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, December 20, 2010

News for Week Ending 12/20/2010

Episcopal newspaper publishing sees exit, entry

According to a December 16, 2010, story from Episcopal News Service (ENS), The Episcopal Church is about it exit the newspaper publishing business. ENS ceased publication of Episcopal Life in January of this year. The replacement publications, Episcopal News Monthly and Episcopal News Quarterly will print their final issues in January 2011. Anne Rudig, director of the church’s Office of Communication, explained, “Diversion of our very limited staff and resources to support these publications is now impacting the news gathering and dissemination for the wider church.

On December 15, 2010, The Living Church reported that Jerrold Hames, former editor of Episcopal Life, will begin publishing a new newspaper, Episcopal Journal, beginning in February. The two official publications being discontinued by The Episcopal Church were being distributed along with diocesan newsletters. Episcopal Journal is intended as a replacement for those publications and will initially be distributed in a dozen dioceses, not including Pittsburgh.

Iker tries to delay trademark litigation

According to the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, former Bishop of Fort Worth Jack Iker filed a motion in U.S. District Court December 16, 2010, seeking an emergency stay to delay responding to the trademark infringement suit filed against his breakaway diocese. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The diocese responded the next day, arguing that Iker did not follow proper procedure in his request and failed to establish that any emergency exists. Links to court documents are available from the diocesan Web site.

Martins nears required consent total

The Rev. Daniel H. Martins, who was elected Bishop of Springfield on September 18, 2010, has nearly achieved the necessary consents for his consecration from Standing Committees. According to the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield Web site, Martins has collected 51 of the required 56 consents. Eleven Standing Committees have given Martins the thumbs down. To be consecrated, the bishop-elect also needs support from a majority of the bishops with jurisdiction, but, since these positions are not regularly revealed, it is unclear whether he is doing equally well with that constituency. Consents must be received within 120 days of the request for them by the diocese.

Martins’ has been a controversial election, as he was formerly resident in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, where he did not oppose the schismatic actions of Bishop John-David Schofield. Nonetheless, he has been supported both by liberals and conservatives, most recently in a letter dated November 1. (See also Pittsburgh Update story here.)

Virginia litigation goes to trial in April

Judge Randy Bellows of the Fairfax County Circuit Court has scheduled the retrial of the property dispute between the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) for April 25–June 14, 2011, according to BabyBlueOnline. Bellows denied CANA’s request for a jury trial. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The diocese has posted additional documents on its Web site, but its listing is not completely up to date.

Bishop search committees named

In the December 20, 2010, “Grace Happens” newsletter from the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, the diocese announced the members of the two committees involved in the diocese’s search for a new bishop. Dana Phillips, a parishioner of St. Thomas, Oakmont, who facilitated strategic planning for the diocese, will chair the Nomination Committee. The Transition Committee will be headed by the Rev. Nancy Chalfant-Walker, rector of St. Stephen’s Wilkinsburg and outgoing Standing Committee president. The full list of committee members can be found in the on-line version of the diocesan newsletter here.