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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bristol parish becomes part of Nigerian Church

Trinity Episcopal Church in Bristol, one of the "Connecticut Six," has become part of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. This is truly a momentous story:

Trinity Episcopal Church in Bristol, as of Sunday, became part of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, said Trinity's rector, the Rev. Donald Helmandollar. The convocation is a self-described mission of the Nigerian church serving Episcopalians who hold traditional beliefs.

"We have remained with the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church has demonstrated, continues to demonstrate, that they are walking apart from the communion," Helmandollar said.
Trinity and five other parishes had sued Connecticut Bishop Andrew Smith in 2005 seeking several million dollars in damages. They say he violated their civil and property rights after they tried to break away from his authority because he supported the election of Gene Robinson, bishop of New Hampshire. A federal judge dismissed the case last year and the parishes are appealing.

Some parishes in Virginia have aligned themselves with the Nigerian church.

The Episcopal Church has splintered since the 2003 consecration of Robinson. The denomination has adopted a general acceptance of gays.

Helmandollar said the congregation voted nearly unanimously to make the move because its members see the Episcopal Church abandoning "the orthodox tenets" of Christian belief.

So says the AP, but you have to love the ridiculous headline: "After schism, Connecticut church becomes ally of Nigerian sect." Given that there are probably more Anglicans in Nigeria nowadays than in Merry Olde England itself, I'm not sure whether to chalk up that kind of thing to ignorance of religion, ignorance of the facts on the ground, or patronizing. There's also the sneer factor of putting the phrase "the orthodox tenets" in quotes.

And they say the mainstream media doesn't "get" religion!

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