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, May 18, 2009

News for Week Ending 5/18/2009

ACC concludes in Jamaica

The 14th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), which began on May 3, 2009, concluded with a Eucharist on May 12. Although the most significant outcome of the meeting from the standpoint of Pittsburgh Episcopalians was the delay in sending an Anglican covenant draft to the churches—see Pittsburgh Update story here—many other resolutions were passed dealing with both internal Communion issues and issues in the world at large. They can all be read here. It should be noted that the Joint Standing Committee, which is made up of primates and representatives from the ACC, will be called simply the Standing Committee in the future. It is this group that will determine when to send a covenant draft to the churches. The ACC also asked “the Primates to include an equal number of non-Primatial members of the Standing Committee as non voting participants in the Primates’ Meeting.” Primates on the Standing Committee already participate in ACC meetings.

Space does not permit full coverage of the ACC meeting here. Readers are encouraged to read the Episcopal News Service coverage of the address to the convention by the Archbishop of Canterbury, however, which had a hopeful tone. Thinking Anglicans provides links to post-ACC comment here.

PB calls for clarity in dealing with B033

In the church’s May 13, 2009, Webcast about the upcoming General Convention—see Pittsburgh Update story here—Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said that she thought it bad legislative practice to repeal General Convention resolutions. She spoke in response to a question about B033, the last-minute resolution passed at General Convention 2006 calling for those who must consent to the consecration of bishops “to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.” Jefforts Schori said, “I would far more prefer us to say where we are today, in 2009, to make a positive statement about our desire to include all people fully in this church and that we be clear about who we are as the Episcopal Church.” President of the House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson pointed out that 12 resolutions dealing with B033 have been proposed and that General Convention deputies will have to decide what to do with them. The Episcopal News Service story on the Webcast, can be read here. The Living Church also ran a story on the Webcast, though that story quoted the Presiding Bishop incompletely, leaving out her mentioning inclusiveness. The Webcast can be viewed on the Web here.

L.A. diocese loses bid for legal fees

Daily Pilot reported May 15, 2009, that the Diocese of Los Angeles was denied attorneys’ fees and court costs related to its successful legal action against the breakaway congregation of St. James’, Newport Beach. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Orange County Superior Court Judge Thierry P. Colaw ruled that the church had not acted frivolously and was therefore not liable for legal fees. More details are available from VirtueOnline.

Diocese kicks off youth initiative

The Diocese of Pittsburgh has begun a Diocesan Youth Initiative. A committee has been formed to collect information on parish youth programs and to assess youth needs throughout the diocese. According to the Rev. Kris Opat, a member of the new Youth Initiative Committee, “The hope is to once again offer a robust program for the youth and families of our diocese to come together in worship, fellowship, and service.” More information is available on the diocesan Web site. The Youth Initiative was approved by Diocesan Council, which also approved a $10,000 grant in support of the Neighborhood Youth Outreach Program of St. Stephen’s, Wilkinsburg. This was reported on the diocesan Web site here.

Episcopal Church files brief in anticipation of hearing

The Episcopal Church has filed a complaint-in-intervention in the ongoing litigation against deposed bishop Robert Duncan and other defendants now claiming to be part of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. The move was reported by The Living Church and comes shortly before a May 27 hearing that promises to be an important milestone in the litigation first brought against Bishop Duncan by Calvary Church. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The arguments presented in the May 12 filing largely repeat those made when The Episcopal Church first petitioned to intervene in the case on February 13, 2009. Additional filings by the defense are also likely to be submitted to the court before the May 27 hearing.

Diocese inaugurates new mailing list

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has a new way to communicate with the people of the diocese. Called Grace Notes, it is an e-mail newsletter directed to Pittsburgh Episcopalians. The inaugural issue was sent May 12, 2009. People are encouraged to sign up to receive the newsletter, which you can do by clicking here.