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, June 11, 2012

News for Week Ending 6/11/2012

Denmark to allow same-sex marriage in churches

Politiken.dk reported June 7, 2012, that the Danish parliament has voted to allow marriages of same-sex couples in the national Evangelical-Lutheran church beginning June 15. The measure passed with 85 votes in favor, 24 against, and 2 abstentions. Heretofore, same-sex couples did not have access to marriage, only to registered partnerships.

Scotland rejects Covenant

A month before The Episcopal Church is to consider adoption of the Anglican Covenant, the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church voted decisively against a motion that would have accepted the Covenant in principle. According to a story on the church’s Web site, the vote was 6 in favor, 112 against, and 13 abstentions. Following the vote, the Most Rev. David Chillingworth, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church and Bishop of St Andrews Dunkeld & Dunblane, presented a motion in support of the Anglican Communion. In a speech to the General Synod, he called for “re-founding” of the Communion. Additional information is available in a story from Episcopal News Service.

Canadian, African bishops meet

A group of 17 mostly African and Canadian bishops—the group included a single bishop from The Episcopal Church—met in Ontario, Canada, June 4–7, 2012. The so-called Consultation of Anglican Bishops in Dialogue was meeting in person for the third time. The group had its origin in the 2008 Lambeth Conference. The topics discussed at the Ontario meeting were mission and the Anglican Covenant. Judging from the statement issued at the meeting, the bishops largely agreed on the former but not the latter. Additional details are available in a story from Episcopal News Service.

Women bishops legislation headed for General Synod donnybrook

The carefully crafted compromise that would allow for women bishops in the Church of England and that was approved almost unanimously by diocesan synods may be derailed when it reaches General Synod next month. The legislation was amended by the House of Bishops in May—see Pittsburgh Update story here—and the initial announcement from the bishops was vague as to what had actually been done.

Women and the Church (WATCH), the group that has been most active in working for women bishops, has now issued a position paper on the amendments. Following extensive study and consultation, a paper has been made public that, while falling short of calling on General Synod to reject the women bishops measure, declares that WATCH cannot support it and casts doubt on its ability to be passed. The paper includes the changes made by the bishops and carefully analyzes them. Thinking Anglicans has excerpted the WATCH conclusions on its Web site here.

‘Episcopal Epistle’ highlights complexities of marriage equality

The upcoming General Convention will likely approve a trial liturgy for the blessing of same-sex unions. A recent ‘Episcopal Epistle’ from the three bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut illustrates how complex moving toward marriage equality can be when church and state move at different speeds. The May 10, 2010, document from the Connecticut bishops indicates that, as of now, priests can bless same-sex marriages, which are legal in Connecticut, but they cannot act as an agent of the state by performing such a marriage and signing the marriage certificate. They indicate that, after the 77th General Convention, this situation may change.