VANCOUVER — The Bible battle that has been dividing Anglicans in Canada for more than a decade is moving into new territory, with a third court battle looming in a Vancouver court.
The battle over same-sex blessings specifically, and interpretation of the Bible generally, is splitting liberal and conservative Anglicans and the fight over church property ownership has already resulted in two interim court rulings – one in Ontario and one in British Columbia.
Now the Diocese of New Westminster has invoked a church bylaw to essentially fire the clergy at two otherVancouver-area churches and order them to leave the premises.
“We are faced with the situation of clergy in both parishes who have expressly rejected the Anglican Church of Canada as their home and have left the church, yet continue to occupy church buildings that are set aside for use by parishes in the Anglican Church of Canada,” says George Cadman, chancellor, or chief legal officer, for the diocese.
The bylaw, known as Canon 15, was used to dismiss clergy at St. Matthew’s in Abbotsford and at St. Matthias and St. Luke, in Vancouver.
These two churches are among at least 18 parishes in B.C., Ontario, Newfoundland and Manitoba who have left the Anglican Church in Canada and aligned themselves with more conservative Anglican groups in other parts of the world.
Dozens more parishes in the U.S. have left the church in the U.S. over the same issues.
Congregations at St. Matthew’s and St. Matthias and St. Luke voted in February to join the Anglican Network in Canada, which represents the dissidents who have aligned themselves with conservative Anglicans in the southern hemisphere.
In late May, the Diocese of New Westminster asked them to leave their premises, but they refused.
The refusal prompted the diocese in recent days to try force their removal.
Apart from the seemingly irreconcilable differences on theology, the more practical dispute over exactly who owns the property remains to be settled.
Two previous interim court rulings in the Diocese of Niagara in Ontario, and the Diocese of British Columbia, on Vancouver Island, went against the dissidents.
In the Vancouver Island case Anglican parishes in Victoria voted early this year to break away from the Anglican Church of Canada. They went to court to try to ensure that they not be kicked out. They lost.
“The plaintiffs have not, at this stage, established a strong case that they and their fellow parishioners who have elected to join the network are the beneficial owners of church property because they represent true Anglicans and the remaining parishioners do not,” the court ruled.
Cheryl Chang, a lawyer and legal director of the network says the judge “ordered us out at both churches and gave both churches to the diocese until full trial.”
The otherinterim court ruling in Ontario in May concerned three breakaway Anglican parishes in the Diocese of Niagara.
The court ordered them to share the premises but two decided instead to conduct Sunday services at new locations.
If the dispute can’t be resolved without litigation, Chang expects the New Westminstercase to begin in the fall.
But the outcome of a full trial to decide ownership of the churches could go still go either way.
The issues are complex.
“There has been an acknowledgment in Ontario and B.C. that the trust case (who owns the properties) still has to be argued,” says Chang.
She argues that St. Matthew’s, and St. Matthias and St. Luke are independent entities under provincial legislation.
“We don’t recognize (the Diocese of New Westminster) and their authority to simply ignore the constitution and bylaws of the parish corporations,” she says.
The Anglican Church in Canada and the Diocese of New Westminster take the position that all parish property belongs to the church.
In the court case in Victoria, says Chang, the judge sided with the mainstream diocese because the properties were “registered in the name of the diocese.”
But in regards to St. Matthew’s and St. Matthias and St. Luke, she says they are “corporate entitities holding title to the properties.”
Cadman and Chang both suggest they would like to avoid a major court case on the ownership issue.
“We’ve offered to sit down with them and talk about this but at this point we’ve been rebuffed,” says Chang.
New Westminster, says Cadman, also favours another resolution “but on the other hand the current situation can’t be tolerated.”
Newcastle Pastor Boy Nkosi, 54, was on Monday jailed for 10 years for raping a 15-year-old girl he had duped into coming to his home.
Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Nic van der Reyden found compelling circumstances allowing him to deviate from the prescribed life sentence for the rape of a minor.
Van der Reyden said the girl was physically fully developed and might have been sexually active before the rape. The girl also said during the trial she had been prepared to let bygones be bygones.
The victim had not suffered permanent physical injuries or long-term trauma. Her family had tried to negotiate compensation for the rape, but Nkosi had denied that he had raped her.
Newcastle regional Magistrate T C L Colditz earlier found Nkosi had duped the girl, whose father had died and whose mother was in Durban, to come to his home to fetch things which belonged to her mother. He raped her in a bedroom.
Colditz referred the case to the High Court for sentence.
Van der Reyden said there might be “an uproar” that he had not imposed a life sentence but, he added, each case had to be judged on its own merits. – Sapa
A church minister from Stockholm has been charged with assaulting his wife after an amorous threesome spiralled out of control, Metro reports.
The Church of Sweden pastor, his wife and a male acquaintance came together one evening in June to share a meal and a few friendly drinks. After the meal, the trio retired to the sauna and soon became engaged in a series of sex games.
But as the evening began to heat up, the minister is alleged to have become increasingly jealous. Tensions flared and the couple’s guest fled the house as the pastor started to beat his wife.
The churchman has admitted to a degree of assault but denies kicking his wife in the genitals and slamming her head against the floor.
News of the alleged crime has also reached the church authorities. If found guilty, the pastor is likely to lose both his job and his clerical collar.
Catholic priest John Fleming is standing down from his duties and pledging full cooperation as the church and police investigate alleged sexual misconduct.
In a written statement, he denied ever engaging in sexual behaviour with a minor.
Father Fleming said he was shocked and sickened by claims made by three people in weekend newspapers.
The Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide asked the priest to return from Sydney to deal with the allegations dating back three decades.
The church has hired a high-profile lawyer for its inquiry.
Father Fleming has been one of the most recognisable faces in church circles for years; a keen debater on subjects from ethics to the monarchy.
He quit as an Anglican in the 1980s to join the Catholic Church, becoming one of only a few married Catholic priests.
For the past three years he has been head of Campion College, a Catholic learning centre in Sydney’s west.
Adelaide’s Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson has sought his return to Adelaide.
“I am aware of the serious allegations that have been made,” he said.
Police probe first
The reported claims are of sexual misconduct with an underage girl dating back to the 1970s.
An investigation by the Anglican Church is on hold, pending the result of police inquires.
The Catholic Church has hired a senior QC Michael Abbott to conduct its own inquiry into how the church has dealt with the claims.
“We will place no limits on the extent of his investigations,” a statement said.
A spokesman for Cardinal George Pell in Sydney has confirmed he wrote to the claimant and told her to contact police.
He also referred the matter back to the Catholic Church in South Australia.
Christians thronged the Saint Michael’s Church in Central Mumbai’s Mahim area on August 27, to view the miraculous bleeding of the sacred image of Jesus Christ. However, the Roman Catholic Church has dismissed it as fictitious..
MUMBAI, THE financial capital city of India, witnessed a miracle on (Wednesday) July 27, a holy day. The Roman Catholic Church rejected the claims made by the devotees after they said that the framed image of Jesus Christ began bleeding on the holy day of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour.
Worshippers in large numbers flocked to the Saint Michael’s Church in Mahim district, located in central Mumbai, after it was thought that the image of Jesus Christ had started bleeding.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Mumbai, ordered a scientific analysis of the painting after he visited the Church and saw the painting, which showed blood running down the image.
In his weekly newsletter that was released on Sunday (August 31), he said that a number of tests were conducted and it was established that there were no traces of blood in the red rays emanating from the heart of Jesus in the image of Divine Mercy.
Gracias leads around 500,000 Catholics in Mumbai. He said that he did not have proper and enough words to explain the whole phenomenon that took place on that day. But, he suggested that large crowds at the Church along with monsoon humidity might have contributed such a miracle.
A lot many people feel that it had nothing to do with the large crowds and humidity, but it was indeed a miracle that took place in the Church on the Holy Day.
Was it just an illusion? Was it fake? Was it because of humidity, as mentioned by Gracious or was it indeed a miracle? The mystery remains unsolved.
A Kenyan pastor running an NGO in the country faces allegations of embezzling funds, Sunday Times has learnt. Pastor Joseph Anyienga faces the allegations alongside the General Manager of the organization Sisters of Rwanda one Margaret Karara. The organization has been engaged in efforts tot help former prostitutes in Kigali gain income generating skills.
Sisters of Rwanda has premises in Kimironko, where it trains former sex workers different vocational skills like making beads and candles.
The allegations against the two were made by their partner of over two years in the organization Jared Miller. He alleges that they have been systematically embezzling funds and other donations given by the sponsors of the organization.
Miller from the USA but working with Sisters Of Rwanda told Sunday Times that he carried out an investigation after being tipped off by some of the would be beneficiaries of the organization.
“I did an investigation and found out that the Pastor and our General Manager have been stealing from us and embezzling money for almost a year. I had no idea” said Miller.
Miller told Sunday Times that the case was forwarded to police and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Police is doing a full investigation.
“They have been accepting funds under our name for a long time but they have been keeping the money”, added Miller.
When we got in touch with Pastor Anyienga, by phone, he said that the case is before CID and that he was not ready to talk about the allegations that are now before the police.
He said that he is the founder of the organization and that he knows that Miller, being the one who brought up the allegations. has his own side he wants to put forward.
Contacted for comment, Karara told Sunday Times by phone that she was not ready to speak about the allegations saying that the police investigations will help to determine what happened.
Anyienga and Karara later walked into the offices of The New Times yesterday and shed more light on the allegations leveled against them.
Anyienga said that Miller made the allegations to police after the Board of the NGO had summoned him to give a financial report for the year 2007/2008.
He explained that they wanted Miller to explain why he published a magazine in the US, alleging that there was sex slavery in Rwanda without getting permission from the management.
Anyienga further said that the board was going to sit on August 22nd to get an explanation from Miller and he refused to turn up.
Instead according to the Pastor, Miller went to police on 25th claiming that Ayienga and Karara had embezzled funds. The pastor concluded that justice should take its course and as a man of God he believes the truth will be revealed.
The police spokesman Marcel Higiro confirmed that CID had received a complaint from Miller, alleging that there was embezzlement and mismanagement in the organization.
“CID has received a complaint saying that there is embezzlement and mismanagement in the organization”. Higiro said.
He added “So far we have got that complaint and we have started investigations and we are at the level of finding out what happened”.
[Source] August 31, 2008:
BURLINGTON, Vt.—The church therapist who treated a Vermont Roman Catholic priest accused of molesting boys later became the target of a Massachusetts lawsuit alleging he, too, engaged in sex acts with a boy for nine years, beginning when the boy was 9.
The Rev. Thomas Kane of Whitinsville, Mass., was executive director of the House of Affirmation in Whitinsville. That’s where the Diocese of Burlington sent the Rev. Edward Paquette to be treated after learning Paquette had molested two boys in Rutland.
Court papers in Vermont and Massachusetts indicate the dates of Kane’s alleged abuse of the Uxbridge, Mass., boy — 1968 to 1977 — coincide with the period from 1974 to 1978 that Paquette was being treated, for much of the time via monthly visits, at the House of Affirmation.
There’s no evidence that officials in the Vermont diocese, including then-Bishop John Marshall, were aware of Kane’s alleged sexual misconduct during the period he was providing therapy to Paquette.
Kane’s alleged victim filed suit in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston in 1993; the case settled out of court two years later for $42,500. The Associated Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual abuse.
Nineteen lawsuits have been filed in Vermont alleging that Paquette molested boys while serving as a priest in Burlington, Montpelier and Rutland in the 1970s. Four have ended with jury verdicts or been settled out of court and 15 are pending.
Church records in Vermont show that Marshall knew Paquette had a history of molesting boys at parishes in Massachusetts and Indiana, but allowed him to join the Vermont diocese after being told by a church psychiatrist in Indiana that Paquette’s problem had been cured.
Kane also provided a positive review of Paquette’s progress in therapy. “It is my opinion that Father Paquette should return as soon as possible to a parish setting and observe the signals of caution which we have discussed,” Kane wrote to Marshall on Nov. 6., 1974.
Another exchange of letters between Kane and Marshall in 1978 showed new allegations of sexual misconduct were being directed at Paquette.
Marshall wrote to Kane that he was considering leaving Paquette in his role as parish priest at Christ the King Church in Burlington despite the new allegations.
“Despite the demands of two sets of irate parents that ‘something be done about this,’ Father Paquette’s pastor and I are determined to take the risk of leaving him in his present assignment,” Marshall wrote to Kane on April 4, 1978.
“Our thinking is that, knowing the awareness of others concerning his problem, Father Paquette will have reason for ‘self control’,” the bishop added. “Do you agree with this thinking?”
Kane replied, “I do agree with your thinking. I do not believe it is ‘too risky’ to leave Father Paquette in his present assignment but, of course, can make no predictions.”
Later that month, increased pressure from parents in the parish forced Marshall to change his mind. He wrote to Kane, “The situation had become so explosive that I had no other recourse but to ask Father Paquette to leave the parish immediately.”
No telephone listing could be found Sunday for Edward Paquette at his last known address in Westfield, Mass. A message left at the headquarters of the Diocese of Worcester, which includes Whitinsville, was not immediately returned Sunday. News reports from 2002 placed Kane in Mexico.
Luke 2 (King James Version)
21And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Is this baby God in the FLESH????!!!!!
The Holy Prepuce, or Holy Foreskin (Latin præputium or prepucium) is one of several relics attributed to Jesus. At various points in history, a number of churches in Europe have claimed to possess it, sometimes at the same time. Various miraculous powers have been ascribed to it.
Circumcision of Christ [See it here].
How many foreskins did Jesus have?
18, at last count. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_foreskin
A website with a name like Puresextucson.com is not something you’d expect an American Baptist pastor to brag about, but 27-year-old Jeremiah McDuffie is not just flaunting the site – he created it.
McDuffie sent not-so-subtle postcards to 35,000 homes in Tucson, Arizona showing a photo of four feet in a suggestive pose to promote a series of sermons he is giving on sex and the issues it raises for Christians.
McDuffie, pastor of The Element Community Church, said he wants people to know that God wants them to have good sex and to open the dialogue on a subject that is often taboo in church.
The poster the sex-pastor used to catch fish
Esam Mudeer: Question to the Sex Pastor:
does the Christian “God” want all people to have “good sex” or is this only married people? Why don’t you make it clear?
Does “people” inculde gays and lesbians? Does your “God’ want them to have “good sex” too?
Do the 4 feet in the poster you used belong to a married couple? Or is it ok for you to have a man with woman in bed like this to give your poster no matter what?
How about those who are having sex, good or bad, outside marriage? Does “God” want them to have “good sex” too? I wonder.
What about condoms? Does this “God” want those “people” to wear condoms while having good sex? Well, I do not know about those people, but I know this: condoms SUCKS! If you are going to preach sex with condoms, you are doomed to close your ministry, pastor.
Which Biblical passages are you going to use in your sermons? May I suggest Song of Songs and other hot chapters to help you? I dare any woman in your church to read Songs 7 aloud. Check this modern translation out. Is this the “Word of God”? You might get more male members this way. More donations coming your way, dude!
I am very married and I only had sex in a condom-free marriage. Never allowed outside marriage in the house of Islam. Thank Allah (God in Arabic)! AMEN!
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Attorneys for a polygamous church sued a court-appointed accountant on Friday, seeking to reverse an $8.8 million judgment against its $110 million property trust.
In papers filed in 3rd District Court church attorney Rodney Parker claims the judgment awarded to United Effort Plan Trust overseer Bruce Wisan was based on “false, incomplete and misleading evidence.”
The trust is the charitable arm of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A court gave Wisan guardianship of the trust in 2005 after state attorneys said church leaders had mismanaged its assets.
In 2007, Wisan sought the judgment and won by default.
Wisan told the court that $6.4 million in trust property had been conveyed for less than full value. He also said $2.2 million worth of property had been wrongfully taken from the trust. He sought roughly $1.7 million in legal and accounting fees and a $1.56 million credit as a portion of proceeds from a settlement agreement.
Friday’s court filing claims the figures include inflated property values, property not held by the trust and other misinformation. It also alleges Wisan reversed statements made in 2005 about the fairness of some real estate deals, saying in 2007 the deals were unfair.
“The mechanism by which the judgment was obtained constituted fraud upon the court,” the lawsuit states.
“That’s very strong language and really so far, it’s been pretty short on facts, but we’ll let a judge decide that,” Wisan told The Associated Press on Friday.
On a directive from its leader, Warren Jeffs, the FLDS church did not fight Wisan’s initial actions related to the trust. But Parker said the sect’s legal trouble in Texas this year, where authorities sought custody of FLDS children after allegations of abuse, combined with Wisan’s actions feel like an attempt to dismantle the FLDS members’ way of life.
“This just is really an implementation of the destruction of the church,” Parker said Friday. “That’s part of why the church had to push back.”
Wisan said he had not seen the filing, but had expected it. He defended the judgment saying the court had approved it based on testimony and documentation from expert witnesses. He said he has nothing to hide and welcomes the scrutiny of any trust transactions.
Formed in the 1940s, the trust holds the property and other combined assets of church members, who believe their communal lifestyle is derived from religious scripture.
When the Utah courts seized the trust, a judge ousted church leaders who controlled it, claiming Jeffs and others had mismanaged its funds for personal use. At the time, Jeffs was on the run from criminal charges in Utah and Arizona. He was arrested in 2006 and last year a Utah jury found him guilty of two felony counts of rape as an accomplice for his role in the 2001 marriage of 14-year-old follower.
He’s currently in an Arizona jail awaiting two trials on similar charges and has been indicted by a Texas grand jury for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor.
The majority of UEP property is in the twin towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Ariz., the twin border towns where most FLDS members make their homes. The church also has property in Bountiful, British Columbia.
The FLDS practice polygamy in arranged marriages, believing the practice brings glorification in heaven. Its theological roots are tied to the early teachings of Joseph Smith, founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Commonly known as the Mormons, the mainstream church abandoned polygamy as a condition of statehood in 1890.