Saturday, June 11, 2011

Episcopalians Go Gay, Some Go Catholic

As a California Episcopal bishop OK'd priests to perform same-sex "weddings," an Episcopal church in Maryland became the first in the U.S. to formally join the Roman Catholic Church.

For background, read Pope Welcomes Christians Leaving Anglicanism over Liberalism

-- From "Episcopal churches open doors wider" by Sue Nowicki, The Modesto Bee 6/11/11

Beginning Sunday, Episcopal priests in the San Joaquin Diocese can "perform blessings of same gender civil marriages, domestic partnerships and relationships which are lifelong committed relationships characterized by fidelity, monogamy" and "holy love."

[Bishop Chester Talton said this will,] "acknowledge the sacredness of that relationship. I think it also says our church is one that is inclusive, that welcomes all, that will embrace all members of God's creation in God's church."

Other faith communities in Modesto, including College Avenue Congregational Church and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Stanislaus County, have been doing similar ceremonies for the past three decades, their pastors said.

But such blessings are one reason theologically conservative parishes and dioceses in the United States have left the national Episcopal Church and moved to alternative oversight groups within the worldwide Anglican Communion.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "California Anglican Bishop Removes Same-Sex Union Ban" by Daniel Blake, Christian Post Contributor 6/10/11

California currently recognizes domestic partnerships between gay couples as long as one or both of the people involved is 62 or older.

U.S. Episcopal bishops who met in 2009 approved a resolution that in effect granted bishops in states that allow either marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships, the discretion to offer a blessing.

This week the diocese of San Joaquin said in a statement: “We must also recognize there are same-gender couples in relationships who have not entered in domestic partnerships, perceiving them to be inferior to marriage and who, for various reasons, did not or could not marry during the brief time when same gender marriages were legal.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Episcopal church in Bladensburg to convert to Roman Catholicism" by Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post 6/6/11

[St. Luke's,] An Episcopal church in Maryland — including its pastor — has decided to convert to Catholicism, the first in the United States to make the move under new Vatican rules meant to appeal to disaffected Protestants.

Leaders of the church said Monday that they were not leaving the Episcopal Church because of the ordination of gays and women — issues that have bitterly divided the American wing of the Anglican Church and coincided with stepped-up efforts by the Vatican to reach out to Anglicans. Instead, church members said, they were satisfying their longing for a clear religious authority by welcoming the leadership of Pope Benedict XVI.

“In the Episcopal Church, bishops in one place say one thing and in another say another,” explained Patrick Delaney, a lay leader from Mitchellville. “That’s the crux of it. Each bishop has its own kingdom.”

The conversions, which are expected to unfold in the coming months, are a dramatic example of the rapid flux of organized religion in the United States. But the Episcopal Church in particular has been rocked in recent years by bitter departures, with exiles slamming the church for ordaining a gay bishop, and by land disputes around the country costing well into the tens of millions. Seven breakaway Northern Virginia congregations have been in court for more than four years with the Episcopal Church.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Md. Episcopal Church Becomes First to Join Catholic Church" by Katherine T. Phan, Christian Post Reporter 6/7/11

St. Luke's, a small congregation of about 100, will come under the care of the Archdiocese of Washington until an ordinate is established in the United States.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who oversees the Catholic Archbishop of Washington, said in a statement that the diocese will "welcome St. Luke parishioners warmly into our family of faith."

Bishop John Bryson Chane of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington has supported St. Luke's decision, allowing the members to worship in their church building under a lease agreement that allows them to purchase it.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Click headlines below to read previous articles:

As Homosexualists Enter, the Sacred Leave Episcopal Church

Liberal 'Churches' Continue to Wither

Who Owns Church Property in ECUSA?