A new proposed amendment for the Virginia state Bill of Rights that would call on all public places and schools to allow prayer and religious activity passed a Senate Committee last week.
A Senate Committee in the Virginia General Assembly endorsed Senate Joint Resolution 287 on Jan. 29. Republican Sens. William M. Stanley, Jr., and Charles W. "Bill" Carrico sponsored the bill that would allow public officials, students, and others the right to participate in religious activity as long as they were not disruptive. The new bill will also allow for students to be dismissed from school assignments and presentations that conflict with their religious beliefs.
Stanley informed the panel that this amendment was crafted to ensure that people of all religions would not be penalized for expressing their right to religious beliefs. "All religions are under attack," Stanley said. "People of faith are under attack." more >>
Archbishop Jose Gomez of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles said in a letter that he is stripping his predecessor, Cardinal Roger Mahony, of his archdiocese duties, claiming that he did not do enough to address abuse by priests during his time in charge.
"I find these files to be brutal and painful reading," Gomez said in the letter, referring to more than 12,000 pages of files the church posted on Thursday detailing child sexual abuse crimes its priests have been accused of. "The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children."
The files apparently showed that Mahony worked with other top officials to protect the church body from many of the accusations filed against it, and shielded pedophile priests in fears that the church would be engulfed in a bigger scandal. more >>
A North Carolina man is suing his local Quaker church for reportedly convincing his wife to divorce him after 30 years of marriage, as well as helping her moving out of their home, thus resulting in his financial instability.
The plaintiff, Warren Pegram of Alamance County, also claims that the congregation at Cane Creek Meeting of the Society of Friends, located in Snow Camp, N.C., knowingly allowed its pastor, Mark Tope, to spend unnecessary time alone with his wife, Shyrlynn Pate Pegram.
An Oklahoma congregation affiliated with Presbyterian Church (USA) has voted to leave the denomination and join the more conservative Evangelical Covenant Order.
Members of First Presbyterian Church of Edmond voted Sunday to continue the process of dismissal from the Indian Nations Presbytery of PC(USA). According to the Edmond Sun, of those present, 815 voted in favor of dismissal while 55 voted against. Voting members had to be in good standing and present for the proceedings.
"I think this vote, a huge landslide vote, is a vindication of the direction that the leadership felt God was calling this congregation to move toward," said Mateen Elass, senior pastor of First Presbyterian, in an interview with the Edmond Sun. more >>
A group of congregations and clergy loyal to The Episcopal Church have elected a provisional bishop to lead them as the leadership of their diocese has left the denomination.
The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, the name given to the continuing Episcopalians during their legal battle with the South Carolina Diocese, elected the Reverend Charles vonRosenberg. VonRosenberg was given the position at a special meeting of the continuing Episcopalians last Saturday at Grace Episcopal Church in Charleston.
Holly Behre, communications chairman for TEC in South Carolina, told The Christian Post about the results of the vote and powers that vonRosenberg will have as bishop provisional. "Bishop vonRosenberg was elected by acclamation by clergy and lay delegate representing 9 parishes, 10 missions and 8 continuing parishes," said Behre. more >>
The head of The Episcopal Church is making an official visit to Episcopalians who belong to a diocese that has opted to break away from the denomination.
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the TEC, arrived Friday in South Carolina to visit Episcopalians in the Diocese of South Carolina who want to remain with the denomination. As part of her itinerary, Jefferts Schori will attend the "Continuing Episcopalians" special meeting on the election of a new provisional bishop for their churches, as the legal battle over who can rightfully call themselves the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina continues in court.
The Steering Committee for the Continuing Episcopalians nominated retired East Tennessee bishop Rt. Rev. Charles Glenn vonRosenberg to the post. The vote to confirm him will take place at Grace Episcopal Church in Charleston on Saturday. more >>