The news in early March that all United Methodists could receive a free drug discount card with savings up to 65 percent appeared at first glance to be a bold health-care step by a major denomination in the light of national disputes over how to help the nation’s uninsured.
The Church of England is setting up a church on the Web and is advertising for a Web-pastor to run it. The initiative comes from the diocese of Oxford, using money given by the church commissioners to each of the Church of England’s 44 dioceses to fund pioneering projects that would support the church.
Episcopal church leaders have reacted sharply to what one called an “unauthorized and clandestine” service in Ohio at which five retired conservative U.S. bishops, joined by a bishop from Brazil, confirmed 110 persons without the permission or presence of the diocesan bishop.
In response to a series of legal challenges, Israel’s Supreme Court has frozen the appointment of the Greek patriarch of the Holy Land, Irineos I, whose position was to have been approved by Israel early this month. The February 25 decision was the latest action aimed at preventing the patriarch from being confirmed in his status more than two years after he was elected.
Inadequate screening of potential priests, not celibacy or homosexuality, is to blame for the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, according to a blue-ribbon panel formed by the nation’s Catholic bishops. The findings of the 12-member National Review Board were released late last month along with the first-ever report on the scope of sexual abuse of minors in the church.