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, May 4, 2015

News for Week Ending 5/4/2015

Josiah Idowu-Fearon: Job is to help Africa understand Europe and Europe to understand Africa

The recently named Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council, Nigerian Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has given an interview to The Guardian of Lagos, Nigeria. In it, he declares, “My ministry is to help Africa understand Europe and Europe to understand Africa. Because of my education, I am opportuned to understand both Europe and America.” (Idowu-Fearon’s English is a bit shaky.) Episcopalians are likely to be concerned about his view that the infamous Lambeth resolution of 1998, I.10, is the established position of the Anglican communion, that polygamists should be denied communion, and his statement regarding a person in his own diocese who disagrees with Lambeth I.10  (“We have a psychologist that is working on that person now.”).

Kenyan archbishop opposes registration of gay group

Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council, has called on the Kenya Registrar of Societies to ignore a court order requiring that a organization for gays and lesbians be registered. Wabukala said, “The judgement was made on very narrow considerations and it is not only against Christianity but also against the Muslim teachings and traditions.” Episcopal Café covered this story.

Prominent Catholic apologist joins Anglican Church of Canada

Toronto’s National Post published an interview May 1, 2015, with a well known former Roman Catholic apologist discussing his departure from the Catholic church to join the Anglican Church of Canada. Broadcaster and columnist Michael Coren explained that it would be hypocritical to remain in a church espousing positions he no longer agrees with and that “has an obsession with issues [gay marriage, contraception, etc.] that Jesus never mentioned.” Catholic bloggers and the Catholic press have not been kind to Coren. (See, for example, this item from The Catholic World Report.)

Congo archbishop protests consecration plans of AMiA bishops

VirtueOnline reported April 29, 2015, that Archbishop of the Congo Henri Isingoma has written to the Anglican primates and to Partners in Mission of the Province of the Anglican Church of Congo deploring proposed episcopal consecrations sponsored by the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA, now usually calling itself The Mission—see Pittsburgh Update story here). Isingoma considers the consecrations an interference in the Congo church. It appears that the AMiA has trouble getting along with any of its reputed friends. It has had conflicts with the church in Rwanda, with the Anglican Church in North America, and now with the Anglican Church of Congo.

Court rejects Lawrence request for reconsideration

On April 29, 2015, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit rejected the request by Mark Lawrence for a rehearing of the March 31 decision that sent the case filed by the Episcopal Church in South Carolina back to the U.S. District Court in Charleston. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The suit alleges that Mark Lawrence is violating trademark law by portraying himself as the Bishop of South Carolina, whereas The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion only recognize Charles vonRosenberg as Bishop of South Carolina. The instructions from the Fourth Circuit are likely to result in the lawsuit getting a hearing on the merits in District Court. Details can be found in the April 29 press release from the Episcopal Church in South Carolina. The breakaway diocese led by Mark Lawrence commented on the latest legal development here.

Breakaway S.C. ‘diocese’ confers with ACNA leaders

Leaders of the breakaway “Diocese of South Carolina” led by Mark Lawrence met with leaders of the Anglican Church in North America at South Carolina’s St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center April 28 and 29, 2015. Since its departure from The Episcopal Church, the Lawrence group, while representing itself as Anglican, has avoided attaching itself to any actual Anglican church. The April meeting was presumably intend to exploring the possibility of uniting with ACNA. Details of the meeting can be found here.

Cook no longer a bishop

Heather Cook is no longer a bishop—or even a priest. Episcopal News Service reported May 1, 2015, that the Maryland suffragan bishop arraigned April 2 on charges resulting from an accident that killed bicyclist Thomas Palermo—see Pittsburgh Update story here—has agreed to deposition and has resigned her position with the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. No particular canonical charge against the former bishop was disclosed.

Bane returns to Episcopal Church as bishop

David Bane, the former Bishop of Southern Virginia and who left The Episcopal for the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) in 2009—see Pittsburgh Update story here—has been restored as a bishop in The Episcopal Church by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. The April 28, 2105, Episcopal News Service story indicates that Bane had been “released” in 2009, not “deposed,” as was indicated in the story on which the Pittsburgh Update story cited above was based. This allowed for a simpler return to the church by Bishop Bane.

Priest calls for General Convention resolution on General Seminary

The Rev. M. Sylvia O. Vásquez, Rector St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Walnut Creek, California, has lamented the lack of response of The Episcopal Church to recent events at the General Theological Seminary (GTS) and proposed that the upcoming General Convention request formation of a task force to investigate those events. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Vásquez wrote a letter that was posted on Episcopal Café. (Her proposed resolution is here.) Vásquez admitted that the situation at GTS has been the subject of spirited discussion on social media, and her letter has likewise occasioned much comment.

PB candidates announced

On May 1, 2015, the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop released a report listing information about the four bishops being nominated to succeed Katharine Jefferts Schori as Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. The nominees are the Rt. Rev. Thomas Breidenthal, Bishop of Southern Ohio; the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, Bishop of North Carolina; the Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas, Bishop of Connecticut; and the Rt. Rev. Dabney Smith, Bishop of Southwest Florida. The election, by the House of Bishops, will take place on June 27 at the General Convention in Salt Lake City.

Baptism of child with male parents delayed

Episcopal Café reported a story May 4, 2015, that has been the subject of much discussion on social media. Rich McCaffrey and his husband Eric planned to have their son Jack baptized April 19 at the the Cathedral of St. Luke in Orlando, Florida, cathedral church of the conservative Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida. The baptism was postponed (and has not yet taken place), seemingly because of opposition of some members of the congregation. In fact, the reason for the delay has not been made clear. Dean Anthony Clark has spoken of “a very regrettable misunderstanding regarding Jack’s baptism,” and the family is to meet with Bishop Greg Brewer to resolve the matter.