North Carolina bishops to exit council over same-sex marriage, abortion

Both North Carolina Catholic bishops are resigning from the North Carolina Council of Churches, an ecumenical organization comprised of Christian church leaders from across the state, because the group supports some issues that contradict Catholic teaching.

In a statement Friday, Charlotte Bishop Peter Jugis and Raleigh Bishop Michael Burbidge said they “deeply value the long-standing relationship with the North Carolina Council of Churches and have informed the council of their strong desire to continue to work together on issues where there is substantial agreement.”

However, the North Carolina Council of Churches has taken positions contrary to Catholic teaching on marriage, and the council does not formally oppose abortion. Catholics believe marriage is a covenant only between one man and one woman, and that the evil of abortion must be opposed in every instance.

The NC Council of Churches is an extremely liberal political organization. They very strongly promoted same sex marriage in NC last year when we voted to amend the constitution to define marriage in law as marriage. As a Protestant I even found the membership odd. The bishops in NC were promoting the marriage amendment and this organization was strongly opposing it.

Good on both Bishops.

I live in Greensboro and Bishop Jugis is my bishop. He was born and raised in Charlotte and is known to be theologically orthodox (I don’t mean Orthodox, as in Eastern). May God bless him and all the bishops.

You mean orthodox as authentic and true:)


Yes, that.

Need to pray for the current President of the groups as well, as she is a Catholic, and obviously not a very faithful one at that. As President, she should have been working to correct this group. She obviously did not, as she is disappointed in the bishops, NOT the group.

*The two dioceses will end their memberships effective Dec. 31, when the first year of the two-year term of the council’s president, Alberta Hairston, ends. Hairston will step down in accordance with the bishops’ decision.

Hairston, a member of St. Pius X Parish in Greensboro, has represented the Charlotte diocese on the council for about 16 years. She said she is disappointed that the council and the bishops could not find a way they could remain members, but the issue has been something they have all been struggling with for “four to five years.”

“It was given quite a bit of consideration,” Hairston said, adding, “For me as a Catholic, it’s been a very difficult time. I hate to see that there is an organization that is trying to do ecumenical things, but the Catholic church will not be part of that.”*

Makes me wonder if she is more disappointed that the Church won’t be able to be a part of the council, or if she is disappointed that she won’t be able to serve her second year as “president”. Let me say though that I am member of Our Lady of Grace parish here in Greensboro, and that St. Pius X parish has enjoyed a very good reputation in the city’s community, so I hope that this woman’s comment will not reflect negatively on St. Pius X parish.

What is troubling is that it took so long for them to leave, how many red flags does it take? The state Councils feed money and credibility to the National Council. The National Council has, for a few decades, indirectly supported legal abortion through some of its divisions, such as Church Women United, and possibly other offices.

The problem is that many congregations, dioceses, and state Catholic Conferences entered into alliances of various sorts decades ago, when those other groups seemed harmless. But because of lethargy or inertia, those alliances continue, because no one takes the initiative to pull out the Catholic parish, diocese, or State Catholic conference.
Are there any other state Catholic conferences that belong to their State Council of Churches?

My old Catholic parish continued a “Lenten Journey” every year to nearby liberal Protestant congregations that used to be compatible with Catholicism but are opposed now. When I complained, they said “we can’t discontinue, we go there EVERY year. It’s our tradition”.
Yes we need to love individuals who disagree with us, but not organizations. You love the smoker, you don’t have to love The American Tobacco Company or its advertising ministry.

The previous president was as I recall a former Catholic (at least raised Catholic). He was an open, proud practicing homosexual.

Well at least no one can charge the Catholic church in NC of not making a solid, honest effort at ecumenical work.

What if a State Council of Churches had supported White Supremacy? Would you have considered it a solid, honest effort for the Catholic Church to remain a member, with the Catholic Church listed on its letterhead, for the next 30 years? That’s about how long the National Council has been indirectly supporting legal abortion. Perhaps, that’s about how long the Catholic Church in North Carolina has been thinking about leaving. Think we need some more discernment? Maybe another committee?

It’s not ecumenism, it’s a kind of egotism to believe we are somehow benefitting other people just by belonging to the same organizations. Genuine humility would concede that we just aren’t strong enough to do so; that it’s time to end the procrastination and pull out. We don’t benefit the Ku Klux Klan, or the pro choice denominations, by pretending what they do is not wrong. They would benefit by our departure from a common organization, not by our procrastination.

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