Bishop Martin D. McLee, who heads The United Methodist Church in the New York Area, announced on Monday that he will be seeking to stop church trials of clergy who have officiated same-sex marriages, though some critics have said this could lead to a split in the denomination.
"I am grateful to report that the matter concerning the Reverend Dr. Thomas W. Ogletree will not result in a church trial as a just resolution has been achieved," McLee said in a statement, according to NBC News. "I call for and commit to a cessation of church trials for conducting ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions or performing same-gender wedding ceremonies and instead offer a process of theological, spiritual, and ecclesiastical conversation."
Ogletree, a Frederick Marquand Professor Emeritus of Theological Ethics and one of the authors of United Methodist's Book of Discipline, was facing a canonical trial after it was revealed in 2013 that he officiated his son's same-sex wedding, which goes against church teachings. more >>
A Virginia congregation that left the Episcopal Church over theological differences has been denied an appeal before the United States Supreme Court regarding a property dispute with its former diocese.
After some delay, the highest Court in the land made their decision Monday to not hear the Falls Church Anglican's case over the historic church property they once oversaw.
In an email sent out to parishioners, Falls Church leadership acknowledged that the "long legal process" the congregation has been in with the Episcopal Church "has come to its end." more >>
As the one year anniversary of Pope Francis' installation as the head of the Roman Catholic Church draws near, many Catholics consider his tenure to be "extraordinary."
"Pope Francis has had an extraordinary first year and shown his unique ability to present Catholic teaching in down-to-earth terms and people hear him," Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokesperson for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, told The Christian Post. "He has emphasized on numerous occasions his concern for the family, especially in its brokenness. He has said the Church should be a field hospital and he intends to heal. His emphasis on real pastoral needs of the church will be important."
Next week will mark one year since Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio was installed as the Bishop of Rome, being elected after Pope Benedict XVI announced his retirement. more >>
New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan said in an interview that he has "no sense of judgment" on NFL prospect Michael Sam who announced in February that he is gay, and also commented on Pope Francis' recent remarks that he could be open to civil unions.
"Good for him. I would have no sense of judgment on him. God bless ya … Look, the same Bible that … teaches us well about the virtues of chastity and the virtue of fidelity and marriage also tells us not to judge people. So I would say, 'Bravo,'" Dolan said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, when asked for his views on the issue.
Megachurch leader Ulf Ekman of the Word of Life ministry in Sweden has announced that he and his wife Birgitta have converted to Roman Catholicism. The announcement, according to reports, has left some in his congregation "partially stunned."
In his explanation onhis website, Ekman says the conversations he and Birgitta had with Catholics challenged their "protestant prejudices" and led them to the realization that they "in many cases did not have any basis for our criticism of them."
"We needed to know the Catholic faith better. This led us to … realize that it was actually Jesus Christ who led us to unite with the Catholic Church," the pastor stated. more >>
While affirming traditional marriage, Pope Francis said the Roman Catholic Church may be open to supporting certain cases of civil unions, particularly when it involves benefits such as healthcare. He made the comments in an extensive new interview with an Italian newspaper on Wednesday.
"Matrimony is between a man and a woman," the pope said in an article by the Corriere della Sera, translated by Catholic News Service, but added that "diverse situations of cohabitation [are] driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care."
"It is necessary to look at the diverse cases and evaluate them in their variety," the Vatican leader added. more >>