrete action to realize and achieve racial and social justice, and we cannot possibly put an end to racism unless we commit to change at all levels — including within the faith community," said  Bishop W. Darin Moore, chair of the Governing Board for NCC.

More here-


Lambeth Conference 2020 theme unveiled

From ACNS-

The theme for the Lambeth Conference in 2020 is to be “God’s Church for God’s World: walking, listening and witnessing together”. Details have been announced on a new webpage which went live today. A more detailed website is being designed and will go live later this year.

The Lambeth Conference will take place from 24 July to 3 August in 2020 at the University of Kent in Canterbury. More than 900 bishops from around the world will be invited to attend, along with their spouses.

Conference CEO Phil George said the new webpage was a sign that momentum was building.

More here-


Jacob and the angel, as told by the angel

From Christian Century-

In the beginning, when I was first making appearances to mortals, most of them died before I could speak the first word of truth. Just from the sight of me—they fell right over. Great burly men and women too, not like the kind you see nowadays. I mean, real antediluvian hulks with chests the size of wine barrels and legs like cedar trunks. Their consciences would seize right up; they were that certain I’d come to find them out. And they’d give up the ghost—practically flung the ghost right at me—rather than listen to a word of what I had to say.

The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and the distribution and installation of wisdom is the task with which all powers and principalities have been charged, not excepting myself. Fear being the operative word, and not panic, which is why most of us have learned to start each incident log with a command like “Fear not,” or “Dread not,” or “Be thou not dismayed,” or some other variation thereof; most people are full of the beginning of wisdom already, and appearing before them without some form of reassurance is liable to result in total system overload, followed shortly by shutdown.

More here-


Difficult But Necessary Work: A Lay Leader’s #metoo Reflection

From The House of Deputies-

My #metoo Lenten reflection begins before I became Episcopalian. My father is from Mexico and my mother is European-American. I was raised by my mother’s family, a large working class Catholic family, in the Archdiocese of Chicago in the 1980’s. My home parish was affected by the sexual abuse of priests as well as the school principal. Perhaps because of this context, from a very young age while I deeply loved the church, I also knew that it was not always a safe place. Regardless, I was committed to my church and as involved as they would allow me to be. I was an altar girl, pre-school Sunday school teacher, and I took my first paid job working in the parish office. At the age of 15, I gave birth to a baby that I placed for adoption, an open adoption that continues to this day. At the very moment he took his first breath and stretched out his tiny newborn hand, I was stuck with a powerful spiritual experience that I can only liken to Saul on the road to Damascus. Over the next several decades, until the writing of this very reflection, I would begin to hide the nature of this event by simply calling it a “spiritual awakening.”

This event, or spiritual awakening, led me to look for Jesus outside of my home church. I spent a brief few years as a born-again Evangelical Christian with a strong testimony in my pregnancy and birth story. During this time I was accepted into a prestigious Christian faith-based college where I just knew that God had amazing things planned for me. Through my unbridled excitement, I allowed myself to become naive enough to believe that I would be safe among my peers.

More here-


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Christian leaders in US oppose plan to tax church-owned property in Jerusalem

From CWR-

Prominent Christian leaders in America co-signed a letter Tuesday to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat asking them to reconsider a proposed plan to tax church-owned properties in the city.

Currently, properties owned by churches are not taxed.

In the March 13 letter, the leaders warned that the policies would “severely inhibit” the work of the churches in and around Jerusalem, and would disrupt the Status Quo policy.

“If enacted, these measures would have the effect of creating a situation that jeopardizes the very survival of the Christian community in the Holy Land,” they said.

The letter was signed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops; Archbishop Vicken Aykazian of the Armenian Apostolic Church; Elizabeth Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; and Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.

More here-



From The Tablet-

The Church of England was “naive and uncritical” when in came to abuses of power by clergy, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams told the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

On day eight of a three-week hearing on the Anglican church as part of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), Lord Williams of Oystermouth said that a mindset in which the authority of an ordained minister was thought to be “beyond criticism” was a “definitely a problem” when it came to preventing abuse.

“So much of this turns on how we understand the exercise of power in the Church, in which we have often been in the past — myself included — na├»ve and uncritical,” he admitted. “It did take us an unconscionably long time for us to really focus on the need of the complainant and the proper care,” he told the inquiry.

He added that this “top down model of authority” leaves “little mental or spiritual space for a victim to speak out in the confidence that they will be heard”.

Even when the Church did begin to act, such as in a review of past cases a decade ago, it only “skimmed the surface”, and failed to do justice to the perspective of victims, he said.

More here-


also here-


Outrage as a crucified Star Wars Stormtrooper hangs in an Anglican church for an art display about the fight 'against the dark side'

From the "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" Department-

A crucified Star Wars Stormtrooper on display at a historic London church has been granted a stay of execution after it caused a stir among parishioners.

Artist Ryan Callanan created the ‘controversial’ statue, which shows a fictional Star Wars soldier hanging on a life-sized cross.

It was due to be unveiled today as the centrepiece of the Art Below’s ‘Stations of the Cross’ exhibition held inside the London-based church.

A priest arrived yesterday to decide whether to tear down the statue, after parishioners attending St Stephen Walbrook church in Central London complained to the rector, Reverend Jonathan Evens.
Read more:


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

'We beg forgiveness'‚ says Archbishop Makgoba as SA author accuses priests of abuse

From South Africa-

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said on Tuesday that he took responsibility for cases of abuse within the Anglican Church‚ even when it happened under the watch of his predecessors.

He was speaking after award-winning author Ishtiyaq Shukri issued a statement earlier this month that detailed years of abuse at the hands of priests in Kimberley.

Shukri’s revelation came in the wake of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s resignation as an ambassador for Oxfam amid a sex scandal that has rocked the international aid organisation.

Shukri said this resignation was hypocritical because Tutu had been silent on sex scandals in the church.

More here-


Do these images prove that early Christianity had FEMALE priests? Vatican unveils frescoes hinting that women held power in the early Church

From The Daily Mail-

Newly restored Italian frescoes have revealed what could have been women priests in the early Christian Church.

The frescoes, dating back to between 230 to 240 AD, are housed inside the Catacombs of Priscilla of Rome and were unveiled by the Vatican this week.

Proponents of a female priesthood have said that the frescoes prove there were women priests in early Christianity. 

The Vatican, however, has responded by saying that such assertions are sensationalist 'fairy tales'.

Dug out from the second to fifth centuries, the Catacombs of Priscilla are a complex labyrinth of underground burial chambers stretching eight miles beneath the northern half of the city.

More here-


What the Museum of the Bible Conveys about Biblical Scholarship Behind Church Doors

From Religion and Politics-

In spite of these critiques, representatives of the museum continue to insist that the MOTB is neutral—an enterprise that promotes study of the Bible in a merely educational, if entertaining, way. When asked how the MOTB reconciles its relationship with CTS in light of its own identification as religiously unaffiliated, MOTB Director of Communications Jeremy Burton stated, “These promotional opportunities have not changed the mission or the non-sectarian approach of the museum.”

What I observed at Southern Hills Baptist Church, though, was a public event that betrayed a private purpose. I had made my way to the church that morning out of curiosity, sparked by a local news article. I wondered: What would MOTB officials say when they thought no one else was listening? What I saw was an attempt to define, appropriate, and paradoxically combat my academic field of inquiry—biblical studies—the very field that the MOTB has claimed its aims are consistent with and some of whose eminent participants the MOTB has managed to recruit as paid advisors and consultants.

I suspect that those scholars would recoil at the way in which McAfee, followed by Johnston, framed the MOTB and the academic guild of biblical studies.

More here-



From Erik Parker-

“You give us hope for the future.”

The first time I heard those words, I was 23 years old and in seminary. A group of us had travelled 7 hours, from the prairies to the mountains, to attend a study conference for pastors and other church professionals. We were a group of 20 and 30 somethings, all Masters of Divinity students already having bachelor’s degrees and work experience, but compared to the average age of pastors in the mainline, we may as well have been teenagers. So we probably seemed like a group of disruptive students crashing a conference for older folks.

But instead of being grumpy with us or giving us glares (as church folk can sometimes be guilty of doing with young noise makers), we were heartily welcomed by our future colleagues. Our relative energy and enthusiasm seemed to bring them some life and excitement.

And that is when it started happening. Sometimes one or more elder colleagues would sidle up to us and say things like, “You all give me hope for the church’s future” or “You make me feel better about the future.”

More here-


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Trusted accountant stole thousands from congregation

From Bethlehem-

Authorities have launched an investigation after a parishioner at a local church admitted to stealing thousands of dollars from the congregation, according to the priest in charge.

Officials at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral at 35 S. Franklin St. on Sunday handed out letters to the congregation informing members about the theft, the Rev. Brian Pavlac said Monday.

The parishioner is a certified public accountant who was responsible for handling donations to the church, he said.

“We trusted him to be part of our financial system,” the Rev. Pavlac said.

Instead, the accountant has admitted to church officials that he stole at least $10,000 — and “probably more,” he said. The Rev. Pavlac said the accountant told him why he stole the money but the priest declined to publicly announce the reason.

More here-


Abp Hiltz: “There will always be a relationship between the Church of Canada and Cuba”

From ACNS-

The Anglican Church of Canada will continue to have some sort of a relationship with the church in Cuba even if – as appears likely – it becomes a diocese of the US-based Episcopal Church (TEC), says Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.

TEC’s General Convention is expected to vote this July on a resolution to reintegrate the Episcopal Church in Cuba after the Cuban church voted to return to TEC three years ago. The resolution, drafted by a task force on reintegration set up by TEC and composed of members both of the Episcopal and the Cuban church, seems likely to pass, Hiltz said in an interview on Monday (5 March).

“I think all the indicators are that the task force . . . are supporting – and wholeheartedly supporting – the reintegration, and the resolution that they’ve drafted, which has several parts, speaks very clearly of wanting to move ahead with this,” said Hiltz, who attended the Cuban church’s annual synod in February. “Like any resolution, there’s never a guarantee that it’s going to pass; I’m anticipating it will pass.”

More here-


Blue’s Clues: Blogging my way through General Convention resolutions

From Scott Gunn-

If you are a church geek, I have good news. This blog is about to begin an epic exploration of resolutions proposed for action by the Episcopal Church’s General Convention, set to take place in Austin, TX this July. As long-time readers will know, this is not my first time at this particular rodeo (hey, I’m trying to enjoy the Texas milieu).

As you may know, the official reports of official committees and such are put in a book colloquially called the Blue Book. In the past, it has not always been blue. More recently, it’s not always clear it’s going to be a book. This time, I believe it will be both blue and a book. You can also read everything online. (This page has links to various General Convention resources, including the online resolutions.)

In 2012, my series was titled simply, “Blogging Blue.” Last General Convention, in 2015, my series was called “Tangled Up in Blue.” This time, I crowdsourced the name on Facebook. A couple of people suggested “Blue’s Clues,” a name I had already been thinking about. Lisa Barrowclough was the first to suggest it, so email me, and you can collect a prize. I’ll send Lisa a copy of the newly published book I co-authored with Melody Wilson Shobe, Walk in Love: Episcopal Beliefs & Practices.

More here-


Paedophile priests continued to lead services amid poor monitoring, hearing told

From Premier-

"Toothless" monitoring of convicted paedophile priests meant they were able to continue leading Anglican Church services even after being banned from doing so, an inquiry heard.

Bishop Wallace Parke Benn told the Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse the Rev Roy Cotton was restricted from public ministry to avoid contact with children but it was "difficult" to enforce.

Fiona Scolding QC, the lead lawyer for the Anglican strand of the inquiry, is examining how the Church of England handled allegations of sexual misconduct stretching back to the 1950s, first focusing on the Diocese of Chichester.

She questioned the former Bishop of Lewes at the public hearing in London on Monday over paedophile priests Roy Cotton, his friend Colin Pritchard, Gordon Rideout, Jonathan Graves and Robert Coles - who all operated in the Diocese.

Ms Golding described the sanctions imposed on them as a "stern telling off" rather than anything more substantial.

Bishop Benn, who served from 1997 to 2012, said he had "inherited" a paedophile ring when he took his role in East Sussex and that "hindsight was a blessed thing" when questioned before chairman Alexis Jay and her panel.

More here-