Bishops representing the largest Province of The Episcopal Church have written an open letter in which they showed support for those who refused to depart the denomination when the leadership of the South Carolina Diocese decided to leave.
"We commend you for your faith and courage during this trying season. We observed that you are meeting your present difficulties with good fellowship, good creativity and good cheer," stated the Province IV House of Bishops. "We pledge to you our prayers and the prayers of those we serve as we all go forward in faith. And we pledge our support and cooperation to our brother, your Bishop, Charlie von Rosenberg."
Last year, the Diocese of South Carolina decided to leave The Episcopal Church over a mixture of theological differences and the treatment of their bishop, Rev. Mark Lawrence. more >>
As part of its drive to retain congregation numbers, the Church of England is training its clergy to create a "pagan church" where Christianity will be "very much in the center," a British newspaper reports.
The mother church of the worldwide Anglican Communion is seeking to create new forms of Anglicanism with which people of alternative beliefs should feel comfortable, according to The Telegraph.
"I would be looking to formulate an exploration of the Christian faith that would be at home in their culture," the daily quotes the Rev. Steve Hollinghurst, who is advising the denomination in its new endeavor, as telling the BBC. more >>
The law change approved by the Church of England at the turn of the year that allows gay clergy to be considered for consecration will be put to a test by a legal briefing sent out to General Synod members that says priests in civil partnerships will have to prove to archbishops that they are not in a sexually active relationship.
"To be admitted to Holy Orders a person must be 'of virtuous conversation and good repute and such as to be a wholesome example and pattern to the flock of Christ,' the Legal Office document sent in June reads. "Once in Holy Orders a cleric must be diligent to frame and fashion his life and that of his family according to the doctrine of Christ and to make himself and them, as much as in him lies, wholesome examples and patterns to the flock of Christ."
The legal briefing reminds Church of England members that a clergy's sexual orientation is "irrelevant to their suitability for episcopal office" and that it should not be taken into account when considering nominations for the position. more >>
Pope Francis, the leader of the 1.2 billion-large Roman Catholic Church, met for the first time on Friday The Most Rev. Justin Welby, the head of the 80-million strong Anglican Communion, as the two Christian leaders talked about the differences, the similarities, and the road ahead for the two traditions.
The Vatican leader noted that the visiting Welby was officially installed as senior bishop of the Church of England just days after Pope Francis was elected to succeed Benedict XVI, meaning that the two leaders "will always have a particular reason to support one another in prayer."
The Anglican ordination of women as priests has been one of the main causes of strain between the two Christian traditions, since only men are allowed to serve as priests in the Catholic Church. more >>
A District Court judge has ruled that the suit regarding the name, seal, and property of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina will be tried in a state court rather than at the federal level.
Judge C. Weston Houck of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Division made the ruling Monday in favor of the breakaway South Carolina Diocese against The Episcopal Church in South Carolina.
"ECSC argues that a federal court's exercise of jurisdiction in this case will not result in a substantial number of state trademark cases being removed to federal court because this case implicates a First Amendment issue that simply does not arise in the vast majority of cases presenting similar claims," said Houck. more >>
A diocese that recently voted to break away from The Episcopal Church has alleged that the denomination is "holding hostage" the retirement accounts of over 80 lay employees.
The Diocese of South Carolina alleged that The Episcopal Church's insurance entity, the Church Pension Group, is refusing to allow lay employees to roll over their 403B plans. The Rev. Canon Jim Lewis, spokesman for the Diocese, explained to The Christian Post, "Similar to a 401K, a 403B is a tax-advantaged retirement account available for employees of non-profits or educational institutions.
"There are currently over 80 lay employees of the diocese and our parishes whose retirement savings are held in a 403B account controlled by the Church Pension Group. The Episcopal Church is not allowing these employees to roll their funds over to another qualified plan of their choosing." more >>