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, October 3, 2011

News for Week Ending 10/3/2011

Global South primates meet in China

Eleven Global South Anglican primates met in China last month. (Although there is considerable overlap, this group is distinct from the GAFCON Primates Council.) They issued a communiqué, which can be read on the Global South Anglican Web site. Church Times and The Church of England Newspaper carried stories about the event.

In their communiqué, the primates lament the fact that “many Anglican churches in the west [are] yielding to secular pressure to allow unacceptable practices in the name of human rights and equality.” They go on to call the Instruments of Unity of the Anglican Community “dysfunctional” and to support, at least mildly, the Anglican Covenant understood in light of the Preamble adopted by the Province of South East Asia. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.)

Anti-gay law proposed in Nigeria

Box Turtle Bulletin reported September 29, 2011, that a bill has been proposed in Nigeria titled “An Act To Prohibit Marriage Between Persons Of Same Gender, Solemnization Of Same And For Other Matters Related Therewith.” Homosexual acts are already illegal in Nigeria, but this bill would deny any recognition of same-sex marriage and, among other things, penalize “[a]ny persons or group of persons that witnesses, abet and aids the solemnization of a same gender marriage contract.” (The entire act can be read on Box Turtle Bulletin. A better PDF version of it than has been provided by Box Turtle Bulletin can be found here.)

The primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), the Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh, recently took the opportunity to denounce homosexuality at a wedding. According to Joy Online, Okoh described gay marriage as a “great evil.” He went on to say, “What is being known now as gay and homosexuality is contrary to God’s plan for human sexuality and procreation. It is against the will of God, and nobody should encourage it, and those who do will earn for themselves the damnation of the Almighty.”

Connecticut Supreme Court rules for diocese in Bishop Seabury case

On September 30, 2011, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued two opinions in the long-running litigation involving the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut and the Bishop Seabury Church of Groton. The church is one of six that attempted to leave the diocese and The Episcopal Church over the consecration of Gene Robinson, taking parish property with them. A lower court had ruled that the property was properly controlled by the diocese by virtue of the Dennis Canon, but the congregation had not surrendered the property and appealed to the Connecticut Supreme Court. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Additional details can be read in the October 3 story from Episcopal News Service.

S.C. disputes Executive Council position

Bishop of South Carolina Mark Lawrence and Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina Standing Committee president, the Rev. Paul C. Fuener, have written to the Rev. Canon Dr. Gregory Staub, Executive Council secretary, to dispute the finding that recent changes to the diocesan constitution are null and void. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The correspondence, dated September 28, 2011, can be read here. Lawrence and Fuener argue, among other things, that, as a founding diocese of The Episcopal Church, South Carolina is not bound by the church’s constitutions and canons.

Tensions remain high between Pa. diocese and Rosemont

The headline on our recent story about Church of the Good Shepherd, Rosemont, Pennsylvania, was apparently premature. According to David Virtue, Rodney Michel, assisting bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania has written to the senior warden of the parish, David W. Rawson, to insist that deposed priest David Moyer vacate the rectory immediately, that the parish not make significant expenditures without approval, and that the parish provide accounting of how it has spent its funds in the past decade. Note that the former URL for Church of the Good Shepherd now points to a Web site for a new ministry of David Moyer.