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, June 20, 2011

News for Week Ending 6/20/2011

Departed New Westminster congregations denied final appeal

According to Anglican Journal, the Supreme Court of Canada, on June 16, 2011, denied four congregations that left the Anglican Church of Canada for the Anglican Network in Canada permission to appeal the decision that awarded the parish property to the Diocese of New Westminster. (See previous Pittsburgh Update story here.) It is estimated that the congregations will have to pay legal costs of as much as $175,000. With this decision by the Supreme Court, there is no pending property legislation involving the Canadian church. Thinking Anglicans has links to a good deal of material related to the latest court decision.

Canada issues report on Covenant; Episcopal Church doesn’t

On June 17, 2011, the Anglican Church of Canada announced the publication of a report by the Governance Working Group (GWG) on the legal and constitution issues related to the adoption of the Anglican Covenant. Both the report and a brief executive summary are available on-line. While taking no position on whether the church should adopt the Covenant, the report criticized the Covenant for both vagueness and unfairness. The GWG found the constitutional issues unclear but potentially serious, while suggesting that the consequences of rejecting the Covenant might be minor. A report from the Faith, Worship, and Ministry Committee of the Canadian church on theological and ecclesiological matters related to the Covenant is expected to be released later.

The same day the Canadian report was released, Episcopal News Service issued a story on the discussions of The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council, which met in Maryland June 14–17. The story noted that a report on the legal implications to The Episcopal Church of Covenant adoption had been received by the Council’s Anglican Covenant Task Force. The report was prepared by the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons. The ENS story offered this explanation from Task Force chair Rosalie Ballentine as to why the report is not being released now:
“We’re reluctant to have it out there” because some people may assume that decisions have already been made, she said. The report will eventually be appended to the task force report to General Convention. Council will receive a draft of the Blue Book report in October, according to Ballentine.
The Lead is demanding that the report be released immediately.

Executive Council concludes meeting

As indicated in the story above, the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church met at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute in Linthicum Heights, Maryland, June 14–17, 2011. Much of the conversations seems to have been about church administration in a time of shrinking resources. Resolutions were also passed on a number of national and international issues. Additional financial help was voted for the dioceses of San Joaquin and Quincy, which continue to struggle in the aftermath of the departure of members who became part of the Anglican Church in North America. Details of the meeting are available in three Episcopal News Service stories here, here, and here.

Maryland church to join Roman Catholic archdiocese

The Living Church reported June 15, 2011, that St. Luke’s Church in Bladensburg, Maryland, and the Episcopal Diocese of Washington have agreed to terms allowing the congregation to remain in its building while taking advantage of the Ordinariate for Anglicans offered by the Vatican. Members of the parish will become Roman Catholics and join the Archdiocese of Washington. St. Luke’s will lease their present facility with an option to purchase.