Wednesday, January 16, 2008

16 January 2008


New Presentations for Old Ideas
TEC Continues to Unravel
[3] Coordinated Blasts Rock Churches in Iraq

New Presentations for Old Ideas

Faith Presbyterian Church Reformed of Dallas has reorganized its highly popular web presence. The new systems make hundreds of books and articles easy to find and introduces an outstanding collection of audio presentations.

Located in Mesquite, Texas, Faith is the anchor congregation of the Reformed Presbyterian Church (Hanover) in the South West. Dr. Richard Bacon, pastor, is the author of the standard reference on historical Presbyterian polity. Copies of significant texts on the topic can be downloaded easily from this new site.

+ Faith Presbyterian Church Reformed, 6702 Dalrock Rd., Suite 126, PMB #214, Rowlett, TX 75089-2662

TEC Continues to Unravel

The Diocese of Pittsburgh has broken with Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding officer of the House of Bishops for The Episcopal Church (formerly the Protestant Episcopal Church). The Episcopal Church's Title IV Review Committee has certified that Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan has abandoned the communion of the church.

Katharine Jefferts Schori informed Duncan on 15 January of the certification and sent him a copy. The letter told Duncan that Schori sought the canonically required permission from the House's three senior bishops with jurisdiction to inhibit him, based on the certification, from the performance of any episcopal, ministerial or canonical acts. "On 11 January 2008 they informed me that such consents would not be given at this time by all three bishops," Jefferts Schori wrote.

"Pursuant to the time limits stated in Canon IV.9, the matter will not come before the House of Bishops at its next scheduled meeting in March 2008, but will come before the House at the next meeting thereafter," the Presiding Bishop wrote in her letter.

Pittsburgh's diocesan convention 2 November gave the first of
two approvals needed to enact a constitutional change to remove language in the diocesan constitution stating that the diocese accedes to the Episcopal Church's Constitution and Canons as the denomination’s constitution requires.

Bishop Duncan offered a brief response to the news, saying, “Few bishops have been more loyal to the doctrine, discipline and worship of The Episcopal Church. I have not abandoned the Communion of this Church. I will continue to serve and minister as the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh."

In contrast, San Joaquin Bishop John-David Schofield was certified by the review panel as having abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church, and the three senior bishops, Peter Lee of Virginia, Don Wimberly of Texas and Leo Frade of Southeast Florida agreed to inhibit him--prohibiting him from exercising his ministry as bishop--pending a trial at the March meeting. The failure to inhibit Bishop Duncan leaves him in office for the 16 July—3 Aug Lambeth Conference and will likely serve as a rallying point for conservatives against the heterodox American body at Lambeth.

+ Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, 900 Oliver Building, 535 Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15222-2467

Coordinated Blasts Rock Churches in Iraq

Four Iraqi churches and three convents were damaged in coordinated bomb blasts the day many Iraqi Christians celebrate either Epiphany or Christmas Eve according to some Eastern liturgical calendars.

Three churches in Baghdad and three in Mosul were hit without fatalities, Chaldean Baghdad Auxiliary Bishop Andreas Abouna told Compass Direct from Baghdad. Abouna said the blasts occurred within five minutes of each other at approximately 11 a.m. Father Bashar Warda of St. Peter’s Seminary said that the coordinated bombings sent a clear warning to Christians on the Feast of the Epiphany, also Christmas Eve day for several of Iraq’s indigenous churches. “There has been much violence against the Sunni and Shiites, while the Christians have been left alone, at least for [the past few months],” Warda told Compass.

Warda then said that the blasts let Christians know that, “whatever [violence] is happening around the country, you [Christians] will be part of it also.”

+ Compass News Direct, PO Box 27250, Santa Ana, CA 92799-7250