News for Week Ending 10/19/2009
Presiding Bishop accepts Ackerman renunciationAccording to an October 16, 2009, Episcopal News Service story, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has accepted the voluntary renunciation of his ordained ministry by Keith L. Ackerman. Ackerman resigned as Bishop of Quincy shortly before that diocese voted to leave The Episcopal Church. He is president of Forward in Faith North America, a group opposed to the ordination of women. Ackerman intends to function in the United States as a bishop of the Diocese of Bolivia, which is in the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. Ackerman complained that he did not intend to renounce his ministry, according to The Living Church. ENS, however, reported that the Rev. Charles Robertson, canon to the Presiding Bishop, explained that there is no canonical provision for the kind of ecclesiastical arrangement sought by Ackerman.
Va. Supreme Court to hear Episcopal property caseThe Living Church reported October 16, 2009, that the Supreme Court of Virginia has agreed to hear the appeal of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia in its property dispute with congregations now aligned with the Church of Nigeria (Anglican). A lower court ruled against the diocese based on a nineteenth-century Virginia statute. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) A statement from the diocese can be read here. A statement from the Anglican District of Virginia can be found on its News Releases page.
Pittsburgh elects provisional bishop in conflict-free conventionThe Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh held its first annual convention October 16–17, 2009, since the schism of October 4, 2008. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The convention was held downtown at Trinity Cathedral. On October 17, deputies unanimously approved the Rt. Rev. Kenneth L. Price, Jr., who is also a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Southern Ohio, as its provisional bishop. With the election of Bishop Price, ecclesiastical authority in the Pittsburgh diocese passes from the Standing Committee to the new provisional bishop. It is expected that Price will serve Pittsburgh for 2–3 years until the diocese is ready to elect a new diocesan bishop.
In other business, the convention elected candidates to various positions (details here), approved all resolutions that came before it, and approved, with little discussion, the 10 changes to the diocese’s constitution and canons proposed by the Committee on Canons. (Constitutional changes require passage by two successive annual conventions to become effective.) The convention concluded with a Eucharist that included the ordination of Linda Tardy Wilson to the deaconate. Departing assisting bishop Bob Johnson preached at the service, which employed a choir drawn from a number of parishes.
The Pittsburgh convention was covered by Episcopal News Service, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.