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 28, 2013

News for Week Ending 10/28/2013

GAFCON II concludes in Nairobi with communiqué

The second Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON II) concluded October 26, 2013, in Nairobi, Kenya. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The first such conference of conservative Anglicans was held in 2008, when it became an alternative destination to the Lambeth Conference for ultraconservative Anglican bishops. The just-concluded conference reportedly attracted nearly 1350 delegates from around the world, but mainly from the Global South.

Anglican Ink and Anglican TV covered the conference so comprehensively that it is difficult to single out particular stories or video for special mention. Interested readers who want a blow-by-blow account of what happened should visit the Anglican TV GAFCON 2013 page and Anglican Ink. Unfortunately, Anglican Ink did a redesign of its site recently, and, although it is visually striking, stories are undated and unsequenced, so it may be difficult to find GAFCON II stories, particularly as time wears on. As usual, Thinking Anglicans has done a fine job of curating GAFCON II news and comment. Coverage begins here and is sequenced in a reasonable manner.

The conference ended with the release of the Nairobi Communiqué and Committment. This document declares that the Anglican Communion Instruments of Communion have failed, but (improbably) the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GFCA) has been a unifying force. The overall message in the communiqué is that the Evangelicans, Charismatics, and Anglo-Catholics of the GAFCON movement are right, and other members of the Anglican Communion are sinful and in need of repentance. Because of this, GAFCON bishops will continue to interfere in the affairs of sister Anglican Churches. Thinking Anglicans has been less diligent than usual about publicizing commentary on the GAFCON communiqué. Helpful analysis has been provided by Lionel Deimel in the U.S. and Bosco Peters in New Zealand.

New plan for women bishops announced in England

Church Times reported October 25, 2013, that a package of proposals has been made public by the committee charged with bringing the matter of women bishops in the Church of England to the General Synod, which meets next month. Final approval of the plan could be achieved as early as next year. General Secretary of the General Synod William Fittall is quoted as saying that the new package represents a “new and hopeful phase” in the drive to authorize women bishops following the defeat of the plan that was voted down on a year ago.

The proposals themselves are available from Thinking Anglicans. The Church Times article describes them, but the descriptions may be hard for Episcopalians to follow.

Thinking Anglicans has also provided links to the agenda and online papers related to the General Synod that will meet in London from November 18 to November 20. Links to additional comment on the women bishops proposals can be found here.

The Falls Church files Supreme Court appeal

The long-running legal battle between The Falls Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia is now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The breakaway church, having failed to prevail at the Virginia Supreme Court, filed a petition October 9, 2013, with the U.S. high court to review the decision. The petition for a writ of certiorari can be found here. Other documents related to the case can be found on the diocese’s Web site.

Pittsburgh annual convention to be held November 1–2

The annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh will be held Friday, November 1, 2013, and Saturday, November 2. As we have noted before, all information related to the convention can be found on the diocese’s Web site.