News for Week Ending 5/21/2012
Composition of group that nominates Archbishop of Canterbury completeOn May 18, 2012, Episcopal News Service reported that the Church of England’s Crown Nominations Commission, the body that will identify the person who will replace Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury, now has its full complement of 16 voting members. It will meet for the first time later this month. The commission also has three non-voting members. Williams steps down from his position at the end of the year to accept an academic post.The Archbishop of Canterbury has traditionally been recognized as the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion.
CoE bishops amend women bishop legislationThe House of Bishops of the Church of England issued a press release May 21, 2012, announcing changes to the legislation authorizing women bishops in England made by that body. The legislation returns to the General Synod in July. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The press release can be found here.
Times religion correspondent Ruth Gledhill called the communication from the House of Bishops the “worst-written press release since the Reformation.” It is unclear just what the changes mean. Perhaps cogent analysis of the amendments by the bishops will be available for the next Pittsburgh Update post.
Anti-Covenant group submits General Convention resolutionAnglican Journal reported May 16, 2012, that the No Anglican Covenant Coalition, an international group opposed to adoption of the Anglican Covenant, has proposed a resolution for General Convention that has been submitted, almost verbatim, to the Convention. The Coalition published what it called a “model” resolution. The resolution, as submitted, is identical, save for minor changes in the explanation. (The model resolution is here; the resolution, whose primary sponsor is the Rev. Canon Susan Russell, is on her blog here.) The resolution has been numbered D007.
Russell’s resolution affirms a traditional understanding of the Anglican Communion, and it asserts a continuing commitment of The Episcopal Church to the Communion. However, the resolution declares that “the General Convention, having prayerfully considered the merits of the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant and believing said agreement to be contrary to Anglican ecclesiology and tradition and to the best interests of the Anglican Communion, respectfully decline to adopt the same.”
The Russell resolution joins at least three other resolutions dealing with the Anglican Covenant. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Additional resolutions on the Covenant are also expected to be offered.
N.H. elects straight bishop on first ballotThe convention of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire elected a successor to the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson May 19, 2012. (It was the 2003 election of Gene Robinson, a partnered gay priest, that triggered vexation within the Anglican Communion that continues to the present day.) One of the candidates in Saturday’s election was the Rev. Dr. William Warwick Rich, who is married to a man. The convention, however, chose the Rev. Robert Hirschfeld, a married heterosexual, for the diocese’s next bishop, and it did so on the first ballot, which is unusual in an Episcopal Church election. The story was reported by the Concord Monitor and Episcopal News Service.
St. Paul’s, Mt. Lebanon, to assist returning St. David’s, Peters Twp. CongregationOn May 27, 2012, Episcopal Church services will return to St. David’s, Peters Township. The Anglican diocese congregation that had been occupying the East McMurray Road property is returning the property to the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and beginning a new ministry in Canonsburg. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) A number of parishioners of the Anglican parish will form the core of a new Episcopal congregation.
Priests from St. Paul’s, Mt. Lebanon, will conduct two services on Sundays, and the congregations will take on joint projects, including Vacation Bible School this summer.
Details of the arrangement are described in a story by Peters Patch.