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         

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

News for Week Ending 9/21/2009

Nigeria selects new primate

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has elected a successor to Archbishop Peter Akinola, who will retire in March, 2010. Nigerian bishops elected 56-year-old Nicholas Okoh, Archbishop of Bendel Province and a retired lieutenant colonel in the Nigerian Army, on September 15, 2009. (See story here.) Lagos’s The Guardian published a profile of Archbishop Okoh on September 18 that makes it clear that Okoh is likely to follow closely in Archbishop Akinola’s footsteps. (Akinola has been the most conspicuous critic of The Episcopal Church among the Anglican primates.) As further evidence, Ruth Gledhill of the Times reported on a sermon delivered by Okoh in July in which he asserted that Islam is mass-producing children to take over Africa. (“That is the type of evangelism they are doing: mass-production, so if you have four wives, four children, sixteen children, very soon you will be a village.”) Christianity and Islam have been in keen competetion in Nigeria, a conflict that has sometimes been violent.

Property litigation begins in Fort Worth

The legal battle for the property of the Diocese of Fort Worth has gotten underway in a Tarrant County (Fort Worth) courtroom. Little has been decided at this point, but the major parties to the litigation, each calling itself the “Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth,” are already working hard to spin the meager facts being created in the Texas courtroom. The group headed by Bishop Leo Iker, who claims to be in the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, issued a press release on September 16, 2009, suggesting that it had achieved a great initial victory in the litigation. This was quickly disputed by the other Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, as reported by Episcopal News Service here. Both the Episcopal Church diocese and the reputed Southern Cone diocese have published particular court documents on their Web sites, but those documents give little clue as to how the litigation will finally be decided.

S.C. court rules against diocese and Episcopal Church

The long-running dispute between The Episcopal Church and its Diocese of South Carolina, on one hand, and All Saints, Pawleys Island, on the other, resulted in a South Carolina Supreme Court decision September 18, 2009, giving parish property to the congregation. The congregation voted in 2004 to leave The Episcopal Church for what was then called the Anglican Mission in America (now the Anglican Mission in the Americas). The rare legal defeat for The Episcopal Church in a property dispute turned on specific facts in the case, according to The Post and Courier of Charleston. The decision, which reversed a lower court ruling, can be read here. Its significance, in South Carolina and elsewhere, is unclear. The Lead offered its perspective here.

Opportunity to meet Bp. Price next week

Pittsburgh Episcopalians will have an opportunity to meet Bishop Kenneth L. Price, Jr., next week. Bishop Price has been nominated by the standing committee of the Diocese of Pittsburgh to become Pittsburgh’s provisional bishop following the October 17, 2009, annual convention. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) As reported on the diocesan Web site, a reception for Bishop Price will be held at Calvary Church at 7 PM on Monday, September 28, 2009.