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, September 16, 2013

News for Week Ending 9/16/2013

Church in Wales approves women bishops

The Governing Body of the Church in Wales voted September 12, 2013, to permit women bishops. The move was reported on the church’s Web site. Women in the Church (WATCH), an advocate for women in the Church of England, issued a congratulatory press release. The Anglo-Catholic Forward in Faith also issued a press release with a rather different tone. It asserted, in part, “We cannot see how a female bishop could be what a diocesan bishop should be—a Father in God and a focus of unity for all within his [sic] diocese.”

Gay marriage narrowly defeated in Auckland

Anglican Ink reported that the Anglican Diocese of Auckland (New Zealand) narrowly defeated a motion to change the canons and create same-sex marriage liturgies. The motion was strongly supported by bishops and clergy, but lay delegates to the diocesan synod voted 72 to 65 for the motion. The motion was not carried in the lay order, however, as there were 8 lay abstentions, making the lay vote essentially 72 for and 73 against.

UTO dispute still unresolved

The dispute over new bylaws for the United Thank Offering (UTO) continues. A new blog has been created called E-Women 125 Years of UTO, apparently sponsored by what are being called the UTO Four, i.e., the four UTO board members who have resigned. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The blog contains links to relevant documents. Interested readers should read the introductory post here. Gay Jennings, president of the House of Deputies, has again written a letter about the UTO affair. In it, she laments the resignations and indicates that the remaining board members are working on the bylaws along with church representatives. On September 13, 2013, an at-large UTO board member, Anne Gordon Curran, wrote a letter about the current situation which takes a very different position from that of the UTO Four.

Survey solicits views on next PB

A survey has been posted on the Web soliciting views on what the church should be looking for in the next Presiding Bishop, who will be selected at the 2015 General Convention. The survey is described here and can be found on the Web here. (It is also available in Spanish.) There are no limitations on who can participate in the survey, but contributions need to be made by September 20, 2013.

Survey finds sentiment to lower assessment to Episcopal Church, punish dioceses that do not pay full assessment

In August, the Executive Council Budget Subcommittee sent a questionnaire to bishops and General Convention deputies concerning the financing of the general church. A report has now been issued summarizing the responses to that questionnaire. Among the data reported is the fact that 60.7% of the respondents believe that there should be consequences for dioceses that do not pay their full asking. Also, however, 57.8% believe that the 19% asking is too high. The questionnaire and the report, which were posted September 10, 2013, can be read here.

REC diocese passes resolution supporting breakaway Lawrence-led group

VirtueOnline reported September 15, 2013, that the Diocese of the Southeast of the Reformed Episcopal Church passed a resolution at its Forty-first Synod supporting Mark Lawrence and his “Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.” The Diocese of the Southeast is part of the Anglican Church in North America. It has 32 parishes, 1 in Georgia and the rest in South Carolina.

McCall submits affidavit in S.C. federal case

Mark McCall, the lawyer and Senior Fellow of the Anglican Communion Institute who wrote the notorious “Is the Episcopal Church Hierarchical?” has submitted an affidavit to the Charleston Division of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina in support of Mark Lawrence, et al. McCall continues to promote his idiosyncratic view of the organization of The Episcopal Church in his submission to the court. The affidavit is described on the ACI Web site, which contains a link to the full 133-page submission.

Forth Worth Episcopalians to request rehearing before Texas Supreme Court

Jack Leo Iker wrote to his breakaway diocese noting that the remnant Episcopal Church diocese has been granted a 30-day extension to request a rehearing before the Supreme Court. The court vacated the summary judgment in favor of the Episcopalians and remanded the property dispute to the trial court. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Iker lamented the impending request and resulting delay, but such requests have often been made by breakaway parishes. Iker’s letter was published by VirtueOnline.

Illinois court rules against Quincy Episcopalians

On September 11, 2013, Episcopal News Service reported that the Judicial Circuit Court in Adams County, Illinois, has ruled against Episcopalians in their litigation against the former Episcopalians who split from the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy, citing rather novel legal arguments. (The Episcopal Diocese of Quincy has recently been merged into the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. See Pittsburgh Update story here.)