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.

A Pittsburgh Episcopal Voice          

A Service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh         

Monday, September 22, 2008

News for Week Ending 9/22/2008

Welsh bishops to care for oppponents of women’s ordination without special bishop

Meeting as part of the semiannual gathering of the governing body of the Church in Wales, on September 17–18, the bishops of the Church in Wales announced that they would not replace Bishop David Thomas, who had been appointed in 1996 as Provincial Assistant Bishop, with his major charge those who could not accept women’s ordination. The bishops stressed they would continue to provide care through their regular diocesan structures. Archbishop Barry Morgan noted: “However, we no longer consider that the continuation of additional episcopal provision for one part of the Church on grounds of belief or doctrine on one particular issue is either necessary or consistent with Anglican ecclesiology. All Church in Wales clergy and parishes are in communion with their respective Diocesan Bishop, regardless of whether or not they agree on every issue. Episcopal oversight and care for all within each Diocese is the responsibility of the Diocesan Bishop.”

House of Bishops votes to depose Bishop Duncan

At a meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, on September 18, 2008, the House of Bishops voted 88 to 35 with 4 abstentions to consent to the deposition of Bishop of Pittsburgh Robert W. Duncan. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Duncan was certified by the Title IV Review Committee in December of last year as having abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church under Canon IV.9.

The Salt Lake City meeting was the first House of Bishops meeting at which the bishops of the church could vote whether to consent to Duncan’s deposition based on the charges from the Review Committee. It had been thought likely that the bishops would defer a decision until after the diocesan convention voted on “realignment” on October 4. After much discussion, however, the bishops decided to proceed with deposition.

Bishop Duncan, who did not attend the House of Bishops meeting, announced that he had become a bishop of the Southern Cone before Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori could talk with him or issue the official letter of deposition. Duncan also announced that he was working for the diocese as a consultant and expects to be asked back as bishop after “realignment.” The diocese has created a new blog containing testimonials supporting Bishop Duncan.

News coverage of the action by the House of Bishops has been extensive, both in Pittsburgh and elsewhere. Rather than offering our own list of links, we instead direct readers to “Thinking Anglican,” a site in the U.K. that has done a particularly good job of documenting Web stories on the deposition vote and its aftermath:

The Presiding Bishop wrote a personal letter to Bishop Duncan that can be read here. The actual deposition can be found here.

Readers will have no trouble finding other news and comment about the deposition vote by following the links provided by “Thinking Anglicans” or by doing their own Web searches.

Court appoints masters in Calvary lawsuit

Judge Joseph James issued an order September 17, 2008, appointing Stanley E. Levine and Campbell & Levine, LLC, masters in the Calvary Lawsuit. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The masters are to inventory real and personal property held by the Diocese of Pittsburgh from October 14, 2005, forward, and report to Judge James on any possible violations of the stipulation. Plaintiffs and defendants are to share costs. The court order can be found here.