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, October 29, 2012

News for Week Ending 10/29/2012

Standing Committee meets in N.Z.

The Anglican Communion’s Standing Committee met in Auckland, New Zealand, October 25 and 26, 2012. Anglican Communion News Service reported on the relatively brief meeting, whose primary business seemed to be reviewing the agenda of the Anglican Consultative Council meeting (see next story). Two Episcopalians are members of the Standing Committee, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Bishop of Connecticut Ian Douglas. Information about the Standing Committee can be found here.

ACC-15 begins in N.Z.

The fifteenth meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (AAC-15) is taking place in Auckland, New Zealand, from October 27 to November 7, 2012. The Episcopal Church is represented by Bishop of Connecticut Ian Douglas; the Rev. Gay Jennings, President of the House of Deputies; and Ms. Josephine Hicks, an attorney on the board of Episcopal Relief and Development. (A complete list of current members of the AAC can be found here.) The agenda for ACC-15 is here. Anglican Communion News Service will be posting dispatches from ACC-15 here.

Pastoral letter issued after FCA Primates’ Council meeting

Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya and Chairman of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) Primates’ Council issued a pastoral letter October 29, 2012, at the conclusion of the Primates’ Council meeting in Dar es Salaam. Much of the letter describes the ongoing work of GAFCON/FCA. Wabukala reported
As a result of the increased aggressiveness of the revisionists there are now those in every province and beyond who wish to stand with us and who need our help to stand for Christ: in Recife (Brazil), in South Carolina, in the Church of Scotland, in Ireland, in England, in Australia and many more. We received reports from various FCA affiliates and rejoice in their faithful witness in the face of tremendous pressure and were delighted to receive an application for the establishment of an FCA affiliate in Australia.
Wabukala welcomed the Most Reverend Henri Isingoma, Primate of the Anglican Church of the Congo, as a new member of the Primates’ Council. He also announced that the next global meeting of the GAFCON movement (GAFCON2) will be in  October 2013.

Another video becomes part of Archbishop of Canterbury’s campaign to pass women bishops legislation

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams’ campaign to assure that the General Synod of the Church of England will approve the legislation to provide for women bishops—see Pittsburgh Update story here— has added a YouTube video from the Rt. Rev. Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford. The vote is to take place on November 20, 2012.

Situation in S.C. remains uncertain

Events in the Diocese of South Carolina continue to develop. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Bishop Mark Lawrence, who has been inhibited by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, seems not to have renounced his position in The Episcopal Church but claims that his authority cannot be restricted because of the actions taken by his diocese. Whether he will be deposed by The Episcopal Church presumably will be decided when Episcopal bishops meet March 8–13, 2013. (A special meeting of the House of Bishops could be called earlier, but that is unlikely.)

Because the actions of the Diocese of South Carolina and its bishop have been different from what was done in other dioceses that attempted to separate from The Episcopal Church (San Joaquin, Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, and Quincy) it is unclear how events will play out. It is clear, however, that the diocesan leadership and at least some of the loyal Episcopalians in the diocese have quite different models of what is happening. (Compare the FAQ from the diocese  and the FAQ from South Carolina Episcopalians. See also the topmost post dated October 26 from South Carolina Episcopalians.)

Thinking Anglicans offers a page with links to previous posts on the Diocese of South Carolina, as well as links to statements supporting the diocese from the Global South and the Anglican Church in North America. Bishop of Georgia Scott A. Benhase has expressed a desire for reconciliation between the Diocese of South Carolina and The Episcopal Church. Note that South Carolina has not indicated a desire to join any existing Anglican church.

Pre-convention information sessions to be held this week

As previously announced by the diocese, pre-convention information sessions will be held this week on Tuesday, October 30, 2012; Thursday, November 1; and Sunday, November 4. Deputies to the November 9–10 convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh should plan to attend at least one of the sessions. Additional details, including locations and times, are available here.