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Maryland bishop suffragan faces numerous charges in fatal accident

ENS Headlines - Friday, January 9, 2015

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby Jan. 9 announces the initial charges against Diocese of Maryland Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook in the Dec. 27 fatal accident that killed a bicyclist. Standing with her are Lt. Colonel Melissa Hyatt and Don Giblin, chief of homicide for the State’s Attorney’s Office. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 6:13 p.m.

[Episcopal News Service – Baltimore, Maryland] Episcopal Diocese of Maryland Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook surrendered to Baltimore law enforcement hours after she was charged Jan. 9 with eight offenses for allegedly causing a fatal car accident in which she temporarily left the scene after striking and killing a bicyclist.

Cook turned herself in to police mid-Friday afternoon and was being processed at Central Booking, police told The Baltimore Sun. A court commissioner was expected to determine her bail in the evening, a judiciary spokeswoman said, the Sun reported.

Earlier in the day, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said at a news conference that charges had been filed in district court accusing Cook of four criminal charges. They include negligent manslaughter by vehicle (maximum penalty 10 years and/or $5,000 fine), criminal negligent manslaughter by vehicle (three years and/or $5,000 fine), negligently driving under the influence resulting in a homicide (five years and/or $5,000 fine) and negligent homicide involving an auto or boat while impaired (three years and/or $5,000 fine).

Cook also faces traffic charges of failing to remain at an accident resulting in death, failing to remain at the scene of an accident resulting in bodily injury, using a text messaging device while driving causing an accident with death or serious injury, and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Media representatives crowd the small news conference room in the offices of Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby Jan. 9. Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/ENS

Mosby said a breathalyzer test administered to Cook after the accident showed the bishop had a blood alcohol content of .22 percent. The legal limit in Maryland is .08 percent.

Thomas Palermo, 41, the married father of two young children, was pronounced dead on the afternoon of Dec. 27 at a hospital near the accident scene. He died from head injuries suffered in the accident.

Mosby reminded those at the news conference that Cook is presumed innocent until and unless she is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

When Mosby met with the Palermo family Jan. 8, she said she “assured them that we’re going to pursue justice.”

The state’s attorney outlined the accident, citing the statement of probable cause that was filed in court. She said both Palermo and Cook were traveling southbound on Roland Avenue with Palermo in the bike lane and Cook in the traffic lane. Cook, who was texting while driving at the time, veered off to the right and into the bike lane, striking Palermo from the rear. The collision caused Palermo to strike the hood and windshield of Cook’s 2001 Subaru, Mosby said. He was thrown to the right-hand side before coming to a final rest against the curb.

She said the statement of probable cause alleges that Cook did not stop at the scene of the accident, and continued south on Roland. Roughly 30 minutes later she drove past the scene, heading northbound on Roland, but continued past the scene northbound to her residence, according to Mosby. The timeline in the statement of probable cause alleges that Cook was gone from the scene for a longer period of time than what was reported in earlier news accounts.

Cook left that residence shortly after her arrival there and returned to the scene. Mosby said that Cook then was taken from the scene to a police station by members of the Baltimore Police Department where she was given a breathalyzer test which resulted in the .22 reading.

Mosby said that the case will be presented to a grand jury scheduled to be impaneled on Jan. 12. The jury could drop some of the charges and/or add others.

Mosby, 34, was acting on her first full day as Baltimore City State’s Attorney, having been sworn into office the day before.

Just after Mosby concluded her news conference, Diocese of Maryland Bishop Eugene Sutton released a statement saying in part: “Please know that we are deeply heartbroken over this, and we cry for the Palermo family, our sister Heather and all in the community who are hurting.”

“Our Lord Jesus would be a healing presence in the midst of this tragic situation, and we are seeking ways to walk in his footsteps in the days and months ahead,” he said. “As we do so we are truly being the church, and we will always be guided by our core Christian values of personal accountability, compassion and respect for the rule of law.”

Neva Rae Fox, Episcopal Church public affairs officer, also issued a statement acknowledging the charges and saying “as this is a legal matter, we will not comment on the charges or the proceedings that will follow.”

“Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori maintains a pastoral and canonical relationship with Bishop Cook,” Fox said. “As a result, Cook will not be permitted to exercise her ordained ministry in the foreseeable future.”

Sutton had placed Cook on administrative leave shortly after the accident and The Episcopal Church’s disciplinary processes have been put in motion. Title IV of the Canons of The Episcopal Church governs ecclesiastical discipline of clergy members. Canon 17 of Title IV outlines the disciplinary process of bishops. Title IV requires confidentiality at this point in the process.

Cook became the diocese’s first female bishop when she was ordained and consecrated Sept. 6. Cook’s biography is here on the diocesan website.

The Dec. 27 fatal accident brought to light a 2010 traffic incident in which Cook was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and for marijuana possession. Cook pleaded guilty to drunken driving in that incident, and the prosecution of marijuana possession charge was dropped. A judge sentenced her on Oct. 25, 2010, to pay a $300 fine and supervised probation. Court records available online do not note the length or conditions of Cook’s probation.

A Dec. 30 statement on the diocesan website said that during the search process that resulted in Cook being elected suffragan in 2014 she had “fully disclosed” the 2010 arrest for which she received “probation before judgment” from the court. “After extensive discussion and discernment about the incident, and after further investigation, including extensive background check and psychological investigation, it was determined that this one mistake should not bar her for consideration as a leader,” the statement said.

The convention that elected Cook on May 2, 2014, however, was not told about the 2010 arrest, Sharon Tillman, the diocese’s director of communications, confirmed to ENS Jan. 9.

Previous ENS coverage of the accident is here.

– The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.

Presiding Bishop’s opening remarks to Executive Council

ENS Headlines - Friday, January 9, 2015

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The following are the opening remarks of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori at the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church, currently meeting through January 11 at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute in Linthicum Heights, MD.

 Executive Council opening remarks
January 9
Maritime Center, Linthicum Heights, MD

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

I want to begin by telling you something of the responses made to two initiatives requested by this body and by General Convention.

I made a visit to the Dominican Republic and to Haiti just before Christmas, to learn more about the difficulties experienced by people of Haitian descent who live in DR, particularly those whose ancestors have been there for nearly a hundred years.  The Executive Council considered the plight of the stateless persons of Haitian descent last February, and, among other things, asked me to lead a fact-finding mission to those two nations and dioceses, and that as a Church we both advocate and educate Episcopalians about their circumstances.[1]  We had a series of very informative encounters with people who are directly affected, with human rights workers, and with Haitian and Dominican Episcopalians who are working to respond.

The history is long and more complicated than I can address here today.  You can expect a series of stories from Episcopal News Service on this topic, and A&N will get a fuller report in their committee meeting.  The reality is that people of Haitian descent who have been born in the DR since the 1920s are liable to have their citizenship and identity papers revoked, if they haven’t already lost them.  That means they cannot go to school, get formal employment, marry legally, cannot register the births of their children, or cannot travel.  They can’t even get a cell phone without identity documents.  The governmental responses when people complain often seem frivolous, yet experience shows that when challenged with the help of human rights lawyers, local courts often decide in favor of the people who have lost their documents.  But it is an expensive, lengthy, and complex process.  The Supreme Court rulings there that have led to this crisis have been denounced as illegal by the Latin American Human Rights Court, to which the DR is subject, as a signatory to human rights covenants.  Activists and intellectuals in the Dominican Republic believe this is part of larger political ploy to keep the populace anxious about immigration and the current political leaders in power.

As a Church we are considering a variety of advocacy responses, and I know that A&N will discuss these possibilities further.  I have already raised the issue with other members of the US National Council of Churches, and we are seeking other partners.  Let me note that there have been similar attempts in the United States to remove the guarantee of citizenship for those who are born here.  The Dominican situation has moved beyond that stage to deny citizenship to people whose parents or even grandparents were born on Dominican soil.  Nor is this kind of situation unique to people of this hemisphere.  Many Latvians are also effectively stateless.

I ask your prayers, your awareness, and your solidarity with people who know something of what it is to be a slave in Egypt.

At the same time, there is abundant good news in Haiti, in terms of progress and healing after the earthquake, and hope for a beginning to the reconstruction of the cathedral and for St. Vincent’s School for the Handicapped.[2]

The second matter I want to make you aware of is the result of a resolution of the last General Convention that asked me to develop an interfaith pilgrimage to the Holy Land, with equal representation of Episcopalians, Jews, and Muslims, to model and encourage similar efforts and dialogues by others.[3]  I am happy to tell you that a group of about a dozen have been assembled and will make that pilgrimage shortly.  After hearing a variety of narratives and meeting with a broad spectrum of residents, religious leaders, and government officials, we hope to return with learnings that can be translated into our own congregations and local communities. I will have a more detailed report for you at our March meeting.

I want to devote the rest of my time about the remainder of our work leading up to General Convention.  I understand the work of this Council to be the facilitation of God’s mission – through shared financial resources, program initiatives, and active solidarity with the least of these.  In this triennium we have organized that work through the 5 Marks of Mission.[4]  We engage in God’s mission as a way of loving our neighbors, and find ourselves transformed in the process of sharing one another’s joys and burdens.  It’s a very concrete witness of the principle of Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence in the Body of Christ, claimed by the Anglican Communion (MRI) more than 50 years ago.[5]

The center of that statement of principles is probably this sentence, “Every church has both resources and needs.”  It is a call to share what each church has for the welfare of the whole body.  The language sometimes sounds dated, but the meaning is contemporary:  “We need to examine our priorities, asking whether in fact we are not putting secondary needs of our own ahead of essential needs of our brothers.  A new organ in Lagos or New York, for example, might mean that twelve fewer priests are trained in Asia or Latin America.” While this document was written to address realities across the Anglican Communion, it applies equally to more local parts of the body of Christ – to congregations, to dioceses, and to this province called The Episcopal Church:  “Full communion means either very little, if it be taken as a mere ceremonial symbol, or very much if it be understood as an expression of our common life and fortune.  We all stand or fall together, for we are one in the body of Christ.  Therefore we must seek to receive and to share.”

The budget that we will pass on to Program Budget and Finance should reflect that theological understanding.  The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, if it is being faithful, should employ its resources for the welfare of the whole body of Christ and indeed the whole world.  Our constituent parts, i.e., the dioceses that make up this part of the body of Christ, should expect this challenge to participate in the life of the body of Christ joyfully, in ways that demonstrate love of neighbor equal to love of self.

The TREC report proposes a canonically mandated level of financial participation in the churchwide response to God’s mission, in the same way that audits are expected of every diocese, in the same way that every part of the body is expected to care for the dignity of vulnerable persons, in the same way that each diocese is expected to share the same canonical limits and privileges adopted by the General Convention.

We have not held one another to account for the life and the hope that is within us.  We have embarrassed the parts of the body that lack the basic financial resources necessary to full and vigorous life as a diocese in this Church. We have often failed to respond to their cries for help.  At the same time, we failed to expect the full participation of other parts of the body in response to those cries for help.  We need new courage and honesty, and we may need more accurate definitions of what a diocese is, and what constitutes a missionary district.  We live with a theological and ecclesiological tradition that says that a diocese has most of what is needed to be self-governing, self-sustaining, and self-propagating.  If a diocese is unable to do those things, it ought to be understood as something more like what we formerly called missionary districts –parts of the body that are dependent on the larger body for support and partnership.  Our current situation has a number of dioceses that are transparently dependent on churchwide resources for their growth and development – most of Province IX, the four dioceses in the United States that have large indigenous populations, the Convocation of Churches in Europe, the dioceses of Haiti and the Virgin Islands and I would add the dioceses that experienced the exodus of church leadership. We have some level of churchwide agreement that it is important to encourage and support their growth toward that ideal of a healthy diocese.

We also have a number of dioceses that cannot or do not share of their resources in ways that are asked by the General Convention.  We should not shame them.  We should be providing the necessary assistance toward self-governance, self-sustenance, and self-propagation.  Some dioceses seem to be capable of self-sustenance and even of self-propagation within their own bounds, but not of the form of self-governance that understands that no part of the body ultimately stands alone.  Self-governance is perhaps more about loving neighbor as one loves oneself than it is about passing resolutions and budgets.  After all, budgets are concrete demonstrations of where we have put our heart and treasure.

I want to leave you with some questions for the budget work we will do here.

Does this budget give evidence of mutual responsibility and interdependence?

Does it ask each part of the body of Christ for what is needed to support the growth toward full and abundant life of the more dependent parts of the body of Christ?  I believe that means it ought to start with need, rather than an artificially determined base income.  It should expect and plan for full participation by all who are able.

Does this budget strengthen and heal the whole body, raise its capacity, and increase its generativity for mission? Generativity may be a better word for self-propagation –it means to make more life and liveliness, not only daughter communities.

Does this budget serve the least of these, whether we’re talking about individuals, dioceses, or other mission efforts?

Does this budget increase dependence, or does it encourage growth toward generativity?

Some of the most creative work that has happened in this triennium has been the result of open-ended partnership possibilities in the Five Marks budget, like the Mission Enterprise Zones, like growth in the Young Adult Service Corps, and the grant to Episcopal Service Corps to help it become self-sustaining, and the self-sustainability initiatives in Province IX.  Those initiatives invited risk-taking, growth, and creativity – they did not foster dependence.  They are the fruit of a response that’s based on abundance rather than scarcity.  Jesus’ read on this is, “I came that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.”  That’s ultimately the work that our budget is meant to foster.

[1] AN019, February 2014  https://extranet.generalconvention.org/staff/files/download/9410

[2] http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2015/01/08/presiding-bishop-on-the-fifth-anniversary-of-the-earthquake-in-haiti/

[3] B019, www.generalconvention.org/resolutions/download/372-1343999763

[4] proclaim good news of the kingdom; teach, baptize, and nurture new believers; respond to human need through loving service; transform unjust structures, challenge violence, pursue peace and reconciliation; care for the earth: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/five-marks-mission

[5] http://anglicanhistory.org/canada/toronto_mutual1963.html

Episcopal Church to host ‘Climate Change Crisis’ forum

ENS Headlines - Friday, January 9, 2015

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] On March 24, The Episcopal Church will host and produce a groundbreaking forum on one of the most critical issues facing today’s world: The Climate Change Crisis.

The 90-minute live webcast will originate from Campbell Hall Episcopal School, North Hollywood, CA. In partnership with Bishop J. Jon Bruno and the Diocese of Los Angeles, The Climate Change Crisis will begin 11 am Pacific/noon Mountain/1 pm Central/2 pm Eastern/10 am Alaska/9 am Hawaii.

In addition to stimulating conversation and raising awareness about The Climate Change Crisis, the live webcast will serve as the kickoff to 30 Days of Action. A range of activities will be offered for individuals and congregations to understand the environmental crisis.  The activities will culminate on Earth Day, April 22.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will deliver the keynote address.  The forum will be moderated by well-known climatologist Fritz Coleman of KNBC 4 television news.

Two panels will focus on specific areas of the climate change crisis; Regional Impacts of Climate Change; and Reclaiming Climate Change as a Moral Issue.  The panels, each 30 minutes, will feature representatives of faith groups, government officials, environmental policy leaders and NGOs.

The live webcast will be available on demand following the live webcast. There is no fee. Registration is not required

The forum is ideal for live group watching and discussion, or on-demand viewing later.  It will be appropriate for Sunday School, Adult education, discussions groups, and community gatherings.

The event supports Mark 5 of the Anglican Marks of Mission: To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

The event is one of the aspects of The Episcopal Church’s 150th year of parish ministry in Southern California.

Resources such as bibliography, on-demand video, materials for community and individual review, discussion questions, and lesson plans will be available.

For more information contact Neva Rae Fox, Public Affairs Officer, publicaffairs@episcopalchurch.org.

Líderes religiosos condenan ataque terrorista en París

ENS Headlines - Friday, January 9, 2015

Amandine Marbach de Estrasburgo, Francia, participa en una vigilia en tributo de las víctimas del atentado del 7 de enero en París. Foto de Carlo Allegri/Reuters.

[Episcopal News Service] Líderes cristianos y musulmanes han denunciado enérgicamente el ataque del 7 de enero en París en que presuntos terroristas islámicos asaltaron las oficinas de la revista satírica Charlie Hebdo y abrieron fuego contra los asistentes a una reunión editorial. Doce personas resultaron muertas, entre ellos dos agentes de la policía, y otras 10 fueron heridas en la agresión, el peor acto de terrorismo en Francia de los últimos 50 años.

Francia amaneció el 8 de enero con los informes de que se habían practicado varios arrestos en Reims durante la noche en conexión con el ataque y con la noticia de que un pistolero había asesinado a una mujer policía en un incidente al sur de París. No resulta claro si este último incidente está relacionado con la masacre de Charlie Hebdo.

La policía está ahora a la caza de dos hermanos que son los principales sospechosos en el ataque. Dos hombres que se ajustan a esta descripción se dijo que habían asaltado una gasolinera en el norte de París en la madrugada del 8 de enero. Un tercer sospechoso se entregó a las autoridades, según informan los noticieros.

“Debe quedar claro que este intento de dividir e intimidar al pueblo ha fracasado”, dijo el obispo Pierre Whalon de la Convocación de Iglesias Episcopales en Europa en una declaración, haciendo notar que están teniendo lugar reuniones espontáneas de solidaridad con las víctimas en docenas de ciudades a través de Francia. También se producían manifestaciones y vigilias en todo el mundo.

Charlie Hebdo es [una publicación] bien conocida por sus representaciones satíricas de la religiones, entre ellas las caricaturas del profeta Mahoma, por las cuales la revista ya había sido atacada anteriormente y su personal editorial había recibido amenazas. “Charlie Hebdo es adicta a satirizar la religión y también se burla rutinariamente de toda otra clase de temas y de personas”, dijo Whalon. “Ese es su derecho. La libertad de expresión es el único garante de la libertad, incluida la libertad de cultos”.

Whalon llamó a “todas las personas de buena voluntad a orar en la medida en que puedan por el descanso de las víctimas, por sus familiares y amigos cuyas vidas ya nunca volverán a ser las mismas. Debemos pedir también por la curación de los heridos. Y también debemos orar por los asesinos, para que abandonen la violencia y acepten el juicio. Y nuestras oraciones deben acompañarse de acciones para ayudar a que la nación se restaure y se fortalezca en solidaridad”.

El arzobispo de Cantórbery, Justin Welby, calificó el ataque terrorista de “un acto de la más extraordinaria brutalidad y barbarie. Esta violencia es demoníaca en su agresión a los inocentes, y cobarde en su negación del derecho humano básico a la libertad de expresión”.

Welby dijo en una declaración que el pueblo de Francia “se sobrepondrá valientemente al desafío de esta agresión vil y seguirá mostrando la fuerza y la confianza que surgen de su extraordinaria historia. Nuestras oraciones y pensamientos están especialmente con los muertos y los heridos y con sus familias. Oro también por los que participan en la persecución de los terroristas”.

Whalon reconoció que las primeras voces en expresar su indignación fueron los líderes musulmanes. “Entre ellos estaba el imán Hassen Chalghoumi, a quien conozco y a quien he admirado durante muchos años. Me uno a él en deplorar esta agresión infame, ‘indigna del islam’ y me hago eco de su llamado a no confundir a los musulmanes con los ‘criminales’ que perpetraron esta vil acción”.

Chalghoumi, imán de la mezquita de Drancy en el suburbio de Seine-Denis de París, calificó a los agresores de “criminales, bárbaros. Han vendido su alma al infierno. Esto no es la libertad. Esto no es el islam, y espero que los franceses salgan unidos al final de esto”.

La Gran Mequita de París emitió una declaración poco después del ataque, diciendo que su comunidad estaba “conmovida” y “horrorizada” por la violencia. Llamamos a la comunidad musulmana a ejercer la mayor vigilancia contra las posibles manipulaciones de grupos considerados como extremistas de cualquier tipo”.

La Muy Rda. Lucinda Laird, deana de la Catedral Americana en París, dijo que todo el mundo estaba anonadado y afligido luego de la agresión, pero que la más importante tarea a llevar a cabo era orar. “Oren por las víctimas y sus familias. Oren por la paz y la justicia, aquí y en todo el mundo. Oren por esta ciudad, que los perpetradores puedan ser hallados y detenidos, y por un fin a este odio y a esta violencia”, escribió ella en una carta dirigida a la comunidad de la catedral. “Y muy especialmente, oren, por favor, por aquellos cuyo odio es tan avasallador que hace posible este tipo de acción. Oren para que nosotros no reaccionemos con odio”.

Georges Lemopoulos, secretario general interino del Consejo Mundial de Iglesias, dijo que el asalto fue un “ataque a la vida humana, a la dignidad humana y a los derechos humanos de todos… Junto a todas la personas de verdadera fe y buena voluntad, oremos por las víctimas y sus familias, porque los perpetradores sean llevados a la justicia, porque se extinga la ideología extremista que inspiró este ataque, y que la indignación justificada no conduzca a represalias contra los musulmanes ni alimente el sentimiento antiislámico”.

Los líderes políticos, incluido el presidente de EE.UU. Barack Obama, también condenaron el ataque.

Obama describió la agresión como un “ataque cobarde y malvado” y prometió ayudar a Francia en su empeño de “perseguir y llevar a la justicia a los perpetradores de este acto específico, [y de] recoger las redes que ayudan a promover este tipo de conspiraciones… El hecho que este fuera un ataque a periodistas, un ataque a nuestra libertad de prensa, también resalta el grado en que estos terroristas temen a la libertad de expresión y a la libertad de prensa”.

Los dos sospechosos, que aún se encuentran prófugos, han sido identificados como los hermanos Cherif y Said Kouachi y se ha dicho que “están armados y son peligrosos”. Francia declaró el 8 de enero como día nacional de duelo por las víctimas del ataque.

– Matthew Davies es redactor y reportero de Episcopal News Service. Traducción de Vicente Echerri.

Michael B. Curry named chair of Episcopal Relief & Development board

ENS Headlines - Thursday, January 8, 2015

[Episcopal Relief & Development press release] The Right Reverend Michael B. Curry, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, has been appointed as Chair of Episcopal Relief & Development’s Board of Directors.  The appointment was made by the board’s Honorary Chair, The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church.

Bishop Curry succeeds The Right Reverend Robert J. O’Neill, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado, who has served since 2009.

“Bishop Curry will bring vigor, passion, and insight to his work,” said Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori.  “I give thanks for his willingness to serve in this way, and pray that his ministry may help to bless the world with healing.”

A key leader in The Episcopal Church and a prophetic voice for social justice, Bishop Curry joined Episcopal Relief & Development’s board in 2013.  Prior to his consecration as Bishop of North Carolina in 2000, he served parishes in North Carolina, Ohio and Maryland, implementing social development programs that improved the lives of children and youth in inner-city neighborhoods.  As bishop, in addition to championing Episcopal Relief & Development at the diocesan and Church levels, Bishop Curry plays an important role on the Task Force for Reimagining The Episcopal Church (TREC).

“Serving as Chair of Episcopal Relief & Development’s Board of Directors is a privilege and a responsibility that I take very seriously,” Bishop Curry said.  “I am grateful for the leadership of Bishop O’Neill in the growth, professionalization and demonstration of expertise that has solidified the organization’s standing as a global leader in development – and as something of which all Episcopalians can be incredibly proud!  I believe that the work of Episcopal Relief & Development is one of the finest and most important things we do as followers of Jesus in ​T​he Episcopal Church.  It really is a way we can all together share in God’s work of helping and healing a hurting world.”

In support of Episcopal Relief & Development, Bishop Curry notably co-chaired the Advisory Committee of the church-wide NetsforLife® Inspiration Fund and spearheaded diocesan efforts in support of the campaign.  Altogether, the NetsforLife® Inspiration Fund raised $5 million over three years to grow the award-winning, flagship malaria prevention program, which to date has distributed over 11 million nets and saved the lives of more than 100,000 children under age five.

“I am delighted by Bishop Curry’s appointment to chair Episcopal Relief & Development’s Board of Directors,” said Bishop O’Neill.  “I am grateful to Episcopal Relief & Development’s staff and partners for their courageous work on behalf of communities worldwide, and I look forward to seeing what creative and deeper engagement will flourish under Bishop Curry’s leadership.”

Bishop O’Neill finishes his board term at the end of 2014 after eight years, including six as chair.  Under his leadership, the organization has developed and expanded through two transformative strategic plans – broadening the scope of NetsforLife®, strengthening Church capacity to respond to emergencies through the US Disaster Program and increasing focus on robust monitoring and evaluation practices.  This organizational growth has enabled Episcopal Relief & Development to secure significant grants from leading foundations, including the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and a Grand Challenges Explorations Grant funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“In addition to taking Episcopal Relief & Development to the next level as an organization and further professionalizing our operations, Bishop O’Neill has also been an invaluable mentor to me in my role as President,” said Rob Radtke, President of Episcopal Relief & Development.  “He has created a tremendous legacy, and I very much look forward to working with Bishop Curry to build on our organizational successes, reaching more people and saving more lives through our partnerships worldwide.”

Bishop Curry assumes Board leadership at an exciting time in the organization’s history, as it celebrates 75 years of healing a hurting world.  The 75th Anniversary Celebration brings together Episcopalians and friends to commemorate and engage more deeply with its work.  This celebration has been made possible by contributions from leaders across The Episcopal Church, notably outgoing Chair Bishop O’Neill.

“Bishop O’Neill has served faithfully and creatively as a member and as Chair of the Board,” said Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori.  “His experience and his persistent energy have given important impetus to the 75th Anniversary we celebrate this year.  He will be missed, and as we give thanks for his service, we pray that his gifts will be offered in new ways in the years ahead.  Well done, good and faithful servant!”

La Obispa Primada sobre el quinto aniversario del terremoto en Haití

ENS Headlines - Thursday, January 8, 2015

[8 de enero de 2015] El 12 de enero marca el quinto aniversario del terremoto que devastó Haití. La obispa primada de la Iglesia Episcopal Katharine Jefferts Schori presenta el siguiente resumen y revisa el progreso alcanzado desde ese día infausto de 2010.

Sobre el quinto aniversario del terremoto que afectó a Haití el 12 de enero de 2010

Haití y su pueblo son sobrevivientes: de la ocupación colonial y de una economía esclavista, de guerras, rebeliones e invasiones, de una larga historia de gobiernos corruptos e ineficaces y, cuando las cosas parecían estar en su peor momento, hasta de una enfermedad importada. A través de todas las pruebas y tribulaciones que el mundo puede imponer, Haití continúa respondiendo con una resistencia creativa. El contraste entre las condiciones existentes poco después del terremoto de 2010 y el día de hoy es notable: las ciudades de tiendas de campaña ya casi han desaparecido, el número de viviendas va en aumento, las carreteras han sido reparadas y repavimentadas y un nuevo auge comercial es evidente en Puerto Príncipe y en otros centros urbanos. Las escuelas están llenas y funcionando, aunque no haya suficientes pupitres para todos los que deberían estar ahí. Están capacitando a jóvenes adultos para trabajar en el turismo, la construcción, la agricultura, la atención sanitaria y los emergentes campos tecnológicos. Los artistas están atareados creando nuevas obras y estilos. El contraste es enorme —y la realidad de hoy excede en mucho a las condiciones existentes antes del terremoto. La solidaridad y el apoyo del mundo han marcado una diferencia significativa. Haití puede y debe superar su estatus como la nación menos desarrollada del hemisferio, si el mundo cumple su promesa y mantiene el rumbo.

La Iglesia Episcopal en Haití sigue desempeñando un papel importante y esencial en este renacimiento. La iglesia catedral de Puerto Príncipe fue considerada durante mucho tiempo el alma espiritual y cultural de Haití. En la actualidad, sus campanas guardan silencio (en un almacén), casi todos sus murales de fama mundial están destruidos (tres de ellos han sido preservados para reutilizarlos) y la desnuda plataforma de su altar aguarda la reconstrucción de la catedral. Los terrenos de la catedral están animados, con una escuela primaria y secundaria que ahora tiene más niños que antes, una escuela de música que sigue preparando a coros e instrumentalistas de renombre internacional y una escuela técnica que se está levantando en el mismo sitio donde yacieron cadáveres durante días en las ruinas del edificio anterior que se desplomó.

El museo de arte que la diócesis fundó hace muchos años se encuentra en las inmediaciones, y guarda numerosos tesoros que exceden su capacidad de exposición. La escuela de enfermería de Léogâne gradúa un creciente número de enfermeros [mujeres y hombres] a los que prepara como trabajadores comunitarios de la salud. La escuela de San Vicente [Saint Vincent] para niños discapacitados está a punto de un importante empeño reconstructivo. La Universidad y las escuelas técnicas crecen y prosperan. Los obispos, el clero y los líderes laicos siguen proporcionando la orientación que tanto se necesita dentro de la sociedad haitiana. En todas partes de Haití, la Iglesia Episcopal está curando, enseñando, infundiendo esperanza y señalando el camino hacia el reino de Dios, así en la tierra como en el cielo.

Que abunden la resurrección y la esperanza, y no sólo en Haití. Que la continua esperanza y el proceso dinámico hacia el reino de Dios sea el resultado de la asociación creativa de pueblos y naciones. La participación activa en una parte del mundo afecta las otras partes del cuerpo de Dios, como bien lo sabe cualquier comunidad que haya enviado misioneros, que los haya recibido o que haya contribuido a que los sueños se realicen. La transformación por asociación se proyecta en todas direcciones ¡y se acrecienta en el proceso!

Este aniversario brinda abundante oportunidad para dar gracias. Que nos sintamos movidos a responder con actos de gratitud concretos y específicos, y que redunden para gloria de Dios.

Rvdma. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Obispa Presidente y Primada
de la Iglesia Episcopal

Presiding Bishop on the fifth anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti

ENS Headlines - Thursday, January 8, 2015

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] January 12 marks the fifth anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti. Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori offers the following overview and looks at the progress since that fateful day in 2010.

On the fifth anniversary of the earthquake Haiti suffered on 12 January 2010

Haiti and her people are survivors – of colonial occupation and a slave economy, of wars, rebellions, and invasions, a long history of corrupt and ineffective government, and when things seemed at their nadir, even of imported disease.  Through all the trials and tribulations the world can wield, Haiti continues to respond with creative resilience.  The contrast between conditions shortly after the earthshaking of 2010 and today is remarkable – tent cities have largely disappeared, housing stocks are increasing, roads have been repaired and re-laid, and significant new commercial development is evident in Port-au-Prince and other urban centers.  Schools are full and busy, even if there are not yet enough seats for all who should be there.  Young adults are being trained for employment in tourism, construction, agriculture, health care, and emerging technical fields.  Artists are busy creating new works and styles.  The contrast is enormous – and today’s reality far exceeds the conditions prevalent before the earthquake.  The solidarity and support of the world has made a major difference.  Haiti can and should emerge from its status as the least developed nation in the hemisphere, if the world will keep its pledge and stay the course.

The Episcopal Church in Haiti continues to play a major and essential role in this renaissance.  The cathedral church in Port-au-Prince was long seen as the spiritual and cultural soul of Haiti.  Today, its bells are quiet (in storage), its world-renowned murals largely destroyed (three have been preserved for reuse), and its naked altar platform awaits the cathedral’s rebuilding.  The cathedral grounds are lively, with primary and secondary school now serving more children than before, a music school that continues to train internationally renowned choirs and instrumentalists, and a trade school that is rising from the spot where bodies lay for days in the ruins of its former collapse.

The art museum begun many years ago by the diocese is nearby, and houses numerous treasures that exceed display capacity.  The nursing school in Léogâne is graduating growing numbers of nurses trained as community health providers.  St. Vincent’s school for handicapped children is on the cusp of a major rebuilding effort.  The University and trade schools are growing and thriving. The bishops, clergy, and lay leaders continue to provide much-needed direction within Haitian society.  In every part of Haiti, The Episcopal Church is healing, teaching, instilling hope, and pointing the way toward the kingdom of God, on earth as it is in heaven.

Resurrection and hope abound, and not in Haiti alone.  That continued hope and movement toward the reign of God are the result of the co-creative partnership of people and nations.  Active engagement in one part of the world affects other parts of God’s body, as any community that has sent missionaries, received them, or helped dreams to develop knows well.  Transformation by partnership goes in all directions, and it makes more of itself in the process!

This anniversary brings abundant opportunity for thanksgiving.  May we be moved to respond in concrete and particular acts of gratitude, and may it redound to the glory of God.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

Companions of St. Luke, OSB elects a new Episcopal Visitor

ENS Headlines - Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Right Reverend R. William Franklin, Bishop of the Diocese of Western New York, was elected by the professed membership of the Benedictine Community, The Companions of St. Luke – OSB to be their Episcopal Visitor.

The Episcopal Church requires religious communities and orders that operate independently from normal diocesan structure to elect a Bishop Visitor to assure that they have ecclesiastical support and oversight. Bishop Franklin, who follows Bishop Deane Wolfe from the Diocese of Kansas, assumed his role on January 1, 2015.

Early in his career, Bishop Franklin taught courses on monastic history at the Benedictine St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. While at St. John’s he also taught at several Benedictine Experiences, a weekend retreat held annually at the Episcopal House of Prayer located on the grounds of the abbey. He also taught at General Seminary, Harvard Divinity School and Yale Divinity School.

Before being elected the tenth bishop of Western New York, Bishop Franklin worked in the Diocese of Massachusetts, the Convocation of American Churches in Europe, where he was an Associate Priest at St. Paul’s Within the Walls in Rome and taught aspects of Anglican monastic history at the Pontifical Angelicum University, and the Diocese of Pennsylvania.

Bishop Franklin was born in Brookhaven, MS on January 3, 1947. He holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in Church History from Harvard. He was recently awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, where he once served as dean.

Within The Episcopal Church, Bishop Franklin serves on the Committee to Nominate the next Presiding Bishop, the General Board of Examining Chaplains and the Standing Commission on Lifelong Christian Formation and Education.

He and his wife, Carmela Vircillo Franklin, who is a scholar in medieval studies at Columbia University, have been married since 1971. They have two adult daughters.

The Companions of St. Luke (CSL) is a dispersed Benedictine Community with members in 20 states, the District of Columbia, and England. CSL began in the Diocese of Chicago in June 1992 and is a recognized Christian Community of the Episcopal Church. The community is an active member of the National Association of Episcopal Christian Communities.  Our website is http://www.csl-osb.org/ and our application program Opus Dei is http://www-cslosb.rhcloud.com/

Disciplinary process begins for Maryland suffragan in fatal accident

ENS Headlines - Thursday, January 8, 2015

Diocese of Maryland Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook remains on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into a fatal accident in which police say she was the driver. Photo: Richard Schori

[Episcopal News Service] Diocese of Maryland Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook remains on administrative leave and The Episcopal Church’s disciplinary processes have been put in motion after her involvement in a fatal car accident in which she temporarily left the scene after striking and killing a bicyclist.

The Dec. 27 accident in northern Baltimore that killed Thomas Palermo, 41, is still being investigated by local law enforcement and no charges have been filed.

“Currently we are following the disciplinary processes of the Church, and we are providing pastoral care,” Episcopal Church public affairs officer Neva Rae Fox said Jan. 6, speaking for Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. “We hold Bishop Cook, the Diocese of Maryland and the Palermo family in our prayers.”

She added that “as per the canons, details of the process remain confidential.”

Title IV of the Canons of The Episcopal Church governs ecclesiastical discipline of clergy members. Canon 17 of Title IV outlines the disciplinary process of bishops.

Meanwhile, the diocese has released a report on certain details concerning the day’s events and the investigation in the hours and days just after the accident.

Tom Palermo, 41, was the father of Sadie, 6, and Sam, 4. He was a senior software engineer at Johns Hopkins Hospital who also made custom bike frames. Photo: Bikemore via Facebook page

Palermo, the married father of two young children, was pronounced dead at a hospital near the crash scene after the accident. Palermo died from head injuries suffered in the mid-afternoon accident, said Bruce Goldfarb, spokesman for the Maryland medical examiner’s office, in an interview with the Associated Press.

The diocese’s report of the events was released after numerous diocesan clergy met in closed session Jan. 6 to discuss the incident at the request of Maryland Bishop Eugene Sutton.

According to the report, Cook called the Rev. Scott Slater, Sutton’s canon to the ordinary, just before 3 p.m. Dec. 27, “telling him she thought she had hit a bicyclist and was in shock.” Slater arrived at the scene 10 minutes later to find police crime scene tape surrounding Cook’s car and her sitting in a patrol car. Slater spoke to officers about the call from Cook. He then called Sutton and diocesan chancellor Jeff Ayres and left the scene.

Baltimore police called Slater just before 5:30 p.m. to ask him to pick up Cook. He did so, bringing her to her apartment where he “focused his conversation pastorally on her, as a child of God,” praying with her before he left.

Two days later, on the evening of Dec. 29, Baltimore police asked Slater to come to the police station to make a recorded statement. He did so, the statement said, answering “every question as thoroughly and completely as he could recall, including details of his and Cook’s conversation during the car ride to her apartment.”

Slater provided no other details to clergy at the meeting “out of respect for the ongoing police investigation, for the Palermo family, and for Cook,” the statement said, adding that Slater could not discuss his and other staff members’ cooperation with the Title IV investigation due to its required confidentiality.

“Cook is now in good hands and receiving care that will hopefully help her on her journey forward,” the statement said.

Palermo was a senior software engineer at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He also made custom bike frames, according to news reports.

A memorial has been growing near the scene of the Dec. 27 accident in which bicyclist Tom Palermo died after being hit by a car driven by Diocese of Maryland Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook. Photo: Eileen M. Gilan via Bikemore Facebook page

“Together with the Diocese of Maryland, I express my deep sorrow over the death of the cyclist and offer my condolences to the victim’s family. Please pray for Mr. Palermo, his family and Bishop Cook during this most difficult time,” Sutton said in a Dec. 29 statement posted on the diocesan website.

Sutton confirmed in that statement that Cook was driving the car that hit Palermo and said the bishop suffragan left the scene of the accident but returned 20 minutes later “to take responsibility for her actions.” The bishop said that he had placed Cook, 58, on administrative leave “because the nature of the accident could result in criminal charges.” She is receiving pay and benefits in accordance with standard denominational practice, the Jan. 6 statement said.

Sutton said he has indefinitely postponed his planned sabbatical due to the accident and its aftermath.

Sharon Tillman, the diocese’s director of communications, told Episcopal News Service in a Jan. 2 telephone interview that the diocese was told by the police that it could be as much as two months before an accident report will be available.

David Irwin, an attorney representing Cook, told ENS Jan. 2 that his client is “distraught about the death of the cyclist, naturally. She is praying for him and his family.”

The accident brought to light a 2010 traffic incident in which Cook was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and for marijuana possession.

Cook was stopped Sept. 10, 2010, by a sheriff’s deputy in Caroline County in the Eastern Shore area of Maryland when she was observed driving 29 miles per hour on the shoulder of the road in a 50 miles-per-hour zone, according to law enforcement records. Her car had a shredded front tire.

The reports of the 2010 incident said that Cook registered .27 percent blood alcohol content. The legal limit in Maryland is .08 percent. The officer said two small bags of marijuana were found in the vehicle, along with drug paraphernalia, and a bottle of wine and a bottle of liquor.

Cook pleaded guilty to drunken driving in that incident, and the prosecution of marijuana possession charge was dropped. A judge sentenced her on Oct. 25, 2010, to pay a $300 fine and supervised probation. Court records available online do not note the length or conditions of Cook’s probation. A Dec. 30 statement on the diocesan website said that during the search process that resulted in Cook being elected suffragan in 2014 she had “fully disclosed” the 2010 arrest for which she received “probation before judgment” from the court.

“After extensive discussion and discernment about the incident, and after further investigation, including [an] extensive background check and psychological investigation, it was determined that this one mistake should not bar her for consideration as a leader,” the Dec. 30 statement said.

“One of the core values of the Christian faith is forgiveness,” the statement said. “We cannot preach forgiveness without practicing forgiveness and offering people opportunity for redemption.”

The search process’s background check and psychological investigation on Cook were “no more [and] no less than what any other nominee would have gone through,” Tillman told ENS.

Cook was elected May 2, 2014, and became the diocese’s first female bishop when she was ordained and consecrated Sept. 6. Cook’s biography is here on the diocesan website.

Bicyclists prepare to begin a Jan. 1 memorial ride to the site of the fatal accident in which cyclist Tom Palermo died. Photo: Eileen M. Gilan via Bikemore Facebook page

On Dec. 31 the diocese encouraged its clergy and lay members to participate in a New Year’s Day memorial bike ride in Palermo’s honor organized by two local bicycling groups. The ride began at 3:30 p.m. at Bishop Square Park adjacent to the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation. After a moment of silence, the riders biked to the accident scene at 5700 Roland Avenue to place a white memorial bicycle, known as a “ghost bike,” in honor of Palermo.

Officials from Bikemore and Bike Maryland agreed that diocesan members could publicize and promote participation in the memorial ride, Tillman said.

“They invited our presence; they did not want us to stay away,” she said. “The cycling community in Maryland, especially in Baltimore, is very strong and they’re really in a lot of pain right now and we are grieving along with them. We wanted to be with them, but only if our presence wouldn’t make it worse.”

Diocesan officials opened the nearby diocesan center as well as the cathedral so that riders could spend time in silent reflection, get warm and use restrooms, Tillman added.

Palermo’s funeral Mass was celebrated Jan. 3 at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Towson, Maryland. Sutton called on members of the diocese to join him in a moment of silent prayer and reflection at 10 a.m. that day as Palermo’s funeral began.

Palermo’s wife, Rachel Rock Palermo; 6-year-old daughter Sadie; 4-year-old son Sam; and his parents survive him, according to a Baltimore Sun obituary. Family members have begun a fundraising effort for Palermo’s children.

In the Jan. 6 statement, the diocese urged congregations to designate a Sunday offering for the Palermo family fund and to continue to pray for the Palermo family and Cook.

– The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.

Religious leaders condemn Paris terrorist attacks

ENS Headlines - Thursday, January 8, 2015

Amandine Marbach from Strasbourg, France, takes part in a vigil to pay tribute to the victims of the Jan. 7 shooting in Paris. Photo: Reuters/Carlo Allegri

[Episcopal News Service] Christian and Muslim leaders have strongly denounced the Jan. 7 attacks in Paris when suspected Islamist terrorists stormed the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and opened fire during an editorial meeting. Twelve people were killed, including two police officers, and 10 were wounded in the attack, the worst act of terrorism in France for 50 years.

France awoke Jan. 8 to reports that several arrests had been made in Reims overnight in connection with the attacks and news that a gunman had killed a policewoman in an incident in southern Paris. It is unclear whether the latest shooting is related to the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Police are now hunting for two brothers who are the main suspects in the attack. Two men fitting their description reportedly robbed a service station in north Paris during the morning of Jan. 8. A third suspect has surrendered, according to reports.

“It should be clear to all that this attempt to divide and intimidate people has failed,” said Bishop Pierre Whalon of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe in a statement, noting that spontaneous gatherings of solidarity with the victims were taking place in dozens of cities across France. Demonstrations and vigils also were held throughout the world.

Charlie Hebdo is well known for its satirical representations of religion, including caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, for which the magazine has faced previous attacks and its editorial staff has received threats. “Charlie Hebdo is adept at satirizing religion and also routinely makes fun of all sorts of other subjects and people,” Whalon said. “This is their right. Freedom of expression is the only guarantor of liberty, including the freedom of worship.”

Whalon called on “all people of good will to pray as they feel able for the repose of the victims, for their families and friends whose lives will never be the same again. We must ask for healing for the wounded as well. We must also pray for the assassins, that they turn from violence and accept judgment. And our prayers must be accompanied by acts to help the nation heal and grow stronger in solidarity.”

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby called the terrorist attacks “an act of the most extraordinary brutality and barbarity. This violence is demonic in its attack on the innocent, and cowardly in its denial of the basic human right of freedom of speech.”

Welby said in a statement that the people of France “will rise courageously above the challenge of this vile attack and continue to demonstrate strength and confidence arising out of their great history. Our prayers and thoughts are especially with those who have been killed and injured and their families. I pray also for those involved in pursuing the terrorists.”

Whalon acknowledged that the first voices to express outrage were Muslim leaders. “Among them was Imam Hassen Chalghoumi, whom I have known and admired for many years. I join with him in deploring this ungodly attack, ‘unworthy of Islam,’ and echo his call not to confuse Muslims with the ‘criminals’ who perpetrated this vile act.”

Chalghoumi, imam of the Drancy mosque in Paris’s Seine-Saint-Denis suburb, called the attackers “criminals, barbarians. They have sold their soul to hell. This is not freedom. This is not Islam and I hope the French will come out united at the end of this.”

The Grand Mosque of Paris issued a statement shortly after the attacks, saying its community was “shocked” and “horrified” by the violence. “This barbaric act … is an attack against democracy and press freedom … We call the Muslim community to exercise the utmost vigilance against possible manipulations from groups referred to as extremists of any kind.”

The Very Rev. Lucinda Laird, dean of the American Cathedral in Paris, said everyone was in shock and grief following the shootings but that the most important thing to do right now is to pray. “Pray for the victims and their families. Pray for peace and justice, here and around the world. Pray for this city, that the perpetrators may be found and stopped, and for an end to this hatred and violence,” she wrote in a letter to the cathedral community. “And most especially, please pray for those whose hatred is so overwhelming that this kind of action is possible. Pray that we may not react with hatred ourselves.”

The World Council of Churches acting General Secretary Georges Lemopoulos said the assault was an “attack on human life, human dignity and the human rights of all … Together with all people of true faith and good will, we pray for the victims and their families, for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, for the extremist ideology that inspired this attack to be extinguished, and that justified outrage may not lead to reprisals against Muslims or fuel anti-Islamic sentiment.”

Political leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, also condemned the attack.

Obama described the shootings as “cowardly evil attacks.” He promised to help France in its efforts to pursue the terrorists, to “hunt down and bring the perpetrators of this specific act to justice, and to roll up the networks that help to advance these kinds of plots … The fact that this was an attack on journalists, attack on our free press, also underscores the degree to which these terrorists fear freedom of speech and freedom of the press.”

The two suspects still at large have been named as brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi and are said to be “armed and dangerous.” France has declared Jan. 8 as a national day of mourning for the victims of the attack.

– Matthew Davies is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.

Archbishop of Canterbury condemns Paris attack as ‘barbaric’

ENS Headlines - Thursday, January 8, 2015

[Lambeth Palace] Following the terrorist attack Jan. 7 at the Paris offices of the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said:

“This is an act of the most extraordinary brutality and barbarity. This violence is demonic in its attack on the innocent, and cowardly in its denial of the basic human right of freedom of speech.

“The people of France, a country in which I have lived, which I know and love, will rise courageously above the challenge of this vile attack and continue to demonstrate strength and confidence arising out of their great history.

“Our prayers and thoughts are especially with those who have been killed and injured and their families. I pray also for those involved in pursuing the terrorists.”

L’archevêque de Canterbury condamne l’attentat à l’arme au journal Charlie Hebdo comme barbare

A la suite de l’attentat terroriste, aujourd’hui, aux bureaux du journal satirique, Charlie Hebdo, l’archevêque de Canterbury déclare:

“Ceci est un acte d’une brutalité et barbarie extrême. Cette violence est diabolique, attaquant des innocents et déniant lâchement le droit fondamental de liberté d’expression.

“Le peuple français, un pays où j’ai habité, que je connais et que j’aime, émergera courageusement au-delà du défi de cette affreux attentat et continuera à réagir avec la force et la témérité, ressortant de leur illustre passé.

“Nos prières et pensées sont particulièrement tournées vers ceux qui ont été tués et blessés, ainsi que leurs familles. Je prie également pour ceux qui sont à la poursuite des terroristes.”

Bishop Pierre Whalon concerning the attack on Charlie Hebdo

ENS Headlines - Thursday, January 8, 2015

[Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe] Bishop Pierre Whalon of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe has issued a statement following the Jan. 7 terrorist attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. The statement follows in English and French.

As spontaneous gatherings of solidarity with the victims are happening in dozens of cities across France even as I pen these words, it should be clear to all that this attempt to divide and intimidate people has failed. Certainly, Charlie Hebdo is adept at satirizing religion, including my own. It also routinely makes fun of all sorts of other subjects and people. This is their right. Freedom of expression is the only guarantor of liberty, including the freedom of worship, however.

After the cowardly attack here in Paris today on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which included the cold-blooded execution of a wounded police officer, the first voices to express their outrage were Muslim leaders. Among them was Imam Hassen Chalghoumi, whom I have known and admired for many years. I join with him in deploring this ungodly attack, “unworthy of Islam,” and echo his call not to confuse Muslims with the “criminals” who perpetrated this vile act.

I call on all people of good will to pray as they feel able for the repose of the victims, for their families and friends whose lives will never be the same again. We must ask for healing for the wounded as well. We must also pray for the assassins, that they turn from violence and accept judgment. And our prayers must be accompanied by acts to help the nation heal and grow stronger in solidarity. ‘We are all Charlie.’

Déclaration de Mgr Pierre W. Whalon concernant l’attentat contre Charlie Hebdo 

[PARIS] 7 janvier 2015 – Alors même que j’écris ces mots, des manifestations spontanées pour les victimes se déroulent partout en France, montrant que cette tentative de division et d’intimidation a échoué. Charlie Hebdo est un journal satirique, certes, une revue qui se moque des religions, y compris la mienne. Mais il se moque également de toutes sortes de sujets et de personnalités. Ils sont dans leurs droits. La liberté d’expression est le seul garant de la liberté elle-même, y compris la liberté de culte.

Après l’attentat couard ici à Paris aujourd’hui contre la revue, avec l’exécution à bout portant d’un policier blessé, les premières voix à s’élever pour exprimer leurs colères étaient les imams musulmans. Parmi eux se trouvait l’Imam Hassen Chalghoumi, que je connais et que j’admire depuis des années. Je le rejoins pour déplorer cette attaque impie, “indigne de l’islam,” et je répète son appel de ne pas faire l’amalgame entre ces “criminels” et l’islam.

J’appelle toute personne de bonne volonté de prier pour le repos des victimes, pour leurs familles et leurs amis, dont la vie a changé ce matin pour toujours. Il nous faut aussi prier pour les assassins, qu’ils se retournent contre la violence et se rendent. Et nous devons aussi accompagner nos prières par l’action, pour que la nation puisse guérir et la solidarité se renforcer. ‘Nous sommes tous Charlie.’

Episcopal Divinity School Dean Katherine Ragsdale to step down

ENS Headlines - Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Very Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, president and dean of Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has announced her intention not to request a renewal of her contract when it expires at the end of June 2015.

A letter from Ragsdale announcing her decision is available here.

A statement from EDS’s board of trustees is available here.


ENS Headlines - Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Los franceses están viviendo en gran temor en estos días. Ha salido al mercado una novela titulada Sumisión en la que el territorio nacional es gobernado por el partido islámico. El autor de la obra, Michael Houellebecq, admite que su obra es “poco verosímil” y dice que no quiere asustar a los franceses pero narra lo que sucedería en el 2022 si su ficción llegara a ser real.

Veinte cristianos coptos han sido secuestrados en Serte, Libia, por un grupo armado que llegó de madrugada a una residencia donde separaron a los cristianos de los musulmanes. Hasta el momento no se sabe la suerte de los secuestrados. Entre ellos se encuentra el sacerdote ortodoxo Abu Makar.  La Iglesia Copta Ortodoxa remonta su existencia al primer siglo del cristianismo. Tiene su centro de operaciones en Alejandría y es la iglesia más antigua y numerosa de Egipto. Su papa Tawadros II sucedió a Shenouda III que falleció en el 2012. La palabra “copto” quiere decir egipcio.

Después de una larga batalla por la legalización de los matrimonios gay la Florida ha aprobado que parejas del mismo sexo puedan contraer matrimonio legalmente. Para muchas parejas la decisión fue recibida con júbilo pero para otras, sobre todo la comunidad evangélica conservadora, se ha cometido un gran revés a lo establecido por siglos. Frente a una dependencia oficial un nutrido grupo protestó mostrando pancartas con versículos bíblicos contra el matrimonio gay. Las primeras parejas hicieron su juramento a partir del 5 de enero. La comunidad católica romana de la Florida ha rechazado la decisión judicial y Thomas Wenski, arzobispo de Miami, dijo que el pueblo no se consultó en realidad.

El Banco Central de Venezuela ha confirmado que la economía del país cayó en una profunda recesión el año pasado y culpó a los adversarios políticos del gobierno socialista del presidente Nicolás Maduro por dedicarse, según el reporte oficial, a sabotear la actividad económica. Unido a esto hubo una súbita caída de los precios del petróleo el principal producto de ingresos del país.

Pese a los peligros de contagio el arzobispo de Cantórbery, Justin Welby, visitó recientemente los enfermos de África Occidental que sufren de ébola. Welby predicó en la catedral de San Jorge en Freetown, capital de Sierra Leona y visitó además  una clínica patrocinada por la iglesia donde se da asistencia médica y espiritual a los enfermos. Según cálculos oficiales en Sierra Leona hay 8,000 personas infectadas con el virus letal de los cuales 2,500 han fallecido. En Inglaterra el arzobispo ha sido elogiado por traer un mensaje de “esperanza y solidaridad” a los que sufren.

La Guardia Costera de Estados Unidos ha dicho que en los últimos meses se ha incrementado el número de cubanos que luchan por llegar a las costas norteamericanas. Según la ley si estas personas logran tocar tierra firme entonces clasifican para quedarse en Estados Unidos después de los correspondientes exámenes e interrogatorios. Si no cumplen con estos requisitos entonces son devueltos a Cuba. En este trasiego de inmigrantes existen los llamados “coyotes” que logran burlar la ley. Con frecuencia los coyotes prometen y no cumplen, después de adueñarse de gruesas cantidades de dinero.

Jay Dennis, encargado por la Convención Bautista del Sur para hacer un estudio de la pornografía y la fe, dice como conclusión: “Los padres deben comenzar educando a sus hijos, especialmente los varones, porqué la pornografía no es el plan de Dios y cómo ésta daña y degrada las verdaderas relaciones. La educación, información y la verdad bíblica comunicadas por padres amorosos puede ayudar a revertir la ola presente”.

En el pasado diciembre el papa Francisco relató la siguiente anécdota: “Cuando yo tenía cuatro años de edad en 1940 yo creía que todos los protestantes iban al infierno. En una ocasión yo andaba con mi abuela y vi a dos mujeres del Ejército de Salvación en el otro lado de la calle y pregunté ¿quiénes son monjes o monjas? Mi abuela me dijo ´No, son protestantes y son gente muy buena´. Esto me abrió las puertas al ecumenismo”.

París vive momentos de angustia cuando una bomba explotó en una revista satírica y mató a 12 personas. Este es el peor atentado terrorista en los últimos 24 años.

MANDAMIENTO: Amaos los unos a los otros.

2015 General Convention media credentials applications available

ENS Headlines - Monday, January 5, 2015

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs media advisory] The Episcopal Church’s 78th General Convention will be held June 25– July 3 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, UT in the Episcopal Diocese of Utah.

Applications for credentials for media representatives requesting to cover the General Convention 2015 of The Episcopal Church are available here.

Two types of credentials are available: Onsite, for those who will be attending; and Offsite, designed to provide virtual access to media representatives unable to attend General Convention 2015.

The General Convention, which meets every three years, is the governing body of The Episcopal Church. The Convention is a bicameral legislature that includes the House of Bishops, with approximately 200 members; and the House of Deputies, with more than 800 lay and clergy members from 109 dioceses and missionary jurisdictions.

During its triennial meeting, deputies and bishops consider a wide range of important matters facing the Church. Among the actions of the 2015 General Convention will be: the election and confirmation of the 27th Presiding Bishop; the report of The Episcopal Church Task Force on the Study of Marriage which was commissioned by the 2012 General Convention; consideration of proposed changes in the Episcopal Church’s structure; and the review and approval of the church’s triennial budget.

Media policies and procedures for General Convention 2015 are here.

Deputies/alternates and vendors/exhibitors to General Convention 2015 are not eligible for media credentials.

Credentials will be available beginning at noon on June 22 in the Salt Palace Convention Center.

For more info contact Neva Rae Fox, Episcopal Church Public Affairs Officer,publicaffairs@episcopalchurch.org, 212-716-6080.

Deadline nears for budget input

ENS Headlines - Monday, January 5, 2015

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The January 7 deadline nears for Episcopalians across the church to review and comment on the preliminary draft 2016-2018 triennium budget as it is prepared for approval by the Episcopal Church Executive Council January 8-11.

The preliminary draft budget is available here.

Following the January meeting, Executive Council will present the draft budget to Program Budget and Finance Committee (PB&F) in February, which will then prepare a final budget for approval at General Convention next summer.

On the web page, a narrative provides overview information about the document.  The preliminary draft budget document and a place to provide comments are prominently displayed on the website.

The Episcopal Church 78th General Convention will be held June 25 – July 3 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, UT (Episcopal Diocese of Utah).

Meredyth Wessman Ward appointed Urban Missioner for Worcester

ENS Headlines - Monday, January 5, 2015

The Rev. Meredyth Wessman Ward has been appointed Urban Missioner for Worcester by the Rt. Rev. Douglas J. Fisher, IX bishop of Western Massachusetts. Click here to read more.


Joyce Lamont, radio pioneer, Episcopalian dies at 98

ENS Headlines - Monday, January 5, 2015

Joyce Lamont circa 1955. Photo: WCCO Radio

Joyce Lamont, a pioneer in radio broadcasting in Minnesota and a cradle Episcopalian, was remembered at a memorial service on January 2 in Coventry Chapel at Episcopal Homes in Saint Paul. Lamont died on December 28 at age 98.

Lamont was a copywriter at WCCO Radio in Minneapolis in the early 1950s when she was asked to be a substitute on-air host. That launched a broadcasting career that would span more than five decades—forty years at WCCO and fourteen years at KLBB—beginning at a time when few woman were heard on United States radio.

“She forged a way forward in the midst of a sea of men,” said the Rev. Keely Morgan, director of spiritual care at Episcopal Homes, who presided at the service.

At WCCO Lamont hosted such programs as “Dayton’s Musical Chimes” and became a daily staple as she shared recipes, best grocery buys and travel tips throughout the broadcast day. At the height of her career, she received more than 10,000 letters a month, according to information on the website of the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting, which inducted Lamont as a charter member of its Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2001.

Lamont was a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church, born and baptized in Duluth, Minnesota. As a student at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, she was an active member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church (now closed), located near the campus. She was a longtime member of Gethsemane Episcopal Church, located in downtown Minneapolis, where she made her home until, in retirement, she moved to the Episcopal Homes campus in Saint Paul.

In 1941, Lamont’s sister, Betty, married the Rev. Chilton Powell at Gethsemane. Betty was the congregation’s organist; Powell, an associate priest. In 1951 Powell was elected bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Oklahoma; became diocesan bishop 15 months later, serving until 1977. As chair of the then Standing Commission on Liturgy, Powell was considered the chief architect of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.

Joyce was fond of regaling about her Episcopal roots and connections, especially what she termed as inclusion in “VIP events because of Chilton” at the 1976 General Convention of the Episcopal Church, held in Minneapolis. She was very proud that the 1976 General Convention approved the ordination of women in her hometown.

“Joyce was the most enthusiastic Episcopalian I have ever known,” said Charlie Boone, a former, longtime, on-air colleague and fellow Episcopalian, who spoke at the January 2 service.

The lifelong, enthusiastic Episcopalian will be interred among her kind in the columbarium at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Minneapolis.