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Religion Notes

"Religion Notes" Continued...

Issue: "Clinton: Final straw?," March 28, 1998

Man knows not his time

John M. Allin, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church from 1973 to 1986, died March 6 of a stroke in Jackson, Miss. He was 76. Bishop Allin led the denomination during a period of social and doctrinal unrest. The church's general convention voted to approve women's ordination in 1976, and months later Bishop Allin offered his resignation because he was "unable to accept women priests." His offer was rejected, and he then invoked a "conscience clause" that allowed the church's 200 bishops to ordain or not, based on their personal beliefs. (The conscience clause has since been removed.) In his 1985 convention farewell address as presiding bishop, he called on clergy who divorced and then remarried to leave the priesthood and become lay ministers. In retirement, he served for a time as vicar of St. Ann's Episcopal Church in Kennebunkport, Maine, where his friend George Bush served on the vestry.


The Feb.28 story about Concerned Women for America should have noted that the president's office had been vacant for about two years following Beverly LaHaye's promotion to chair. Although bio materials and press releases on writer Mel White's Web site list evangelical leader D. James Kennedy among his "ghostwriting clients" (WORLD, Jan. 31), Mr. White acknowledges that he never ghosted any Kennedy books or speeches. Instead, he was employed by Gospel Films to script films about or for Mr. Kennedy's ministry.

Suffering in silence

A random survey of 500 patients at the Ohio State University Medical Center confirms a problem many pastors have known from the beginning of their ministry. When a minister visits a parishioner in the hospital, the spiritual outcome is nearly always favorable, the survey found. Patients in the study gave pastoral visitors high marks for comforting them and helping them realize God cares for them. None of the respondents found faults with church visitors in 21 areas of pastoral care surveyed. However, relatively few patients told anyone at their church or synagogue that they were in the hospital. Of the 500, only 326 could identify a religious caregiver, and of that number, just 194 made the pastoral worker aware they were hospitalized, according to a report of the study in The Journal of Pastoral Care.


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