News for Week ending 10/13/2008
Women bishops still controversial in CoEIn July, the General Synod of the Church of England agreed to move ahead with providing for women bishops without creating institutional structures to accommodate opponents of women bishops. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Dissenters from this decision, particularly Anglo-Catholics, have been angry. According to the Telegraph, Bishop of Fulham John Broadhurst, chairman of the Anglo-Catholic group Forward in Faith, used strong language in addressing that organization’s annual meeting. Broadhurst called the Anglican Communion “finished” and compared the Lambeth Conference to Stalinist Russia. Describing the General Synod decision, Broadhurst said, “This is not a vote we’ve lost, this is sin. This is human beings presuming to tell God in Jesus Christ he got it wrong, presuming to tell the majority of Christians we know better.”
Pittsburgh Update reported on earlier statements by Broadhurst concerning women bishops here.
Va. parish joins Episcopal property disputeChrist Church, Alexandria, has joined the property litigation involving Episcopal congregations that have left The Episcopal Church to become part of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA). (See Pittsburgh Update story on the Virginia property litigation here.) The parties return to court on October 14, 2008, to to argue specifically about property.
The 235-year-old Christ Church will be represented by the Diocese of Virginia, but the diocese needed permission of the parish to argue in court that some of the property of one of the CANA congregations, the Falls Church, is actually owned by Christ Church, Alexandria.
The story was reported October 8, 2008, by the The Washington Times.
Pittsburgh diocese moves forward amid confusing claimsAs reported here in an extra edition of Pittsburgh Update, the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of The Episcopal Church is now led by a three-member Standing Committee that has been recognized as the legitimate ecclesiastical authority by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. According to the new Web site of the nearly century-and-a-half-old diocese, 19 churches have declared themselves to be remaining in The Episcopal Church. The churches, listed here, are expected to be joined by others as clergy, vestries, and congregation choose a path forward in the wake of the diocesan schism.
The new leadership of the diocese is presenting an informational meeting titled “Moving Forward with Grace” at Trinity Cathedral on Thursday, October 16. A special convention to complete the reorganization of the diocese is scheduled for December 13. Those who have left The Episcopal Church have announced a special convention and conference, “Moving Forward in Mission,” Scheduled for November 7–8, the dates originally set for the diocese’s 2008 annual convention. It is anticipated that Robert Duncan will be elected bishop for the breakaway group.
On October 7, Robert Devlin, former chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh wrote to churches that have declared their intention to remain in The Episcopal Church, informing them that they will have to negotiate their way out of the “Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh,” a name claimed both by the Episcopal Church diocese and the breakaway group. The letter, which can be read here, also asserts that insurance previously obtained through the diocese, will no longer be available to Episcopal Church parishes. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette carried a story about the letter October 11.
Note that the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of The Episcopal Church can be reached by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Its telephone number is (412) 721-0853. You may also send mail to 989 Morgan Street, Brackenridge, PA 15014.