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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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Week Ending 12/4/17

Second Try at Mediation in South Carolina Also Ends Abruptly

The mediation ordered by the federal judge hearing the trademark infringement case filed in South Carolina by the Episcopal Church resulted once again in an abrupt end to the session on the first day.  The mediation was originally scheduled for early November, but that session ended after only an hour or so and was rescheduled for December 4 and 5. The session ended after only about an hour of meeting and the mediator has set a third try for January 11 and 12, 2018.  The Episcopal Church in South Carolina had a terse, two-sentence announcement of the most recent rescheduling.  The break away group has not made any statements or even acknowledged the mediation sessions on their web site.  The blog scepiscopalians.com has more background in the December 4 posting.

Duncan "Corrects" Iker's Statements About Women's Ordination

The Update has been following the continuing discussion about women's ordination within ACNA as it is has been a point of contention from the beginning for ACNA. The recent reaffirmation of the decsision to agree to disagree did not sit well with long-term opponent of women's ordination, Bishop Jack Iker of Fort Worth.  Update carried a notice of his decision to begin working to end women's ordination in those ACNA dioceses allowing it.  Now retired Archbishop Robert Duncan has weighed in to correct statements Iker made.  Duncan has taken issue with Iker's claim that he specifically instructed those doing the multi-year study to come to no conclusions and make no recommendations.  Duncan's reply makes the interesting point that while the majority of ACNA dioceses do not ordain women, those that do make up the bulk of the membership in ACNA.

Seven Australian Bishops Support Bill for Same-Sex Civil Marriage

The Australian legislature has been drawing up a bill to permit same-sex civil marriages following the voters poll done earlier this year that showed 70% of Australians support such a measure.  The Anglican Church in Australia, however, officially took a position against same-sex marriage, and the Diocese of Sydney spent $1 million supporting the anti side during the poll.  Seven of the bishops in the church, however, signed a letter sent to the parliamentary leadership saying that they support the same-sex marriage bill.  Only one, Bishop John Parkes of Wangaratta, has been identified. Parkes has published a lengthy essay laying out his reasons which can be found on the diocesan web site.

GAFCON Supported Group Continues On Road to Schism in the British Isles

When GAFCON leaders approved the consecration of an "orthodox" bishop for the British Isles in spring 2017, they began to follow the path taken by those in the United States who eventually formed ACNA.  Now that bishop, Andrew Lines, has announced that he will ordain a group of priests to serve "orthodox" parishes.  These nine men will not be in the Church of England. The press release from Lines's group reads like a declaration of independence from the Churches in England, Scotland and Wales.  Last week Lines announced he was taking jurisdiction over a small parish that was part of the Episcopal Church of Scotland in the diocese of Argyle and the Isles.  That bishop has told the congregation that if they leave, they must leave their property behind.  Since the Episcopal Church of Scotland is not an established church, it will be interesting to see if litigation over ownership results as it has in the U.S.