In The News

By Michael Heidt

Forward in Faith North America Congratulates the Rt. Rev. Ryan S. Reed on his consecration as Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas. The service took place on the Feast of St. Matthew, September 21, at Arborlawn United Methodist Church in Fort Worth before a congregation of more than 1200 clergy, lay people, and guests. ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach, Bishop Jack Iker, Bishop Keith Ackerman and Bishop William Wantland served as consecrators at the festal Eucharist.

Seminary Confesses to Plants: In a bizarre chapel ceremony in September, students at Union Theological Seminary (UTS), New York, confessed their sins to a collection of potted plants. The verdant seminary described the event on social media, tweeting, “Today in chapel, we confessed to plants. Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor. What do you confess to the plants in your life?”

One seminarian answered, “Here was my confession. ‘I confess that even as I’ve waxed poetic and theological about how indispensable you are, I’ve privileged my own comfort and convenience over your well-being.’”

I’ve privileged my own comfort and convenience over your wellbeing? Seminarians at UTS might want to apply that same line of reasoning to abortion, which the school enthusiastically supports.

Bishop Love on Trial: The Bishop of Albany, William Love, is being referred to a special “Hearing Panel” under the Episcopal Church’s Title IV disciplinary canons. 

At issue is Love’s refusal to allow clergy in the Diocese of Albany to celebrate same-sex marriage rites, as stated in a Pastoral Letter and Pastoral Directive. However, because the Episcopal Church passed legislation at General Convention allowing clergy to celebrate gay weddings regardless of diocesan approval, Love’s actions constitute a potential canonical offense. Accordingly, the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop figure, Michael Curry, placed Love on a “partial restriction of ministry.”

Whether this partial restriction becomes full restriction remains to be seen. Forward in Christ urges your prayers for the Bishop of Albany.

Diocese of South Carolina Loses Trademark Case: The Diocese of South Carolina, which left the Episcopal Church in 2012, has been ordered by a federal judge to stop using the marks of the diocese. A diocesan press release states:

On Thursday, September 20 District Court Judge Richard M. Gergel ruled in favor of The Episcopal Church (TEC) and its local diocese, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC), in a federal trademark case. In the 73-page decision, Judge Gergel issued an injunction preventing the Diocese and parishes in union with it from using the names and seal of the diocese. These are: “Diocese of South Carolina”; “The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina”; “The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina” and The Diocesan Seal.

“We’re disappointed, of course,” said the Rev. Marcus Kaiser, Rector of the Church of the Holy Comforter in Sumter, who serves as the President of the Standing Committee, which also serves as the Diocese’s Board of Directors. “But changing our name doesn’t change who we are, or who we’ve ever been. It simply changes the name under which we operate.”

The Standing Committee of the diocese has unanimously voted to adopt the name “The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina.”
Litigation brought by the Episcopal Church against the Diocese of South Carolina continues.

Winchester Cathedral’s Giant Bee: The Church of England’s Winchester Cathedral will install a Giant Bee sculpture on its West Front as part of Hampshire’s first ever Green Harvest Weekend in early October.

According to the Cathedral’s Dean, Catherine Oglethorpe, “The bee is a great symbol of the beauty and intricate connection of creation. Humanity relies on bees and other small insects for pollination. This giant bee is one way to remind ourselves of the great significance of small things and the need to look after God’s creation.”

Winchester’s Bee follows on from Norwich Cathedral erecting a huge fairground helter skelter slide in its nave this August, and crazy golf set up in Rochester Cathedral’s nave in the same month.
The proportion of people of all ages identifying with the C of E has fallen from 31% in 2002 to 14% last year. 

Will giant bees and amusement park rides reverse this worrying trend?

Mexicans March Against Abortion: Over 600,000 people from across Mexico marched in September to show support for families and human life. The march was organized by Mexico’s National Front for Family (FNF), and spoke out strongly in defense of the family and the sanctity of human life. 

In an interview with Lifesite News, FNF president Rodrigo Iván Cortés said the purpose of the march was to “defend life, family and fundamental freedoms… It is ironic that our politicians want to worsen the crimes being committed by the drug cartels by seeking to legalize abortion.”

Pray daily for an end to the evil of abortion.

Fr. Michael Heidt is Editor of Forward in Christ and a priest in the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas.

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