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 29, 2011

News for Week Ending 8/29/2011

Uganda anti-gay bill shelved

Reuters Africa reported August 23, 2011, that the Ugandan cabinet voted unanimously to block the re-introduction of the controversial legislation that would have introduced capital punishment for certain offenses related to homosexuality. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Although this means that the bill cannot become law in the near future, Uganda can hardly be considered a gay-friendly country. Reuters quoted Ugandan Attorney General Peter Nyombi as saying, “The position of the cabinet is that there’s already sufficient law to take care of all crimes envisaged by the proposed anti-homosexuality bill.”

Thinking Anglicans has collected many links to news and comment regarding the Uganda bill.

Same-sex blessing session maybe not so hostile

Last week, we reported on a special session on same-sex blessings requested by the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music at the meeting of the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Basing our reporting on a story by George Conger in The Church of England Newspaper, we observed that “the presentation was not well received.” (Note that The Church of England Newspaper is not an official organ of the Church of England.) A subsequent report from Church Times by Simon Sarmiento paints a very different picture of the meeting. The reader can make up his or her own mind as to which report—if either—to believe.

In any case, it should be noted that the fact that the Consultation meeting was on the subject of marriage was a coincidence. The American delegation was not trying to inject the subject of same-sex blessings into the Christian marriage discussion.

New York diocese nominates lesbian, former Pittsburgh priest

The Episcopal Diocese of New York announced its candidates to replace retiring bishop Mark Sisk August 29, 2011. Among the candidates is the Very Rev. Tracey Lind, Dean of Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland, a lesbian married to Emily Ingalls. Also among the five candidates is the Rt. Rev. Pierre Whalon, Bishop in Charge, Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, and, for six years, Rector of All Souls’, North Versailles. A new bishop is to elected October 29, 2011. The report of the Committee to Elect a Bishop can be read here.

Pittsburgh issues diocesan profile; begins accepting names of potential bishops

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh posted its diocesan profile August 26, 2011, and the Nomination Committee is now accepting names of possible nominees for the next Bishop of Pittsburgh through September 30, 2011. (See stories on the diocesan Web site here and here.) A slate of candidates is expected to be released in January, after which there will be an opportunity to nominate candidates by petition.

All material related to the episcopal search can be found on the diocesan Web site here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

News for Week Ending 8/22/2011

Liturgical Consultation meets, sees same-sex ceremony

The International Anglican Liturgical Consultation met in England August 1–6, 2011. The group has no formal authority, but all Communion churches are invited to send representatives. Eleven of the 56 participants were from the United States. The primary topic of the meeting was marriage, about which various publications will be forthcoming.

The Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music had requested a special session on same-sex blessings. The delegation provided theological and liturgical material to the group and illustrated some of the liturgical material with a mock ceremony.

George Conger, writing for The Church of England Newspaper, reported August 17, 2011, that the presentation was not well received.

Episcopal News Service published the communiqué released at the end of the meeting.

Ontario court rules for diocese

Justice T.D. Little of the Ontario Superior Court ruled August 15, 2011, that the property of St. Adrian’s Church in Windsor must remain with the Anglican Diocese of Huron. The congregation had previously voted to leave the Anglican Church of Canada for the the conservative Anglican Network in Canada. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The story was reported by The Windsor Star. Bishop Robert F. Bennett, in a letter posted on the diocesan Web site, remarked that, “I want to make it clear that no one is being asked to leave the building, except the clergy whose ministry was abandoned with the Anglican Church of Canada.” (A press release can be found on the same page.)

The Diocese of New Westminster also has a story about the decision on its Web site that includes a link to the court opinion.

Briefs posted in Virginia property case

The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia has posted on its Web site post-trial briefs from both sides related to the ongoing property litigation. As explained in an earlier Pittsburgh Update story, a ruling in the retrial is expected sometime after October 2011.

Monday, August 15, 2011

News for Week Ending 8/15/2011

Dissident congregations pay legal costs to New Westminster

The longstanding dispute between the Anglican Church of Canada’s Diocese of New Westminster and four congregations that left the diocese over the 2003 promulgation of a liturgy for blessing same-sex unions seems essentially at an end. BCLocalNews.com reported August 11, 2011, that the diocese has received $155,000, representing legal costs that the departing congregations were ordered to pay. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Additional information about the payment can be found on the diocese’s Web site here.

Monday, August 8, 2011

News for Week Ending 8/8/2011

Philippines rejects Covenant—maybe

According to an August 4, 2011, story from The Living Church, the bishops of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines are opposed to the adoption of the Anglican Covenant. The source of this revelation is the 2nd quarter 2011 issue of The Philippine Episcopalian, which reports on the recent church synod. Prime Bishop Edward Malecdan noted in his address that the bishops of the church are opposed to the Covenant, which he called “un-Anglican.” It is unclear, however, that the Philippine church has formally voted not to adopt the Covenant.

Monday, August 1, 2011

News for Week Ending 8/1/2011

Fort Worth hearing postponed

The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth reported on its Web site that the hearing scheduled for July 28, 2011, has been postponed. A new date has not been announced. (See earlier Pittsburgh Update story here.)

Bishop to visit St. James August 7

St. James, Penn Hills, which resumed Episcopal Church services on July 3, 2011, will be visited by Bishop Kenneth Price on Sunday, August 7. People of the diocese are invited to attend the 9 AM service, which will include baptisms and confirmations. Additional details are available on the diocesan Web site here.