Clerical abuse of spiritual power and authority

Tribunal finds priest guilty of abuse of spiritual power and authority

On Monday 8th January, the Church of England reported the findings of the Bishop’s Disciplinary Tribunal for the Diocese of Oxford in the matter of a complaint under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 against The Reverend Timothy Davis, Vicar of Christ Church Abingdon, (‘TD’), in respect of the mentoring he provided to a 15/16 year old schoolboy (‘W1’) whose family were members of his congregation. The BBC reports that Church of England officials believed that this was the first occasion on which a tribunal had convicted a priest of spiritual abuse. Continue reading

Lord Carey resigns as honorary assistant bishop

The Bishop of Oxford has released the following press statement:

“I have met with Lord Carey following the Archbishop’s letter to him. In light of Dame Moira Gibb’s review into the Peter Ball case, Lord Carey has resigned from his role as honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Oxford. Lord Carey has accepted the criticisms made of him in the Gibb review and has apologised to the victims of Peter Ball. Continue reading

Huberta the Hippopotamus, the Bishop who wouldn’t resign – and the Diocese of Mzimvubu

In a further guest post, David Scrooby, an attorney of the Republic of South Africa, follows up his previous post on the dispute between Bishop Mlibo Ngewu and the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

In 1930 a hippopotamus named Huberta became famous as she walked 1600 miles from Lake St Lucia in northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) to near Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, crossing over the great rivers of the Diocese of Mzimvubu (DOM).

Reflecting this epic journey, Mlibo Ngewu has moved from the KZN High Court to the Eastern Cape High Court, and in Ngewu v Archbishop Makgoba & Others (EL197/2016, ECD497/2016 [2017] Eastern Cape Local Division, East London Circuit (25 May 2017), (unreported) his position as Bishop of the Diocese of Mzimvubu was the cause of further litigation in a secular court. He was again unsuccessful and Acting Judge Nicola Molony dismissed the application for an interdict against the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, with costs. Continue reading

More on the objection to an episcopal election in the Anglican Church of Canada

Further background has emerged on the objection registered by the House of Bishops of the Province of British Columbia & Yukon to the election of the Revd Jacob Worley to be Bishop of the Diocese of Caledonia in the Anglican Church of Canada, on which we previously posted the Church’s press release. Continue reading

Objection to episcopal election in the Anglican Church of Canada

The Anglican Church of Canada has issued the following press release:

House of Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of BC & Yukon registers objection to election of the Rev. Jacob Worley

For immediate release

The House of Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of BC & Yukon in the Anglican Church of Canada has registered its objection to the episcopal election of the Rev. Jacob Worley in the Diocese of Caledonia. Their objection is registered under Canon 4 (b) vi  “That he or she teaches or holds or within five years previously taught or held anything contrary to the Doctrine or Discipline of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Continue reading

The Bishop of the River of Hippopotamuses and the Archbishop of Cape Town

In a guest post, David Scrooby, an attorney of the Republic of South Africa, discusses a highly unusual recent case – the first of its kind in over 150 years… 

Introduction

The case of Bishop Mlibo Ngewu v The Anglican Church of Southern Africa and Ten Others [2016] ZAKZPHC 88 is about the first canonical trial of a Bishop in Southern Africa since that of Bishop Colenso in 1864. The judgment of Her Ladyship Sharmaine Balton J, handed down in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on 6 October 2016, may not have the impact of that of the Privy Council in 1865 (to which Colenso appealed) or the canonical depth of that of the South African Labour Court in Cape Town in Church of the Province of Southern Africa, Diocese of Cape Town v Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration and Others [2001] ZALC 141. However, the judgment is important in a number of respects. Continue reading

Dismissing a minister of religion: Celestial Church of Christ

In a recent hearing in the Chancery Division,  the employment status of a minister of religion arose once again…

…in this case, coloured by a factional dispute within the congregation. The Court also addressed the interesting question of whether or not a charity could maintain an action in tort for passing-off, even though it was not engaged in trading.

Background

The facts in Celestial Church of Christ, Edward Street Parish (A Charity) v Lawson [2017] EWHC 97 (Ch) were as follows. The Celestial Church of Christ was founded by the Revd Samuel Oshoffa in the Republic of Benin in 1947 and incorporated in Nigeria in 1958; its present written constitution dates from 1980 [2]. Continue reading