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.

A Pittsburgh Episcopal Voice          

A Service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh         

Monday, September 2, 2013

News for Week Ending 9/2/2013

Archbishop of Canterbury: church must not drift toward divorce

Speaking at the opening of the new headquarters of the Evangelical Alliance, Archbishop of Canterbury warned that the church must not be like a couple drifting apart, leading separate lives, and headed for divorce. The statement came four days after the Archbishop met with six conservative Communion Partner bishops from The Episcopal Church. The partners issued a letter about that meeting on their Web site. Church Times reported on the Archbishop’s remarks August 30, 2013. His comments could be interpreted as referring either to problems within the Church of England or within the Anglican Communion.

Diocese of Fort Worth receives setback from Texas Supreme Court

On August 30, the Texas Supreme Court vacated the summary judgment of the Tarrant County District Court that had awarded assets of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth to the continuing diocese. The breakaway group led by Jack Leo Iker had made a direct appeal to the Supreme Court, bypassing appellate courts, which is allowed in Texas in special cases. The Supreme Court ruled that the trial court used the wrong legal theory in deciding the case, and sent the case back for retrial. Several justices argued vigorously that the Supreme Court had no justification for reviewing the case on direct appeal. The Diocese of Fort Worth issued a statement on the Supreme Court action, which includes links to the majority and minority opinions, as well as to a letter to the diocese from Bishop Rayford High. Iker wrote a pastoral letter reacting to the court decision that can be found here.

Chicago and Quincy dioceses merge

As of September 1, 2013, The Episcopal Church has one fewer dioceses. On that date, the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy, reduced in size by schism, rejoined the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago to become the Peoria deanery of the Chicago diocese. The two dioceses voted to merge June 8. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Bishops with jurisdiction and standing committees of Episcopal diocese approved the union. Details can be found in the news release from the Diocese of Chicago.

South Carolina Releases and Removes Clergy

Rather than wait for the full 60 days to expire and then depose clergy for abandonment of the communion of The Episcopal Church, Bishop vonRosenberg, of the Diocese of South Carolina, has issued letters removing and releasing over 100 clergy who are no longer participating in The Episcopal Church. The diocese announced the removal in an August 30, 2013, news release. The removal, based on Canon 16. Section 4 of Title IV, makes it easier for clergy to return to The Episcopal Church than if they had been deposed for abandonment. The Standing Committee of diocese gave its approval to this approach on August 13, 2013.