High court declines to hear two church cases

An Episcopal dispute and a Catholic scandal
On the opening day of the U.S. Supreme Court’s fall term, the high court announced that it will not intervene in two prominent church-state cases, one involving a Catholic diocese in Con necticut and the other a former Epis copal parish in southern California.

In the latter case, the high court on October 5 declined to hear an appeal from St. James Anglican Church in Newport Beach. A majority of its members split from the Episcopal Church in 2004 and aligned themselves with the Anglican Province of Uganda after an openly gay man was elected bishop of New Hampshire.

Praising the “insight” of the high court, Episcopal bishop Jon Bruno of Los Angeles indicated that the diocese still hopes that the majority at St. James and a few other breakaway parishes will seek reconciliation.

The diocese hopes to “live out its traditional mission of welcoming people who hold a diversity of opinion while remaining united in common prayer,” Bruno said.


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