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, June 13, 2011

News for Week Ending 6/13/2011

Second Maori diocese rejects Covenant

A second Maori diocese of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has rejected the Anglican Covenant. (See Pittsburgh Update story on the first rejection here.) Individual dioceses are voting on the Covenant in the South Pacific church in preparation for a final General Synod vote. The diocese of Te Hui Amorangi o Te Tairawhiti passed a resolution unanimously June 11, 2011, stating that it is “opposed to the adoption of The Anglican Communion Covenant.” The resolution cited not only the substance of the Covenant but also “the context in which it was proposed.”

There are five Maori dioceses in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and they can veto an adoption motion in the church’s General Synod.

This story was reported by blogger Bosco Peters here.

Two dioceses ordain first women

Because the ordination of women priests is not universally accepted in the Anglican Communion, it is still news when women are ordained in places women have not been ordained before. This happened in two dioceses recently. Joy Online reported June 7, 2011, that Ghana’s Diocese of Accra, in the Church of the Province of West Africa has ordained its first three women priests.

Gulf Daily News reported June 6, 2011, that the first Anglican female priest in the Middle East has been ordained. The Rev. Catherine Dawkins was ordained in Bahrain on June 5, after the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf was given permission to do so in February by the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.)

Canadian bishops pledge ‘gracious restraint’

According to a June 10, 2011, report by The Living Church, six bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada have pledged to observe the three moratoria of the Windsor Report. In a statement dated April 2011, the bishops declare their loyalty to the Anglican Church of Canada and to the Anglican Communion and their intention to uphold the requested bans on the consecration of partnered gay bishops, the blessing of same-sex unions, and the crossing of diocesan boundaries. “Between ourselves,” the bishops say in their statement, “we agree to observe the discipline of the Windsor moratoria until such time as there is clarity in the Communion about the final status of the Anglican Covenant and our mutual obligations.

San Joaquin authorizes blessing same-sex unions

Episcopal News Service reported June 8, 2011, that the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin will allow its priests to “perform blessings of same gender civil marriages, domestic partnerships, and relationships which are lifelong committed relationships characterized by ‘fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God.’” The permission given by Bishop Chester Talton is effective June 12. The authorization can be read here. A liturgy, “Service for the Blessing of a Sacred Union,” has been made available by the diocese.

Trial phase ends in Virginia

A letter posted by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia indicates that the trial phase of the litigation seeing the return of parish property was completed on June 7, 2011. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Additional briefs will be submitted by both sides, and a decision of the retrial will be rendered sometime after October 2011.