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When the Episcopal schism comes between brothers

by Brad A. Greenberg

August 16, 2007 | 6:26 am


GetReligion points out “one of the most poignant feature stories about the Episcopal Church’s sexuality debate that I have seen in more than 15 years of writing about the topic.” It’s from the Boston Globe, written by their religion reporter, Michael Paulson, who shares a Pulitzer for his work helping uncover the Catholic clergy sex scandal.

The Murdoch brothers don’t often talk about the controversy dividing the Episcopal Church, but they really don’t have to: In the Murdoch family, schism starts at home.

The Rev. Bill Murdoch, 58, [pictured right] an Episcopal priest in West Newbury, is so frustrated by the Episcopal Church’s selection of an openly gay bishop that he is bolting and taking his parish with him. At the end of this month, he is to be consecrated a bishop by the Anglican Church of Kenya, and he will return to the North Shore to start a new Kenya-affiliated parish there.

But the Rev. Brian Murdoch, 53, [left] an Episcopal priest in West Roxbury, is not planning to join his brother for the ceremony in Nairobi and is not celebrating his elevation to bishop.

That’s because Brian, as Bill has long known, is gay.

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“My brother and I love each other and always will,” [Bill] said by e-mail. “My family and I love Brian and have always been proud of his service to others for the sake of the Gospel and the many, many people Brian has loved in the name of Christ. The pain of our disagreement over this issue will not change my love for him.”

(Photo: Globe)

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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