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Maryland Episcopalians riled over national church posture
The Examiner ^ | 1/21/2007 | G.M. Corrigan, The Examiner

Posted on 01/21/2007 4:38:43 PM PST by sionnsar

BALTIMORE - Quo vadis, Maryland?

In the wake of two more Virginia Episcopalian congregations severing ties with the Episcopal Church (U.S.A.) over interpretive issues of sexual morality and scriptural authority, it appears that a similar number of Maryland congregations are also reviewing their options.

“We’re waiting to see what the Episcopal Church’s final response is to remaining in this same position,” said Father David Stenner, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Reisterstown, one of a group of dissenting parishes that agrees with the worldwide communion’s concerns in the matter.

“The churches in Maryland [diocese] are meeting with our bishop, but we’re not planning anything at this time like what Virginia has done. ... We wish to remain a constituent member of the Anglican communion [and] we’re hoping that the Episcopal Church will respond to [that communion’s call to] remain true to the traditional teaching of the church,” Stenner said.

What Virginia did, in votes in December and January, was see 11 Episcopal parishes disaffiliate with their diocese and the national primate in New York — one of 38 worldwide Anglican provinces ruffled by, for one thing, the 2003 consecration of a gay priest as bishop of New Hampshire — and join a U.S. mission organization under the primate of Nigeria, while claiming church property rights. Four other parishes had previously disaffiliated but made no property rights claims.

Stenner made it clear, however, that his group's ongoing talks — which he considers encouraging — with the Rt. Rev. John Rabb, bishop suffragan of the diocese of Maryland, were all that were on the table at the moment. “Maryland state law is not clear,” Stenner said of the property dispute matter, “so we're not ready to go that far yet.”

“I am pleased with the direction these talks have taken,” Rabb said in a prepared statement to The Baltimore Examiner. “Each of these churches are committed members of the diocese.”

But while encouraged by Rabb’s openness to dissent, Father Terry Sweeney, rector of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Catonsville, said he hopes Rabb — who may not succeed diocesan Bishop Robert Ihloff — will eventually “embrace” the dissenting position.

“We have come to the end,” Sweeney lamented, “inasmuch as we have elected a noncelibate, openly gay man. ... There's really not much more that can happen. We’ve recently consecrated a bishop that’s been married three times. We’ve done it all. I’m not sure how much more can break.”

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: episcopal; homosexualagenda; religiousleft; tec

1 posted on 01/21/2007 4:38:44 PM PST by sionnsar
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2 posted on 01/21/2007 4:39:18 PM PST by sionnsar (††|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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