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, March 22, 2010

News for Week Ending 3/22/2010

Episcopal bishops meeting in Texas

The spring retreat of the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops is meeting in Camp Allen, Texas, March 19–24, 2010. A major item on the bishops’ agenda is discussion of the results of a study, “Same Sex Relationships in the Life of the Church.” Details of this and other business can be read in the story from Episcopal News Service.

Glasspool achieves consents for consecration

The Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool received the necessary consents from bishops with jurisdiction last week to be consecrated a suffragan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles on May 15, 2010. It had only recently been announced that Glasspool had received sufficient consents from diocesan standing committees. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Episcopal News Service published a story about Glasspool’s receiving the needed consents from both standing committees and bishops, as well as a story about reactions to the prospect of adding another openly gay, partnered bishop to the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops. The Living Church also published a story about Glasspool’s receiving consents, as well as a story about the somewhat unremarkable reaction from Lambeth Palace, and a story on the stronger reaction from the Communion Partners. ENS published a second story on reactions to the Glasspool consent March 22.

Judge: Connecticut Church belongs to diocese

Episcopal News Service reported March 18, 2010, that a Connecticut judge has ruled that the property of Bishop Seabury Episcopal Church in Groton, Connecticut, is held in trust for the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut and The Episcopal Church. The court decision is available on the diocesan Web site as part of the diocesan press release. This ends a conflict that began in 2005, when then rector, the Rev. Ronald S. Gauss, became one of the “Connecticut Six,” conservative rectors who wanted to remove their parishes from The Episcopal Church. The congregation affiliated with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) in 2007. According to the ENS story,
In his March 15 order, [Judge] Stevens prohibited Gauss and his associates from using the parish’s real and personal property and ordered them immediately to turn that property over to church officials. The judge also barred the defendants from interfering with those officials’ right to immediate possession, custody and control of the property. Finally, he prohibited the defendants from “wasting, selling, transferring, conveying or encumbering” any of the property.

Bennison hearing set for May

The long-running disciplinary proceedings against Bishop of Pennsylvania Charles Bennison will reach a climax on May 4, 2010. That is when, according to Episcopal News Service—see story here—Bennison’s final appeal will be heard to the 2008 trial verdict that he engaged in conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy by covering up sexual improprieties by his brother 35 years ago. Bennison appealed the verdict in January. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.)

“Local” priest nominated for Bishop of Rio Grande

The Living Church reported March 22, 2010, that the Rev. Dr. Leander S. Harding, of Trinity School for Ministry, has been added by petition to the candidates vying to become the next bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande. That diocese has had a troubled history in recent years. Harding joins five other candidates, whose photos, answers to questions, and résumés can be read on the diocesan Web site. Although Harding was formerly canonically resident in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, his canonical residence is now South Carolina, which is presumably a more felicitous ecclesiastical home for him than would be the present Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. (His résumé suggests no professional connection to South Carolina.)