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, January 11, 2010

News for Week Ending 1/11/2010

CoE to consider communion with ACNA

Times columnist Ruth Gledhill reported January 8, 2010, that a motion will be considered at next month’s Church of England (CoE) General Synod that would declare the CoE in communion with Robert Duncan’s Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). (See business for February 10 on the Outline Agenda for the General Synod.) Approval of such a motion would not, of course, add ACNA to the Anglican Communion. Gledhill, describing the General Synod as “dominated by evangelicals,” suggested that the motion might indeed pass. Others have questioned both that characterization and Gledhill’s speculation.

ACNA introduced a new Web site and Web address this past week. The new Web site can be found at http://anglicanchurch.net/.

Pastoral visitors bash Episcopal Church

Anglican Journal ran a story January 9, 2010, on the report of two “pastoral visitors” sent by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to observe a meeting of the Anglican Church of Canada’s House of Bishops last November. The report was written by Bishop Chad Gandiya of Harare, Zimbabwe, and Bishop Colin Bennetts, retired bishop of Coventry, England. According to the Journal, “Archbishop Williams is seeking ways to heal divisions among member provinces of the Anglican Communion.” (Anglican Journal also published an earlier interview with Bishop Bennetts.)

The report was largely positive with regard to the Anglican Church of Canada, whose bishops were described as weary of the same-sex blessings issue. The main reason the report received attention in the U.S., however, was its criticism of The Episcopal Church, though the visitors did not set foot in the U.S. (See, for example, this post on The Lead, which inspired an unusual number of comments, as well as this post on Thinking Anglicans.)

Fort Worth diocese prevails on procedural matter

The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth was victorious on procedural matters December 29, 2009, in Hood County, Texas, in litigation involving St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. Parties who left The Episcopal Church and who are claiming St. Andrew’s property attempted to disqualify attorneys and documents representing the position of the Episcopal diocese. District Judge Ralph H. Walton, Jr., ruled in favor of the Episcopal parties on all motions. (Details can be found here on the Diocese of Fort Worth Web site.) The strategy pursued by the former Episcopalians had been rejected in September by a Tarrant County, Texas, judge in a related case. (See Diocese of Fort Worth Web site here.)

Robinson blesses civil union

Civil marriages of same-sex couples became legal in the state of New Hampshire on January 1, 2010. According to The Living Church, Bishop of New Hampshire V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Anglican bishop, blessed the civil marriage of the Rev. Eleanor “Ellie” McLaughlin and Elizabeth “Betsy” Hess on January 2, 2010.