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, January 18, 2010

News for Week Ending 1/18/2010

Earthquake devastates Haiti

Worldwide, the big story of the week was the earthquake that largely destroyed Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, on January 12, 2010. The story is of special interest to Episcopalians because Haiti is a diocese of The Episcopal Church, one that has companion relationships with a number of other Episcopal Church dioceses. Pittsburgh is not one of those dioceses, but Bishop Price issued a statement calling for prayers, gifts to Episcopal Relief & Development, and encouraging others to pray and give. Episcopal News Service has written a number of stories about the catastrophe and the relief efforts, beginning with its story of January 13. Additional stories can be found (and, presumably, will continue to appear) on the News page of Episcopal Life Online here.

Cause of women bishops in Communion suffers setbacks

Supporters of women bishops in the Anglican Communion were disappointed on two fronts this past week. The Rev. Alison Peden was one of the finalists being considered as the new bishop for the United Diocese of Glasgow & Galloway in the Scottish Episcopal Church. Her election would have made her the first woman bishop in Britain. Reuters reported January 16, 2010, however, that the Very Rev. Dr. Gregor Duncan was selected for the post instead. (The diocesan press release can be read here.) Peden was the first woman finalist for an episcopal position since the ordination of women was approved by the Scottish Episcopal Church in 2003.

The committee drafting proposed legislation to allow women bishops in the Church of England has failed to produce a report in time for consideration by the church’s General Synod next month. Church Times reported that the legislation cannot now be considered until the next Synod meeting in July. (See earlier Pittsburgh Update story here.)

CoE Synod may increase gay clergy benefits

The Church of England’s General Synod will be asked next month to give the same benefits to clergy living in civil partnerships as it does to married clergy. (CoE clergy can register their civil partnerships but are expected to remain celibate.) The move to equitable compensation may be derailed by financial considerations, however. The Lead reported the story and provided links here.

More on CoE/ACNA Communion

Last week, we reported that communion between the Church of England and the Anglican Church in North America will be considered at the February meeting of the CoE General Synod. More information is now available. According to the newly released full agenda for the February 8–12, 2010, meeting, the exact motion to be considered is the following: “That this Synod express the desire that the Church of England be in communion with the Anglican Church in North America.” Papers from the supporters of the motion can be read here and here.

Appeals filed in New Westminster case

In response to the November 25, 2009, decision by the British Columbia Supreme Court largely favoring the Diocese of New Westminster in its property dispute with congregations that have left the Anglican Church of Canada—see Pittsburgh Update story here—the dissident congregations have filed an appeal, and the diocese has filed a cross-appeal. According to Anglican Journal, the diocese has not sought to evict the congregations that are now part of the Anglican Network in Canada, but diocesan bishop Michael Ingham has insisted that he must appoint clergy working in Anglican Church of Canada churches. Because the congregations filed an appeal, the diocese is now seeking to reverse one of the issues on which it was not victorious.