Pittsburgh Update

Pittsburgh Update publishes weekly summaries of recent developments in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, The Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Communion that affect or could affect Pittsburgh Episcopalians. Emphasis is on reporting, not interpretation. This is a service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh. This site is in no way affiliated with the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh or the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

News for Week Ending 8/11/2008

Lambeth commentary abounds

In the week following the Lambeth Conference, there are probably hundreds of stories and commentaries about what did and did not happen, as well as what all that means. There is not space here either to list or analyze them all. Readers can investigate the links offered below and can easily find others on their own.

Episcopal News Service offered a wrapup of the conference here. The Episcopal Café folks have offered a feed of bishops’ blogs, where you can read as many commentaries on Lambeth as anyone could possible want. (Hint: Click on the title of an entry to view to post on its own blog. Since the blogs are not exclusively about Lambeth, an increasing number of new posts about other topics will appear at the top of the listing over time.) A variety of stories and opinion can be found on Thinking Anglicans, which did a particularly good job of collecting links to Lambeth material. Start here and work backwards. More material may be added after this is posted, so you might want to work forward as well.

For a collection of very different takes on Lambeth, you might want to read that of the Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori here, of Bishop of Winchester Michael Scott-Joynt here, or of Anglican Communion Institute Senior Fellow Ephraim Radner here.

Notable video interviews are also available. Among there are ones of Pierre Whalon, bishop of the Episcopal Church’ Convocation of American Churches in Europe, and Gregory Venables, Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone. Video from the conference is also available from Trinity Wall Street and Episcopal Life Online.

Presiding Bishop, Bishop of New York discuss Lambeth in Webcast

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Bishop of New York Mark Sisk offered their impressions of the Lambeth Conference in a Webcast from the Episcopal Church Center in New York City August 7. Many of the questions answered by the bishops had been submitted by church members via e-mail.

The bishops spoke positively about the conference—the Presiding Bishop called it a “remarkable encounter”—though they also noted the vast cultural differences in the regions represented by attending bishops and the misunderstandings by bishops of other provinces about what Episcopalians believe and what The Episcopal Church has done. Both bishops suggested that there was general support for a “coöperative” Anglican covenant, but little interest in the punitive features of the St. Andrews Draft.

Episcopal News Service reported on the Webcast here. Video of the event is available here.

Lambeth Conference creates big debt

While bishops, journalists, and bloggers debate the lasting significance of the 2008 Lambeth Conference, one product of the conference is inescapable—the conference is deeply in debt. The Press Association puts the deficit of the decennial meeting of bishops at £1.2 million (about $2.3 million). The Presiding Bishop was asked about about the deficit in the August 7 Webcast (see above). She indicated that The Episcopal Church has been asked for additional funds for the conference, and some bishops have agreed to subsidize the travel of participants from other provinces. Jefferts Schori also suggested that the church might assist the Archbishop of Canterbury should he chose to make a fund-raising trip to the U.S. to retire the Lambeth debt.

Archbishop’s personal views on homosexuality scrutinized

The Times ran a story and a number of opinion pieces on newly revealed correspondence from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams from more than seven years ago, when he was Archbishop of Wales. (Ruth Gledhill’s blog tells the basic story and has links to other material from the newspaper here.) Although defenders of the archbishop declared the revelation old news, many found the strength and clarity of Williams’ sympathy for homosexual relationships striking, particularly in view of his continued support of Lambeth Resolution I.10 as the established teaching of the Anglican Communion. The archbishop issued a statement defending his position here.

GAFCON Primates’ Council to meet in August

The Anglican Communion Network issued a brief statement on Lambeth August 7. “No Decisions at Lambeth Conference” is more narrative than analysis. Its last paragraph, however, notes that the Primates’ Council announced at GAFCON will meet for the first time in August. In fact, there is now an announcement about this on the GAFCON Web site, which suggests that the primates—we do not know which primates will participate or where they will meet—will issue a statement about Lambeth at their gathering.