The media noted the attention General Convention is giving to addiction and alcoholism in light of the tragedy of the Heather Cook criminal case.
Leaders of the Episcopal General Convention, meeting in Salt Lake City, put the topic on the agenda after the criminal case against Heather Cook drew national attention. Cook, who has been defrocked, has pleaded not guilty to vehicular manslaughter, drunken driving and other charges.
In committee meetings Thursday, Episcopal leaders discussed updating the denomination’s guidance on alcohol use and abuse, which hasn’t been changed since 1985. Those guidelines suggest clergy and lay people educate themselves on pastoral support for substance abusers in the church, encourage moderate consumption of alcohol and suggest providing both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at parish events.
“Thirty years has passed. There are certainly new discoveries, new understandings in the field of addiction,” said the Rev. Gay Jennings, president of the House of Deputies, the convention voting body for clergy and lay people. Jennings, who formed the special convention committee on substance abuse, said the review could also look at “how we might approach our selection and recruitment and formation of leaders.”
Posted by Andrew Gerns