News and commentary on the General Convention
The 76th General Convention of The Episcopal Church concluded in Anaheim, California, on July 17, 2009. The previous Pittsburgh Update post
noted the most discussed actions of the triennial gathering. As expected, there are now some good summaries that include information about less well known actions. The Diocese of Southwest Florida has posted a helpful 6-1/2 minute video
on YouTube summarizing the convention. The Diocese of Chicago has posted a more comprehensive summary of legislation
on its Web site.
It would be impossible to list here all the commentaries that have appeared on the Web discussing the General Convention. Of special note, however, is the fact that the Presiding Bishop and President of the House of Bishops wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury concerning Resolution C056. The correspondence was reported here
by Episcopal News Service. ENS also carried a story
on the Presiding Bishop’s letter to The Episcopal Church. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has published his own reflection on the General Convention, “Communion, Covenant and Anglican Future
.” It is, of course, too early to know what the effect of the convention will be on Episcopal Church/Anglican Communion relations.
San Joaquin court ruling seen as first step in returning property to Episcopal Church
A California Superior Court judge issued a ruling July 21, 2009, declaring Episcopal bishop Jerry Lamb to be the Bishop of San Joaquin and rightful steward of the property of the Diocese of San Joaquin. The decision declares that former bishop John-David Schofield had no right to remove the diocese from The Episcopal Church and transfer it to the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. The decision, which was not unexpected—see Pittsburgh Update story here
—decided many issues also in contention in the Calvary litigation against deposed bishop Robert Duncan and other former diocesan leaders. The judge declared that The Episcopal Church is a hierarchical church, that a constitutional provision declaring accession to the constitution and canons of The Episcopal Church cannot be modified by an individual diocese, and that the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin is not a “new” diocese. Episcopal News Service reported the story here
. The court’s opinion can be read here
. The Presiding Bishop issued a statement about the San Joaquin decision that can be read here
. Although the decision does not immediately return property to the Diocese of San Joaquin, it is seen as an important step in regaining property belonging to The Episcopal Church.
Post-Gazette reports on two dioceses
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
carried a story on Sunday, July 26, 2009, on the Diocese of Pittsburgh in The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Pittsburgh in the Anglican Church in North America. The article, “Churches attempt to heal after split,” which emphasizes the experiences of individual church members, can be read here
‘Anglican’ diocese tightens belt
The Pittsburgh diocese headed by Archbishop Robert Duncan that is part of the Anglican Church in North America has revealed several cost-saving measures. On July 21, 2009, the diocese announced
that the diocesan archives, established in 1979 by Bishop Robert Appleyard, had ceased operations on July 1 in an effort to cut expenses. Only a few days earlier, the diocese declared
that it will abandon its expensive downtown office space in the Oliver Building and move to less expensive space in Allegheny Center. Duncan moved diocesan offices to the Oliver Building from Trinity Cathedral seven years ago, a move that negatively impacted the cathedral budget.