U.S. judge kicks Episcopal priest out of parish
A federal judge yesterday handed the Episcopal church hierarchy a victory in the long battle for control of Christ Church in Accokeek, Maryland. Bishop Jane Holmes Dixon opposed the parish's appointment of Samuel Edwards as rector, but Edwards said she missed the 30-day deadline to do so. According to U.S. District Court Judge Peter J. Messitte, missing the deadline doesn't matter; Dixon is the boss, and what she says goes. "She is the highest ecclesiastical authority of the Washington Diocese of the Episcopal Church," he wrote. "Even if her decisions … were arbitrary (and the Court in no way means to suggest they were), they were decisions for her, as Bishop, to make. The Court had and has no say in the matter. … By law, the Court must defer to her actions." Chuck Nalls, attorney for the parish, tells The Washington Times it is likely to appeal the decision. The Washington Post, meanwhile, says the decision "represents a major victory for the Episcopal Church's hierarchy in its nationwide dispute with a conservative faction that is seeking to secede from the denomination along with the assets of some parishes."

United Methodist Church council: No homosexual pastors The United Methodist Judicial Council, the denomination's supreme court, affirmed that the denomination forbids "self-avowed practicing homosexuals" to serve as pastors. However, the council said, a bishop may not unilaterally fire pastors even if they announce their homosexual practice; they must be given a full hearing at the Annual Conference. Four members of the nine-member panel issued a supplementary opinion, saying that the denomination "is coming to terms with the fact that, in essence, the United Methodist ...

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