Sixteen Protestant denominations and regional districts have joined a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia in contesting a Reconstruction-era state law that governs church splits.
World Council of Churches general secretary Samuel Kobia has congratulated Fernando Lugo, the former Catholic bishop in Paraguay known as the “bishop of the poor,” on his victory in Paraguay’s recent presidential election.
It takes a flow chart to keep straight all the Episcopal- Anglican divisions that have developed in the well-heeled suburbs of DuPage County, west of Chicago. Many assume that the key issue is homosexuality, but a closer look reveals that other factors are at work. For one thing, this story is about charismatic leaders coming and going, and about congregations growing in their presence or folding in their absence.
A Virginia court has ruled that a Civil War–era law applies to a property dispute between the state’s Episcopal diocese and 11 congregations that have seceded from it. The state law in question, which dates to 1867, relates to the settlement of property disputes when there is a division in a church or religious society.
The deans of Episcopal seminaries warned bishops and other church leaders last year that their theological schools must deal creatively with hard financial realities. The schools can no longer function separately as “11 little grocery stores trying to sell the same products to the church,” declared Donn Morgan of Berkeley, California, then convener of the Council of Deans.
The court battle over church assets between the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and 11 breakaway congregations has already cost both sides more than $2 million between them, according to representatives.
In a scenario that may be performed repeatedly in months ahead, the Episcopal Church has declared that two bishops have “abandoned the communion of the church”—John-David Schofield, whose diocese in California has completed its voting to leave the denomination, and Robert Duncan of the Pittsburgh diocese, who has been the leader among dissident bishops aiming to form a competing, traditionalist ch
In a church election watched closely, Jeffrey Lee, a Midwest native and rector of a church in Medina, Washington, was picked on the second ballot November 10 to be the next Episcopal bishop of Chicago. Lee won over seven other candidates, including Tracey Lind, the openly lesbian dean of Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland.