Los Angeles is a long way from Pittsburgh.
Larry Stammer of the Los Angeles Times reports that Bishop Jon Bruno has said he will observe a personal moratorium on blessing same-sex unions. However, he said his priests were free to continue officiating at homosexual ceremonies. He also wants to seek reconciliation with dissenting parishes.
(There’s also an Associated Press version of the same story here Bishop wants parishes back)
At the same time, the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, bishop of the six-county Los Angeles diocese, called for an international church summit in Los Angeles, including dissenting African bishops who have claimed jurisdiction over the three parishes.
Bruno said he wanted to seek an accommodation in the controversy that erupted in August when the three parishes unilaterally declared that they had left the diocese and the U.S. Episcopal Church over differences involving Scripture and homosexuality. They said they had placed themselves under the jurisdiction of the Anglican Church in Uganda.
But only hours after Bruno disclosed his moratorium and summit proposals Tuesday, they were rejected by Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, primate of the Anglican Church in Uganda, and Bishop Evans Kisekka of the Diocese of Luweero in Uganda. The Episcopal Church is the U.S. wing of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
The diocesan website also carries this report of local responses to the actions of the three dissenting parishes:
Grassroots support grows as bishop calls for inclusion which also contains the following statistics on how the three parishes held votes on whether to stay in ECUSA:
According to statements by the three rectors, each congregation held a meeting to vote on the question of remaining within the Episcopal Church or joining the Diocese of Luwero. Of the 1,218 members of St. James’ Church, 292 attended the meeting. Of those attending, 280 voted in favor of the motion; 12 were opposed. At All Saints, 141 of 429 parishioners voted, 131 in favor of secession. At St. David’s, the vote was 68 to 12, out of 125 members (membership numbers are taken from the “communicant in good standing” statistics published in the 2003 Journal of Convention, and include children).
The LA Times also says:
Bruno also sent word of his positions to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Williams, who had written the Los Angeles bishop Nov. 9, called Bruno’s proposal a “generous response” to bring about reconciliation.
Meanwhile, Bruno said Tuesday he would indefinitely delay filing church charges against a retired Episcopal bishop in Texas, the Rt. Rev. Maurice M. Benitez, who is standing in for the African bishops in overseeing the three breakaway parishes. But Bruno is proceeding with the civil lawsuits seeking to regain control over the parishes.
Bruno also disclosed Tuesday that he had authorized another bishop to provide pastoral — but not legal — oversight of Christ the King Church in Santa Barbara, which has also objected to the stands that Bruno and the national church have taken on homosexuality. That church has not seceded and remains under Bruno’s authority.
Another recent report from the Long Beach Press-Telegram
Church shift protested
25 object to what they say are anti-gay practices at All Saints, which left local diocese.