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, July 26, 2010

News for Week Ending 7/26/2010

Standing Committee meeting in England

The Standing Committee, composed of members of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) and primates, is meeting in London from July 23, 2010, to July 27. Members of the Standing Committee include Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and newly consecrated Bishop of Connecticut Ian Douglas. Anglican Communion News Service has reported on the first two days of closed-door meetings here and here. (Subsequent ACNS reports should be found here.) Episcopal News Service reported on the meeting July 25 and noted that the Presiding Bishop preached at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral. ENS ran a second story on the meeting July 26 here.

The name of the Committee—formerly the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and Anglican Consultative Council—has been a source of confusion and concern. The draft Anglican covenant refers to it as the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion. According to ACNS, Committee members decided during their first day of meetings to call their body simply the Standing Committee.

Membership issues were also discussed on July 23, including the question of whether Bishop Douglas was indeed qualified to serve. The ACC Constitution and Bylaws have just been replaced by new Articles of Association, however, which have different requirements for membership. Bishop Douglas will continue as a member of the Committee.

On June 24, Dato’ Stanley Isaacs, from the Church of the Province of South East Asia proposed that The Episcopal Church be separated from the Anglican Communion. The proposal was rejected. According to ACNS, “the overwhelming opinion was that separation would inhibit dialogue on this and other issues among Communion Provinces, dioceses and individuals and would therefore be unhelpful.” The Standing Committee also concluded that the request by the primates to increase their representation on the Committee from five to eight should be considered by the full ACC.

San Diego bishop authorizes same-sex blessings

The Rt. Rev. James Mathes, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, has authorized the blessing of same-sex unions. San Diego’s St. Paul’s Cathedral has announced that it will treat same-sex couples in a manner similar to how heterosexual couples are treated. More information is available on the cathedral’s blog, All Our Voices, here and here. The Living Church has provided helpful background to this story.