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, June 1, 2009

News for Week Ending 6/1/2009

Church of Sweden makes history in bishop election

The Rev. Eva Brunne was elected Lutheran bishop of Stockholm May 26, 2009. Brunne, who is currently dean of the Stockholm diocese, is thought to be the world’s first openly lesbian bishop. She lives with the Rev. Gunilla Linden in registered homosexual relationship that has been blessed by the Church of Sweden. The story was reported here by Religious News Service. Note that the Church of Sweden is in communion with the Church of England.

Canadian Council will not ask for same-sex blessings in 2010

According to Anglican Journal, the Anglican Church of Canada’s Council of the General Synod will not ask the 2010 General Synod to extend marriage to same-sex couples. The General Synod roughly corresponds to the General Convention of The Episcopal Church, and the Council is analogous to the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church. The Council met May 8–10, 2009, and reviewed various reports on how the church should deal with same-sex relationships. The group decided not to bring forward any resolutions favoring the blessing of same-sex unions, as explained in a message to the Anglican Church of Canada published on its Web site. The Council concluded that there is no consensus in the church as to what action should be taken. It will develop a resolution for the 2010 General Synod that will “ask for continued study, discussion and discernment within the church of what God is saying to us about publicly authorized rites for the blessing of unions, the blessing of civil marriages, and marriage in the church, of same-sex couples.”

British Columbia Supreme Court begins hearing New Westminster case

The Supreme Court of British Columbia has begun hearing the case that will decide the disposition of property of four Diocese of New Westminster parishes that have left the Anglican Church of Canada for the Anglican Network in Canada, which claims to be in the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The court action is being covered extensively on the Web. The Anglican Network in Canada is maintaining a page with links to not only its own material and commentary about the case, but that of the Diocese of New Westminster and other sources as well. You can find that here.

Group named to revise covenant

Anglican Communion News Service reported May 28, 2009, that Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, have announced the composition of the group that will study section 4 of the latest draft for an Anglican covenant. The working groups consists of the Most Rev. Dr. John Neill, Archbishop of Dublin (Chair); the Most Rev. Dr. John Chew, Primate of South East Asia; Dr. Eileen Scully, Anglican Church of Canada; and the Rt. Rev. Dr. Gregory Cameron, Bishop of St. Asaph in the Church in Wales and former Deputy Secretary General of the Anglican Communion.

As reported by Pittsburgh Update here, at the recent meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council, sections 1–3 of the proposed covenant were well received, but section 4, a controversial section focused at enforcing doctrinal conformity within the Anglican Communion, was singled out for revision. Churches of the Communion are to send comments on the section to the working group by November 13. The working group will meet November 20–21 and report to the Standing Committee (formerly, the Joint Standing Committee) at its meeting December 15–18, 2009.

Anglican Journal offers a longer story on the appointments here. According to its story, responses to section 4 need to be submitted by “late October.”

Bishop deposes 61 clergy in San Joaquin

Bishop Jerry Lamb, provisional bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin, has deposed 61 priests and deacons for abandonment of the communion of The Episcopal Church. The deposed clergy had been resident in the central California diocese and chose to leave The Episcopal Church with now-deposed bishop John-David Schofield in December 2007. They were accused of abandonment in October and November 2008 and were given six months to recant or request to be released from their vows to The Episcopal Church. Episcopal News Service reported the story here. The Living Church ran a story here reporting the reactions of Schofield and Lamb. Material from the Diocese of San Joaquin can be found on its Web site here. Anglican Mainstream has published additional comments from Schofield here.

Fort Worth clergy invited to talk with provisional bishop

Shortly after the depositions in San Joaquin were announced, the Diocese of Fort Worth reported that its provisional bishop, the Rt. Rev. Edwin F. (Ted) Gulick Jr., has written to members of the clergy who have apparently followed former Fort Worth bishop Jack Iker into the Southern Cone. In his May 26, 2009, letter, Gulick invited recipients to talk with him about their circumstances. “In fairness to you, ” he wrote, “I would like to be absolutely sure that your decision to leave the Episcopal Church is final and that your conscience and soul are at peace.” The bishop indicated that he would be free to meet with individual clergy on June 9–12. “If I do not hear from you by return mail, I will assume that you have made your decision,” he explained. Episcopal News Service reported the Fort Worth story here.