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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A Service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh         

Monday, July 25, 2011

News for Week Ending 7/25/2011

Nigeria releases consultation communiqué

Pittsburgh Update earlier reported that Nicholas D. Okoh, primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), has called for Nigeria to resign from the United Nations because of the UN’s stance on gay rights. The Church of Nigeria has now released the communiqué from a National Consultation on Human Rights sponsored by the Nigerian church from June 27 to July 1, 2011. The communiqué does not call for Nigeria to withdraw from the world body and does not deal at length with homosexuality. It does, however, contain the following:
The Church must stand in the vanguard to resist any attempt to establish local or international platforms to foist societal vices e.g. homosexual behaviour, prostitution, etc as rights on others. These are redeemable conditions, by the power of the Gospel.

Gays under siege in Ghana

The Independent reported July 22, 2011, that a government minister has called for the arrest of all gays and lesbians in the country. The call from Paul Evans Aidoo, minister for the Western Region of Ghana, is seen as being related to upcoming elections in 2012. Other politicians and religious leaders have added their voices to the anti-homosexual rhetoric. According to the Web site Ghanamma.com, “Christian leaders are threatening to mobilize their congregations against politicians and political parties who defend homosexuality and lesbianism.” Ghanan bishop Matthias Modedues-Badohu of the Diocese of Ho in the Church of the Province of West Africa is quoted as saying, “We speak against acts that go against the word of God. It is abnormal and not good. Our objective is to condemn it so that people will not get involved.”

ENS reports on status of same-sex marriage in NY

Episcopal News Service has published a story that gives a more detailed account of how dioceses have responded to the new same-sex marriage law of New York state than have secular news accounts. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) According to ENS, priests in four of the six dioceses in New York state have permission from their bishops to officiate at weddings of same-sex partners. Bishop Mark Sisk, of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, will allow priests to bless same-sex unions but not to officiate at actual weddings, arguing that the General Convention has not authorized such activities. (His explanation can be read here.) Bishop William Love, of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, generally considered to be the most conservative diocese in New York state, has explained his position in a pastoral letter. In 2008, Albany adopted two canons that reaffirm heterosexual marriage and ban use of Episcopal Church facilities for celebrating other unions.

Fort Worth hearing postponed to July 28

A 10-minute Tarrant County court hearing originally scheduled for July 21, 2011, has been rescheduled for July 28. As explained in an earlier Pittsburgh Update story, the breakaway Fort Worth faction wants the court to delay implementation of its decision in favor of the Episcopal Church parties while it appeals to the Texas Supreme Court. Moreover, it wants to do so without posting bond. The Episcopal Church parties will argue that a bond of $950,000 should be posted. Notice of the rescheduled hearing can be found on the Web site of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth here. The issues involved are explained in an earlier post here.