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, February 16, 2009

News for Week Ending 2/16/2009

Akinola writes to Canterbury

Nigeria’s Archbishop Peter Akinola wrote to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams February 10, 2009, expressing dismay at the outcome of the recent meeting of Anglican Primates in Alexandria, Egypt. (See Pittsburgh Update story on the meeting here.) Akinola explained that he had hoped “that we would receive assurances from the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada that they were willing to exercise genuine restraint towards those Anglicans in North America unwilling to embrace their several innovations.” Having failed to obtain such assurances, Akinola explained that he was forwarding reports to Archbishop Williams of the offenses of the American and Canadian churches. Akinola’s letter, as well as the attachments, are available on the Web site of the American Anglican Council.

In a related development, The Living Church reported that Bishop David Anderson, American Anglican Council president speaking for the Common Cause Partnership, said that the group would welcome the mediation recommended by the primates. Episcopal News Service reported earlier that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori also indicated a willingness to engage in mediation.

Church of England makes slow progress toward authorizing women bishops

The General Synod of the Church of England agreed February 11, 2009, to remand to a committee draft legislation that would authorize women bishops in that church. The committee will have a year to revise the legislation, which is intended both to authorize canonical revisions to provide for women bishops and to offer a framework to accommodate those who continue to oppose women bishops. Whereas the action moves the church closer to consecrating women bishops, the first woman bishop of the Church of England is still seen as five or more years away. Episcopal News Service reported on the action here.

Bennison court confirms judgment; appeal possible

Episcopal News Service reported February 4, 2009, that the ecclesiastical trial court has confirmed its sentence of deposition against the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison, inhibited bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania. Bennison was convicted of conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy for his failure 35 years ago to respond properly to the sexual improprieties of his brother, who was working under Bennison as a youth director at the time. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Bennison has 30 days to file an appeal.

Episcopal Church joins Calvary lawsuit

The Calvary Church lawsuit against deposed bishop Robert Duncan designed to protect property of the Diocese of Pittsburgh and The Episcopal Church continues to collect plaintiffs. (See most recent Pittsburgh Update story about the lawsuit here.) As reported here last month, the Diocese of Pittsburgh is now working with Calvary Church to restore diocesan property now controlled by Duncan and his supporters. The Episcopal Church itself has now filed papers with the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas recognizing the reorganized Diocese of Pittsburgh and asking the court to remove diocesan assets from control by Duncan and give them to the Episcopal Church Diocese. The Living Church reported the story here, after the diocese posted a statement from the Standing Committee regarding the filing. The court documents from The Episcopal Church can be read here.