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Issue Date:  December 7, 2007


A Chicago congregation is testing the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s new policy on gay clergy by ordaining a lesbian who did not take a vow of celibacy. Resurrection Lutheran Church ordained the Rev. Jennette Lynn Rude, 27, Nov. 17. In a letter on Resurrection’s Web site, the Rev. Brian Hiortdahl said the church’s nine-member council voted unanimously to call Rude to ministry. A “policy prohibiting non-heterosexual clergy in committed relationships is unacceptable and must be reformed,” Hiortdahl wrote.

-- CNS

Jesuit Fr. Gregory Boyle, a priest known to former gang members in East Los Angeles as “G-Dog,” received the Caring Institute’s 2007 National Caring Awards at a Nov. 16 ceremony in Washington. Boyle founded Homeboy Industries in 1988 to provide “hope, not jail” for former gang members who want to turn their lives around. Washington lawyer Val J. Halamandaris founded the Caring Institute in 1985 to confront “poverty of the spirit” by identifying extraordinarily generous people and holding them up as role models.

The Southern Cross, newspaper of the San Diego diocese, which over the last decade has been recognized repeatedly as being among the nation’s best Catholic publications, has announced it will become a monthly, shrink to 24 pages, eliminate two staff positions and reduce circulation to 25,000. The changes are spurred in part by cost-cutting at the diocese as it seeks to pay a $110 million-dollar settlement with 144 victims of clergy sex abuse.

An Oregon-based Jesuit province has tentatively agreed to pay a record $50 million to settle 110 claims of child sexual abuse in remote Alaska Native villages, attorneys for the plaintiffs said Nov. 18. The Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus covers Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

Recently retired Episcopal Bishop John Lipscomb of Southwest Florida has said he intends to convert to Roman Catholicism, becoming the fourth Episcopal bishop to seek to join the Catholic church this year.

National Catholic Reporter, December 7, 2007

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