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, May 30, 2011

News for Week Ending 5/30/2011

Slee memo attacks Archbishop of Canterbury

On May 25, 2011, Andrew Brown of the Guardian revealed the existence of a memo from the late dean of Southwark Cathedral, Colin Slee, concerning a confidential meeting at which bishops were being chosen. Brown wrote
The document reveals shouting matches and arm-twisting by the archbishops to keep out the diocese’s preferred choices as bishop: Jeffrey John, the gay dean of St Albans, and Nicholas Holtam, rector of St Martin-in-the-Fields in central London, whose wife was divorced many years ago.
The article has set off a firestorm of criticism of the memo, of the Church of England, and of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is impossible to cover all the relevant details here, and, no doubt, more facts and commentary will be forthcoming. Thinking Anglicans has a good list of relevant links. Particularly helpful in sorting out the basic facts of the developing controversy is a post from The Church Mouse. The Lead also has a useful post.

New Westminster awarded court costs

The Canadian Diocese of New Westminster has been awarded court costs of approximately $120,000 by the British Columbia Court of Appeal, according to a May 19, 2011, news release from the diocese. The compensation is for funds expended in the property litigation with four congregations that left the Anglican Church of Canada for the conservative Anglican Network in Canada. The four congregation still have pending a petition to the Supreme Court to allow them to appeal the original decision of the Court of Appeal upholding the right of the diocese to use of the property. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.)

New Jersey posts Covenant response

The 2012 General Convention deputation of the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey has posted its response to the Anglican Covenant. In a letter sent to Executive Council in April but only recently added to the diocesan Web site, the deputation suggested that, should the General Convention adopt the Covenant, it should consider declaring explicit reservations “to the extent feasible to mollify the possible pernicious consequence that could flow from the operation of the Covenant.” The letter did not rule out the possibility that some members of the deputation might actually vote for simple adoption.

Chicago issues same-sex guidelines

On May 25, 2011, The Living Church reported that the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago has issued guidelines for the blessing of same-sex unions. “Guidelines for the Solemnization of Holy Union” is a 29-page document that takes effect on June 1, 2011, the day on which a new Illinois law goes into effect granting recognition to same-sex couples. Resolution C056, passed by the 2009 General Convention, allows dioceses to offer “generous pastoral response” to the needs of gay and lesbian Episcopalians.