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, December 2, 2013

News for Week Ending 12/2/2013

African province nixes women’s ordination

Anglican Communion News Service reported November 30, 2013, that the synod of the Church of the Province of Central Africa has defeated a proposal to allow women to be ordained, even though some dioceses are eager to do so. Only the lay order voted in favor of the proposal. The province covers Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Pilling Report released

Most Episcopalians will not know what the Pilling Report is, but, in the Church of England, “The Report of the House of Bishops Working Group on Human Sexuality” has been eagerly awaited and its contents have been the subject of much speculation. The report is named informally for Sir Joseph Pilling, who chaired the working group that produced the report. The lengthy report—it is over 200 pages long—does not recommend any change in doctrine for the Church of England or the development of any liturgy for blessing same-sex unions, but it does endorse services to mark faithful same-sex relationships. The report also proposes that the church begin facilitated conversations on sexuality.

The report can be found here. Anglican Communion News Service reported on the release of the report here. News stories and commentaries on the report are legion. Interested readers should consult the links provided by Thinking Anglicans here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Female Episcopal priest elected bishop in Canada’s Diocese of New Westminster

The Rev. Canon Melissa M. Skelton, canon for congregational development and leadership and rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Olympia, was elected November 30, 2013, to become the next diocesan bishop in the Diocese of New Westminster in the Anglican Church of Canada. She succeeds the now-retired Bishop Michael Ingham, who is perhaps best known for allowing the blessing of same-sex unions in 2003. Anglican Journal reported the story December 2, 2013.

On the same day that New Westminster elected its first female bishop, the first Anglican female bishop in the British Isles, the Rev. Pat Storey, was consecrated Bishop of Meath and Kildare in the Church of Ireland. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The Irish Times reported the story here.

House of Bishops publishes polity report

The Ecclesiology Committee of the Episcopal Church House of Bishops has published a 16-page report titled “A Primer on the Government of The Episcopal Church and Its Underlying Theology.” The report is a brief history of Anglicanism as it applies to our own church. It may be helpful as the church reconsiders its organization, but the primary intent of the report is to counter the arguments made by some in the church that dioceses hold ultimate power in Episcopal Church polity. A press release that accompanied release of the report can be found here.

South Carolina Episcopalians seek to add parties to state lawsuit

On November 25, 2013, the Episcopal Church in South Carolina (ECSC) filed papers in state court requesting that four officials of Mark Lawrence’s breakaway faction be added to the suit brought by his Diocese of South Carolina. Episcopalians are seeking to add Mark Lawrence, Jim Lewis, Jeffrey Miller, and Paul Fuener to the litigation. According to a story on the ECSC Web site, “[t]he filing lists 18 causes of action against the four individuals, including breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, conversion, trademark infringement and civil conspiracy.” The filing can be read here.

Duncan criticizes McConnell pastoral letter

Deposed former Bishop of Pittsburgh Robert Duncan saw fit to issue a press release November 27, 2013, criticizing current Episcopal Bishop of Pittsburgh Dorsey McConnell’s recent pastoral letter on homosexual issues. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Duncan lamented McConnell’s decisions, and concluded with this statement: “We continue to pray for Bp. McConnell and the clergy and people of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, as well as for all those living with same-sex attractions, recognizing that there is a fundamental divergence on the moral and pastoral responses we in the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh are called to offer.”