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, May 31, 2010

News for Week Ending 5/31/2010

N.T. Wright argues against local decision-making

The Rt. Rev. N.T. Wright, Bishop of Durham, delivered his final address to his diocesan synod May 21, 2010, before returning to an academic career. The Living Church reported on Wright’s remarks May 26. The controversial address was largely about adiaphora, issues not essential to the faith on which individual churches may differ. Wright spoke of the issue of women bishops—he is for the idea and believes Anglicans have agreed that this is a matter of adiaphora—and sexual relations outside of marriage—something Anglicans have not declared adiaphora. More significantly, Wright argued that what is and is not adiaphora is not adiaphora, i.e., churches like The Episcopal Church cannot, by themselves, decide that it is proper to consecrate as bishops persons in same-sex relationships.

Archbishop of Canterbury proposes sanctions

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams issued a Pentecost letter to the Anglican Communion on May 28, 2010. The archbishop proposed that while the current “tensions remain unresolved” within the Anglican Communion, members from provinces that have violated the moratoria first proposed in the Windsor Report—moratoria on the blessing of same-sex unions, on consecrating partnered homosexual bishops, and on border crossings by bishops—not participate either in ecumenical discussions involving the Communion or in the work of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order. Clearly, the archbishop has The Episcopal Church in mind—his letter speaks of the recent consecration of Mary Glasspool—but his wording (“provinces that have formally [emphasis in original], through their Synod or House of Bishops, adopted policies that breach any of the moratoria”) may or may not apply to provinces such as Nigeria, Uganda, or the Southern Cone. Episcopal News Service covered the story here. The press release from Lambeth Palace, which is unusually heavy on analysis, is available here. Thinking Anglicans has made several posts about Williams’ letter and the reaction to it here, here, and here.

Nigerian primate advocates withdrawal from U.N.

Arguing that U.N. bodies and nongovernmental organizations are promoting homosexuality, Church of Nigeria (Anglican) primate, the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, has called for Nigeria to pull out of the United Nations. “Let us stand firm and refuse to be bought over by the West,” he said in remarks delivered in Lagos May 27, 2010. The Church of Nigeria has been one of the severest critics of The Episcopal Church for its consecration of partnered homosexual bishops and has shown sympathy for persecution of LGBT citizens of Nigeria. The Sunday Trust of Lagos reported the story May 30.

West Texas church splitting

VirtueOnline reported May 23, 2010, that Christ Episcopal Church of San Antonio, Texas, is in the process of splitting. Its rector, the Rev. Chuck Collins, announced that the service of May 30 would be his last. He is leaving The Episcopal Church “because of a crisis of conscience.” The Episcopal Church, he told his congregation in a May 19 letter, “has moved further and further away from the Gospel to which I committed my life and I have concluded that there is no future for me in this spiritual environment.” David Virtue reports that most of the congregation will remain in The Episcopal Church and will retain the parish property. Additional information about events in the church can be found on its Web site here. Christ Episcopal Church is in the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, whose bishop is the Rt. Rev. Gary R. Lillibridge.