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, January 5, 2009

News for Week Ending 1/5/2009

C of E seeks accommodation on women bishops

The issues of ordaining women priests and consecrating women bishops are largely settled in The Episcopal Church, but the Church of England, which ordains women priests but has provided “flying bishops” to minister to those who cannot accept them, is now struggling with how to implement its decision to allow women bishops in the face of continued opposition. Proposed legislation, which would effectively perpetuate “flying bishop” (to be called “complementary bishops”) seems unlikely to satisfy either proponents or opponents of women bishops. Church Times summarized the proposal here. More detailed information can be found at Thinking Anglicans here and here.

California Supreme Court rules for Episcopal Church in property disputes

In a long-awaited opinion, the California Supreme Court ruled that the property of three breakaway parishes in the Diocese of Los Angeles belongs to the diocese and not to the congregations of the churches, which claim to be under Ugandan jurisdiction. The court handed down its unanimous opinion on January 5, 2009. The parishes involved in the litigation are St. James Church, Newport Beach, All Saints’ Church, Long Beach, and St. David’s Church, North Hollywood. Although the churches prevailed in the trial court, the decision was reversed on appeal. The Supreme Court decision upholds the appeals court decision. It is unclear whether the dissident congregations will continue their legal battle. Los Angeles bishop Jon Bruno described himself as “overjoyed” at the decision and spoke of possible reconciliation with the three congregations.

A number of news stories are available about the court decision, and more should follow soon. The Los Angeles Times story is here. Episcopal News Service has a story here, with links to statements by Bishop Bruno and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

South Carolina church leaves without property

The Augusta Chronicle reported January 5, 2009, that the priest, staff, and congregation of St. John’s Episcopal Church of North Augusta, South Carolina, are leaving The Episcopal Church and joining the newly-formed Anglican Church in North America. According to the Chronicle, the 90-member congregation will abandon its current building to the Diocese of Upper South Carolina and begin worshiping in a converted warehouse.