Episcopal bishop to stop feuding with leader, priest
Pittsburgh -- An Episcopal bishop has withdrawn from the feud between another Pennsylvania church leader and a conservative priest over same-sex unions and ordaining women.
Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan has transferred canonical oversight of the Rev. David Moyer to a diocese in Central Africa after earlier inviting Moyer to preach in the Pittsburgh Diocese.
Duncan had extended the invitation after the priest had been defrocked by Bishop Charles Bennison Jr., head of the Episcopal diocese based in Philadelphia.
But in a Dec. 16 letter, Duncan shifted authority for Moyer to the African diocese, saying he was trying to extract himself from the fight between the priest and Bennison.
"It is more of a battle than Bishop Duncan wants to be in," said Ronda Carman, a spokeswoman for Duncan.
Moyer had refused to allow Bennison and two of his predecessors to make formal visits to the priest's Philadelphia-area church.
Moyer also is president of the North American chapter of the Forward in Faith movement, which believes the church has become too liberal. The group has sought to make Moyer a bishop for more conservative Episcopal congregations.
Former bishop's name to be removed from center
Oak Ridge, Tenn. -- The name of a former Roman Catholic bishop who resigned last year after admitting to sexually abusing a student will be removed from a church's family life center.
Michael Woods, pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church, announced at Sunday Mass that he and the parish council had decided to remove the Rev. Anthony J. O'Connell's name from the center.
O'Connell, the founding bishop of the Diocese of Knoxville, resigned from the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla., in March after admitting to sexual contact with an underage student at the Missouri seminary O'Connell led.
Woods said O'Connell had been notified of the decision and "gave his blessing."
Greek Orthodox celebrate Epiphany at Golden Horn
Istanbul, Turkey -- Almost a dozen Greek Orthodox competed in the freezing waters of Istanbul's Golden Horn to retrieve a wooden cross in a ceremony Monday commemorating the baptism of Jesus Christ.
Some 100 Greek Orthodox gathered on the shores of the Horn, a 4 1/2-mile arm of the Bosporus, to celebrate Epiphany with the ceremony of Blessing the Waters.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, led a two-hour liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George, before heading a procession to the shores of the Horn.
Bartholomew, who is based in Istanbul, threw a gold-painted wooden cross into the water. Giorgos Aristotelis Sakellariou, 21, outswam 10 competitors and was first to reach the cross, which he kissed then waved above his head as worshippers applauded.