Albany bishop rejects General Convention compromise on gay marriage, refuses…

first_img Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ By David PaulsenPosted Nov 12, 2018 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Rector Martinsville, VA Marriage Equality, Rector Pittsburgh, PA Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Submit an Event Listing Rector Hopkinsville, KY Albany bishop rejects General Convention compromise on gay marriage, refuses to allow rites Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Submit a Press Release Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Members of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Albany, New York, pose in October for a Facebook photo promoting it as a congregation that “welcomes ALL for worship, fellowship and service.” The parish, however, and any others in the Diocese of Albany interested in offering same-sex marriage ceremonies will not be allowed under the directive issued by Bishop William Love.[Episcopal News Service] Albany Bishop William Love, in a Nov. 10 pastoral letter to his diocese, forcefully condemned the Episcopal Church’s adoption of same-sex marriage rites, vowed to reject a General Convention resolution intended to offer the rites in all dioceses, and suggested Episcopalians in his diocese would leave the church if his directive were overturned.Featuring biblical citations from Leviticus to Romans to support his belief that sexual intimacy between two men or two women was never God’s plan, Love’s eight-page letter labeled homosexuality “sinful and forbidden,” and cast the long-simmering Episcopal debate over same-sex marriage as a kind of existential crisis for the church, which he argues, has been “hijacked” by a powerful, secular “Gay Rights Agenda.”Bishop William Love has led the Diocese of Albany for 12 years. Photo: Diocese of Albany“There is no doubt the Episcopal Church and now the Diocese of Albany are in the midst of a huge storm that can rip us apart if we are not careful. That is exactly what Satan wants. We don’t have to play his game,” Love said. “If we focus on what divides us, we will be destroyed. If we focus on what unites us — our Lord Jesus Christ — He will get us through to the other side.”Resolution B012, when it was approved by the 79th General Convention in July, was seen as a compromise between conservative bishops like Love and advocates for greater LGBTQ inclusion in the church. It passed with broad support in both the House of Bishops and House of Deputies.It wasn’t immediately clear what steps church leaders might take in response to Love’s directive, which specifically forbids diocesan clergy from using the trial rites supported by B012. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry issued a statement Nov. 12 saying all clergy are required to “act in ways that reflect and uphold the discernment and decisions of the General Convention of the church.”“I have read the recent statement from Bishop Bill Love of the Diocese of Albany and am aware of the deep hurt on all sides of the issues it addresses,” Curry said. “I have been, and will continue to be, in conversation with Bishop Love about this matter. Along with other leaders in the Episcopal Church, I am assessing the implications of the statement and will make determinations about appropriate actions soon.”Episcopal News Service was unable Nov. 12 to reach clergy in the diocese to speak about Love’s letter on the record, and a diocesan representative said the bishop wasn’t immediately available to answer a reporter’s questions by phone.Despite the impasse in Albany, the Episcopal Church has made steady progress toward marriage equality in recent years, said the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies.“We recognize the Holy Spirit at work in the marriages of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,” Jennings said in a written statement. “And we know that there are Christians who have been drawn further into fidelity and service to the world by living in committed same-sex partnerships and marriages based on holy love and the gift of seeing Christ in one another. When we celebrate these marriages, the entire church is blessed by the love and fidelity of these faithful couples.”Love’s decision already has generated backlash in Albany and churchwide among supporters of same-sex marriage.“Parishioners at St. Andrews, Albany, burned the bishop’s letter while it was being read at church,” parishioner John White said in a Facebook post. “How did your congregation ‘celebrate’?”The Rev. Susan Russell, a priest from the Diocese of Los Angeles who has advocated for years in favor of greater LGBTQ inclusion in the Episcopal Church, said Love exceeded his canonical authority, and she expects the church to hold him accountable.“In a moment when we’re being led by a presiding bishop who prophetically proclaims on a worldwide stage that if it’s not about love it’s not about God, we have a bishop named Love who is drawing lines in the sand, who is explicitly excluding people from God’s blessing,” Russell, senior associate rector at All Saints Church in Pasadena, California, told ENS by phone.Leading up to General Convention this year, Albany was one of eight dioceses that refused to offer trial rites to same-sex couples wishing to marry in their own churches because the bishops held to theologically conservative interpretations of scripture, church canons and the Book of Common Prayer. With B012, General Convention intended to ensure same-sex couples had access to the rites everywhere that were legally allowed to marry.B012 takes effect Dec. 2, the first Sunday of Advent. In some cases, the conservative bishops have interpreted the resolution as allowing them to opt out personally by asking another bishop to provide pastoral oversight for the marrying couples, clergy and congregations.Love, however, objected to B012 when it was approved and repeated his objections in his Nov. 10 letter. He said he raised those concerns in a recent meeting with Curry, warning the resolution’s mandate would do “tremendous damage” to the church and his diocese.Love’s letter begins by citing his authority as bishop, which the Book of Common Prayer says includes a call “to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church” and to “boldly proclaim and interpret the Gospel of Christ.” It concludes by affirming his “respect for the authority of General Convention as an institutional body” but pledging his “ultimate loyalty” to God.His letter enumerates seven reasons for his rejection of B012, starting with biblical teachings that marriage is between a man and a woman.“The fact that some in today’s sexually confused society (to include 5 of the 9 U.S. Supreme Court Justices in 2015) may have broadened their understanding of marriage to be more inclusive, allowing for same-sex marriages, doesn’t mean that God … has changed His mind or His purpose or intent for marriage,” the letter reads.Albany remains an exception to church’s support for marriage equalityThe reference to the Supreme Court invokes the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex civil marriage in all 50 states. It already had been legal in New York since 2011.However, tensions in the Episcopal Church over homosexuality stem from even earlier. Those tensions flared up in 2003 with the ordination of New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson as the church’s first openly gay bishop, and after several years of theological disagreements, some bishops, priests and lay Episcopalians left the church, causing protracted legal battles in some places over diocesan property.Separate efforts to welcome same-sex couples more fully into the life of the church took a major step forward in 2015 when General Convention created and authorized two trial marriage rites for same-sex and opposite-sex couples.“For more than 40 years, the Episcopal Church has prayed, studied and discerned and, in doing so, we have seen the evidence of God’s blessing in the lives of LGBTQ people,” Jennings said in her written statement, calling General Convention “our highest temporal authority.”Despite their earlier objections, the bishops of the dioceses of Central Florida, Dallas, Florida, North Dakota, Springfield, Tennessee and the Virgin Islands have signaled they will implement it in some fashion.“I think we’ve come out of this with something that lets everyone stay true to their conscience,” Dallas Bishop George Sumner told the Dallas Morning News in July.Like Love, Florida Bishop Samuel Johnson Howard opposed the comprise resolution, but he sent a message to his diocese on Aug. 3 saying he would implement it. If a parish wishes to conduct a same-sex wedding, Howard said he will ask a fellow bishop to step in.“Please know that I am committed to honoring Resolution B012, as passed by the General Convention, even though my own theological position and pastoral teaching continues to be rooted in traditional Gospel understandings as set forth in our Book of Common Prayer,” Howard said. “My prayer is that both ‘sides’ of this issue will come to see the other not as a ‘side’ at all, but rather as fellow members of the Body of Christ, seeking in good faith to follow the Gospel.”Love, however, has offered no such conciliation. “We’re in the midst of a major schism,” Love told the Albany Times-Union in a Sept. 1 story, and in a Sept. 7 letter to the diocese, he said he was still considering the resolution’s meaning and collecting input from diocesan clergy before deciding how to respond and “how it will be dealt with in the Diocese of Albany.”The diocese is based in New York’s capital city, though most of its 130 congregations are in less-populated communities between the Canadian border and Catskill Mountains. By Nov. 11, Love had made his decision, and it echoed off the walls of those churches. Parish clergy were instructed by Love to read the letter to their congregations after Sunday worship.“B012 turns upside down over 2,000 years of church teaching regarding the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, and is in direct contradiction of the Episcopal Church’s ‘official teaching’ on marriage,” Love said.Love’s letter also frames his objection to same-sex marriage by arguing at length that it is rooted in a faith-based opposition to homosexuality, and to premarital sex of any kind.Allowing gay couples to marry does “a great disservice and injustice to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in Christ, by leading them to believe that God gives his blessing to the sharing of sexual intimacy within a same-sex relationship, when in fact He has reserved the gift of sexual intimacy for men and women within the confines of marriage between a man and woman.” He continues by accusing the church of encouraging Episcopalians with “same-sex attractions” to sin by acting on those impulses.Love implicates the Episcopal Church in that sin and suggests it will hasten the church’s demise.“Not only does the same-sex couple come under God’s judgement and condemnation, but it also brings God’s judgement and condemnation against The Episcopal Church,” Love wrote. “Recent statistics show that The Episcopal Church is spiraling downward. I can’t help but believe that God has removed His blessing from this Church. Unless something changes, The Episcopal Church is going to die.”Bishop raises alarm over widening church schismImplementing B012 also would require Love to violate his vows of ordination, he said, adding that others in his diocese are just as adamant in opposing same-sex marriage.“There are many in the Diocese of Albany who have made it clear that they will not stand for such false teaching or actions and will leave — thus the blood bath and opening of the flood gates that have ravaged other dioceses will come to Albany if B012 is enacted in this diocese,” he said in his letter.Love’s final justification for rejecting B012 expands the decision’s scope by invoking the diocese’s positive relations with the Anglican Communion, which also has grappled in recent years with divisions between its provinces, one of which is the Episcopal Church, over homosexuality.Some in the Episcopal Church are willing to take what they see as a “prophetic” stance, Love said, even if others in the Anglican Communion don’t “embrace this ‘new thing’ that they believe God is doing.” Love calls this the devil’s deception.“Satan is having a heyday … by deceiving the leadership of the church into creating ways for our gay and lesbian brothers and sister to embrace their sexual desires rather than to repent and seek God’s love and healing grace,” he said.Love concluded his letter with a lengthy passage that mines a range of viewpoints on Christian outreach to people “who are struggling with same-sex attractions” while making clear he views homosexuality as a sin that requires repentance.Curry, in his statement Nov. 12, was clear about the Episcopal Church’s official understanding of the issue.“We are committed to the principle of full and equal access to, and inclusion in, the sacraments for all of the baptized children of God, including our LGBTQ siblings,” Curry said. “We also are committed to respecting the conscience of those who hold opinions that differ from the official policy of the Episcopal Church regarding the sacrament of marriage.“It should be noted that the canons of the Episcopal Church give authority to all members of the clergy to decline to officiate a marriage for reasons of conscience, and Resolution B012 of the 79th General Convention does not change this fact.”Russell, the California priest, said several fellow advocates for marriage equality and priests in the Diocese of Albany contacted her to inform her of Love’s decision. It greatly saddened her, she said.Russell called Love “a complete outlier” among bishops on this issue, but that doesn’t take away the sting felt by gay and lesbian couples in his diocese.“My heart goes out to the LGBTQ people in the Diocese of Albany specifically, but also to those in the wider church and community who will hear this again as another indication of how deeply homophobia runs in the veins of the world and the church, and how much we have to do to eradicate it,” she said. “And I do think it’s up to the whole church to stand together in love and compassion.”– David Paulsen is an editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at [email protected] Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Curate Diocese of Nebraska Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Rector Shreveport, LA Rector Knoxville, TN Featured Jobs & Calls Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Tags Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET center_img Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Rector Tampa, FL New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Featured Events Director of Music Morristown, NJ Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Same-Sex Marriage Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Rector Collierville, TN Press Release Service TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Rector Washington, DC Submit a Job Listing Associate Rector Columbus, GA The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Rector Albany, NY Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Youth Minister Lorton, VA The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Rector Bath, NC Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Rector Smithfield, NC An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Belleville, IL last_img read more

The Top 25 Women of Law, Part 1

first_img Share Save Tagged with: black book 2018 Print Features top 25 women in law top 25 women of law Related Articles  Print This Post The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago black book 2018 Print Features top 25 women in law top 25 women of law 2018-01-12 David Wharton January 12, 2018 2,032 Views Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago About Author: David Wharton Home / Daily Dose / The Top 25 Women of Law, Part 1 Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago The Top 25 Women of Law, Part 1 Previous: The Industry Pulse Next: What’s the Price? More Than We Ask, Say Homesellers in Daily Dose, Featured, Print Features Editor’s note: This story was originally featured in the January issue of DS News, out now.In the January issue of DS News, we were proud to introduce our section on 25 women lawyers who have made their marks in the legal industry. From breaking through the glass ceiling to fighting for the rights of their clients, these formidable women have ensured the success of their individual firms and the industry through their skills and can-do attitudes. They are mentors and role models for a younger generation that admires them, learns from their fights, and is influenced by their positive approach towards creating a work-life balance.In this first installment, we profile get to know more about what inspired these women to become lawyers, their views on the current state of the industry, what it’s like to be a woman in law, and what qualifies these women as being among some of the finest minds in the legal and financial services industries.CRISTINA ARROYOCompliance Counsel, Bayview Loan Servicing, LLCCristina Aroyo comes from a family of lawyers and always knew that this was a career path that she would follow even though she began her career in public relations and marketing. “Although I fought the idea of being an attorney, in the back of my mind I always knew it was going to happen. I transitioned to law as I liked the idea being given different types of situations and helping provide solutions,” shared Arroyo, who joined the profession at a time when leadership was less diverse. “At the beginning of my career, I had less role models and mentors to relate to, and it was harder to know my career path, a difficulty I think my male counterparts did not have. Although there is still work to be done, I feel more women are assuming leadership roles today,” Arroyo said. As an in-house compliance counsel, Arroyo enjoys collaborating and partnering with business units to work jointly to implement and operationalize regulations. Considering the year ahead, she believes that in 2018, servicers must customize how they deal with long-term effects of multiple natural disasters. “In addition, 2018 will bring the challenges of the implementation of the remaining CFPB amended rules related to successor in interest and billing statements and the uncertainty of the possible path that large regulators will take if there is a shift in federal regulation,” Arroyo said.CYNTHIA (CINDY) BERMANSVP, Chief Compliance Officer, Freedom Mortgage CorporationIn her role as SVP and Chief Complaince Officer at Freedom Mortgage, Cynthia Berman finds the most enriching part of her job is when a project that she’s worked hard on comes to fruition. “After months of collaborating with senior business leaders and project managers to integrate a new or revised consumer protection law into our loan manufacturing and/or servicing process, it’s very satisfying when we implement the change and complete the project,” Berman noted. When Berman looks ahead to the challenges mortgage professionals will face in 2018, she notes that the rising interest rates that are predicted will cause shrinkage in loan production and tighter profit margins. In her role at Freedom, Berman has helped the legal/regulatory team work together efficiently to prepare for such changes. “With our current staff of seasoned industry professionals, we are well positioned to operate effectively and continue to deliver high-quality legal support to the Freedom enterprise,” she said. Berman is proud is work for Freedom where all employees are valued for their contributions to the company, though when she started her career some co-workers had no experience with a woman attorney. “For the most part, the novelty worked to my advantage as I got visibility and opportunities to demonstrate my professional abilities early on. To overcome challenges, I prepared extensively and worked hard on every project—two habits which have helped me throughout my career,” said Berman.ROSE MARIE BROOKPresident/CEO, Fabrizio & Brook, PCIn her 21 years as a legal professional, Rose Marie Brook has worked with many clients across the country, developing professional and personal relationships on the way. But, it is creating a positive influence on other working women that Brook has really appreciated about her career. “The occasions when I’m told that I have been a role model to other women who have remained in the workforce while balancing career and family and the knowledge that I have been a positive influence for others gives me a sense of professional satisfaction,” Brook said. Providing the best work environment at her law firm and title company ranks high on Brook’s list of priorities, and the dedication of her staff helps her to remain prepared for a challenging legal landscape. “Solid relationships and open communication among staff, clients, and colleagues, as well as constant vigilance to the legal and regulatory landscape is imperative to maintain excellence and help our clients do the same,” Brook shared. She feels that maintaining a human connection while continuing to make advances with technology is one of the major challenges facing the mortgage industry today. “While continuing to automate and streamline processes, it is important not to lose flexibility, compassion and other human elements of service,” Brook said.CAREN JACOBS CASTLESenior Attorney, The Wolf Firm, a Law CorporationCaren Jacobs Castle feels that education is crucial for professionals in the real estate industry. “I have seen so many rises and falls over my 30-plus years practicing law that I truly believe education is a powerful tool to understand the process and make better decisions in this industry,” said Castle. While being a female has never held her back professionally, Castle feels that her bigger challenge was dealing with the internal battle between her roles as a professional and as a wife and mother. Today, one of the biggest challenges Castle sees impacting the industry is managing the high costs for compliance and default management. “Maintaining the highest quality of mortgage professionals and attorneys in this rising cost environment will continue to prove a major challenge,” Castle shared, adding that communication was the key to streamlining responsibilities for lenders and servicers. “As we become more dependent upon technology, we must make sure that technologies are streamlined for the lender/servicer and law firm,” Castle said. She hopes that her experience and knowledge of the industry has helped her place her firm ahead of the others in facing future challenges. “We are constantly reviewing our policies, procedures, and technologies to improve efficiencies while always maintaining the highest standards of quality and ethics,” Castle said.SASHA M. COHENFirst VP and Corporate Counsel, Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC+Default Servicing, Real Estate Litigation and Transactions, Business Law, Estate Planning, Probate, Guardianship and Trusts, General Civil, Construction LawAs First VP and Corporate Counsel at Bayview Loan Servicing, Sasha M. Cohen has enjoyed keeping up with new regulations and challenging trends in an environment that is always evolving and changing. It was her enjoyment in studying the law that led Cohen to first become an attorney—with the added benefit that the role also speaks to her love of helping people. “The best thing we as legal professionals can do to help lenders and servicers is to seek a balance between operational challenges and new regulations and to try to do the best we can for the customer and the consumer,” Cohen shared. At Bayview, Cohen is able to work with many different departments to help find resolutions for customers, clients, and investors. As a woman in a male-dominated field, Cohen acknowledges she has probably had a different experience than her male counterparts. When asked how she handles this challenge, Cohen said, “I have never allowed that to hinder my performance, restrict my involvement, or stop me from putting forth my opinion. I believe that the most important thing is to be prepared and knowledgeable and due to that, I believe my firm acknowledges and appreciates my contributions to my department and my contributions to the firm as a whole.”MAGALIE A. CREECHMember, Finkel Law Firm LLCMagalie Creech has been with Finkel for more than nine years, having first started out as a summer Law Clerk and now coming full circle as a Member. In those nine years, she learned a lot about the practice of law, but also came to discover how important it is to be part of a dedicated, reliable, and integrated team. Creech said that given the sensitive nature of the information attorneys handle in default servicing, it is of paramount importance to have dependable employees who are able to perform their responsibilities conscientiously and effectively. This can be especially challenging in a field where the landscape is one of constantly evolving regulations and policies. “I am so thankful to be part of a talented group of professionals whose collective experience handling a broad spectrum of regulatory and litigation issues qualifies us to offer comprehensive legal representation. I consider them family, and that is what makes my legal practice so rewarding,” said Creech. Creech practices in the firm’s Charleston Litigation Division where she represents national banking associations and loan servicers state wide in commercial and real property-related litigation, with an emphasis on contested foreclosures, debt collections, and real estate matters. She also handles general civil litigation.You can read the rest of the “Women in Law” feature in the January 2018 issue of DS News magazine, available by clicking here or on the image below. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Subscribelast_img read more