(Staff) The Episcopal Church (TEC) has formally endorsed the election of a second practicing homosexual bishop. Mary Douglas Glasspool has received the required number of consents from diocesan standing committees and bishops to her consecration. Glasspool, 56, was elected suffragan bishop of Los Angeles on Dec. 5. Her consecration is set for May 15 with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori as the chief consecrator.
(Staff) An Anglican priest in upstate New York was taken aback this March when he saw a crane removing the cross from the bell tower of his former church. He had expected the building to remain as a place of Christian worship.
After winning its lawsuit against the Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton, the Diocese of Central New York served notice on the parish rector and his wife. Because the diocese could take “immediate possession,” the Revs. Matt and Anne Kennedy had to vacate the church property -- including the rectory, which was home for themselves and their four children -- in a matter of days in January 2009.
(Staff) One of the largest congregations in the Diocese of South Carolina has voted 703-19 to leave the Episcopal Church (TEC) and affiliate instead with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). St. Andrew’s in Mt. Pleasant near Charleston voted to leave the theologically liberal denomination even though its local Diocese of South Carolina is considered one of the most orthodox within the national church and has a strongly orthodox bishop, Mark Lawrence. Bishop Lawrence has said he will let the clergy and congregation depart without any retribution.
On March 3rd, the Anglican Church in America (ACA), the U.S. branch of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), announced that it will seek communion with the Roman Catholic Church under new Vatican guidelines released in the fall. There are four ACA dioceses across the US, with approximately 100 parishes. (The Traditional Anglican Communion is not a member of The Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church in North America.)
Among the resolutions to be considered at the Diocese of South Carolina’s convention on March 26 are a series that affirm the diocese’s “legal and ecclesiastical authority as a sovereign diocese” within The Episcopal Church (TEC) and declare that the Presiding Bishop has no authority in the diocese. It demands she stop retaining legal council in South Carolina. A proposed canonical revision gives the diocesan bishop the authority to “provide a generous pastoral response to parishes in conflict” with the diocese or Province. Another resolution promises “not to swerve in our belief that… Jesus came into the world to save the lost….”
In the past, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has consistently coerced dioceses to litigate departing parishes. Synod was postponed when Bishop Mark Lawrence revealed that the presiding bishop’s office was apparently orchestrating a legal attack against him and the diocese for his failure to prosecute departing parishes.
The diocese has also posted all the letters from TEC. The letters can only portend legal action – even though the diocese is still within TEC. Legal expert A.S. Haley speculates that the Presiding Bishop intends to charge Bishop Lawrence with “abandonment” and depose him if he does not pursue legal action against parishes departing his diocese.
--Marilyn Jacobson, plus StandFirm