Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Colleen Slevin, writing for the Associated Press, describes the latest salvos between a local Colorado parish and the increasingly heterodox leadership of the Anglican Church.

Colorado's largest Episcopal congregation was left in turmoil after leaders voted to leave the denomination and the bishop responded by dismissing the parish's leadership.

The controversy at Colorado Springs' Grace Episcopal Church and St. Stephen's Parish is the latest in a tense dispute among Episcopalians and their fellow Anglicans worldwide over how they should interpret what the Bible says about sexuality and other issues.

The vestry of Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish on Monday voted to bolt from the national church and instead join a conservative Anglican church based in Nigeria. The move came three months after its pastor was placed on suspension amid an investigation of church finances.

Bishop Robert O'Neill rejected the church's move, dismissing the local leaders and saying the Colorado Springs parish would remain part of the Episcopal Church.
''The fact is people may leave the Episcopal Church but parishes cannot,'' O'Neill said in a statement.

The church's longtime rector, the Rev. Donald Armstrong III, who was suspended late last year, said O'Neill no longer has jurisdiction over the parish.
''He doesn't have an army. The courts will not interfere in an internal church dispute and the congregation is solidly behind us,'' Armstrong said...

The rest of the report is here.