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, November 28, 2011

News for Week Ending 11/28/2011

Denmark set to establish marriage equality

The Copenhagen Post reported November 23, 2011, that a bill in the Danish parliament could erase the distinction between heterosexual marriage and homosexual unions by next summer. The change will require both a change in law and a new marriage rite for the Folkekirken (the state church or Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark). According to the newspaper, “Gender-neutral marriages have already been introduced in Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Iceland, Spain and Portugal.”

The Lead has pointed out that the Church of England is in full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark since both are signers of the Porvoo Agreement.

Monday, November 21, 2011

News for Week Ending 11/21/2011

CoE dioceses show limited enthusiasm for Covenant

Church of England dioceses continue to vote on whether the proposed Anglican Covenant should be adopted by the CofE. Only if a majority of dioceses vote in favor of the Covenant will the Covenant be voted on by the CofE General Synod. Otherwise the church will have effectively rejected the Covenant.

Thinking Anglican recently reported Covenant rejection by the dioceses of Birmingham and Truro. According to the accounting by the No Anglican Covenant Coalition, four dioceses have voted against Covenant adoption, and three have voted for it.

PB explains Bede Parry affair

Various Episcopal blogs have been calling for an explanation from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of how Bede Parry, a former Roman Catholic priest who admitted to past sexual misconduct, was allowed to become an Episcopal priest when Jefferts Schori was Bishop of Nevada. Episcopal News Service reported November 17, 2011, that she has now issued such a statement. The story can be read here and the statement here. It remains to be seen whether the explanation will satisfy critics.

Ga. Supreme Court rules for diocese

On November 21, 2011, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed 6–1 a lower court decision asserting that the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia holds a trust interest in the real and personal property of Christ Church, Savannah. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Details are available from Episcopal News Service. The court opinion (including the dissenting opinion) can be found here.

Fort Worth thanks retired priests

The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth has honored 12 retired Episcopal priests in a video. The 2008 split of the diocese left Fort Worth with few priests, and the 12 retired priests offered their services to keep the diocese going. The video can be seen on The Lead.

S.C. bishop tries end-run around Dennis Canon

Controversial Bishop of South Carolina Mark Lawrence—see Pittsburgh Update story here—has renounced all diocesan claims to parish property in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina in an apparent attempt to remove property claims of The Episcopal Church asserted by the Dennis Canon. According to a November 21, 2001, story in The Post and Courier, the diocese sent a quitclaim deed to each parish in the diocese relinquishing any rights to parish property. Additional information can be found in a story at The Lead.

Monday, November 14, 2011

News for Week Ending 11/14/2011

Darien church seeks Dennis Canon ruling

St. Paul’s Church of Darien, Connecticut, according to a press release dated November 4, 2011, is requesting that a Connecticut Superior Court consider the legitimacy of the Dennis Canon. The church is one of the “Connecticut Six” that have tried to leave The Episcopal Church with parish property. The move is surprising, as the Connecticut Supreme Court recently ruled against another of the Connecticut Six churches, Bishop Seabury Church, Groton. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.)

The church is led by the Rev. Christopher P. Leighton, formerly a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Monday, November 7, 2011

News for Week Ending 11/7/2011

NZ set to reject Covenant

The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia reported November 5, 2011, that rejection of the Anglican Covenant by that church seems all but assured. The Tikanga Maori, at its biennial runanganui (synod). The runanganui voted to reject the Covenant, which binds members of the Tikanga Maori when the Covenant comes to a vote in the General Synod in July. All three Tikanga must agree if the Covenant is to be approved.

Episcopal Church shows membership decline

According to a November 4, 2011, story from Episcopal News Service, 2010 saw a continuing decline in Episcopal Church membership. ENS reported that membership has decreased 16% since 2000. As of 2010, the church claims 2,125,012 members. In the past year, some dioceses have seen membership declines, but others have seen growth. Pittsburgh is among the dioceses that grew in 2010.

Diocesan convention concluded

The 146th annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh was held at Christ Church, North Hills, November 4 and 5, 2011. The convention was largely without controversy. The diocese has reported the results of elections here. Lionel Deimel has reported on other aspects of the convention on his blog.