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.

A Pittsburgh Episcopal Voice          

A Service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh         

Monday, March 31, 2014

News for Week Ending 3/31/2014

Same-sex marriage becomes legal in England and Wales

On March 29, 2014, marriage between same-sex couples became legal in England and Wales. Couples began immediately taking advantage of the new law. (See, for example, this story from The Observer.) Shortly before the new law went into effect, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told The Guardian, “I think the church has reacted by fully accepting that it’s the law, and should react on Saturday by continuing to demonstrate in word and action, the love of Christ for every human being.” Nevertheless, same-sex marriages cannot be performed in churches, nor can such marriages be “blessed” by Church of England clergy. That has not not stopped clergy from announcing their attention to marry or to bless the marriage of other same-sex couples.

There has been a good deal of commentary about the new law and the CoE’s dealing with it. Bishop Alan Wilson accused other bishops of hypocrisy, suggesting that many of them are themselves gay. He urged clergy to work around the guidelines promulgated by the House of Bishops. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Paul Vallely, writing for The Independent, offered this amusing (if depressing) comment:
But the loudest clerical voices are opposed. The executive secretary of something which likes to call itself Anglican Mainstream was darkly blogging last week to the effect that recent floods and storms are God’s verdict on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. If that’s the mainstream, it doesn’t bear thinking about what might be found on the C of E’s wilder shores.
Thinking Anglicans, in its usual fashion, has collected links to many commentaries and news stories too numerous to enumerate here. See this post and earlier ones.

Poll: gays more popular than Evangelical Christians

Gay Star News reported March 31, 2014, that a poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and TargetPoint Consulting has found that gays and lesbians are viewed more favorably than Evangelical Christians. The poll was commissioned by the Human Rights Campaign and Americans for Marriage Equality. Overall, the research finds positive trends for acceptance of marriage equality. An introduction to selected results by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner can be found here, which contains a link to a PowerPoint presentation offering more detailed information. A PDF version of the PowerPoint file can be found here. (Data on favorability ratings for gays and lesbians versus Evangelical Christians can be found on page 6 of the presentation.)

Church releases financial report

On March 31, 2014, the Episcopal Church Office of Finance issued information about 2014 finances, as well as preliminary data for operating income and expenses for calendar year 2013. The news is generally good. Details can be found here.

House of Bishops meeting concludes

The five-day spring meeting of the House of Bishops concluded March 25, 2014. (See Pittsburgh Update story here for reports on the first four days of the meeting.) The story on the final day of the retreat was reported by Episcopal News Service here.

San Joaquin gets another provisional bishop

The Rt. Rev. David Rice was elected and installed as the provisional bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin at a special convention held March 29, 2014. He thus becomes the third provisional of the diocese since much of the diocese left The Episcopal Church, led by then bishop John-David Schofield. Property litigation continues in San Joaquin, and the diocese has yet to elect a permanent bishop. Rice is an American who was serving in New Zealand. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Episcopal News Service covered the story here.