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, April 22, 2013

News for Week Ending 4/22/2013

São Paulo clergy deposed

According to Anglican Ink, the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil (IEAB) deposed five São Paulo clergy April 16, 2013, following secession of their congregations from the Diocese of São Paulo. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The congregations claim to have resumed their status as overseas chaplaincies of the Church of England that they had prior to 1975. According to Anglican Ink, the dispute is among liberals over money and power.

New Zealand approves marriage equality

The Huffington Post reported April 17, 2013, that the New Zealand Parliament has approved marriage equality, thereby becoming the 13th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.

Scottish Episcopal Church releases marriage document

The Doctrine Committee of the Scottish Episcopal Church has issued what it calls an essay titled “Marriage and Human Intimacy: Perspectives on same-sex relationships and the life of the church.” Unlike the document recently released by the Church of England on marriage, “Men and Women in Marriage,” offers arguments both for and against retaining the church’s current position on marriage.

Quincy trial continues April 22

The trial pitting the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy against the breakaway Quincy diocese continues on April 22, 2013. This news comes via The Anglican Curmudgeon, whose author, A.S. Haley, is one of the attorneys representing those who left The Episcopal Church. The court allocated three days to hear the testimony of historian Dr. Jeremy Bonner in advance of the scheduled starting date for the trial. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Until recently, Bonner lived in Pittsburgh. He was brought to Pittsburgh by then bishop Bob Duncan to write a history of the diocese.

Virginia Supreme Court affirms decision in favor of Episcopal diocese

The Washington Post reported April 18, 2013, that the Virginia Supreme Court affirmed the lower-court decision awarding the property of The Falls Church to the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The court opinion (and a concurring opinion by one of the justices) relies heavily on the Dennis Canon and will therefore become a possible influence on church property litigation elsewhere. The court remanded to the trail court the question of how certain funds will be distributed, as the Supreme Court ruled that the lower court erred in determining just when the Falls Church congregation left the diocese.

The Diocese of Virginia commented on the decision on its Web site. To date, no comment has been posted on the Web site of The Falls Church. Anglican Ink, however, posted a letter from rector John Yates to the church’s congregation.  The Falls Church Anglican web site does have a statement from Truro Anglican about the decision. Episcopal News Service also covered this story.

Bishop McConnell initiates blog

Bishop of Pittsburgh Dorsey McConnell now has his own blog. The menu on the diocesan Web site (near the top of the page) now includes the item “Bishop’s Blog.” Clicking on this takes you to the “Iron City Bishop” blog, whose URL is http://www.episcopalpgh.org/bishopsblog/. Blog pages include links back to the diocesan Web site, to the bishop’s visitation schedule, and to a page about the bishop.