Briefly noted

November 18, 2008

An Episcopal Church committee voted October 17 to oust more than 50 California clerics who left the denomination last year to join a more conservative province in the Anglican Communion. The 16 deacons and 36 priests have six months to recant and return to the Episcopal Church before they are defrocked by Bishop Jerry Lamb of the Fresno-based Diocese of San Joaquin, according to Episcopal News Service. Diocesan spokesperson Nancy Key said two clergy have decided to rejoin the Episcopal Church since the committee began considering charges against them.

The head of the British Broadcasting Corporation says the media should treat Islam more sensitively than Christianity. BBC director general Mark Thompson concedes that the BBC takes a different approach to Islam, which has an estimated 1.6 million adherents in Britain, than it does to the Church of England or the Roman Catholic Church. “To be a minority, I think, puts a slightly different outlook on it,” said Thompson, an active Catholic, in an address October 13 to the religion research organization Theos. Christianity is widely respected and followed, he said, but Islam and its ethnic followers are not fully integrated into society. Thompson also insisted that “there’s no reason why any religion should be immune from discussion.”