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 23, 2013

News for Week Ending 12/23/2013

Uganda parliament passes anti-gay law

After many fits and starts, the Uganda parliament has finally passed a harsh anti-gay law. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The legislation provides penalties as harsh as life imprisonment but does not call for capital punishment. It will become law if and when it is signed by President Yoweri Museveni. The story has been reported by The New York Times, Al Jazeera, and other news outlets.

Kunonga continues disruptions in Zimbabwe

According to The Zimbabwe Mail, deposed bishop Nolbert Kunonga and his supporters recently seized control of St. Luke’s Bvumbura parish, thus continuing to be a disruptive influence among Anglicans in Zimbabwe. (Pittsburgh Update last ran a story on Kunonga here. We have not followed his exploits closely.) According to the The Zimbabwe Mail, Kunonga is a close friend of President Robert Mugabe, with whom he shares an opposition to the “inclusion of sexual minorities into mainstream social life.”

Pilling comments continue piling up

Thinking Anglicans has published yet another post on comments on the Pilling Report. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Of particular interest is an essay from Simon Sarmiento, which provides a good overview of the controversial report.

Same-sex marriage advances on two fronts

On December 19, 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court handed down a decision making same-sex marriage legal throughout the state. State law neither allowed nor prohibited such marriages, and licenses were being granted in some counties and not others. The Albuquerque Journal reported the story, which includes the court decision itself. Opponents of marriage equality may attempt to negate the court decision through legislation.

According to The Washington Post, on December 20, 2013, a federal judge struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage. Judge Robert Shelby, as in the New Mexico case, found no state interest in prohibiting marriage between persons of the same sex. Bishop of Utah Scott B. Hayashi issued a statement the next day rejoicing in the decision and requesting “understanding, compassion, and prayer” for those who find the court decision unwelcome. According to AP, the state was in federal court December 23 requesting a stay of the decision pending appeal. NPR reported later in the day that that request was rejected, requiring the state to seek a favorable ruling by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Church seeks advice on headquarters location

Debate over where the Episcopal Church Center should be located has gone on for years. (It is now at 815 Second Avenue in New York City.) The 2012 General Convention passed a resolution to the effect that it should leave its present location, but the resolution did not say when that should happen or whether the church headquarters should leave New York City. The Executive Council Subcommittee on the Location of the Episcopal Church Center has posted a survey to gather comments on the future home for the Episcopal Church Center. Information about the survey and a link to it on-line is here.

Fort Worth diocese files reply

On December 19, 2013, the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth filed a reply with the Texas Supreme Court. The document responds to arguments against the diocese’s request for a rehearing made by the breakaway group led by Jack Leo Iker. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Other documents in the case can be found here.

Moyer settles with lawyer

According to David Virtue, the Rev. David L. Moyer, the litigious Anglo-Catholic former rector of Good Shepherd, Rosemont—see Pittsburgh Update story here—has settled the lawsuit brought by his former attorney John H. Lewis Jr. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, but it seems certain that, like most of his conflicts, Moyer did not come out on top. Virtue does a fine job, though admittedly not a totally objective or complete one, of reviewing Moyer’s long-running misadventures.

St. James receives Episcopal Church grant

St. James, Penn Hills, has received a $20,000 grant from The Episcopal Church for “Reviving Cultural and Ministry Needs of the Penn Hills Area.” The grant is among the first for “Mission Enterprise Zones and for New Church Starts” authorized by the 2012 General Convention. Details and a list of recipients can be found here.

Blessings of the Christmas season from Pittsburgh Update
and Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh