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, April 6, 2015

News for Week Ending 4/6/2015

U.N. delegation challenges ACC, Communion

The Anglican Communion delegation to the U.N. Commission for the Status of Women has issued a statement challenging the Anglican Consultative Council and the wider Anglican Communion to take bold steps to achieve gender equality and deal with problems such as climate change. For more details, see the story from Anglican Communion News Service.

Selection of new ACC Secretary General sparks controversy

Anglican Communion News Service reported April 2, 2015, that the Most Rev. Dr. Josiah Atkins Idowu-Fearon, of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), has been chosen to serve as the next Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council. In reporting on the announcement, Episcopal Café reported on Idowu-Fearon’s connection to GAFCON and apparent support for criminalizing homosexuality in Nigeria. The next day, Idowu-Fearon argued that he had not supported anti-gay laws. (See Episcopal Café article here.) On April 4, both Idowu-Fearon and Bishop James Tengatenga, chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, responded to the growing controversy. (Episcopal Café covered the developing situation here.) Meanwhile, the conservative Anglican Unscripted episode for April 3 appeared with the title “The End of the ACC?”

Anglican Mission in England unveils new Web site

Thinking Anglicans reported March 30, 2015, that the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) has debuted a new Web site. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) AMiE is a GAFCON-related group that describes itself this way on its What Is AMiE page:
The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) is a mission society that seeks to promote gospel growth in areas covered by the Church of England (principally in England, but also in other parts of Europe) by supporting Anglican churches and individuals both within and outside present Church of England structures.

Presiding Bishop delivers sermon at Salisbury Cathedral

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori delivered the sermon at the 10:30 Easter Sunday service at Salisbury Cathedral April 5, 2015. The text of her sermon, as well as video of it, can be found here.

‘Religious freedom’ legislation toned down in Indiana, Arkansas

After much controversy—see Pittsburgh Update story here—the state of Indiana adopted changes to its recently passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Most of those who had complained about the original bill agreed that the modifications removed many of the objections to the newly passed law, though civil libertarians were not totally satisfied.

Arkansas was about to pass a law similar to that of Indiana when the Indiana controversy developed. Republican governor Asa Hutchinson refused to signed the bill passed by the legislature. (See the Huffington Post story here.) Eventually, a more acceptable, revised bill became law in Arkansas.

Episcopal Café reported the latest developments in Indiana and Arkansas here.

Federal trademark case in South Carolina given new life

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina announced March 31, 2015, that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has sent the trademark case brought by Bishop Charles vonRosenberg against deposed bishop Mark Lawrence back to district court. In a published opinion, the court noted that Judge C. Weston Houck applied the wrong law in refusing to take the case while the state action brought by Lawrence was active. The opinion noted that the district court could only abstain from taking the case if there were exceptional circumstances. The district court will now have to determine if there are such circumstances. The Fourth Circuit action represents a rare victory for South Carolina Episcopalians, albeit an administrative one. The Post and Courier covered this story.

Heather Cook arraigned

Maryland’s sffragan bishop, Heather Cook, was arraigned April 2, 2015, in Baltimore Circuit Court and pleaded not guilty to all charges related to the December 27 accident that killed bicyclist Thomas Palermo. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) A trial date has been set for June 4. Both The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun covered the story. The Baltimore Sun story includes video.

Bishop McConnell offers Holy Week message

Pittsburgh’s Bishop Dorsey McConnell has offered a Holy Week message. It can be read on the diocesan Web site.