News for Week Ending 1/13/2014
Alternative baptism liturgy sparks controversy in CoECertain parishes in the Church of England are testing experimental liturgies for baptism intended to offer “accessible language.” (The document describing the “additional texts” can be found here.) The church is being criticized for “dumbing down” baptism and for abandoning the notion of sin. Thinking Anglican samples the commentary here. As he often does, Andrew Brown has offered useful perspective that many Episcopalians will appreciate.
Pilling Report garners more commentsThe Pilling Report from the Church of England dealing with homosexuality has inspired even more commentary. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Interested readers can consult the latest report from Thinking Anglicans.
Girls to sing at Canterbury CathedralThe Guardian reported January 9, 2014, that the thousand-year-old tradition of male-only singing at Canterbury Cathedral is coming to an end. A choir consisting of girls from local schools will sing at the January 25 evensong at the cathedral. This event comes 20 years after Salisbury Cathedral established a girls’ choir.
Canadian church appoints panel to propose marriage canon revisionAnglican Journal, reported January 6, 2014, that Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has appointed members of a commission charged with exploring changes to the marriage canon. The plan is to bring a motion to the 2016 General Synod revising Canon 21 “to allow the marriage of same-sex couples in the same way as opposite-sex couples.”Additional details can be found in this post from Thinking Anglicans.
ACNA College of Bishops issues communiquéThe College of Bishop of the Anglican Church in North America met in Orlando January 6–10, 2014, at the end of which the bishops issued this communiqué. Among the information in this document is that Archbishop Robert Duncan will retire in June. Nancy Norton, who is Executive Director of the Anglican Relief and Development Fund and former director of administration in the pre-schism Diocese of Pittsburgh, will also be retiring this year.
South Carolina Episcopalians win suit against insurance companyThe Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) has won a summary judgement in federal court for breach of contract against its insurance carrier, Church Insurance Co. of Vermont. The insurance company refused to cover expenses related to defending the lawsuit brought by the breakaway group headed by Mark Lawrence and claiming to be the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. The effect is that the insurance company will be required to compensate the continuing diocese for past and future legal expenses. TECSC announced the development January 9, 2014, on its Web site.
Falls Church files reply to brief in oppositionThe Episcopal Diocese of Virginia has posted a filing with the U.S. Supreme Court made by The Falls Church in its effort to have the decision of the Virginia Supreme Court in favor of the diocese overturned. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The Falls Church’s “Reply to Brief in Opposition” apparently is an answer to a brief filed by the diocese, which has not been posted. The Falls Church brief can be read here. The only date shown is “January 2014, but the file itself is dated January 8, 2014. Additional documents related to the litigation can be found on the Diocesan Web site here.
Canon to the Ordinary reports on San Joaquin developmentsCanon to the Ordinary Kathleen Cullinane reported to the Diocese of San Joaquin January 3, 2014. You can read her report here, which appears on the newly redesigned diocesan Web site. Among the information of interest is that litigation against former Bishop Schofield was to go to trial last week and was expected to last two weeks. A special convention to elect a new provisional bishop will be held March 29. Also, the diocese is moving to having two offices. An office in Fresno will be the office for the provisional bishop and canon to the ordinary. The office of the diocesan administrator will remain in Modesto.
Absalom Jones Day to be celebrated February 1The annual Absalom Jones Day will be celebrated at Trinity Cathedral on Saturday, February 1, 2014. Attendees are requested to register on line by January 27. Details of the celebration can be found here. Bishop McConnell has urged Pittsburgh Episcopalians to attend in a letter to the diocese.
Bishop McConnell has also posted a “Post-Christmas” video message on the diocesan Web site. The Duck again makes an appearance. You can view the video here.