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, April 5, 2010

News for Week Ending 4/5/2010

Akinola successor carries on homophobic program

Peter Akinola, the controversial primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, recently retired. His successor is Archbishop Nicholas Okoh. The sermon Okoh preached at his March 25 installation (available on-line here) has made it clear that the church’s anti-homosexuality program is not about to change. Okoh attacked the recent plea of the Bishop of Liverpool that the Anglican be more tolerant of diverse views on the subject. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Okoh went on to say
Do not be afraid of being called homophobic. It is a term designed to close down any expression of a contrary view. Respond by accusing them of gunaphobia [sic]—an inordinate fear of women and of relationships with women.
Okoh also expressed his commitment to GAFCON and the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. Thinking Anglicans contains links to a variety of commentaries on the Okoh sermon.

Pawleys Island dispute ends with negotiated settlement

One of the longest-running property disputes in The Episcopal Church has ended in a negotiated settlement. The dispute involved All Saints, Pawleys Island, in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. The parish voted to join the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA) in 2004, although legal conflicts with the diocese began even earlier. In September 2009, the Supreme Court of South Carolina awarded parish property to the breakaway congregation, based on unique historical circumstances. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court by The Episcopal Church and by church members who did not wish to join the AMiA was pending when the negotiated settlement was announced. That appeal is being withdrawn. According to Episcopal News Service, the AMiA congregation will retain the parish property, but it will make reasonable provisions for such pastoral matters as funerals in cases where Episcopalians are involved. The AMiA has also offered the Episcopal congregation $375,000 “to assist in their future ministry in our community.” Complete provisions of settlement were not disclosed.

Another S.C. congregation votes to leave

As the Pawleys Island dispute is being settled, another congregation in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina has voted to leave The Episcopal Church for the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA). St. Andrew’s Church of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, voted March 28, 2010, to join the AMiA. Both Episcopal News Service and The Living Church reported the story. Bishop of South Carolina Mark Lawrence admitted that he was “saddened” by the new development, but he criticized the direction of The Episcopal Church and has made no attempt to retain the property of the Mount Pleasant parish.

Diocesan workshops scheduled for April 10

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh is sponsoring an all-day program of workshops for members of the diocese on April 10, 2010. “Moving Forward Together” is being billed as “a day to reflect, renew, rebuild, and rejoice.” It will be held at Church of the Redeemer, Squirrel Hill. Details are available on the diocesan Web site here. The registration deadline has been extended to Thursday, April 8, and registration can be done by phone by calling the diocese at (412) 721-0853.