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, August 9, 2010

News for Week Ending 8/9/2010

Covenant attacked by AAC

The conservative American Anglican Council has called for changes in the draft Anglican covenant. Whereas Modern Church recently asserted that the current draft abandons traditional Anglicanism for Puritanism—see Pittsburgh Update story here—the AAC has argued that the proposed covenant is not strong enough. The changes desired by the AAC, would, among other things, put more power in the hands of the primates, establish an explicit requirement of condemning sexual activity outside heterosexual marriage, and exile non-signing churches from the Anglican Communion. The AAC argument draws on a paper written by the Rev. Dr. Steven Noll, retired Vice Chancellor of Uganda Christian University and a former member of the faculty of Trinity School for Ministry.

Charles Bennison conviction overturned

In a surprise development, the conviction for conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy of Bishop Charles E. Bennison, erstwhile Bishop of Pennsylvania, was reversed on appeal by a Court of Review for the Trial of a Bishop. (See Pittsburgh Update story of Bennison’s appeal here.) The court decision turned on the interpretation of the statute of limitations. Bennison was accused of failing to report sexual improprieties of his brother more than three decades ago. Bennison is expected to resume his duties in the Diocese of Pennsylvania. Both Episcopal News Service and The Living Church covered the court decision, as did the The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Appeal by Anglican diocese advances

In an August 6, 2010, opinion, Judge Renée Cohn Jubelirer of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court rejected the effort by attorneys for the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and The Episcopal Church to quash the appeal filed by the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. The appellants were attempting to overturn the January order of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas that required them to transfer control of diocesan assets to the Episcopal diocese. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) At issue was whether the appeal by Archbishop Robert Duncan and fellow defendants was filed in a timely fashion. The Episcopal diocese argued that the decision that needed to be appealed was the one issued in October 2009. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Judge Jubelirer thought otherwise. The appeal will therefore be heard by Commonwealth Court. Judge Jubelirer’s opinion can be read here.