Monday, January 25, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
News for Week Ending 1/18/2010
Earthquake devastates HaitiWorldwide, the big story of the week was the earthquake that largely destroyed Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, on January 12, 2010. The story is of special interest to Episcopalians because Haiti is a diocese of The Episcopal Church, one that has companion relationships with a number of other Episcopal Church dioceses. Pittsburgh is not one of those dioceses, but Bishop Price issued a statement calling for prayers, gifts to Episcopal Relief & Development, and encouraging others to pray and give. Episcopal News Service has written a number of stories about the catastrophe and the relief efforts, beginning with its story of January 13. Additional stories can be found (and, presumably, will continue to appear) on the News page of Episcopal Life Online here.
Cause of women bishops in Communion suffers setbacksSupporters of women bishops in the Anglican Communion were disappointed on two fronts this past week. The Rev. Alison Peden was one of the finalists being considered as the new bishop for the United Diocese of Glasgow & Galloway in the Scottish Episcopal Church. Her election would have made her the first woman bishop in Britain. Reuters reported January 16, 2010, however, that the Very Rev. Dr. Gregor Duncan was selected for the post instead. (The diocesan press release can be read here.) Peden was the first woman finalist for an episcopal position since the ordination of women was approved by the Scottish Episcopal Church in 2003.
The committee drafting proposed legislation to allow women bishops in the Church of England has failed to produce a report in time for consideration by the church’s General Synod next month. Church Times reported that the legislation cannot now be considered until the next Synod meeting in July. (See earlier Pittsburgh Update story here.)
CoE Synod may increase gay clergy benefitsThe Church of England’s General Synod will be asked next month to give the same benefits to clergy living in civil partnerships as it does to married clergy. (CoE clergy can register their civil partnerships but are expected to remain celibate.) The move to equitable compensation may be derailed by financial considerations, however. The Lead reported the story and provided links here.
More on CoE/ACNA CommunionLast week, we reported that communion between the Church of England and the Anglican Church in North America will be considered at the February meeting of the CoE General Synod. More information is now available. According to the newly released full agenda for the February 8–12, 2010, meeting, the exact motion to be considered is the following: “That this Synod express the desire that the Church of England be in communion with the Anglican Church in North America.” Papers from the supporters of the motion can be read here and here.
Appeals filed in New Westminster caseIn response to the November 25, 2009, decision by the British Columbia Supreme Court largely favoring the Diocese of New Westminster in its property dispute with congregations that have left the Anglican Church of Canada—see Pittsburgh Update story here—the dissident congregations have filed an appeal, and the diocese has filed a cross-appeal. According to Anglican Journal, the diocese has not sought to evict the congregations that are now part of the Anglican Network in Canada, but diocesan bishop Michael Ingham has insisted that he must appoint clergy working in Anglican Church of Canada churches. Because the congregations filed an appeal, the diocese is now seeking to reverse one of the issues on which it was not victorious.
Monday, January 11, 2010
News for Week Ending 1/11/2010
CoE to consider communion with ACNATimes columnist Ruth Gledhill reported January 8, 2010, that a motion will be considered at next month’s Church of England (CoE) General Synod that would declare the CoE in communion with Robert Duncan’s Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). (See business for February 10 on the Outline Agenda for the General Synod.) Approval of such a motion would not, of course, add ACNA to the Anglican Communion. Gledhill, describing the General Synod as “dominated by evangelicals,” suggested that the motion might indeed pass. Others have questioned both that characterization and Gledhill’s speculation.
ACNA introduced a new Web site and Web address this past week. The new Web site can be found at http://anglicanchurch.net/.
Pastoral visitors bash Episcopal ChurchAnglican Journal ran a story January 9, 2010, on the report of two “pastoral visitors” sent by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to observe a meeting of the Anglican Church of Canada’s House of Bishops last November. The report was written by Bishop Chad Gandiya of Harare, Zimbabwe, and Bishop Colin Bennetts, retired bishop of Coventry, England. According to the Journal, “Archbishop Williams is seeking ways to heal divisions among member provinces of the Anglican Communion.” (Anglican Journal also published an earlier interview with Bishop Bennetts.)
The report was largely positive with regard to the Anglican Church of Canada, whose bishops were described as weary of the same-sex blessings issue. The main reason the report received attention in the U.S., however, was its criticism of The Episcopal Church, though the visitors did not set foot in the U.S. (See, for example, this post on The Lead, which inspired an unusual number of comments, as well as this post on Thinking Anglicans.)
Fort Worth diocese prevails on procedural matterThe Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth was victorious on procedural matters December 29, 2009, in Hood County, Texas, in litigation involving St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. Parties who left The Episcopal Church and who are claiming St. Andrew’s property attempted to disqualify attorneys and documents representing the position of the Episcopal diocese. District Judge Ralph H. Walton, Jr., ruled in favor of the Episcopal parties on all motions. (Details can be found here on the Diocese of Fort Worth Web site.) The strategy pursued by the former Episcopalians had been rejected in September by a Tarrant County, Texas, judge in a related case. (See Diocese of Fort Worth Web site here.)
Robinson blesses civil unionCivil marriages of same-sex couples became legal in the state of New Hampshire on January 1, 2010. According to The Living Church, Bishop of New Hampshire V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Anglican bishop, blessed the civil marriage of the Rev. Eleanor “Ellie” McLaughlin and Elizabeth “Betsy” Hess on January 2, 2010.
Monday, January 4, 2010
News for Week Ending 1/4/2010
Covenant draft sparks commentaryAs one might expect of Anglicans at Christmas time, the Anglican Communion generated little news not related to Christmas this past week. The “final” draft of the Anglican covenant has, however, provoked a good deal of commentary. (See earlier Pittsburgh Update story here.) Neither now nor in the future will we try to track everything being said about the covenant, but we will try to highlight particularly notable remarks. For now, Thinking Anglicans has done an especially good job of linking to essays exhibiting all degrees of enthusiasm for the covenant. Its large collection of links can be found here.
Closer to home, The Living Church reports that Bishop of Central Florida John W. Howe has encouraged his diocese to adopt a resolution at its January 30, 2010, convention that “affirms” the entire covenant draft.