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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A Service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh         

Monday, October 25, 2010

News for Week Ending 10/25/2010

Traditionalist forces in CoE claim votes to block women bishop plan

According to Church Times, Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic traditionalists believe they have the votes to prevent the acceptance of the current plan to allow women bishops in the Church of England. That plan, which groups opposed to women bishops say makes insufficient concessions to their views, again comes before the church’s General Synod next month. Recent elections have changed the composition of the General Synod, which, unlike the General Convention in The Episcopal Church, has separate houses for clergy and laypeople, as well as for bishops. Women and the Church (WATCH) has disputed the Church Times analysis in a press release. Riazat Butt, writing for The Observer on October 24, 2010, gave this analysis of the women bishop issue in the Church of England.

Montreal diocese moves toward ‘shared episcopal ministry’

According to an October 19, 2010, story from Episcopal News Service, the Diocese of Montreal, in the Anglican Church of Canada, may experiment with a shared episcopal ministry, a concept suggested in the Windsor Report. Under such a plan, parishes not comfortable with the blessing of same-sex unions, could be overseen by a bishop other than the diocesan bishop, who would not, in the process, give up jurisdiction over such parishes. Bishop Barry Clarke plans to offer a proposal for shared episcopal ministry in January.

PB to Executive Council: church should be more nimble

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church October 24, 2010, that the church needs to be more nimble to respond to change. The remark was made in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the Executive Council is meeting October 23–25. Jefferts Schori said that structural change is needed in the church and raised questions such as whether the church needs a building in New York City. In a story from Episcopal News Service, the Presiding Bishop is quoted as saying, “I think we’re in some danger of committing suicide by governance by focusing internally rather than externally.” The Presiding Bishop’s remarks were apparently both unclear and upsetting to members of the Council, as can be read in subsequent ENS stories here and here.

Western La. endorses covenant

The Living Church reported October 19, 2010, that the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana, led by Communion Partner bishop, the Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson, formally endorsed the Anglican covenant draft at its October 15–16 convention. The resolution passed encourages the General Convention to adopt the covenant on behalf of The Episcopal Church. Such diocesan resolutions, of course, only express the sentiment of the diocese and have no direct effect on the adoption of the covenant.

California judges find case ‘confusing’

The question of property ownership in the now split Diocese of San Joaquin was before California’s 5th District Court of Appeal October 20, 2010. According to the Fresno Bee, the judges find the case “confusing.” In particular, there is a question as to whether the court can even get involved in such a case. The breakaway diocese, led by Bishop John-David Schofield, is appealing a lower-court ruling that determined that Episcopal Church bishop Jerry Lamb is the proper Bishop of San Joaquin. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.)

Fort Worth litigation continues

The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth has reported on litigation on two fronts. In a story on its Web site, the diocese reports on filings in anticipation of a November 18, 2010, court date that could determine which diocese is the real Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. In another development, Fort Worth’s All Saints’ Episcopal Church has filed suit in U.S. District Court against Bishop Leo Iker claiming misuse of the parish identity. A letter to parishioners of the Episcopal parish can be found here. The October 18 complaint can be found here.