Episcopal Church will suffer no backlash over adopting gay marriage rites, bishop declares: Anglican Ink, November 17, 2012 November 17, 2012Posted by geoconger in 77th General Convention, Anglican Communion, Anglican Ink, Missouri, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: Diocese of Missouri, gay marriage, George Wayne Smith
Authorizing provisional rites for the blessing of same-sex unions will not have any negative consequences for the Episcopal Church or the Diocese of Missouri, Bishop George Wayne Smith told his diocesan convention today.
Speaking to the delegates attending the 173rd annual convention of the Diocese of Missouri, meeting in Columbia on 16-17 November 2012, Bishop Smith said the opprobrium visited upon the Episcopal Church from the wider communion for its consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire and its adoption of gay blessings had passed.
The call for the Episcopal Church to be disciplined had not been heeded, and the American Church retained its “place at the table” of the Anglican Communion, he said.
Read it all in Anglican Ink.
Nude art photos land priest in trouble: The Church of England Newspaper, October 6, 2012 p 6. October 11, 2012Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Missouri, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: John Blair, pornography
An Episcopal priest who maintained a sideline as an artistic photographer is under investigation by a church disciplinary board. The Diocese of Missouri must determine whether the Rev. John Blair’s photographs are art or pornography.
Last week the diocese announced that complaints had been made to the church and his employer about photos published by the priest on his website. A chaplain at Christian Hospital in St. Louis, Mr. Blair was dismissed on 12 Sept 2012 by the hospital after they reviewed his art work. The St. Louis priest was also asked to stand down from the Order of St Francis and released from his vows.
Mr. Blair’s photographs have since been removed from the internet, but his work had been exhibited in local art shows and galleries. “My work is about identifying and affirming the beauty and mystique of the models with whom I work,” the St. Louis priest wrote on his website.
The Rev. Daniel Smith, an aide to Missouri Bishop George Wayne Smith, said an investigation had been launched under Title IV of the church’s disciplinary canons to determine whether his conduct was “unbecoming a member of the clergy.” The seven-member board will then give its recommendations to the bishop for further action.
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Joseph Carlo, Wayne Smith
The Bishop of Missouri has deposed the Rev. Joseph Carlo for having sexually abused boys while serving as rector of Christ Church in Rolla.
In a statement released on 13 March 2012, Bishop Wayne Smith stated that as bishop he had met with some of the victims and the congregation to offer support and guidance. “I have primary pastoral responsibilities to the survivors of the abuse perpetrated by a now deposed priest of this Diocese, he said.
Read it all in Anglican Ink.
Episcopal priest banned from practicing Islam: The Church of England Newspaper, March 18, 2011 p 7. March 20, 2011Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Missouri, Multiculturalism.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
An Episcopal priest’s decision to give up Christianity for Lent has not been well received by his bishop.
On March 10, the Rev Steve Lawler, an assistant at St Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Ferguson, Missouri, distributed a press release announcing that he would be practicing the rituals of Islam for the 40 days of Lent. However, Bishop George Wayne Smith of Missouri informed Mr Lawler that if persisted in this Lenten devotion he would be defrocked.
Speaking to a reporter for the St Louis Post-Dispatch about his spiritual exercises, Mr Lawler said that on Ash Wednesday he began the five-times-a-day Salah, the formal prayers to Allah required of all Muslims. He also began a study of the Qur’an and followed Muslim dietary laws. Holy week, Mr Lawler told the reporter, would see him fast from dusk to dawn in imitation of Muslim customs during Ramadan.
Mr Lawler obliged the photographer accompanying the reporter by performing the Salah, and faced east towards Mecca for the camera and prayed on his knees on a tasteful prayer rug. However, the priest stopped short of reciting the Shahadah, the Muslim declaration of belief in the oneness of God and acceptance of Mohammad as his prophet.
Bishop Smith was not amused, stating Mr Lawler “can’t be both a Christian and a Muslim.”
“If he chooses to practise as Muslim, then he would, by default, give up his Christian identity and priesthood in the church,” he told the Post-Dispatch.
“Playing” at Islamic practices was disrespectful, the Bishop said, telling the Post-Dispatch that as a priest Mr Lawler “remains responsible as a Christian leader is to exercise Christianity and to do it with clarity and not with ways that are confusing.”
While he could commend the priest’s desire to learn more about Islam, the way he went about it was wrong, the Bishop said. “You dishonour another faith by pretending to take it on. You build bridges by building relationships with neighbours who are Muslim.”
Informed of his Bishop’s views, Mr Lawler ended his Islamic flirtations.
A diocesan spokesman told The Church of England Newspaper that Bishop Smith “did not issue a pastoral directive having received Steve Lawler’s assurance that he will desist from the practices of Islam.”
However, the Bishop told Mr Smith, “I stand ready to issue a pastoral directive, if that proves necessary.” In the Episcopal Church a pastoral directive is a formal notice by a bishop to a cleric. Violating a pastoral directive can lead to being deposed from the ministry.
The Diocese noted that Mr Lawler “sent a letter of apology to his congregation but was unable to deliver it to them in person this past Sunday,” as he had left for Europe on vacation the day before.