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, August 4, 2014

News for Week Ending 8/4/2014

Ugandan anti-gay law struck down on technicality

According to The Wall Street Journal, Uganda’s anti-gay measure signed into law in February—see Pittsburgh Update story here—has been struck down by the country’s constitutional court. The court ruled that the bill was passed in parliament without the necessary quorum present. The fate of the controversial law remains in doubt, however, as the attorney general may appeal to the Supreme Court, or the parliament may try to pass the popular legislation again.

Covenant rejected by Australian church

The Anglican Church of Australia, at its recent General Synod, has apparently rejected the Anglican Covenant. The page on the Anglican Communion Web site “An Anglican Covenant – Responses” contains this item: “The Anglican Church of Australia declined to adopt the Covenant but adopted a resolution affirming its commitment to the Anglican Communion. July 2014.” Details can be found on the blog of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition.

Hamilton vicar leads congregation out of New Zealand church

The Rev, Michael Hewat, vicar of West Hamilton Anglican Parish in Dinsdale effectively resigned from the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia in a 10-page letter to Bishops Philip Richardson and Helen-Ann Hartley. According to Stuff.co.nz, “Hewat and his wife Kimberley Hewat forfeited their licences when they refused to adhere to General Synod, the governing body of the church in New Zealand/Aotearoa and Polynesia.” The presenting issue for Hewat was Motion 30, which was adopted by the General Synod in May. According to Anglican Taonga, Motion 30 “will create a pathway towards the blessing of same-gender relationships—while upholding the traditional doctrine of marriage.” Anglican Ink also covered this story and reproduces Hewat’s letter. Hewat and his congregation have formed a new church, West Hamilton Community Church, which is meeting in a funeral home.

Married gay priest vows to challenge denial of license

According to The Guardian, Canon Jeremy Pemberton, the first Church of England priest to marry a same-sex partner in defiance of rules laid down by church bishops, has had the job offer as a hospital chaplain withdrawn after Bishop Richard Inwood denied him a license. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Pemberton plans to challenge the decision that denied him employment. He noted that he has not been subjected to a formal disciplinary process and that many chaplains are gay or lesbian.

Alabama abortion clinic law struck down

AL.com reported that U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled August 4, 2014, that a year-old Alabama law requiring abortion clinic doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital is unconstitutional. In a 172-page opinion, Thompson wrote that the law would close three of the five abortion clinics in the state. The provision requiring admitting privileges had not yet gone into effect.

PB nominating committee issues third and final essay

The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB) has issued its third and final essay on the office of Presiding Bishop. (See earlier Pittsburgh Update stories here and here.) The latest essay is titled “The Evolving Role and the Changing Selection Process of the Presiding Bishop” and can be found here.

Committee solicits responses to disability survey

The sub-committee on Full Inclusion of People with Developmental Disability has issued a survey on inclusion of people with developmental disability. Episcopalians are asked to complete the survey by August 17, 2014. A story about the survey is here; the survey itself is here.

Quincy case goes against Episcopal Church

On July 24, 2014, the Fourth District Appellate Court for the State of Illinois upheld the lower court decision awarding property of the former Episcopal Diocese of Quincy to the breakaway Anglican Diocese of Quincy. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) According to a story from Episcopal News Service, the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, into which the remnant of the Quincy diocese was merged, is considering its next move.