Visalia Episcopalians Come Home
March 31st, 2008
A few weeks ago we told you about John-David Schofield, Bishop of Fresno, who led his diocese in breaking from the Episcopal Church and seeking to align himself with conservative Anglicans in South America. Now he’s discovering that rebellion is contagious. Some of his parishioners have decided that they would break from him and return to the Episcopal Church.
About 40 former members of Visalia’s St. Paul’s Episcopal Church have decided to break away from the current Anglican church and reform their congregation as the Continuing Congregation of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Visalia, Calif.
Fresno Episcopal Bishop Removed
March 12th, 2008
In December the diocese of Fresno, under the direction of Bishop John-David Schofield, voted to dissolve its ties to the Episcopal Church due primarily to the national church’s policies on gays and women.
Today Schofield has been removed:
Leaders of the Episcopal Church ousted the bishop from the Diocese of San Joaquin Wednesday after he pushed his congregation to secede from the U.S. denomination in a fight over the Bible and homosexuality.
Bishop John-David Schofield is stripped of his role as bishop and barred from performing any religious duties, said Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.
New Zealand may get Pro-Gay Episcopal Bishop
February 25th, 2008
If the Lord of the Rings movies are anything to go by, New Zealand is a lovely country. And as an ally of the United States, English speaking, and having had civil unions since 2004, (not to mention giving us Lucy Lawless), the Kiwis would seem to be a people that would make me feel welcome.
Now it seems like they may be taking a further step in welcoming gay and gay-friendly travelers. Stuff.co is reporting that the Anglican Church (New Zealand’s largest church) may be selecting a pro-gay Canadian as Bishop of Christchurch.
A Canadian woman bishop who has signaled support for blessing gay marriages is being confirmed as Christchurch’s new Anglican bishop.
What’s Wrong With This Picture?
February 11th, 2008
If one were to write an anti-gay book for the conservative Anglicans in Britain, I would suggest that they might want to pay closer attention to the cover art. Is it just me, or does this look like an odd choice to you?
By the way, two of the books editors are involved with the web site Anglican Mainstream, which happens to be on our list of Cameron Collaborators. I can only guess what kind of lunacy lurks inside this tome.
More Anglican Dischord in Africa
February 4th, 2008
That portion of the Anglican Church known as the Global South and consisting primarily of Africa and Asia is where there is the greatest resistance to welcoming gay persons as equal members in the body of the Church. Bishops from Africa have led a revolt against the Archbishop of Canterbury and issued ultimatums to the Episcopal Church (the US branch of Anglicanism) about ordination of gay bishops.
Some have even usurped the authority of the American church and have set themselves up as overseeing bishops for those American dioceses for whom opposing gay inclusion is a more basic tenat of their faith than is unity in the body of Christ.
However, in the midst of Africa is a province that supports the international body, the Central Africa Province comprising Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
This loyalty did not sit well with a bishop in Zimbabwe. Nolbert Kunonga is vehemently opposed to gay persons and did not believe his Province was adequately homophobic. Not surprisingly, he is an ally of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, who has made statements claiming gay people are worse than dogs or pigs and threatening prosecution of religious leaders who disagree with him on same-sex couples.
Kunonga announced in December that he was breaking away from his province. He has been replaced by Sebastian Bakare.
However Kunonga did not readily accept Bakare’s appointment.
But Kunonga and his followers barricaded themselves in the cathedral.
When two representatives of Bakare went to the building and tried to gain access they were badly beaten.
With Mugabe’s support, it seems unlikely that Kunonga will readily recognize Bukare’s authority. And I fear that violence will continue.
Fresno Episcopalians Leave the Church
December 8th, 2007
Several individual churches have left the Episcopal Church over its decision to allow gay people to have an equal role in the church. The San Juaquin Diocese, based out of conservative agricultural Fresno, is the first diocese to do so.
Delegates said they voted to break away from the church because it allows the blessing of same-sex unions, the ordination of gay bishops and the ordination of women.
The Fresno Bee reports
The vote Saturday was 70-12 by clergy and 103-10 by laity for a combined total of 173-22. It confirmed a preliminary vote last year.
There will undoubtedly be a court battle over the assets held by the church. The San Juaquin Diocese has placed itself under the authority of a South American branch of the Anglican Church.