New stage for US Episcopalians and United Methodists
A JOINT COMMITTEE of the Episcopal and United Methodist Churches in the United States has made a draft proposal for moving full communion, because “there are no theological impediments to unity,” say the bishops who co-chaired the dialogue, after 15 years of joint exploration. Wider discussions are now planned. If the proposal is approved in the coming years by the General Convention and the United Methodist Church’s General Conference, the two Churches will recognise each other as being “Catholic and apostolic” and allow the interchangeability of ministers, while retaining their formal autonomy. The ten-page proposal is A Gift to the World, Co-Laborers for the Healing of Brokenness, available at ENS.
Church of South India criticises trade in GM mustard
THE Church of South India has condemned the decision to allow genetically modified mustard to be sold commercially. In a statement, the United Church said that mustard, a vital forage crop for honeybees, could become resistant to herbicides and would taint Indian honey in the eyes of overseas consumers, and devastate the industry. The authorities in India had acted with “irrational haste” in introducing GM mustard, when other countries were still debating it, the statement also said.
Egypt rounds up bombing suspects
FORTY-EIGHT suspected members of Islamic State have been referred to a military court in connection with the bombing of Coptic churches in Egypt last month (News, 13 April). Thirty-one are in custody, but others are still at large. On Sunday, a public prosecutor, Nabil Sadek, said that some of the suspects held leadership positions in IS, and had formed cells to carry out the attacks.
Romero murder case reopened
A JUDGE in El Salvador has reopened the case of the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero, assassinated while celebrating mass in 1980, Reuters reports. The ruling last week follows a decision last year by the constitutional court to repeal an amnesty law that prohibited criminal trials stemming from the civil war of 1980-92. No one was brought to justice for the murder. The main suspect was Alvaro Rafael Saravia, a former soldier, whose case was dismissed in 1993 as a result of the amnesty law. Archbishop Romero was beatified by Pope Francis in 2015.
Director for Scripture Union International named
THE new director for Scripture Union International will be Monika Kuschmeirz, currently regional director for Scripture Union Europe. The Scripture Union, which is 150 years old this year, works in more than 120 countries. Mrs Kuschmeirz, who studied theology at the Free Evangelical Theological Academy in Basel, and has worked with the charity for the greatest part of her working life will take up her new appointment in November.