THREE former Anglican bishops who were received into the Roman Catholic Church on New Year’s Day will be ordained to the priesthood in the RC Church on 15 January. By then the new Ordinariate will be established.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales issued a statement on Tuesday saying that the former Bishop of Fulham, John Broadhurst; the former Bishop of Ebbsfleet, An drew Burnham; and the former Bishop of Richborough, Keith New ton, would be ordained RC deacons on 13 January at Allen Hall Seminary Chapel, and ordained priests in Westminster Cathedral on 15 January.
A spokeswoman for the Catholic Communications Network said on Wednesday that the Ordinariate “will be set up between now and 15 January”.
The three bishops were received into the Roman Catholic Church during the 12.30 p.m. mass at Westminster Cathedral on 1 January. Their resignations, which were announced earlier this year (News, 12 November), came into effect at mid night on 31 December.
The area's Anglican community is taking steps to find a new bishop for the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin. The current bishop, John-David Schofield, announced in 2009 that he plans to retire in October this year.
Schofield, who was elected bishop in 1988, helped lead a secession movement out of the U.S. Episcopal Church in 2007 amid debate over same-sex blessings; the consecration of a partnered gay priest, the Rev. V. Gene Robinson, as a bishop; and how to interpret the Bible over such issues. Schofield led the former Episcopal diocese into the new Anglican Church in North America in 2009.
On Sunday , the people of south Sudan will begin the process to decide whether to split Africa's largest country in two and form the world's newest nation, or to reunite with their neighbors in the north.
The seven-day referendum was part of the January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended 22 years of civil war and gave the south autonomy leading up to the election. Monitoring the referendum closely, from 7,000 miles away, will be members of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, who have had a "companion relationship" with the Episcopal Diocese of Lui in southern Sudan since 2006. Some Episcopal congregations in the diocese also have individual relationships with congregations in the Lui diocese.
"The main point, theologically, is the relationship itself," said Debra Smith, the Missouri diocese's representative of the American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan and wife of Missouri Bishop George Wayne Smith.
"The church is the body of Christ and each church is part of that body. To get to know someone from a different culture who shares the same beliefs and liturgical practices is mind-broadening and spiritually invigorating. "
A longtime priest at one of the country's largest and most prominent conservative Anglican churches has been fired for repeatedly using a church computer to surf for pornography, an official at the Fairfax City church said.
The Rev. Marshall Brown was associate rector at Truro Church, whose clergy members helped lead 14 Virginia parishes to break away from the Episcopal Church after the 2003 election of the denomination's first openly gay bishop.
With more than 1,200 members, Truro was one of the biggest parishes in the Episcopal Church, the American province of Anglicanism.
Truro's rejection of what its congregants saw as a non-biblical, liberal tilt in the denomination made international news. Dozens of Episcopal churches have since joined an umbrella group of religious conservatives who oppose the acceptance of same-sex relationships and the idea that non-Christian religions have equal access to God.
There's rubble in the streets, cholera in the water, anger among the voters - and glimmers of hope in surprising places in Haiti, say Episcopal volunteers.
A team of physicians, nurses and others will be returning to Haiti for the 10th trip this year organized by Episcopalians. The week-long mission, which starts Saturday, will fall on the anniversary of the deadly earthquake that razed much of Port au Prince.
"Haiti is probably in one of the darkest times in its entire history," said the Rev. Deacon Dave Drachlis of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, who will be returning for his eighth mission this year. "But, believe it or not, there is hope. Hope comes in the presence of people who support our ministries there."
From The "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" Department. Australia.
CATHOLIC clergy have been banned from giving children piggyback rides under child protection policies introduced by an outer Melbourne parish.
The new policies, aimed at preventing abuse, include bans on inappropriate embracing, or contacting children through Facebook or SMS.
They are being introduced at parishes in Lilydale and Healesville this year.
Guidelines will apply to all priests, parish workers, staff and volunteers representing the church, including those at associated schools St Patrick's and St Brigid's Catholic primary schools. The policies, believed to be the first in Melbourne, were put into place after two allegedly abusive priests served in the district.
Conduct deemed acceptable includes "high fives", pats on the shoulder or back, holding hands with small children, handshakes, and verbal praise.
The rules say any emails sent to minors should have parents or guardians copied in, and any phone calls should be made to the family home. Social networking is not considered an appropriate way for an adult to socialise with a child.
A retired Episcopal priest who served for six years at a church in Street and has ties to two other churches in Harford County, is facing child sex abuse charges in Cecil County.
Rev. Donald Wells Belcher, 82, was indicted in Nov. 3 on two counts of child sex abuse and one count each of third- and fourth-degree sex offense, according to Cecil County Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Urick.
Urick declined to discuss the charges in detail or why they were brought in Cecil County. Belcher, who has been living in Yaak, Mont., waived extradition to Maryland on Dec. 29 and agreed to accompany a member of the Lincoln County, Montana, sheriff’s office back to Cecil County to face the charges, according to court documents and a statement issued by the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.
Belcher served as vicar of the Church of the Holy Cross in Street from 2001 to 2007. He also has connections to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Havre de Grace and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Abingdon.
“His connection with St. John’s in Havre de Grace seems to be the occasional service here and there,” Sharon Tillman, director of communications for the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, said Thursday.
Tillman said Belcher has no formal connection to St. John’s. Belcher served as associate of pastoral care at St. Mary’s between June and December 2008, Tillman said.
PULSES rarely race in Shaughnessy, a genteel, old-money district of Vancouver where mature cedars shield mansions with giant drawing-rooms. But the splendid Anglican church there, which draws worshippers from across the city, is the centre of a dispute that arises in many countries: how should judges rule in religious rows? Usually such quarrels involve worldly goods and rival claims to be the true believers. They quickly raise theological issues normally settled in church councils, not the courtroom.
St John’s Shaughnessy is the largest of four conservative parishes in British Columbia that have quit Canada’s mainstream Anglican (Episcopalian) church in protest against the blessing of same-sex unions. They want to take their churches and their other property with them; their bishop is resisting.
In the latest twist in a long battle, in November, British Columbia’s court of appeal ruled in favour of the bishop. Parish conservatives want to appeal. The issue is who runs the church—something that has riven Christianity since its founding. Liberals say the decision on same-sex blessing was taken according to the rules. Conservatives (many of them Chinese-Canadians) see it as an aberration: they argue that most of the 80m adherents to worldwide Anglicanism belong to churches that eschew gay unions.
The court’s ruling will add to the billowing secular jurisprudence on the handling of disputes over religious assets. A similar row may be looming in the Church of England, where a bunch of Anglo-Catholics are turning to Rome in protest against women becoming bishops. Their leaders will be ordained as Roman Catholic priests on January 15th.
Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik is scheduled to undergo his second back surgery in nine months this morning at UPMC Mercy hospital.
Zubik, 61, said Wednesday that pain in his right leg and foot has been increasing in recent weeks, making it difficult for him to walk on stairs. The ordeal has made it easier for him to empathize with people facing much bigger problems than his.
"I'm just letting this opportunity help me, I hope, to become a better shepherd," Zubik said at the offices of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, Downtown.
During the four-hour surgery, Father Ronald Lengwin, interim general secretary since July 1, will head the diocese. Zubik has cleared his schedule for the rest of January but said he expects to run the diocese from his bed while he recuperates.
Zubik first underwent back surgery in April. The initial surgery was a success, he said, and the current problems are due to a similar but separate problem. He described today's surgery as a laminectomy to shave off part of the bone near the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae in his lower back.
The Episcopal church of Sudan on Wednesday pledged to work with the regional government of south Sudan in building peace and promotion of sustainable development regardless of the result of the region’s independence referendum on Sunday.
The Bishop of the Episcopal Church diocese of Aweil said in a statement to Sudan Tribune on Wednesday from Aweil, the capital of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, said churches should play an important role in helping the government alleviate poverty, especially in rural areas.
“As a church, we are supposed to exchange healthy words with the government and we should treat each other as complementing partners to promote development in the country,” said Abraham Nhial Yel, bishop of Aweil diocese.
Bishop Yel, who spoke to Sudan Tribune after concluding a three day voter education training organized by his church for pastors drawn from over 45 parishes in the state with 14 archdeaconries, said he expects the pastors to extend the knowledge they gained during training to their congregations. He said they were all learners during the training.
"If there was something unique we have learned from this training, it was our coming together to share our experiences as one and the same people of God," said Yel.
He said his interest is to ensure that voters get the actual message without misinterpretation.
"As church, our greater interest and concern to organize this training is to ensure voters get the actual message about voting procedures without misinterpretations.
Members of the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are being urged to remember in their prayers the first 10 years of the denominations' full-communion agreement.
Suggested Prayers of the People for use by congregations in both denominations are available here. Prayers are presented for use in all six forms of the Prayers of the People found in the Book of Common Prayer. For example, the suggestion for Form II is: "I ask your prayers of thanksgiving for the tenth anniversary of the relationship of full communion between The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Pray for enduring commitment to common mission."
The Episcopal Church and the ELCA formally entered into a relationship of full communion through the Called to Common Mission agreement on Jan. 6, 2001 during a Eucharist at Washington National Cathedral. A 2011 commemoration is being planned for later this year.
"Prayers have been prepared to honor the past decade of our mission together, and for our ministry together in the future," the Rev. Tom Ferguson, Episcopal Church ecumenical and interreligious relations officer, said in a press release from the church's Office of Public Affairs.
The Rev. Donald J. McCoid, executive director of ELCA's ecumenical and interreligious relations, told ENS that the anniversary is a time when both denominations "are able to celebrate the shared mission and shared ministries that have enriched our church bodies."
"From shared local ministries and shared ordained clergy to campus ministries, disaster relief, ministry education, global mission training, advocacy work, and many daily ministries in and with our full communion partners, we give thanks to God for the many ways that CCM has blessed our churches," he said.
Red is the predominant liturgical color for ordinations of Episcopal priests and white for ritual ceremonies, like the Feast of the Epiphany on Jan. 6.
But since both events happen the same day at the Church of the Redeemer, in Homeland, Dottie Hopkins, head of the altar guild, had a question after the Sunday service Jan. 2.
“What color are we Thursday?” Hopkins asked the Rev. Cristina Paglinauan, a transitional deacon and associate rector.
“We’re white,” Paglinauan answered, “because it’s Epiphany, and Epiphany takes precedence over ordinations.”
That may not be definitive, she explained later, but she couldn’t imagine any Episcopal bishop decreeing otherwise.
The Feast of the Epiphany marks the visit of the wise men to Jesus and the end of the Christmas season for Christians.
But the ordination is for Paglinauan.
Paglinauan (pronounced pag-li-NOW-an), a Bryn Mawr School and Harvard University graduate of Philippine descent, who grew up Roman Catholic in a family of doctors, will be ordained an Episcopal priest at the church of 900 to 1,000 famiies, 5603 N. Charles St., at 7 p.m.
Episcopal Church and Montana officials say a retired priest is facing child sexual abuse charges and is awaiting extradition to Maryland.
The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland issued a statement Wednesday saying the Rev. Donald Belcher, who now lives in Yaak, Mont., had been indicted by a Maryland grand jury on child sexual abuse charges.
Crystal Byington, deputy court clerk in Lincoln County, Mont., said Belcher appeared in court Dec. 29 on a Maryland extradition warrant for a sexual assault charge.
The diocese said the 82-year-old Belcher was vicar of the Church of the Holy Cross in Street from 2001 to 2007. The diocese says steps are being taken to prohibit Belcher from priestly functions and an investigation has begun.
It could not be determined if Belcher has a lawyer.
The office of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori announced Jan. 4 that bishops-elect in the dioceses of Springfield and Western Kansas have successfully completed the Episcopal Church's canonically required consent process.
The Rev. Michael Pierce Milliken is scheduled to be ordained and consecrated in the Diocese of Western Kansas on Feb. 19, while in Diocese of Springfield the Rev. Daniel Hayden Martins is scheduled to be ordained and consecrated on March 19. Jefferts Schori is to officiate at both liturgies. Milliken was elected on Aug. 21. Martins was elected Sept. 18.
The Diocese of Springfield announced in late December that Martins had received the consents of 64 of the church's 111 standing committees, eight more than needed. At that point in time, the diocese said, 15 standing committees had not consented. Consents or non-consents to Martins' ordination and consecration will continue to be accepted up to and including the Feb. 16 deadline, the Office of Public Affairs press release said.
The Diocese of Western Kansas did not post consent information on its website. Consents or non-consents to Millikens' ordination and consecration will continue to be accepted up to and including the Feb. 8 deadline.
Under the canons of the Episcopal Church (III.11.4), a majority of bishops exercising jurisdiction and diocesan standing committees must consent to a bishop-elect's ordination as bishop within 120 days of receiving notice of the election.
A fifth priest has been added to the slate of four people nominated by the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee to stand for election as the Knoxville-based diocese's fourth bishop.
The Rev. Joseph R. Parrish, 69, rector of St. John's Church, Elizabeth, New Jersey, (Diocese of New Jersey) was added to the slate after the search committee opened a nomination-by-petition process. Parrish was born and raised in Knoxville and graduated from the University of Tennessee, according to a press release. He and his wife maintain a home in Knoxville, the release said.
Parrish joins nominees
the Rev. Frank Crumbaugh III, 57, rector, Holy Innocents' Church, Beach Haven, New Jersey (Diocese of New Jersey); the Rev. Frederick DuMontier Devall IV, 41, rector, St. Martin's Church, Metairie, Louisiana (Diocese of Louisiana); the Rev. Lisa S. Hunt, 51, rector, St. Stephen's Church, Houston (Diocese of Texas); and the Rev. George Young III, 55, rector, St. Peter's Church, Fernandina Beach (Amelia Island), Florida (Diocese of Florida). More information about the nominees is available here.
The person elected will succeed Bishop Charles vonRosenberg, who announced his retirement plans in October 2009.
The nominating committee received 85 names from 25 states and the District of Columbia, according to a Nov. 11 press release announcing the original slate. After the announcement the diocese's clergy and laity could petition the Standing Committee to have nominees added to the slate through Dec 3.
In 1811, a small group of residents founded St. James' Episcopal Church along Albany Post Road (Route 9), on property owned by Dr. Samuel Bard. In 2011, the church will stage a variety of programs and events in celebration of its bicentennial.
"(We plan) to do a yearlong celebration for the church's bicentennial by developing a series of different programs," bicentennial Chairwoman Sue DeLorenzo said. "We've come up with some unique events that will take place throughout the year."
The parish was attended by Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor. A four-part lecture series highlighting facets of the church's history was named "fireside chats," a reference to the unofficial term for Roosevelt's evening radio speeches during his presidency.
"We were trying to develop programs that in addition to being fun would be a learning experience," DeLorenzo said. "We learned in doing this there is so much information available because we are such a historic church."
The monthly lecture series begins Thursday at 7 p.m. in St. James' Chapel on East Market Street. DeLorenzo said the decision was made to host the lectures there after two of its parishioners, John and Gloria Golden, renovated it.
A former Catholic priest from Miami who left the church after photos surfaced of him kissing his then-girlfriend is criticizing church leaders in a new book and calling their stance on priests' romantic relationships hypocritical. Alberto Cutie— dubbed "Father Oprah" by the English-language media for his relationship advice — left the Roman Catholic Church in 2009 to become an Episcopal priest.
FAITH & REASON: Cutie's Catholic exit cheered for two reasons Paparazzi photos of Cutie kissing Ruhama Buni Canellis, whom he later married, caused such a media frenzy that CNN en Espanol broadcast his announcement to leave the church on live TV, and one Miami Spanish-language TV station cut into its regular programming to report the news. Cutie, who now heads the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Biscayne Park, and his wife have a daughter, Camila.
Cutie details his once-secret relationship and speaks candidly about his former church in a new book, "Dilemma: A Priest's Struggle with Faith and Love."
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has informed the Diocese of Springfield that the Rev. Daniel H. Martins has received sufficient consents from bishops and standing committees to be consecrated as the diocese’s 11th bishop.
The diocese announced on Christmas Day that Martins had received consents from a majority of the Episcopal Church’s standing committees. The diocese said then that Martins had received consents from 64 standing committees, well past the required majority of 56.
In an Oct. 16 letter [PDF], the Diocese of San Joaquin’s standing committee and bishop expressed their “grave concerns about the election” of Martins. With that letter, the bishop and standing committee expressed their belief that Martins “supported and voted to attempt to remove the diocese from the Episcopal Church” and that “it is implicit in his writings and actions that he clearly holds the belief that a Diocese may leave this Church unilaterally, which is contrary to our understanding of Anglicanism and the polity of the Episcopal Church.”
Martins disputed those interpretations of his writing and actions, and several prominent General Convention leaders expressed their support in an open letter dated Nov. 1.
The group Concerned Laity of the Diocese of Springfield also endorsed the bishop-elect in an open letter.
The presiding bishop’s office will continue receiving decisions from bishops and standing committees until Feb. 16.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has celebrated the impact of the King James Bible since its publication 400 years ago.
"When we try to make sense of our lives and of who we really are, it helps to have a strongly defined story, a big picture of some kind in the background," said Williams, in his annual New Year message, recorded for the BBC. "As the King James Bible took hold of the imaginations of millions of people in the English-speaking world, it gave them just that -- a big picture, a story in which their lives made sense."
The Authorized King James Version is an English translation of the Bible begun in 1604 and published in 1611. James I, who instructed the translation, was king of England at the time.
"Things move on but it's good for us to have some long-lasting furniture in our minds, words and images that have something a bit mysterious about them and that carry important experiences for us that we can't find words of our own for," Williams said.
The archbishop underscores that some kind of "big picture" matters for people to make sense of their lives, regardless of their beliefs. "This year's anniversary is a chance to stop and think about the big picture -- and to celebrate the astonishing contribution made by that book four hundred years ago," he said.
The full text of the Archbishop's message follows.
With less than a week before a referendum to go to decide whether southern Sudan will secede or remain part of a united Sudan, the Episcopal church of Sudan in Aweil Diocese on Monday called for the plebiscite to be conducted peacefully.
Speaking to Sudan Tribune from Aweil town, capital of northern Bahr el Ghazal, Bishop Abraham Yel Nhial, said all political players should ensure that the spirit of love and forgiveness displayed during this festive season should be extended to the referendum campaign as the southern Sudanese go to the polls from 9 to 15 January.
The Bishop said 2011 is an important year and urged all Sudanese people particularly southern Sudanese to uphold peace and unity among themselves and reject violence or evil ideas.
Yel, who spoke to Sudan Tribune shortly after opening a three days referendum training organized by his church to 45 pastors drawn from various part of the diocese including Abyei, said there was a need from religious leaders to preach peace and love as the country goes to the poll.
The Episcopal Church is preparing to launch a fund-raising effort to help "rebuild the soul" of Haiti, according to a Jan. 3 release from the Episcopal Church Foundation. The focus of what the release calls the "initial phase of rebuilding" will be the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti's Holy Trinity Cathedral complex in Port-au-Prince. Nearly all the diocese's church buildings were effectively leveled by the Jan. 12, 2010 magnitude-7 earthquake, the release said.
The cathedral complex once contained Holy Trinity Music School, Holy Trinity Professional School, primary and secondary schools, and a convent as well as the church with its world-renowned murals depicting biblical stories in Haitian motifs, which were crafted by some of the best-known Haitian painters of the 20th century.
"The cathedral was a beacon in a land where strength of faith is inversely proportional to economic development," the foundation's release said.
The Diocese of Haiti is numerically the largest diocese in the Episcopal Church and prior to the earthquake ran a network of 254 schools that taught more than 80,000 Haitians from preschool to university level. Other institutions included a school for handicapped children, a trade school, a music school, a two-year business school, a nursing school that granted the first baccalaureate degrees in the country in January 2009, a seminary and a university. A renowned philharmonic orchestra and children's choir were based at the cathedral and both are still performing. The diocese also provides ran medical clinics, development projects and micro-financing efforts.
Today, my wife and I attended her doctor's appointment and discovered that our baby is a girl. In a few short months, I will welcome my daughter into the world. I feel truly blessed.
I imagine every man feels a similar combination of joy, nervousness, and thanksgiving as he awaits the birth of his first child. For me, a former Roman Catholic priest who never imagined this as a real possibility in my own life, it is one spectacular moment on a very complicated journey.
I began writing this book in the midst of great turmoil — after marrying the woman I loved, being chased by the paparazzi for months, and finally making the decision to move on from the Roman Catholic Church I grew up in, to serve God in peace as a married Episcopal (Anglican) priest. Ironically, I began writing it at a beautiful retreat house owned by the Episcopal Church in Delray Beach, Florida, just a few minutes down the road from the Roman Catholic seminary and graduate school where I studied theology. I see this as yet more evidence that everything on the road of life is connected. Despite the bumps in the road to get to this point, I am grateful.
ArchBishop Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh, has described the series of bomb attacks in the country as an attempt to force military to take over before the forthcoming general elections.
Okoh, who made the statement weekend at the New Year special service held in Abuja, said it is unfortunate that each time "We are about to experience joy in this nation, some people decide to use that time to throw a spanner in the wheel of progress."
He said it was a very sad commentary on the country as a nation, and recapping also the Independence Day blast, Bishop said "as we are about to enter the New Year, which signals a new beginning for our nation, another bomb blast occurs, more so in the military barracks."
Condemning the blast, the bishop said people behind it are trying to give an impression of loss of control and general state of insecurity in the country, perhaps so that the military can take over power before the nation holds her next election. "This may be their plan to achieve a change of government."
The bishop also called on the president and Nigerian people not to be shaken by these acts but work towards unraveling those behind the attacks with a view to making them face the full wrath of the law.
So it turns out that John Broadhurst, Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton will spend less than two weeks as laymen. According to the Friends of the Ordinariate website, the former bishops of Fulham, Ebbsfleet and Richborough will be ordained Roman Catholic priests in Westminster Cathedral at 10.30am on Saturday, 15 January, a fortnight after they were received into the Church. Everyone is welcome to attend. By that stage they will already be Catholic clergy, having been ordained deacons on Thursday 13 January.
I’d be interested to know whether this sets some sort of record. The late Mgr Graham Leonard, former Bishop of London, was, I believe, ordained priest without a separate diaconal ordination, though I could be wrong about that. Does anyone remember when he was received? One difference is that Mgr Leonard was ordained conditionally, on 23 April 1994. To quote his Daily Telegraph obituary from last January:
He told his former colleagues on the episcopal bench of the House of Lords of his decision to join the Roman Church, and sent papers to the Vatican outlining his claim to be a legitimately ordained bishop. This was because he had received apostolic orders from a bishop of the Old Catholic Church, which were considered legitimate even though it had broken with Rome at the first Vatican Council during the mid-19th century.
1921 - The first religious program heard over the radio was broadcast from Calvary Episcopal Church of Pittsburgh over local radio station KDKA. (The first licensed radio station in the US, KDKA had been on the air only two months.)
With an average of 16 people a weekend for five years, the Magdalene House has provided more than 4,000 comfortable and free nights for those who visit inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution.
“And there have been many nights when we have had 14 visitors. That’s as many as the fire marshal allows,” said the Rev. John Martin of Holy Cross Episcopal Church.
The residence at 206 Columbia St. is owned by the Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Washington Street. As a lay minister there in 2004, Martin traveled to a similar hostelry at the federal jail at Alderson, W.Va., and has modeled the Magdalene House after that home.
Ordained in 2009, Martin continues to oversee the home away from home for the family and friends of federal inmates.
Most visitors are females: mothers, wives, daughters, significant others, with an occasional brother or uncle thrown in.
Father Joel Miller, the rector at downtown's Calvary Episcopal Church, has faith that he won't lose his pulpit.
Charged this summer with unbecoming conduct for his handling of a homeless outreach program and inappropriate communication with parishioners, Miller won't know his fate until an upcoming church trial.
Although he has yet to hear specific canonical allegations stemming from the complaints of seven church members, the 62-year-old father of four said he has been assured repeatedly by the bishop of his Monterey-based diocese that he will not be defrocked or relocated.
"I don't know to this day what it is I said or who it is I injured," Miller said in an interview last week inside his study at the 146-year-old church, located at Center and Lincoln streets. "My response has been, I can't plead innocent or guilty until I know what I've done or how I've mismanaged the ministries."
Shortly after Miller allowed organizers of the Monday Night Coffee House ministry -- a weekly Bible study and meal put on volunteers -- to move from the Elm Street Mission to his church in June 2008, arrests and citations for loitering, drug dealing and overnight camping became commonplace. The problems, illustrated by the physical assault of a church volunteer at the hands of a transient, were not limited to the Monday events and were exacerbated by a drum circle that used to gather across the street at the weekly farmers market.
A former Miami archdiocesan priest whose television, radio, and newspaper outreach extended to outlets as varied as Telemundo and EWTN has denounced the Church in a new book.
Alberto Cutié, whose public ministry in the Church ended following the publication of compromising photographs, renounced the Catholic faith and became a minister of the Episcopal Church. He also civilly married the divorcee with whom he was having an affair.
In his new book, Cutié calls the Catholic Church “misogynistic,” “disconnected,” and an “institution that continues to promote old ideas.”
“There are so many homosexuals, both active and celibate, at all levels of clergy and Church hierarchy that the Church would never be able to function if they were really to exclude all of them from ministry,” he adds.
Eyewitnesses say at least 21 people have been killed and scores wounded in a suicide bombing attack at a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria, Egypt. Tensions between Christians and Muslims have been on the rise in Egypt and nearby Iraq following recent threats by the al-Qaida terrorist group.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak denounced the explosion at a Coptic church in the port city of Alexandria overnight, calling on Christians and Muslims to unite in confronting such acts of terrorism.
He says that this act of terrorism points to the involvement of foreign gangs that wish to turn Egypt into a terrorist playground in the region. He warns that he and the Egyptian people will stop these forces from carrying out their plots to destabilize the country and destroy the cohesion and unity of its people. The plotters, he adds, will ultimately be captured and punished.
Having the Faith section come out on New Year's Day begs for a "Top 10 Religion Story" story.
But that's not what you're going to get.
After reading what the Religion Newswriters Association picked (the New York mosque being No. 1 — haven't we heard enough about that?), I noticed that most of them involved conflict and scandal, rarely touching on people's personal faith lives.
So I'm going to offer a handful of my favorite memories — six, to be precise — of covering the Faith beat in 2010. They're in no special order, but each one stands out for me as I look back over the year.