CBS Evening News for Friday, Sep 16, 1977
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(Studio) Episcopal Church is beset with problems of split because of last yr.'s convention in Minneapolis, which approved revised prayerbook and ordination of women.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite
(Saint Louis, Missouri) Since Saint Mary's Parish in Denver, Colorado, led by Father James Mote, voted to secede from church last December, 15 others have done same. Largest number of secessionists are in Los Angeles diocese, where 4 parishes have seceded and are trying to take church property with them. Bishop Robert Rusack has gone to court to prevent it and is concerned about effect if he loses case. [RUSACK - notes decision against established church would mean that individual congregations could pull away from church for any reason.] Impact on church finances and mbrship. can't yet be determined; many wait to see outcome of Los Angeles case. In Saint Louis this week, over 2000 dissident priests and laity hold convention to make plans for new religious identify, with intention of forming new structure for old church; details noted. [Concerned Churchmen president Perry LAUKHUFF - says group feels it representatives true Episcopal Church, not people who voted to change prayerbook and ordain women priests at Minneapolis last year] Bishop John Allin is presiding bishop of official church; came to Saint Louis uninvited in hopes of addressing gathering, but was refused. Allin says schism is tragic, but thinks reconciliation possible. [ALLIN - says real need is to pull together and try to find solution, try to build relationships. May take time, but as long as he is presiding bishop, he'll be trying to reunite factions of church.]
REPORTER: Betty Ann Bowser