Saturday, January 22, 2011

Judge rules for national Episcopalians, against Iker's group

From Ft. Worth- The actual ruling is avaialable at this link

A state district judge on Friday ordered the group of Episcopalians headed by Bishop Jack Iker to "surrender all Diocesan property as well as control of the Diocese Corporation" to Episcopalians loyal to the national church.

Judge John Chupp's ruling in 141st District Court came after months of legal arguments over who owns church buildings and other property in the 24-county Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.

Chupp heard arguments for both sides Jan. 14 and granted a summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs -- Episcopalians who have remained a part of the U.S. Episcopal Church.
Chupp wrote that they have legal claim to diocesan property. He ordered the defendants to "provide an accounting of all Diocesan assets within 60 days."

The Episcopal Church is a "hierarchical body," the ruling says.

"The court follows Texas precedent governing hierarchical church property disputes which holds that in the event of a dispute among its members, a constituent part of the hierarchical church consists of those individuals remaining loyal to the hierarchical church body. Under the law articulated by Texas courts, those are the individuals who remain entitled to the use and control of the church property."

Read more:

From the Diocese-

Top Episcopal bishop inspires locals with sermon

From Florida-

Episcopalian Karyn Brode had hoped to receive communion Friday from her denomination’s top spiritual leader, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori.

“I was right there at the corner and missed her by one person,” said a smiling Brode, who runs outreach ministries at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in downtown Jacksonville. “It’s a bummer.”

But that missed opportunity was far outweighed by the joy Brode felt hearing Jefferts Schori preach at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral. The humor-laced message of unity was just what North Florida’s Episcopalians needed to hear after the difficult, dark years of divisions caused by the doctrinal differences over homosexuality, she said.

“The splits and all the drama, it was draining,” Brode said. “And to have the subject [of the sermon] be 'one body’ — it was wonderful.”

More here-

Honesdale Church Opening Shelter, Offering Warmth

From Diocese of Bethlehem- (Video)

In Wayne County, the frigid temperatures have one church trying to bring people in out of the cold.

Grace Episcopal Church in Honesdale is opening its doors as a temporary shelter.

Inside the parish hall at Grace Episcopal Church in Honesdale, cots are set out and made up as beds, as hearty soup and macaroni and cheese sits simmering in crock-pots.

Volunteers are opening this hall as a shelter from 7 pm until 7 am through out weekend.

Anyone who comes out can stay, no questions asked.

"They just come in. We'd like to have a first name but they don't have to fully identify themselves if they don't want to, it's pretty much anonymous," said Susan Erb, the wife of pastor at Grace Episcopal Church.

Guests are then provided with plenty of supplies to help them get a good night's rest.

"There's toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, your basic things that if someone wants to come in that they might need overnight," said volunteer Cindy Smith. "And we've gotten some great donations. These are hats and scarf set that someone crocheted and donated."

More here-,0,5548128.story

Ex-Planned Parenthood Director Leaves Episcopal Church over Abortion

From Christian Post-

Former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson is leaving the Episcopal Church for the Catholic Church to distance herself from the pro-choice agenda.

Johnson, along with her husband, Doug, and 4-year-old daughter, are in the process of joining the Catholic Church in Bryan, Texas. Her decision was fueled by her Episcopal church’s reaction to her conversion from pro-choice to pro-life.

“They weren’t all that supportive of her decision to leave Planned Parenthood,” said Shawn Carney, campaign director for 40 Days for Life, to The Christian Post. Carney was the first person Johnson reached out to from the pro-life movement after she rejected the pro-choice stance. She is also attending the Catholic Church that Carney had attended while living in Texas.

Johnson, raised a Baptist, and her husband are completing the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults to join St. Thomas Aquinas.

In her recently released book, Unplanned, Johnson shares that she often felt conflicted about working with Planned Parenthood. As a result, she joined St. Francis Episcopal Church in College Station, which she describes as “very open-minded about abortion” in a promotional video for her book.

Many of the attendees at the church “had really accepted abortion” and “a lot of them were donors to Planned Parenthood,” she says.

More here-

Friday, January 21, 2011

FORT WORTH: Diocese explores means of reconciliation, renewal

From ENS-

What is reconciliation? What is the difference between "worship" and "liturgy?" Is liturgy something the clergy "do" and present to the laity? What elements might be included in a liturgy of reconciliation?

All these questions were explored at a "Chili and Liturgy Workshop" on Saturday, Jan. 15 at St. Christopher Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Fort Worth. The workshop is part of a diocesan-wide process of developing a Liturgy for Reconciliation for use when all the parishes of the diocese are reunited, said the Rt. Rev. C. Wallis Ohl, provisional bishop of Fort Worth.

"In The Episcopal Church it is often said that if you want to know what we believe, look at how and what we pray," said Bishop Ohl. "This liturgy we're talking about here today is part of our ongoing work on reconciliation and renewal."

The former bishop and much of the diocesan leadership left the Episcopal Church in Nov. 2008 although they have continued to call themselves "the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth" and have sought to retain possession of Episcopal Church property. Litigation in this matter is ongoing in state and federal courts.

More here-

Rector speaks of Haiti experience at service

From Missouri-

As golden light from stained glass windows in Drury University's Stone Chapel streamed around him, the Rev. Ken Chumbley said Haiti will need an outpouring of help for a long time to pull out of its dark days.

Chumbley, who is rector of Christ Episcopal Church, has only memories left of the Episcopal cathedral in Port-au-Prince he visited just four days before an earthquake demolished the landmark church and much of the capital city.

During a homily given during a prayer service for earthquake victims, Chumbley said he has been wearing a special wooden cross given to him by a Haitian priest.

"When I wear it, I feel close to the people of Haiti," Chumbley said. "When I wear it, they are close to my heart."

More here-

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Life for an Old Church

From Binghamton NY (with video)

The Christ Episcopal Church is making a pilgrimage through time. It starts in 1961 when it suffered from a serious fire.

"The church itself was saved, but it's been an ongoing problem since," said Rev. Sue Cole.
The problem is still quietly kept in the bell tower, where you can still see the charred wood and remains from that fire.

Some signs are seen outside, too.

"That is due to water damage where it was charred so deeply that its not salvageable," said Lee Liddle from Second Nature Construction. "All of that wood will be replaced."
Work must be done carefully. Christ Episcopal is on the National Register of Historic Places.
It is the oldest public meeting building in the Village of Walton and the heart of a faithful congregation.

"Every person in this church feels that this is a true church family, and we are stewards of this building," said parishoner Lynda Hitt. "We are responsible for the maintenance of this building."

More here-

Anglicanism topic of 3-day Episcopal meeting in SC

From South Carolina-

Episcopalians from the southern region of South Carolina are meeting in Charleston for a three-day conference on Anglicanism.

The conference opens Thursday at at St. Philip's in Charleston.

Fifteen months ago, the Diocese of South Carolina voted to distance itself - but not completely split - from the national Episcopal Church over concerns about the national church's consecration in 2003 of its first openly gay bishop.

The diocese is comprised of parishes in the lower and eastern part of South Carolina.

This week's conference is entitled Mere Anglicanism and diocesan officials say educated and active Anglicans are key to efforts to reform the Episcopal church in North America.

The 2.3 million-member Episcopal church is the U.S. branch of the 77 million-member worldwide Anglican Communion.

More here-

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bishops Help One Another Amid Floods

From The Living Church-

The Bishop of Atlanta has encouraged parishes to take collections for flood relief in the Diocese of Rio de Janeiro. The Brazilian diocese is one of three dioceses in companion relationships with Atlanta.

Rio’s bishop, the Rt. Rev. Filadelfo Oliveira, participated in Atlanta’s annual council in 2008.

“The Diocese of Atlanta, together with other Anglican-Episcopal companions around the world, has been asked to provide whatever funds we can spare to assist with the relief efforts,” Bishop J. Neil Alexander wrote Jan. 18. “Many of you will remember Bishop Filadelfo from his visits to our diocese and address to Annual Council two years ago. A number of other friends from Rio de Janeiro have blessed us by their presence among us.”

The bishop asked that congregations within his diocese collect donations Jan. 23 or Jan. 30. The diocese also accepts donations through this webpage.

“As you all can see in the news, unusually heavy rain has been falling in Southeastern Brazil for days,” Bishop Oliveira wrote in an online statement Jan. 14. “The mountains in the countryside of Rio de Janeiro State have been affected by the worst rainstorms in their history. In cities such as Teresópolis, Petrópolis and Nova Friburgo, hundreds of people have instantly died due to mudslides that caused entire hills to collapse. It is by far considered the worst catastrophe in Brazilian history.”

Australians are dealing with a flooding crisis as well, and Anglican priests from New Zealand are preparing to offer on-site help.

More here-

Anglican Ordinariate for Australia up by Pentecost, to include Japan

From Australia-

AN Ordinariate for Anglicans to enter the Catholic Church is set to be established in Australia by Pentecost this year, and will include Japan.

The Ordinariate – which is effectively a diocese without geographical boundaries - is in response to Pope Benedict XVI’s November 2009 Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus (“On the gathering of the Anglicans”).

The Constitution gave Anglicans a way to celebrate their heritage of worship and life as communities within the full communion of the Catholic Church.

While the emphasis of Anglicanorum coetibus is for Anglicans to enter the Catholic Church in groups, 28 Anglican priests in Australia have so far expressed their firm intention to take up Pope Benedict’s offer.

The Traditional Anglican Communion, a group of disaffected Anglicans who have been seeking full communion with Rome for years, will host a festival in Perth on 26 February at Holy Family Catholic Church in Como for the Anglican Ordinariate for Australia.

TAC Bishop Harry Entwistle - one of four TAC Bishops in Australia and the Torres Strait Islands who will be ordained as Catholic priests, likely just before the Ordinariate is officially established, told The Record the festival is a public statement that “this is no longer just a theory, it’s really happening”. “It’s an opportunity to gather those who are more than just casually interested,” he said of the festival, which is for Catholics and Anglicans who, like the TAC, have long been disillusioned with the Anglican Church’s liberalisation with female clergy, among other things.

Melbourne Auxiliary Bishop Peter Elliott, Delegate for the Holy See for the Australian Ordinariate, will address the festival, as will Adelaide-based Archbishop John Hepworth, Primate of the TAC which claims a global membership of 400,000.

More here-

Former Planned Parenthood director to convert to Catholicism

From San Fransisco-

The woman who walked away from her job as a Planned Parenthood clinic director after helping with an ultrasound-guided abortion is on the verge of entering the Catholic Church.

Abby Johnson, 30, who will speak at the 11 a.m. Walk for Life West Coast rally in San Francisco Jan. 22, is preparing with her husband Doug to enter the Catholic Church in her native Texas within the next few months. The couple has a 4-year-old daughter.

“When we went to the Catholic Church for the first time we knew that was where we were supposed to be and we have been there ever since,” said Johnson, who said she particularly loves the church’s reverence for Mary as the mother of God. “The more we started learning about the beliefs of the church and the Eucharist and everything, it seemed like this was what had been missing our whole lives.”

After eight years as a Planned Parenthood volunteer and employee, Johnson walked away from her job as director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan/College Station, Texas, Oct. 6, 2009 during a prayer vigil by 40 Days for Life. Johnson, who had two abortions at 20 and at 23, first began working as a clinic escort while a student at Texas A&M University. Assisting with an ultrasound during an abortion in September 2009 turned her into a pro-life advocate.

More here-

NCC communion leaders remind Obama of his promise to cut poverty in half

From NCC-

Heads of National Council of Churches member communions and NCC staff leaders used the Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday weekend to urge President Obama to use his January 25 State of the Union message to reassert his dramatic campaign pledge to "cut poverty in half" in the next ten years.

In an open letter to Mr. Obama, the NCC staff and communion leaders said, "There is no greater concern among the churches of Christ than for those in this nation who live in poverty. This could hardly be otherwise because Jesus himself lived among the poor: loving them, eating and drinking with them, healing them, and speaking words of justice and assurance that God's own love for the poor is unsurpassed."

The Rev. Michael Livingston, who directs the NCC's poverty program, said it was appropriate to send the message to the President as the nation observed Dr. King's 82nd birthday.

"Martin Luther King, Jr. was the prophet who inspired all of us to work for justice and to end poverty," Livingston said. "We know the President shares our views, and we want him to know we are behind him as he takes up this challenge."

More here-

In Sudan, provisional referendum results indicate landslide independence vote

From ENS-

An early line from local polling stations in southern Sudan reveals that the vast majority of votes cast in the historic referendum are in favor of independence.

Episcopal Church missionaries Robin Denney and Larry Duffee joined Rebecca Coleman, international coordinator for the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, in visiting polling stations in Juba on Jan. 16, the day after the referendum voting closed.

Of the 16 polling stations they visited in southern Sudan's capital city, an average voter turnout of 95 percent was recorded and those in favor of independence totaled 97 percent.

"We only meant to visit a couple, but the more we visited the more we wanted to see," Denney said in an e-mail to ENS. "Other people were out doing the same thing, and it felt like a scavenger hunt of witnessing history."

The polls opened to voters on Jan. 9, the sixth anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that brought an end to a 21-year civil war that claimed 2 million lives and displaced many millions more. The referendum is one of the CPA's main provisions.

More here-

Episcopal Clergyman Supports Use of Condoms

From Liberia-

A visiting Episcopal prelate, the Rev. James Papile, has expressed support for the use of condom by Christians around the world.

Rev. Papile said he supports any means that prevents the loss of lives in the world at large.
“If using condoms helps save lives, my congregation must engage in such a practice for the welfare of the people.

“I preach the issue of faithfulness and commitment, but the minds of people are all not the same; so there is nothing wrong in advising the congregation to use condoms,” Rev. Papile intimated.
The Episcopal clergyman is visiting Liberia as guest of many Liberian Episcopalians who, residing in Reston, Virginia during the civil war, found St. Anne’s their spiritual home in the United States. He told our reporter that about 1,500 family heads resided in Reston during the war.

In an interview with the Daily Observer over the weekend, Rev. Papile said as condoms remain a life saving tool in the world, Christians must collectively help the society in every manner and form to save the children.

Also addressing the issue of gay-marriage in the church, the St. Anne’s Parish rector said once individuals have decided to come together in marriage there was no need to put them apart.
“I support gay-marriage as a person, and I believe that I don’t share this view with my entire
congregation,” Rev. Papile declared.

In a related development, the Episcopal clergyman urged the church and the Christian faith in general to be proactive and robust in the reformation process of its members.

More here-

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

'There's a lot of hope here'

From Today's Post Gazette- The picture is "Nano" Chalfant-Walker a priest of the diocese and recent past president of the Standing Committee.

Wilkinsburg residents and friends sang and chanted all along the route of their peace march through the community on Monday morning.

"We'll begin with 'We Shall Overcome,' " the Rev. Thelma Mitchell said as the group started out from Church of the Nazarene on Peebles Street.

The song, one of the anthems of the American Civil Rights movement, seemed an appropriate choice. The event was held on the national holiday honoring the best known leader of that non-violent effort: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King would have turned 82 on Saturday and the event was named in his memory.

Organizers said the march took on added importance this year following the fatal shootings of four young people this fall. They included Jeron Grayson, the son of the Rev. Glenn Grayson. Rev. Grayson is a member of the Wilkinsburg Ministerial Association, which sponsors the annual event.

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The life of heroic nurse Sister Dora is honoured

From Birmingham England-

HEROIC nurse and Anglican nun Sister Dora is often known as Walsall’s answer to Florence Nightingale in her compassionate care for townsfolk.

Born Dorothy Wyndlow Pattison on January 16, 1832 at Hauxwell, a small North Yorkshire village, she arrived in the town on January 8, 1865 and devoted the rest of her days to nursing, particularly those with industrial illnesses.

Before that Dorothy, the second youngest child of the Rev Mark James Pattison, and sister of the scholar Mark Pattison Jnr, had run the village school at Little Woolstone, Buckinghamshire.

In the autumn of 1864, she joined the Sisterhood of the Good Samaritans at Coatham, Middlesbrough and was soon posted to Walsall’s tiny cottage hospital in Bridge Street.

Ruth Vyse, manager of Walsall Local History Centre said: “She ran the cottage hospital till her death in 1878 and made it a model of its kind, in terms of the standard of care it gave to patients.

“She had an influence in the wider world, too, as an example of how nursing should be carried out. There were a lot of concerns about nurses at the time, but she trained a lot of them – many going on to be very successful – while also continuing to learn herself.

Read More

Catholic Deacons and Celibacy: Conjugal Love and Charitable Disagreement

From -

After my morning prayer on the Feast of St Anthony I reflected on the excerpt on the Life of Anthony by St. Athanasius in the Office of Readings entitled "St. Anthony receives his vocation". I was moved by the naturally supernatural way in which this great ascetic and disciple of Christ lived his calling in the ordinary day to day world in which he found himself.

After receiving his call to the monastic life, and before he went into the desert, he began to live his vocation in the exigencies of real life. He cared for his sister who was orphaned when both parents died. In doing so he allowed his vocation to be forged and formed in the fire of daily experience and it took shape. I resolved in prayer to try even harder to do the same as a husband, father, grandfather and deacon of the Church.

I then opened my E mail and found a letter from Deacon Greg Kandra, a man whom I respect. It was sent to a list of deacons and concerned an article written by a Canon lawyer, Edward Peters, a man whom I also respect. Edward Peters has reintroduced the discussion of Canon #277 of the Code of Canon Law and the practice of clerical celibacy in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church in a post entitled "Canon 277 and clerical continence in the Roman Church."

His claim is not new. He joins others such as Father Ray Ryland in asserting that married men who enter the clerical state should practice continence, including married deacons and priests. I often visit Ed's excellent blog on Canon Law. I am also a fan of his son, Thomas Peters, of the American Papist/ Catholic Vote. Thomas also posted a piece entitled "Church Law says Permanent Deacons (and all clerics) are obliged to abstain from sex, notes Canonist Edward Peters {updated}"

More here-

Breakaway B.C. churches appeal to Supreme Court of Canada

From The Anglican Journal (Canada)

The bishop of the diocese of New Westminster, Michael Ingham, said he was “saddened” by the news that breakaway members of four Anglican churches opposed to same-sex blessings have taken their battle over church property to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The group, which belongs to the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC), filed an application for leave to appeal to the high court on Jan. 14. Last November, the British Columbia Court of Appeal upheld a 2009 Supreme Court of B.C. ruling that the diocese should retain possession of four Vancouver-area church properties.

Bishop Ingham called the decision “costly and divisive,” and said it would “consume even more of the time, energy and money that should be used for the mission of the Church.” He said the “dispute” has caused the diocese to cut back on its ministry to patients of St. Paul’s and Vancouver hospitals, and its support for ministries involving churches in the north and overseas, with its partners in the Anglican Communion.

More here-

Former Anglican Bishops Ordained into Catholic Church

From Christian Post-

Keith Newton, Andrew Burnham and John Broadhurst – all former Anglican bishops – were welcomed into the Roman Catholic Church during a ceremony at Westminster Cathedral in London.

The three left the Church of England – the mother church of the global Anglican Communion – because they were "distressed" by the developments in the communion which they found to be "incompatible" with Christian tradition.

They may be the first of at least 50 making the switch to Roman Catholicism.

The Vatican announced in 2009 that it would introduce a new church structure that would allow former Anglicans to enter "full communion" with the Catholic Church while preserving their Anglican traditions. Pope Benedict XVI made the provision in response to the numerous requests he received from Anglicans who were unhappy with the ordination of women and noncelibate gay bishops.

Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams – the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion – has maintained that he does not view the new structure as "an aggressive act, meant to destabilize" the relations of the two global church bodies.

More here-

Former Anglicans could share old churches, says head of Ordinariate

From The London telegraph-

Fr Keith Newton, a bishop in the Church of England until just a few weeks ago who is now an ordained Catholic priest and the head of the Personal Ordinariate of England and Wales, said he hoped churches could be shared between the different congregations.

But he insisted he did not want any “rancour or bad feeling” between Anglicans and those who go over to Rome under the unprecedented scheme.

The Ordinariate was proposed late in 2009 by the Vatican as a refuge for disaffected Anglicans worldwide who oppose developments such as women’s ordination.

It will allow them to enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church while retaining parts of their spiritual heritage, and will allow married former Anglican clergy to become priests without having to be celibate.

Three leading Anglo-Catholic bishops have already left the Church of England for the new structure and were ordained as Catholic priests at a high-profile ceremony at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday. Up to 60 more priests along with dozens of parishioners from across England are expected to join the movement by Pentecost – June 12th.

More here-

Rev. Robert Browning: People's belief in themselves can liberate them from discrimination

From Ft. Myers FL-

I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in Philadelphia, attended Wharton School of finance after high school and was told after the first year, "not to come back until I wanted to study." That gave me my early racial/social/intellectual shock and was fortified by serving four years in the Air Force during the Korean War. Working as a laborer and apprentice carpenter taught me all labor is honorable.

I returned to college and seminary more focused, as a journeyman carpenter/builder. These experiences taught me that when people know they have the freedom to be whom God created them to be, they should function on that belief, rather than accepting who others say they are or who they could only be. This determined that my ministry was in helping people believe their limitations are only restricted in their pursuit of fulfillment by their quest for education. The difference between occupation and vocation is our belief God has called us to this place, and we have an intense hunger to learn.

With this belief in my mind, I came to Fort Myers to build St. Hilary's Episcopal Church in 1964 as its priest. In talking to Pastor Isadore Edwards and other early founders of the local NAACP, we believed progress in equality would not move ahead by just wishing. Basically, we saw people living in Dunbar, believing that they were restricted and must obey, would function on that level. They were told they would not grow and be free until they "got over their slave mentality." Some people could not accept their equality as human beings. Many felt immobile, angry and helpless.

More here-

Monday, January 17, 2011

Swine flu forces Darebin churches to alter Communion services

Seems to be news day in Australia-

SWINE flu is forcing Catholic priests in Darebin to offer Holy Communion without wine, but the Anglicans are yet to suspend the “cup of salvation”.

Thornbury parish priest Father Gerry Medici said last weekend was the first time he was aware of that the chalice filled with wine, symbolising the blood of Christ, was not offered to St Mary’s Catholic Church parishioners as part of Holy Communion.

He was acting under instruction from Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart, who also recommended priests ask parishioners to nod heads in greeting, rather than the customary hand shake or embrace during the Sign of Peace.

“This has been brought in largely to allay people’s worries,” Father Medici said.

More here-

Anglicans counter "New atheism" with new online resource

From Australia-

How can there be a God when people are suffering through floods and fires? How can God sit back and allow bad things to happen to good people?

A new online resource from the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne offers answers to these and other difficult questions as the Church seeks to engage directly with the rising “New Atheism” phenomenon.

"It's not surprising that Christians will be asked hard questions like these as we watch the devastation of the Queensland floods," said Bishop Barbara Darling, chair of the Christianity and Atheism Committee for the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne. "We should not be afraid of such questions, but should welcome the opportunity to talk with those who ask them".

The committee seeks not to criticise the existence of such a movement, but to engage with the propositions put forward by people such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. It will do so via its new website, at, where members of the public are encouraged to submit their own questions for the committee to consider, and through a free downloadable brochure designed to assist Christians in answering the tricky questions. The site also features summaries of over fifty books covering a wide range of perspectives on atheism.

More here-

Church tells women's march to find new spot

From Australia-

FOR ALMOST 40 years the International Women's Day march has set off from Sydney Square, between the Town Hall and St Andrew's cathedral in the city.

But this year the march organisers received a rude shock. Unknown to them the square is mostly owned by the Anglican Diocese of Sydney. And the church has put the International Women's Day Collective on notice.

Yes, women can rally in the square one more time - on Saturday, March 11 - before heading down George Street. But in future years they must start the march somewhere else, ''on public land''.

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''It's just amazing,'' said Anne Barber, one of the organisers. ''It's a traditional meeting point and somehow the church has right of veto.''

The Sydney diocese, under Archbishop Peter Jensen, prescribes that women must submit to the ''headship'' of men in the church and in their marriage. It also opposes ordination of women.

But a spokesman for the diocese, Russell Powell, said the women were not being singled out. A new policy on all rallies in the square was being considered by the board of the Glebe Administration Board, which is the church's business arm.

More here-

History overturned as Anglican bishops are ordained as Catholic priests

From The London Guardian-

In its 100-plus years Westminster Cathedral, the mother church of English Catholicism, will have seen few stranger sights than Saturday's procession of three Anglican bishops' wives, in matching beige coats, one with an outsized brown hat, going up on to the high altar to embrace their husbands, all newly ordained as Catholic priests. Catholicism isn't that keen on women on the altar – to the pain of the demonstrators from the Catholic Women's Ordination movement protesting outside the cathedral's doors – and it doesn't usually countenance priests having wives.

But this was no ordinary ceremony. Almost everyone who spoke during it used the word "historic" to describe the ordination as Catholic priests of John Broadhurst, Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton, all formerly Anglican bishops.

It is the Vatican's negative attitude to women's ministry that formed the backdrop to the whole affair. The three recruits oppose the Church of England's plans to appoint female bishops and regard the Catholic priesthood as a safe, female-free haven.

There has been a steady stream of converts since the Church of England voted in favour of female priests in 1992. What made the two-hour service in Westminster Cathedral genuinely historic, however, was that these three men were not simply joining the ranks of Britain's six million Catholics, or even being granted a special dispensation from Rome's usual rules to allow them to become married Catholic priests. That, too, has been happening in small numbers since 1992.

More here-

Brother, can you spare a dime?

From Durango- (Andrew and I have worked together at General Convention)

As the new reality in poverty's changing statistics takes hold, local families' financial hardships have gone from “crisis to chronic” through no fault of their own, said the Rev. Andrew Cooley of St. Mark's Episcopal Church and countless others in the community who run social service programs.

“There is an illusion in Durango among some people and agencies that helping a family one time can keep them from falling off the brink,” Cooley said.

The illusion sometimes leads to a lack of compassion in the community for families who need more than a small sum to get through or require help repeatedly, he said.

The shame of it all

Many families the Herald interviewed said they felt blamed and belittled for seeking help.

More here-

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Statement from the Right Reverend Michael Ingham, Bishop of New Westminster

More from canada-

I was saddened today to learn that 22 individuals in 4 congregations have taken their claim to ownership of Anglican Church properties to the Supreme Court of Canada.

This is a costly and divisive decision that will consume even more of the time, energy, and money that should be used for the mission of the Church. Already this unnecessary dispute has caused us to cut back on our chaplains ministering to patients at St. Paul’s and Vancouver Hospitals, as well as our support for the Church in the North and for our worldwide partners throughout the Anglican Communion.

It marks a refusal to accept the unanimous rulings of the Supreme Court of BC and the Appeal Court of BC. These courts have upheld the integrity of church structures, Canon Law, and our historic traditions of governance. This legal action today seeks to overturn all that in an effort to reject the decisions of our Synod to bless gay and lesbian Christians in permanent, faithful, and lifelong unions.

We remain a Church that welcomes all people who seek a deeper knowledge of God. We remain committed to human dignity and mutual respect, to social justice and lifelong faithfulness in love. This Diocese is home to Christians of traditionalist conscience as well as Christians whose ethics now embrace those who were once rejected. No one is required to act against their conscience. I have asked only that we respect one another and get on with the work of mission.

More here-

Dissident Anglicans take fight to top court

From Canada-

Breakaway members of Anglican churches in B.C. opposed to same-sex blessings want to take their battle over church buildings and bank accounts to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Earlier this week, the group filed an application for leave to appeal to the high court.

The group has lost at the two lower court levels in British Columbia, but its lawyer, Cheryl Chang, said there remain many questions for the Supreme Court to answer.

"If any congregation splits over theological differences, the question that we're raising for the Supreme Court of Canada is, what do you do in this post-modern, secularized environment?" Chang said.

"Does the court say always that you have to pick a winner or loser? Or does the court have the ability to … go in and basically divide the assets as you would in any divorce situation?"

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