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, February 27, 2012

News for Week Ending 2/27/2012

Covenant supporters strike back

Supporters of the proposed Anglican Covenant made a strong showing this past week.

As a complement to the Web site of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition,  a new Web site, Yes to the Covenant, largely the product of members of the Diocese of Oxford has appeared on the Web to support Covenant adoption.

On February 22, 2012, the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order issued three brief videos in support of Covenant adoption, one of which includes a statement by Professor Katherine Grieb of Virginia Theological Seminary. (See Anglican Communion News Service press release here.) On February 25, The Living Church, in an editorial, praised the videos and called the No Anglican Covenant Coalition opposition to the Covenant “incoherent.”

Adoption of the Anglican Covenant by the Church of England came a step closer as two more dioceses voted to send the matter to the General Synod for a final vote. Thinking Anglicans reported that the dioceses of Winchester and Sheffield made the vote of dioceses 10 to 7 against the Covenant.

Rogue Brazilian bishop and wife murdered

The Rt. Rev. Edward Robinson Cavalcanti and his wife Miriam Cotias Cavalcanti Nunes Machado, both 64, were stabbed to death February 26, 2012, apparently by their adopted son, Eduardo Cavalcanti Olimpio Cotias, 29. Eduardo lived in the U.S. for more than a decade and had an arrest record involving drugs and other offenses. The murders took place at the Cavalcanti home in Jardim Fragoso, Olinda, north of Recife following an argument.

Bishop Cavalcanti, a strong Evangelical, clashed with the Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil over the consecration of Gene Robinson. He was deposed by the Brazilian church but retained his claim to be Bishop of Recife by joining his diocese to the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. The Diocese of Recife in the Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil, on the other hand, is led by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Sebastiao Armando Gameleira Soares.

Although the Cavalcanti murders appear to be unrelated to church politics, the death of Bishop Cavalcanti might have consequences for the two Recife dioceses.

This story is still developing as this is being written. An early story in English can be found on The Lead.

Va. churches petition to retain funds

Truro and other Virginia churches have petitioned Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows to reconsider his decision granting the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia real and personal property of the churches as of January 31, 2007. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The breakaway congregations claim that funds given to the churches were not intended to support The Episcopal Church, even though they were given before the formal split from the Virginia diocese. Fairfax City Patch carried a story about the claim February 23, 2012. The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia has links to the petition and to other briefs relating to a final order by the court here.

Amicus Briefs Filed with Texas Supreme Court

In support of the Episcopal Church position in the long-running Fort Worth property dispute—see Pittsburgh Update story here—a number of amicus curiae briefs have been filed by Episcopal Church dioceses, as well as other church denominations. Among the briefs filed are those from the United Methodist Church , the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Details are reported here by the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.