Monday, April 23, 2007

Breaking News from Traditional Family Values Land

Titusonenine offers this update from St. James, Newport Beach -- that stalwart bastion of Traditional Family Values:

NEWPORT BEACH, CA – The Rev. Praveen Bunyan has resigned his position as rector of St. James Anglican Church, having confessed to inappropriate conduct toward an adult female parishioner.

The vestry, wardens and bishop were informed of the inappropriate conduct, promptly investigated, and then accepted the resignation last week.

The 1,200 member congregation was informed at Sunday services yesterday.

Pastoral duties are now being provided by the church’s Rector Emeritus, the Rev. Canon David C. Anderson, and by its Associate Rector, the Rev. Richard Menees.

CONTACT: Karen Bro, Saint James Anglican Church


Titusonenine isn't accepting comments on this sad report ... but here's one that struck a chord with me -- courtesy Doonsbury's Gary Trudeau.

UDPATE ... Check out what the Word of Mike has to say ... I think he hits the nail right on the head. Thanks, Mike!


Suzer said...

This is terribly sad for all involved. My thoughts and prayers are with this congregation, as well as with the priest and those he has hurt. This is an awful, awful thing for any congregation to have to face -- liberal, conservative or anywhere in between. I hope God's healing grace will shine through the broken places and help heal this situation.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Wait. David Anderson is no longer an Episcopal Priest, is he? Didn't he leave to be a Nigerian?

I would ask if he can legally do that, but what would be the point?

Susan Russell said...

Yep ... but St. James doesn't want an Episcopal priest ... it wants an "Anglican." David is "hanging his hat" in Nigeria these days ... and St. James understands itself to be a Ugandan congregation (albeit still encamped on Diocese of Los Angeles turf -- the property issues are still being litigated) ... and it is indeed a very sad situation for absolutely everybody involved ... AND (I feel compelled to add) it is ONE MORE illustration of the "apples and oranges" argument about the "homosexual lifestyle" being antithetical to Christian Values.

I remain utterly convinced that sexual orientation itself is morally neutral ... and that expressing our sexuality in the context of committed, life-long, monogamous, relationships is God's best desire for all of us. Gay or Straight or anywhere in between.

Praveen's fall from grace had nothing to do with heterosexuality. And the holiness of my partnership has nothing to with homosexuality.



bruno said...

"...and that expressing our sexuality in the context of committed, life-long, monogamous, relationships is God's best desire for all of us...."
Thank you for that,
I don't understand how the "traditional value" people can feel that as heterosexuals abuse of a partner (and yes infidelity is abuse) is a slip and forgivable while committed, monogamous, lifelong, mutual, caring, respectful relationships between partners of the same gender are beyond reach of the Holy Spirit!
I do believe that the situation at St James Newport will be looked at with less than deep intensity because it further exposes the patriarchal system that perpetuates the culture of God creating men, and women being created as a foil and tool or entertainment for men. We may have moved from the belief that the universe revolves around the earth, but Christianity, has yet to move beyond the male as the center of creation.
Fr. Praveen's "fall" has nothing to do with his being a heterosexual, It probably has a lot to do with a society that worships power over servanthood. I would bet it also has a lot to do with a culture that still says it is okay because "men are just that way" and before long we will be hearing about the woman being guilty of not keeping him from this sin.

Mike said...

Wow! The Rev'd. Susan Russell, posting on my blog! I'm honored.

It's hard not to feel a sense of righteous indignation when something like this happens, or like what happened with Ted Haggard. But honestly, I feel really bad for these people and I hope that God will send them a shepherd to lead them back to the flock of Christianity.

cp said...

Let's hope for the former rector's sake (or especially his [I assume former] sweetie) are not rendered back "home." Rumor from the trail is that folks in those parts don't take too kindly to this kind of thing... note recent examples in Uganda and Nigeria.

Seriously, I agree this is terribly tragic. My experience is that the tragedy here has most likely been multiplied in the congregation sevenfold, both in broken pastoral trust and in an erosion of marital and congregational strength that occurs in such a situation.

And to add to this tragedy, this congregation has decided to leave its home diocese and Church--shutting the door to the help and support that it desperately needs now. Is the often snarky Canon Anderson really going to be able to provide much comfort here?

Prayers for the people of St James, indeed.