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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A Service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh         

Monday, January 14, 2013

News for Week Ending 1/14/2013

Welby now officially slated to succeed Williams

Just as Americans do not technically elect the President of the United States on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November—the Electoral College  does the “real” voting—even the blessing of the Queen does not make a person the next Archbishop of Canterbury. On January 10, 2013, however, a vote taken by the College of Canons of Canterbury Cathedral made it official that Justin Welby will become the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. He will be enthroned (i.e., consecrated) on March 21. The Archbishop of Canterbury-elect technically becomes #105 on February 4. (See stories here and here.)

Note that the Web site for the new archbishop can be found at http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org. The Web site for Rowan Williams that was at this address has been archived at http://rowanwilliams.archbishopofcanterbury.org, and links to the former site will be redirected to the appropriate page of the archived site. That is, old links should still work.

Fallout continues from CoE decision on bishops in civil partnerships

The decision of Church of England bishops to allow priests in civil partnerships to become bishops, as long as they are celibate, continues to attract commentary. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Neither the decision of the House of Bishops nor the process by which it was made has escaped criticism. Thinking Anglicans continues to provide extensive coverage of the ongoing controversy, and readers intent on following it closely can read Thinking Anglican posts here, here, and here.

On January 12, 2012, nine Global South primates issued a statement expressing deep concern about the decision of the English bishops. They call it wrong and complain about the lack of consultation on the matter, charges paralleling those leveled at The Episcopal Church over the selection of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire a decade ago. The communiqué from the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America (see story below) echoes complaints about the Church of England policy articulated by the House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion). Reuters also wrote about the dissatisfaction of Anglican leaders in Africa here.

GAFCON II set for Nairobi

It had already been announced that the Global Anglican Futures Conference (GAFCON) II would take place in October 2013. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, chairman of the Primates’ Council of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, has now announced that the meeting will take place in Nairobi, Kenya. according to Anglican Ink.

ACNA bishops meet in Orlando

The College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America met in Orlando, Florida, January 7–11, 2013. George Conger reported on the meeting for Anglican Ink. Topics discussed included the ongoing study of female ordination, prayer book revision, and overlapping dioceses. The communiqué from the meeting is included in Conger’s story and can also be found on the ACNA Web site here.

Washington National Cathedral to perform gay marriages

The Very Rev. Gary Hall, Dean of Washington National Cathedral announced in an e-mail message January 8, 2013, that the cathedral will begin performing same-sex weddings, effective immediately. The cathedral, which is located in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriages, will use a liturgy adapted from the rite approved by last summer’s General Convention. The story was covered by Episcopal News Service and other media outlets.

Va. Supreme Court grants rehearing to diocese

On January 8, 2013, the Virginia Supreme Court granted the request of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and The Episcopal Church for a rehearing of their cross-appeal in the Falls Church case. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The court had previously ruled that it would not consider the trust interest asserted in the Dennis Canon, but it is now going to consider arguments as to whether it should. The Episcopal parties have been given until January 21 to file any additional materials with the court. The court ruling can be read here.

Provisional bishops to take over in Pa. and S.C.

According to Episcopal News Service, the Rt. Rev. Clifton Daniel III, who has served for 15 years as the Bishop of East Carolina, resigned from that position to become the candidate for provisional bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. He was elected at a special diocesan convention January 12. Daniel replaces the the Rev. Charles Bennison, who retired at the end of last year after a contentious episcopate.

Episcopal News Service reported January 10, 2012, that the Rt. Rev. Charles Glenn vonRosenberg, retired bishop of East Tennessee, has been nominated to be the provisional bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, from which its former bishop, Mark Lawrence, and his supporters defected. Bishop vonRosenberg is slated to be elected by a special diocesan convention on January 26.

Petition urges reconciliation in South Carolina

The Living Church reported January 8, 2013, that a petition on the World Wide Web urges The Episcopal Church to resolve differences with the former bishop of South Carolina, Mark Lawrence, and his supporters without pursuing litigation. The stated sponsor of the petition is “Concerned Episcopalians,” but no names of those behind the project have been disclosed. The petition seeks 1,000 signatures but is attracting supporters slowly despite its existence’s being widely known. Although the petition is explicitly addressed to The Episcopal Church, it is Mark Lawrence, et al., who have initiated litigation to retain diocesan real and intellectual property. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.)

Resolution reached with bishops who submitted amicus briefs

According to George Conger, an agreement in principle has been reached between nine bishops and their accusers. It has been assumed that the charges brought against the bishops involved their submitting amicus briefs in court proceedings in the Fort Worth and Quincy property cases that contradicted the legal position of The Episcopal Church and of the Fort Worth and Quincy dioceses. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The church has not disclosed the actual charges. In his story for Anglican Ink, Conger reports that the bishops were charged with “fraud, financial misconduct, teaching false doctrine and failing to inform on their fellow bishops who held opinions on church order contrary to those advocated by Bishop Jefferts Schori.” Representatives of the accusers and the accused met January 8–9, 2013, in Richmond with Prof.  John Douglass of the University of Richmond School of Law, who was appointed conciliator. Details have not been released, but the settlement has been described as amicable.