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, March 7, 2011

News for Week Ending 3/7/2011

Nineteen bishops meet, praise working together

Financed by sponsors in Canada, the U.S., and Tanzania, nineteen Anglican bishops met in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and discuss issues of human sexuality and other issues February 22–27, 2011. The gathering was first proposed by the Anglican Church of Canada.

In a March 1 press release, the bishops declared, “We are stronger in relationship than when we are apart. This, we believe, is a work of engaging in Communion building rather than Communion breaking.” They acknowledged that they are not always understood as they intend due to cultural differences, and they declared a goal of seeking common understanding, though not necessarily common agreement. The bishops asserted that the church is in need of such dialogue, and they agreed to further meetings.

The story was reported both by Anglican Communion News Service and Episcopal News Service.

Anglo-Catholic Covenant verdict: unfit for purpose

New Directions, the magazine of the Anglo-Catholic group Forward in Faith in the U.K., published several pieces on the proposed Anglican Covenant in its January 2011 issue. In an editorial titled “Who wants the Anglican Covenant?” it is suggested that the answer to that question is “hardly anyone.” In particular, the editorial concludes by declaring, “The Covenant is not fit for purpose.” Essays on the Covenant in the same issue, each criticizing the current draft from a different point of view, can be read here and here.

Rhode Island bishop to retire

Bishop of Rhode Island Geralyn Wolf has announced plans to retire by the end of 2012, when she will be 65. The public announcement was made March 5, 2011, the the annual diocesan convocation. (Written and audio versions of her announcement can be found on the diocese’s blog.) Wolf, who came to The Episcopal Church from Judaism, was the second woman to be elected a diocesan bishop.

As chronicled in a story from The Province Journal, Wolf’s episcopate has had its share of troubles. She has also caused controversy in the wider church. Although she voted to allow the consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, she has not allowed same-sex blessings in her diocese. She is a member of the Communion Partners, who, while remaining in The Episcopal Church, have been sympathetic to the calls for moratoria from the Anglican Communion and for her own church to make other concessions for the sake of Anglican solidarity.

Episcopal News Service posted a brief story about the Wolf retirement March 7.

Anglican diocese proposes settlement principles

According to a story on the Web site of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, a letter to the members of the Anglican and Episcopal Pittsburgh dioceses was signed March 5, 2011, at a meeting of Anglican leaders that took place at St. Martin’s, Monroeville. (A description of the meeting from Canon Mary Hays can be found here.) The letter is titled “Hopes for Negotiations and a Call to Prayer.” The letter seems to imply that negotiations between the two dioceses over property is imminent, though no such signals have been forthcoming from the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. The letter expresses the hope that the two dioceses “will find a way to seek blessing on one another.” There is no mention of Archbishop’s Duncan’s request to Commonwealth Court to review its decision regarding diocesan property. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.)