The Child Custody Protection Act, which would make it illegal to transport minors seeking an abortion across state lines to avoid parental-consent laws, passed the Senate 65-34 on July 25. The bill includes an exception if the minor's life is in danger. An amendment to give clergy and grandparents the right to transport minors failed. President Bush has said he will sign the bill once differences are resolved between the Senate and the House, which has passed a version of the bill four times.
The World Methodist Council affirmed the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification on July 18. Co-published by the Lutheran World Fellowship and the Roman Catholic Church in 1999, the declaration aims to resolve some of the differences that caused the Protestant Reformation. However, more than 140 German Protestant theologians rejected the statement at that time as not reaching true agreement. The 500-member governing body of the World Methodist Council unanimously approved the July decision, saying the declaration "expresses a far-reaching consensus."
Leaders of a megachurch in Tulsa, Oklahoma, voted on August 15 to disaffiliate with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Elders and trustees of Kirk of the Hills decided that the denomination had strayed too far from its historical beliefs and the Bible's authoritative teachings. Two senior pastors have already resigned from the PC(USA). The church's 2,800 members ratified the move to disaffiliate on August 30. Kirk of the Hills has joined the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Meanwhile, the church has filed a lawsuit against the Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery in an attempt to retain control of its property.
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The Library of Congress's Thomas site has the text and status of the bill, which was passed Tuesday in the House.
The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification is available from Christianity Today, Vatican.va, ELCA.org, and other sites. Douglas A. Sweeney wrote on the declaration for Christianity Today in 1999. United Methodist News Service has more in the World Methodist Council's signing.
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