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.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

News for Week Ending 2/22/2010

Forward in Faith Australia votes to go to Rome

The Anglo-Catholic organization Forward in Faith Australia Inc. (FiFA) has decided to work with the Roman Catholic church to set up an Australian Ordinariate in response to the offer made to Anglicans by the Vatican. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Members of FiFA, in a special meeting February 13, 2010, passed resolutions declaring their intent to unite with Rome. Links to background and commentary can be found on Thinking Anglicans. A story from Sydney from the Roman Catholic point of view can be found at Catholic Online.

General Synod ACNA vote sparks comment

The February 10, 2010, resolution by the Church of England’s General Synod regarding the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)—see Pittsburgh Update story here—has inspired a good deal of commentary. Thinking Anglicans has collected links to much of the available material. “ACNA Debate Continued” contains links to some commentary, but also to documents, transcripts, and audio and video of the General Synod debate. Links to other material may be found here and here.

Executive Council meets in Omaha; Jim Simons is new member

Executive Council of The Episcopal Church met in Omaha, Nebraska, from February 19 to February 22, 2010. An Episcopal News Service story reported on the first day of the meeting and provided background information. Items of particular interest mentioned:
  1. The Presiding Bishop discussed the situation in the Diocese of South Carolina at some length. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.)
  2. Executive Council will defer to its next meeting the selection of an episcopal representative to the Anglican Consultative Council. Bishop Catherine Roskam’s term has expired. Clergy representative Ian Douglas will have to resign his position, as he is bishop-elect of Connecticut. He could possibly be designated the episcopal representative at the Council’s June 16–18, 2010 meeting.
A second ENS story was published February 21. It reports on information showing an ongoing decline in Episcopal Church attendance. The Presiding Bishop pointed out that the current decline began before the 2003 General Convention consented to the consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, an event to which some have attributed attendance decline.

A message to the church from the Executive Council was released February 22. Of the situation in South Carolina, the Council noted:
The Presiding Bishop’s update on the rising tensions in the Diocese of South Carolina kept us mindful of the work we all face in teasing out threads of honest theological differences from a fabric of misinformation and misunderstandings in more than one place in our Church and the Anglican Communion.
The message also noted changes in the composition of the Executive Council: the Rev. Ian Douglas is out, as he is becoming a bishop; the Rev. Jim Simons of Pittsburgh was elected to join the Council.

ENS provided a list of Executive Council actions here.

Springfield to elect new Bishop

Bishop Peter Beckwith stepped down as diocesan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield February 1, 2010, expressing weariness after 45 years of ministry. Beckwith is a conservative bishop who has shown much sympathy for dissidents who have left The Episcopal Church, though he has stayed in the church. Diocesan leaders expect to have a replacement bishop in place in little more than a year, a schedule that some see as unduly compressed. The State Journal-Register of Springfield discussed what may be a contentious episcopal election in a February 20, 2010, story.