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, November 25, 2013

News for Week Ending 11/25/2013

CoE General Synod sends women bishops measure forward

Anglican Communion News Service reported November 20, 2013, that the General Synod has put its stamp of approval on a plan to allow women to become bishops of that church. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Final approval of the plan could come as early as next year. The vote in favor of the plan was quite decisive, and both sides seem to be claiming victory, a situation helpfully explained by Andrew Brown of The Guardian.

Va. diocese to argue against Falls Church petition to Supreme Court

The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia reported November 22, 2013, that it has been asked to file papers opposing the petition for a writ of certiorari presented to the U.S. Supreme Court by The Falls Church Anglican. The breakaway congregation is appealing the decision of the Virginia Supreme Court that ruled that the parish property belongs to the diocese. For additional background, see Pittsburgh Update story here.

Lawrence diocese building legal war chest

The group that broke away from the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, which now claims to be the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and which is led by deposed bishop Mark Lawrence, has initiated a fund drive intended to raise $2 million for legal costs. The campaign for the group’s Legal Defense Fund was announced on the group’s Web site and is the subject of a special issue newsletter. In a November 18, 2013, essay, South Carolina Episcopalians suggested that the war chest is more for suing than for defending.

Calvary announces new rector

On November 21, 2013, Calvary Church announced that its new rector will be the Very Rev. Jonathon Wesley Jensen, who is currently Dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Little Rock, Arkansas. Wesley will assume his duties at Calvary, replacing the retired Harold Lewis, on February 1, 2014. The press release from the church can be found here. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story about Jensen November 23.

Bishop announces decisions on same-sex blessings, ordination

Bishop of Pittsburgh Dorsey McConnell issued his long-awaited pastoral letter November 25, 2013, on same-sex blessings and the ordination of partnered gay persons. The bishop is allowing the use of the provisional liturgy for blessing same-sex unions approved by the 2012 General Convention. He has also said that being in a committed, same-sex relationship is not, in itself, a bar to ordination. The bishop’s decisions were accompanied by a critique of the approved liturgy, guidelines for using it, and a report of the sexuality dialogue conducted by the diocese. All this material is available on the diocesan Web site. As of this writing, The Living Church has reported on the pastoral letter, as has the Post-Gazette. Integrity Pittsburgh issued a statement on its Web site. PEP’s own statement regarding the pastoral letter can be found here.