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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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One church observer, the Rev. Eddie Gibbs, senior professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena and an Episcopal priest, called the ruling "a sad reversal."
He said the issues went beyond the church's stance on gay ordination and involved statements that its leadership has made on doctrinal issues. "It's an ongoing, tragic saga. It's a gross failure of leadership of the Episcopal Church," Gibbs said.
[Bishop Jon] Bruno and diocesan attorney John R. Shiner have argued that the issue was not free speech or even theological differences, but who had rightful claim to the property. "While individuals are always free to leave the Episcopal Church and worship however they please, they do not have the right to take parish property with them," Bruno said.
But Bruno also said he would welcome back "with open arms" any dissident church members — or their rectors — who chose to return. "We want to move forward with these as Episcopal churches," he said. "I don't want to be punitive with them. I want to be loving and go forward."
Meanwhile, the diocese's lawsuit against a fourth parish — St. Luke's of the Mountains in La Crescenta — may be decided, at least in the first round, on July 3 when it is set for a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court on motions for a summary judgment.
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