Breakaway Diocese of South Carolina refused hearing
THE breakaway Diocese of South Carolina has been refused a hearing in the United States Supreme Court which it hoped would overturn a state court ruling that stated that its property, assets, and most of the parishes must be returned to the Episcopal Church in the US and its recognised diocese, the Episcopal Church in South Carolina (News, 24 November, 6 October 2017). The Diocese left the Episcopal Church in 2012 after years of disagreements over issues including the ordination of openly gay clerics. The parties have since been entangled in a bitter dispute over the right of the congregations of the breakaway diocese to retain its identity and property, including 29 parish churches valued at $500 million. In August, the state’s Supreme Court overturned portions of a ruling from 2015 that the diocese could keep church property and retain its name. In February 2015, the Circuit Court Judge Diane Goodstein ruled that the separated diocese had the right to leave, and rejected the Episcopal Church’s argument that it had legal interest in the diocese’s property (News, 13 February 2015).
Third priest killed in six months in Philippines
THE third priest to have been killed in six months in the Philippines has been named. Fr Richmond Nilo, of St Vincent Ferrer, in the RC diocese of Cabanatuan, was shot dead before he celebrated mass at his church, on Sunday evening, Vatican News reported. The Bishop of Cabanatuan, the Rt Revd Sofronio Bancud, said that he condemned the “brutal murder and the escalating violence and culture of impunity in the country even against helpless clergymen”. Two other priests have been killed since December, amid reports of escalating violence against Christians in the country: Fr Marcelito Paez, in Jaen, Nueva Ecija, in December; and Fr Mark Venturam in Gattaran, Cagayan, in April. The RC Archbishop of Davao, the Most Revd Romulo Valles, said: “We are deeply saddened and terribly disturbed that another priest is brutally killed.”
SOTHEBY’SSix-figure saint: Saint Andrew by Artus Wolffort (1581-1641), a Flemish artist known for his history paintings, was sold at Sotheby’s New York last month for $225,000, far exceeding the guide price of $80,000 to $120,000