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, December 16, 2013

News for Week Ending 12/16/2013

Foreign activists urge Jamaicans to retain homosexual ban

Thinking Anglicans has reported extensively on a recent conference held in Jamaica at which activists from the United States and the United Kingdom urged that Jamaica retain anti-gay law. One of the speakers was Andrea Minichiello Williams, a member of the Church of England’s General Synod and the founder and CEO of Christian Concern, which Wikipedia descirbes as “a Christian organisation in the United Kingdom which seeks to introduce a ‘Christian voice’ into law, the media and Government.” Williams linked pedophilia to homosexuality and, ironically, urged Jamaicans to resist foreign pressure. Thinking Anglicans provides extensive information about the conference here.

IASCUFO meets; many members stay away

On December 11, 2013, Anglican Communion News Service published the communiqué issued at its recent meeting in Jamaica by the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO). The communiqué is largely a laundry list of ongoing projects. What is most interesting is the list of IASCUFO members who did not attend. As Mark Harris noted on his blog, all the non-attendees belong to Global South Anglican churches.

Women priests sit in on CoE bishops’ meeting

The Church of England announced December 10, 2013, that the House of Bishops meeting held December 9 and 10 included eight observer women priests. (Women and the Church offers additional information about the inclusion of women here. See also the Pittsburgh Update story here.) The bishops agreed that, at the upcoming February 2014 General Synod meeting, measures will be presented to move the process of approving women bishops forward. The process of rescinding the Act of Synod of 1993, which created so-called flying bishops, will also begin at the upcoming General Synod meeting.

Thinking Anglicans has published the agenda and other information for the February 10–12, 2014, General Synod here.

Yet more comment about Pilling Report; government progress in UK

The Pilling Report from the Church of England House of Bishops on human sexuality continues to draw comments. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Thinking Anglicans has links to even more commentary here and here.

The Church of England is moving slowly on full inclusion of LGBT people, but the UK government is moving much faster. On December 10, 2013, the government announced that same-sex weddings can begin in the UK beginning March 29, 2014, which is earlier than originally expected. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.)

Episcopal Church notes elections, consents, and consecrations

The church has posted a list of episcopal elections, elections seeking consents, and consecrations for the first four months of 2014. The information can be found here.

TREC releases letter

As we noted last week, the Task Force for Re-imagining the Episcopal Church was scheduled to issue a letter last week based on its meeting earlier in December. That letter was released December 11, 2013. The task force reports that there are conflicting goals for the church among Episcopalians, but there is a sense that we need to reduce the overhead of running the church. The letter can be read here.

More on Fort Worth litigation

Last week, we noted that the breakaway Fort Worth diocese had filed a response to the Episcopal diocese’s request for a rehearing with the Texas Supreme Court. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The Christian Post has published a story about the filing that provides helpful background information.