Thinking Anglicans

Bishop Duncan visits London

Updated further Wednesday evening

There was a press conference yesterday, at All Souls, Langham Place. You can read all about it at Episcopal Life which has Former Pittsburgh bishop warns Church of England traditionalists against ‘complacency’ written by me.

Toby Cohen of the Church of England Newspaper was also there. His report on Religious Intelligence is titled Deposed Bishop issues warning to Church of England.

Anglican Mainstream has a transcript of part of the press conference, at Bishop Bob Duncan on recognition of new province in North America.

Maria Mackay of Christian Today has Deposed bishop warns traditionalists against ‘illiberal takeover’.

Anglican Mainstream has now added transcripts of further portions of the press conference:

First, his opening statement: Thanks, a report and a warning – Bishop Duncan’s statement to the press.

Second, some of the initial answers to questions: Questions to Bishop Bob Duncan -1: on what could happen in the UK, the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Windsor Continuation Group.

Third, more answers to questions: Questions to Bishop Bob Duncan 2:on Sour Grapes, Catholic Order and Martyrdom.

Ruth Gledhill has posted video of part of the conference, see her blog at Bob Duncan: Over-stressed, over here and over?


Reform conference

Updated again Wednesday afternoon

Reform has been holding its annual conference in Central London.

The programme for the conference is here (PDF).

Reports are coming in.

Ruth Gledhill has written on her blog England’s ‘Pittsburgh’ unfolds as parishes seek new bishop and for The Times she has written Church of England schism over gays.

Martin Beckford has written for the Telegraph that 3,000 Church of England worshippers may defect to overseas provinces, Reform warns.

A large part of Mr Thomas’ speech is reproduced on Ruth’s blog entry.


Riazat Butt has written for the Guardian Evangelical leader urges Anglicans to break away.

The complete text of the speech by Rod Thomas is now available here.


Archbishop Jensen's presidential address

The Presidential Address delivered by the Most Rev. Dr. Peter Jensen, Archbishop of the Sydney Diocese of the Anglican Church, on the opening night of the 2008 diocesan synod can be found here. There are PDF and audio versions as well as the html.

He has quite a lot to say about GAFCON in the second half of the talk. That part starts out:


As I look back over the tumultuous months of June and July – tumultuous for me at least – I am more certain than ever that the path we chose to take as bishops from this Diocese was the right one: it was right to attend the conference in Jerusalem, and it was right to stay away from Lambeth.

I was there when GAFCON was planned. In a hotel room in Nairobi were squeezed Archbishop Nzimbi from Kenya, Archbishop Orombi from Uganda, Archbishop Akinola from Nigeria, Archbishop Mtetemela from Tanzania, Archbishop Kolini from Rwanda. As well there were leaders from England, from the US, from Canada. It was December 2007, late, far too late to plan a major conference, let alone one in Jerusalem.

But we were late for a worthy reason – there had been hope against hope that a solution would be found to the problems in the Anglican Communion. They had placed their hopes in the Archbishop of Canterbury and the usual processes of the Communion. Now they believed that all those hopes had been dashed and there would be no solution offered, apart from more delay. The time had come to act.

Persistent attempts to portray GAFCON as a breakaway movement or an attempt to split the Anglican Communion are perverse, almost malign. The ‘tear in the fabric of the Communion’ occurred in the events of 2003 with the appointment of a divorced and actively homosexual bishop in the United States, and the blessing of same-sex unions in the US and Canada. GAFCON represents a refusal on theological and pastoral grounds to act as though this major division had never taken place.

The Anglican Communion is, I believe, the third largest body of Christians in the world. It is vastly more important than we here often realise. It represents one of the chief ways in which Christians all around the world receive fellowship, missional help, and attention when they are persecuted or in other trouble. It is a highly significant entity, to be cherished and maintained, not torn apart. The aim of GAFCON is to renew and invigorate the Communion and to help bring order and peace out of the mayhem created by the American division…


Inquiry into Lambeth Conference finances

The Church of Ireland Gazette reports in Inquiry established into Lambeth Conference finances that:

Following reports of a £1.2m shortfall in the funding of this year’s Lambeth Conference, the Church of England’s Archbishops’ Council and Church Commissioners have set up a review, under the independent chairmanship of John Ormerod, a former senior partner of Deloitte, to examine the financial management of the Lambeth Conference.

The team has also been asked to make recommendations regarding the future involvement of the Council and the Board of the Church Commissioners in assisting the financing of meetings of the Lambeth Conference. A spokesman for the Church of England told the Gazette: “The inquiry is due to report back to the Council and the Board early in 2009 with a preliminary report on the financial difficulties and how these arose. A final report, examining the way forward, will be produced in summer 2009. The Council and Board have indicated that the inquiry’s report should be published.” The membership of the inquiry will be: John Ormerod; the Rt Revd Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester, and Christina Baxter (both Archbishops’ Council); and Timothy Walker, Third Church Estates Commissioner…


Fort Worth: a report on some discussions

Updated Wednesday evening

The Bishop of Fort Worth reports that Clergy Discussions on Conflict Produce No Solution.

…At the same time as these conversations were going on, a group of diocesan officials from Fort Worth were meeting with our counterparts in the Diocese of Dallas to see if a pastoral agreement could be worked out between our two dioceses, whereby parishes in Fort Worth that wanted to remain in TEC could do so as part of the Dallas Diocese. These meetings included the Bishops, Chancellors, Canons to the Ordinary, and Presidents of the Standing Committees of the two dioceses. We came up with a proposal whereby, under certain conditions, Fort Worth parishes and clergy could have “associate membership” in Dallas, including seat, voice and vote at their Convention, and their property could be placed temporarily in the name of the Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, to be held in trust for their use.

This plan was then presented to the Rectors, Wardens and Chancellors of five Fort Worth parishes that we thought would like to pursue such an arrangement, at least on a trial basis. They were asked to discuss the proposal with their vestries, and then we would meet a second time for further exploration. Unfortunately, at that second meeting, the Chancellor of Dallas reported on conversations he had initiated with the Presiding Bishop’s Chancellor, David Booth Beers, about the proposal under discussion. Mr. Beers stated that neither the PB nor the General Convention would support such a plan, and without their support, the Fort Worth parishes were unwilling to continue steps to implement the plan…

Episcopal Life Online now has a report by Mary Frances Schjonberg FORT WORTH: Effort to let parishes join Diocese of Dallas fails.


Pittsburgh: an interview with Bishop Duncan

Christianity Today carries an interview by Timothy C. Morgan with the former Bishop of Pittsburgh, Robert Duncan.

It is titled The Comeback Bishop.

Some extracts:

Do you have any second thoughts about creation of this new province for conservative Anglicans?

No second thoughts about it. I would have hoped that the Anglican Communion might simply recognize us as the legitimate bearers of the Anglican franchise here. But that’s not likely to happen in the short run. The significance of the Episcopal Church deposing me is much greater than what most people would assume in this battle for a province. For the worldwide Anglican Communion to see me deposed has been absolutely sobering, and even moderates are shocked and stunned by it…

Some conservatives continue to support an Anglican Covenant and the Windsor continuation process as vehicles for reform. Do you hold out much hope for these initiatives?

The covenant is a good concept. Sadly, the form, in which it comes forward, has no great strength to it. A better form of covenant would have been the Thirty-Nine Articles or The Book of Common Prayer. Those have been the things that actually functioned as the covenant for three centuries and more. So the covenant is a useful idea. But as it’s being developed it’s not [useful]. About the Windsor continuation group, the glacial timetable on which it’s working is like every other proposal that’s come from the Anglican Communion office, from the Archbishop of Canterbury. They have been too little and far too slow…

Are you confident that there will be a new province for the North American Anglicans a year from now? And are you the most likely person to be the primate of that province?

The simple answers are yes and yes. I do believe that the Common Cause partners will put everything in place that we need to put in place by Christmas. The time has come. In terms of my leadership I think I understand, and those who put me in this place understand, that in this particular moment my task, my call has been to bring the partners to a place, to the creation of a province and to the beginning of its life, and then I’ll be happy to give it over as soon as it’s clear that I’m not called to do it anymore. We will operate in a way in which the primate of the province is a diocesan bishop, will serve for a term, and may be reelected for a term. Then another will take up that primacy…


three African reports

From Nigeria, there is this report in Vanguard Homosexuality is totally unacceptable — Clerics.

…As one of the leaders of the Global South within the Anglican Communion, Akinola has taken a firm stand against theological developments which he contends are incompatible with the biblical teachings of Christianity, notably setting himself against any revisionist or liberal interpretations of the Bible and, in particular, opposing same-sex blessings, the ordination of non-celibate homosexuals or, indeed, any homosexual practice.

He is the leader of some conservatives throughout the Anglican Communion including the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. One of his first actions as primate was to get together 400 bishops, priests, lay members, and members of the Mother’s Union to elaborate a vision for the Church of Nigeria under the chairmanship of Chief Ernest Shonekan.

At the end of deliberations, they articulated a vision for the church, which include: “The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) shall be bible-based, spiritually dynamic, united, disciplined, self supporting, committed to pragmatic evangelism, social welfare and a Church that epitomizes the genuine love of Christ.”

Based on that vision, Akinola has been in the forefront of the fight against the weird intrusion of homosexuality into the Christian faith. Just like most parts of the world were shocked with that ordination, Akinola has earned accolades from around the world for his doggedness in condemning the practice; at one point threatening to lead other African countries out of the Anglican fold if the practice of gay ordination continued…

From Uganda, there is this report by George Conger in the Church of England Newspaper Uganda synod gives backing to US traditionalists.

…The call to faithfulness also applied to the controversies dividing the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Orombi said. “Many of the churches in the Western world seem to be unrepentant in their promotion of unbiblical faith and practice,” he said, singling out the Anglican Churches in America, Canada, England and Scotland for “permitting the blessing of same-sex unions.”

The 2008 Lambeth Conference failed to address these issues and the Anglican Communion “may be in a worse place now than before Lambeth.” However, the Gafcon movement, he argued, “will help us return to our Biblical roots.”

Delegates to the synod also continued work on the revision of the provincial constitution, with an eye towards redefining the Church of Uganda’s ecclesial ties of communion in terms of a shared “adherence to doctrine and upholding the Bible,” and ending the Nineteenth century tie of communion through the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Synod affirmed the broad principles behind the changes to the Church of Uganda’s ecclesiology, backing Archbishop Orombi’s position “that as a Church we declare that ‘we are in full communion with all Churches, Dioceses and Provinces of the Anglican Communion throughout the world that receive, hold, and maintain the Canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the Word of God written and the ultimate rule and standard of faith given by inspiration of God, and containing all things necessary for salvation’.”

From Kenya, Changing Attitude reports on some rather surprising events, in Revd Michael Kimindu ejected from Nairobi clergy chapter meeting.

The Revd Michael Kimindu, an Anglican priest who was a member of the LGBT team at the Lambeth Conference this year, was ejected from a meeting of the clergy chapter meeting in the diocese of All Saints Cathedral. The chapter meeting was held in the offices of the diocese at Karen on Wednesday 8th October 2008.

Michael is the Co-ordinator for >Other Sheep Ministries East Africa. Other Sheep is an international ecumenical Christian organization founded in 1992 dedicated to empowering sexual minorities.

… When the meeting opened, Michael’s presence was questioned. It was alleged that since he is openly pro same sex orientation which the Diocese opposes, he should not be allowed in the meeting.

The Archbishop gave a very tolerant defence, but the Archdeacons insisted that his presence was tantamount to a change of position for the Diocese on the matter. After some homophobic pleas from the four Archdeacons, the chapter adjourned briefly so that he could leave.

Before leaving he talked with the Archbishop who agreed to invite him on another date to provide an educational talk to the full house of clergy. One of the Archdeacons later sent a text message agreeing that the two of them would meet with the Archbishop.

Some clergy asked that what took place between Michael and the chapter be not minuted for fear that they would be accused of persecuting him but they were overruled. There was division in the meeting after his departure, with some clergy saying he should not be refused attendance to future chapter meetings…


women bishops: more reports

Martin Beckford reports in the Telegraph on a speech made by the Bishop of Fulham: Church of England’s parliament is ‘sinful’ over women bishops vote, says Bishop of Fulham.

…In a keynote address to the annual meeting of Forward in Faith, the church’s Anglo-Catholic wing of which he is chairman, Bishop Broadhurst told members that the Synod’s decision had been wrong and urged them not to leave the church as the outcome of the dispute could still be changed.

He said: “The General Synod is presuming to change things as it wills, presuming to decide doctrine separate from the tradition, separate from scripture, separate from the universal brief and practice of the church. Sinful presumption, sinful.

“This is not a vote we’ve lost, this is sin. This is human beings presuming to tell God in Jesus Christ he got it wrong, presuming to tell the majority of Christians we know better.”

He went on to say the Synod is “unfit for purpose” because it does not consider God first and added to applause: “The sooner it is trimmed, culled, sorted or even destroyed, the better.”

Bishop Broadhurst, who earlier in the year accused liberals of “institutional bullying” and warned of legal battles over churches if traditionalists defect to Rome, added that the Synod’s decisions can be undone and reiterated that he wants it to create a separate jurisdiction enshrined in law for opponents of women bishops, not a “ghetto for bigots”…

You can hear the whole of this speech, by going to this link.

At the same page, there is also a presentation on what happened in the July General Synod debate by David Houlding.

Jonathan Wynne-Jones has also commented on this here.

The Church of England Newspaper had a report by Toby Cohen about the recent meeting of the House of Bishops. Religious Intelligence carries English Church discusses ‘complementary’ bishops plan.

As the English House of Bishops met to discuss the Church of England’s future, a Synod insider revealed that plans are already in place to provide ‘flying bishops’ for those who cannot accept women bishops.

The bishops gathered in London earlier this week with a series of momentous debates to be thrashed out, on topics including women bishops, complementary or ‘flying’ bishops, Anglican governance, and the broken state of the Communion following the divisions in The Episcopal Church. The agenda for the discussions is supposedly kept private, but several of the debates have already spilled out into the public domain.

An anonymous bishop revealed last weekend that flying bishops would be provided for those who could not accept the authority of women bishops. Synod lay member, Paul Eddy, has now confirmed to Religious Intelligence that the reports were true, although he was not at liberty to reveal the identity of the Bishop.

He said the Church was preparing to offer oversight for traditionalists who could not accept the authority of women bishops: “It will happen, there’s no doubt about it. That’s why we need to stop playing politics with it, and actually unite and do something about it.

“There are conversations going on already, I know at least 12 parishes and two key dioceses where people have come together and have already sorted out the oversight.”


opinions for discussion

Paul Vallely asks in the Independent Religion vs science: can the divide between God and rationality be reconciled?

Ann Pettifor writes in the Guardian about usury, see Face to Faith.

Graham Kings writes in The Times about Living in time with the rhythm of the Church’s year.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times about the Episcopal Church, It does not look like a snake-pit in the pews.

Jonathan Wynne-Jones writes at the Telegraph that Happy-clappy songs are judged to have ruined Britain.

Christopher Howse writes about A tax on the font water of our struggling churches.


press coverage of Pittsburgh

Upated Friday evening

The Church Times has Pittsburgh diocese votes to secede from Episcopal Church by Pat Ashworth.

In the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette there is Minority recognized as ‘true’ Episcopal Diocese by Ann Rodgers.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has Episcopal Church recognizes loyal parishes by Craig Smith.

Friday evening

Episcopal News Service has Pittsburgh Standing Committee fills vacancies, seeks Presiding Bishop’s assistance by Mary Frances Schjonberg


Pittsburgh: the new diocese emerges

Updated Thursday evening

The Diocese of Pittsburgh has a new website, at which we find

From The President of the Standing Committee of The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of The Episcopal Church of the United Sates of America

…Later in the day, I received a letter by e-mail from David Wilson informing me that the remaining seven members of his Standing Committee consider themselves to be aligned with the Province of The Southern Cone.

This information was conveyed to the Presiding Bishop’s office and today we received recognition as the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh in the Episcopal Church and because of the absence of a Bishop, the ecclesiastical authority.

I am also pleased to announce that the Standing Committee has made several staff appoints. Andy Roman has agreed to be our Chancellor, Rich Creehan is Director of Communications, Joan Gunderson is the Treasurer, and Scott Quinn is the Director of Pastoral Care.

I am also pleased to announce that The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh will be holding a reorganizing Convention on Saturday December 13th. Details as to time and place will follow shortly…

Meanwhile a meeting has been called for 16 October.

The FAQ for Parishes previously published by Across the Aisle has been updated with two additional items.

Over at the website of those joining the Southern Cone, there is this letter: Standing Committee Responds to Demand it Repudiate Convention Actions.

Thursday evening update

There is also a press release: Reorganized Episcopal Diocese Recognized as Legitimate:

October 9, 2008

New Leadership Formed from Group that Opposed Realignment;
Governing Convention Set for December 13

Pittsburgh, PA – Today the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church recognized a local group committed to the U.S. church as the legitimate Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

The recognition by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori came in the form of accepting a new Standing Committee as the governing body of the diocese that remained after former leaders voted to leave the church on October 4th.

“I do recognize the Rev. James Simons and the two people he appointed as the rightful Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh,” Jefferts Schori wrote in an e-mail to the Rev. Simons, the only remaining member of the Standing Committee and the one responsible for reorganizing a diocese within the Episcopal Church…

The full text of the letter from the Presiding Bishop is available as a PDF here.


Welsh election result

To complete the story reported on here, and also here, the Church in Wales has announced New Bishop of Bangor elected.

The Archdeacon of Cardigan, the Venerable Andrew John, is the Bishop Elect of the Diocese of Bangor.

The announcement was made this afternoon by the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, at the west door of Bangor Cathedral on the third and final day of the meeting of the Electoral College.

The election follows the death of the Rt Rev Anthony Crockett in June, who served as bishop of the diocese from 2004. The new bishop will be the 81st Bishop of Bangor, serving an area stretching across north-west Wales from Holyhead to Llanidloes.

Press reports:
BBC Bishop chosen after secret ballot
North Wales Chronicle New Bishop of Bangor named
Wales Online Bishop of Bangor announced
Daily Post New Bishop of Bangor elected


more about God's Own Country

Not the book again, but a few follow-up items on the country itself, and its religious attitudes.

Bishop Alan Wilson drew attention to Sarah Palin — total nutshell.

Jonathan Raban wrote a fascinating column for the London Review of Books titled Cut, Kill, Dig, Drill.

Ruth Gledhill has set up a poll for readers of her blog, on the topic of Is Sarah Palin a good Christian?


more on planning for women bishops

The Telegraph has a report by George Pitcher today, Women bishops face ‘flying bigots’, which follows up on the recent reports of national proposals with an account of what the Diocese of London did on Friday:

Some priestly women activists had urged a boycott of the event, fearing a mugging from the Anglo-Catholics. In the event, they had nothing to fear. The oppressive St Paul’s felt like that foreign land where women did things differently, but it was unmistakably of the past.

Dr Chartres, too, was playing an open hand. He acknowledged that, for some, the gender issue is one of justice, over which there can be no compromise.

The London Plan, first devised by Dr David Hope as Bishop of London, offers an Episcopal oversight, in the shape of the Bishop of Fulham, for those who cannot accept women as bishops. The question is whether it can be a paradigm for the wider Church. My guess is that the women’s faction will accept such provision for male traditionalists if it’s from an area bishop, like Fulham, within the diocese (whose diocesan bishop may well be a woman) and within a simple code of practice, but not flying bishops effectively from a “third province” founded in law. As Dr Chartres affirms, there can be no “episcopacy-lite” for women.

But that takes no account of the real-politick in evidence in St Paul’s on Friday. Some of the men-only camp are set on legal protection by the back door, after Synod voted clearly for a code of practice. One or two of them were indulging on Friday in what Canon Winkett called “competitive vulnerability”, invoking a term coined by novelist Sara Maitland for those who believe their pain must be bigger than that of others.

There are important further details on his blog at Language of women bishops and ‘flying bigots’.


Stock Exchange chaplain criticised

Updated again Tuesday afternoon

The chaplain to the London Stock Exchange, Peter Mullen is in trouble.

According to the Evening Standard , in a report by Robert Mendick and Simon Kirby Chaplain: Gay men should have sodomy warning tattoos

The chaplain to the London Stock Exchange is under pressure to quit today after demanding gay men should be forced to have “sodomy” warnings tattooed on their bodies.

The suggestion is contained in a series of comments on the internet blog of the Rev Peter Mullen.

The Bishop of London today branded Mr Mullen’s comments “highly offensive” and Stonewall, the gay rights charity, said he should resign…

…the bishop today also rebuked Mr Mullen for his remarks.

In a statement issued to the Evening Standard, a spokesman said: “While clergy are entitled to their own personal views, we recognise that the content of this text is highly offensive and is in no way reflective of the views of the Diocese of London.”

A source at the Diocese said the chaplain may now face a disciplinary inquiry over his comments. The source said: “These comments are now being looked at internally within the Diocese and he faces disciplinary procedures.”

Other newspapers are following up:

Telegraph Aislinn Simpson Homosexuals should carry warning tattoos, says chaplain

Guardian Riazat Butt Vicar could be disciplined for blog slurs against gays and Muslims

Press Association via the Independent Rector condemned for ‘sodomy’ remarks

BBC Tattoo gay people, priest writes

Andrew Brown has noted this item at Comment is free in A taxi-driver, oops, vicar writes.

Ruth Gledhill has Peter Mullen should have his bottom spanked!

And Times Online finally has a report, Chaplain’s blog calls for homosexuals to be tatooed.

Now, after a day of this, second stories:

Press Association Clergyman apologises over call to tattoo gay people

BBC Priest ‘sorry’ for gay comments


press reports on Pittsburgh secession

Updated Monday morning

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Episcopal diocese chooses to secede by Ann Rodgers

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Episcopal diocese votes to split by Brian Bowling

New York Times Pittsburgh Episcopal Diocese Votes for Split by Sean D Hamill

Associated Press Diocese to Break From Episcopal Church and there was this earlier report, prior to the vote from Rachel Zoll Episcopal dioceses mulling split over Bible, gays.

Agence France-Presse US diocese splits from Episcopal Church amid gay crisis

The glossy brochure mentioned in some reports can be seen as a PDF file here.

Monday morning update

A further report in the New York Times by Sean D Hamill After Theological Split, a Clash Over Church Assets


women bishops: further proposals

Updated Sunday afternoon

Jonathan Wynne-Jones reports in the Telegraph about what the drafting group is now proposing.

The first version of this story published online on Saturday afternoon is Bishops to serve male clergy only in plans to avert exodus from Church of England.

The second version, which is presumably what is going into the Sunday paper edition, was published online this evening as Church of England clergy ‘flying bishops’ opt-out proposed to aid move to women bishops

And there is this “Analysis” piece, Church of England ‘flying bishops’ plan offers traditionalists new hope with a very out-of-date picture of the General Synod chamber as it used to be.


Religious Intelligence has published Church of England still divided over women bishops vote.

This includes the following from the Bishop of Blackburn:

The Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev Nicholas Reade, has agreed that the relationship between Synod and the episcopacy needs to be clarified. He said: “Synodical government served us well in the early days but it’s been a kind of juggernaut. I think it’s got totally out of control.”

Bishop Reade spoke against the Synod becoming parliamentary with two competing sides: “Ideally I think the House of Bishops should be there, and we should be listening to the debate, and we should go away and make the decisions.”

He said the clergy and laity should vote, but that it should simply be used as information for the bishops.


Pittsburgh votes today

Updated again late Saturday evening

The Pittsburgh newspapers have reports on this:
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Mike Cronin Episcopal diocese to vote today on split
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Ann Rodgers Episcopal Diocese set to vote today whether to secede

Earlier the New York Times had Pittsburgh Episcopalians Weigh Division by Sean Hamill.
One item in that article caused Episcopal Café to respond with Proclaiming Jesus as Son of God never in debate.

Across the Aisle has published this List of Parishes Committed to Remaining in the Episcopal Church and has also published information about what will happen if “realignment” is approved, see NEXT STEPS: if “Realignment” Happens.

lunchtime update
Episcopal News Service has Convention could create four parishes in midst of realignment vote by Mary Frances Schjonberg.

Statements from the leadership of some of the parishes who are not “re-aligning” can be found here.

evening update
Resolutions considered can be found in this PDF file.

Diocesan press release:

Constitutional Changes Approved

The diocese has voted with a clear majority to remove its accession to the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church.

A total of 191 laity voted. 119 voted in favor. 69 voted against, 3 abstained. A total of 160 clergy voted. 121 voted in favor. 33 voted no. 3 abstained. 2 invalid ballots were cast.

ENS has Bulletin: Pittsburgh votes to leave Episcopal Church, align with Southern Cone.

Further press releases from the diocese:
Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh Changes Constitution, Joins Anglican Province
Diocese Begins Process to Recall Bishop Duncan

Two press releases from those opposed to the “realignment”:

Across the Aisle To the Members of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh

Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh Episcopal Group Vows to Help Return Pittsburgh Diocese to Health

And a full report from ENS is now published, Pittsburgh votes to leave Episcopal Church, align with Southern Cone by Mary Frances Schjonberg.


opinions gathered

The Times has The spark of God within us is truth, not empty words by Musonda Trevor Selwyn Mwamba, Bishop of Botswana.

Last week, the Church Times had Creationism has to be exposed by Peter Forster, Bishop of Chester.

This week, the Church Times has Giles Fraser who asks about Facial hair: progressive or passé?

Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about John Betjeman on the wireless.

In the Guardian Zaki Cooper and Michael Harris write about Yom Kippur in Face to Faith.

Andrew Brown writes on his new Comment is free blog about God and mammon, redux.


Pennsylvania: Bishop Bennison sentenced

An ecclesiastical court has determined that Diocese of Pennsylvania Bishop Charles E. Bennison should be deposed from the ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church.

ENS has a full report by Mary Frances Schjonberg at Court for the Trial of a Bishop calls for Bennison’s deposition with various links to documents.

The Living Church has a report by Doug LeBlanc at Church Court Rules for Deposition of Bishop Bennison.

The Associated Press reported it, see Pennsylvania Episcopal bishop ousted in cover-up.

The Philadelphia Inquirer has Episcopal court rules to defrock Pa. bishop.