The train wreck that is the Anglican Communion keeps chugging along towards oblivion. Want to know why? Just check out this handy Roundup of Sadness.
– Bede Parry was a priest at Conception Abbey, a Benedictine community near St. Joseph, Missouri. He also has a history of sexually abusing young boys dating back to 1981. Parry was kicked out of the Catholic Church. He then moved to Nevada, where he became a music director and organist for All Saints Church, Las Vegas. He approached the Bishop of Nevada about becoming a priest in the Episcopal Church. The Bishop agreed, apparently knowing full well his pedophile past. The Bishop of Nevada at the time? Katharine Jefferts Schori, the current Presiding Bishop of the United States. Although Schori says otherwise, Parry himself has said that Schori knew all about his past before she consecrated him. Is the Presiding Bishop so attached to her policy of inclusion and diversity that she’ll turn a blind eye to pedophilia? Apparently so. Read more about the sad story here.
– Speaking of Catholics… ya know, you’d think that the Episcopal Church would enjoy a rise in membership with the large number of Catholics leaving the Church in the wake of the sexual abuse scandals. But you’d be wrong. According to Freakonomics, if Catholics leave the church and join another denomination, it’s most likely to be a Baptist church. I don’t know if it’s because those Catholics are choosing to go in the opposite direction, or if the Episcopal Church has dropped the ball yet again… but guess which one I’m leaning towards?
– The Supreme Court of Georgia recently decided against Christ Church, Savannah. The parish, founded in 1733 as the “Mother Church” of Georgia, voted to break away from The Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Church sued to get their property back. Read some in-depth analysis here. Amazingly, “Justice Nahmias is a prominent member of an Episcopal congregation in Atlanta, while the Presiding Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, the Hon. George H. Carley, is an equally prominent member of a church that has joined the Anglican Province of America. The latter saw enough of a potential conflict in the Christ Church case to recuse himself from participation in it, while Justice Nahmias not only did not see fit to recuse himself, but authored the majority opinions in both cases!”
– On the plus side, Mark Lawrence, Bishop of South Carolina, can keep his job (for now). Lawrence, a conservative, was charged with “abandonment of the church’s doctrine, discipline and worship” due to his disagreement with Schori and other Episcopal Church leaders. He made some moves to distance the diocese from the nation church, and the church made moves to remove him from office. But it’s not that simple, as the linked story indicates. Lawrence objected to the process used to remove him from office, and The Episcopal Church realized that they couldn’t remove him for simply objecting to the process (in other words, if complaining about the Constitution is itself unconstitutional, what’s the point in having a Constitution in the first place?). Look for the liberals to try again some time soon.
– Is Rowan Williams growing a backbone? Probably not. But in his most recent letter, he asks “if the moratoria are ignored and the Covenant suspected, what are the means by which we maintain some theological coherence as a Communion and some personal respect and understanding as a fellowship of people seeking to serve Christ?” It’s a good point, but it’s amusing that he doesn’t realize that he’s largely responsible for this mess in the first place!