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, November 12, 2012

News for Week Ending 11/12/2012

Justin Welby named 105th Archbishop of Canterbury

On November 9, 2012, the Church of England announced that Bishop of Durham Justin Welby will become the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, succeeding Rowan Williams, who steps down at the end of the year. Welby was a oil company executive before becoming a priest and has been a bishop for only a year.

Information about Welby and commentary on his appointment is widespread, and only a few references will be mentioned here. Thinking Anglicans has done a fine job of collecting links about Welby, beginning with a post two days before the official announcement. Episcopal News Services’s story about Welby is here. Unedited video of Welby’s post-appointment news conference can be viewed here.

ACC-15 concludes

The fifteenth meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council concluded in Auckland, New Zealand, November 7, 2012. To the surprise of many, although ACC-15 passed 41 resolutions, it was silent on the future of the Anglican Covenant, which was nevertheless the subject of discussion at the meeting. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Episcopal New Service reported on the final three days of the meeting here, here, and here. It also published interviews with the American participants in the meeting here.

More opposition to women bishops appears as vote draws near

On November 20, 2012, the General Synod of the Church of England will vote on legislation to allow for women bishops. The compromise legislation, which is intended to keep those opposed to the ordination of women in the church, has failed to elicit enthusiastic support either from supporters of women clergy or detractors of the concept. Andrew Brown, writing in his Guardian blog, has set forth clearly the opposing views that may scuttle the legislation. Riazat Butt has also written of the dilemma supporters of women bishops face. A booklet from conservative Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics has now appeared titled “Women Bishops Legislation: Not Fit for Purpose,” which has drawn at least one attack from the other side. Church Society has released a video urging rejection of the legislation because it does not specify how the mechanisms it creates will actually work.

Rhetoric escalates in South Carolina battle

The Diocese of South Carolina has now clearly split into two factions, though it is unclear just who is on which side. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The Presiding Bishop has established a steering committee to guide the Episcopal Church diocese through the next few months.

Church members loyal to The Episcopal Church have now created their own Web site representing “The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.” The breakaway diocese, now styling itself as the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina, Incorporated, retains the Web site of what had been the Episcopal Church diocese.

Those intent on removing the diocese from The Episcopal Church—something the church says cannot be done—have called a convention for November 17, 2012, whose purpose seems to be to get parishes on board with their program. Loyal Episcopalians sent an invitation to clergy on November 7 to attend a “Diocesan Clergy Day” on November 15. Those e-mail messages were labeled “fraudulent” by Anglican Ink; the diocese of inhibited bishop Mark Lawrence was hardly more charitable. A revised invitation was sent two days later specifying a different venue.

Episcopal Forum of South Carolina has reproduced a letter that appeared in a number of South Carolina newspapers addressed to Episcopalians in the Diocese of South Carolina. That letter announces the steering committee to re-organize the continuing Episcopal Church diocese. A convention is scheduled for March 8, 2012, at which “delegates will begin the work of selecting a bishop, a new standing committee, and forging ahead with our missions and ministry.” Anglican Ink has described the re-organizing effort as an “ecclesiastical coup” engineered by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. Anglican Curmudgeon, not known for its measured rhetoric, began a post on South Carolina with this sentence: “Bandit Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, known far and wide in ECUSA for her lawlessness and contempt of the canons, has organized a new gang of outlaws in South Carolina.”

South Carolina Episcopalians, an outspoken Web site supporter of The Episcopal Church, has published a helpful status report on the situation in South Carolina that carries the headline “On the Campaign Trail with the PECDSC, It’s ‘All Out War’ Against the Episcopal Church.”