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 17, 2015

Week Ending 8/17/15

Panel Recommends Conciliation Process in St. James Controversy

The Review Panel for the complaint filed by members of St. James the Great in Newport Beach, California, (and others) against Bishop Jon Bruno for his attempted sale of the parish property—see Pittsburgh Update story here—has issued a formal letter saying they will be setting up a Conciliation Process as described in Episcopal Church canons, and warning all parties to do nothing that would undermine this effort. Earlier in the week the panel appointed an advisor to the parish.

Diocese of Albany Divided by Bishop Love’s Stance on Same-Sex Marriage

The Albany Times Union has carried a story about the negative reaction of portions of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany to Bishop William Love’s pastoral letter forbidding any clergy or parish involvement in or outside the diocese in a same-sex marriage. The news story interviewed people at several parishes including the cathedral parish who were protesting by staying home from church or driving to another diocese to worship in a welcoming parish. To read the story on the newspaper site, you need a subscription, but David Virtue has reprinted it.

Anglican Archbishop of Hong Kong Protests Removal of Crosses

Since 2013 more than 1200 crosses and several churches have been destroyed in China’s Zhejiang Province. Anglican Archbishop of Hong Kong, Paul Kwong, who sits on the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, announced that last October he had written to the director of China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs in protest and was drafting another protest letter to send to state leaders because actions continued. The Chinese authorities are using the pretext of unsafe structures to remove crosses and are tearing down churches as unauthorized construction. The Roman Catholic news agencies covered the Anglican Archbishop’s actions.

Assignment of Women Priests Still Raising Issues in England

The Church of England’s process for accommodating both those supporting and opposing women as priests includes an “Independent Reviewer” to rule on complaints. The Reviewer recently ruled against a complaint by an organization supportive of women priests. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) His second report, published this last week, dealt with a complaint filed by Forward in Faith that a woman was inappropriately licensed to a multi-parish ministry in the Diocese of Gloucester including one parish opposed to women priests. Since the bishop issued a similar license to another woman for the same parish grouping, the Reviewer’s comments covered both. He ruled that part of the Forward in Faith complaint was incorrect, but that the bishop should reissue the licenses so that they are specific about what duties and where the women would serve within the cluster.

Church of England Reader Loses License for Same-Sex Marriage

Archbishop Sentamu of York has revoked the license (as of September) for lay reading that he gave Jeremy Timm, the National Coordinator of Changing Attitude, because Timm has married his same-sex partner. Timm studied for the ministry at Cramner Hall in Durham, but chose to not be ordained. He has been part of the Howden ministry team in the Diocese of Hull. He received the license after registering for a civil partnership in 2009, but his decision to marry, following legal changes in England, put him at odds with the official Church of England position. The parishes in the cluster are planning to protest the revocation. Timm is planning to find a home in Contemplative Fire, a “Fresh Community” recognized by the church. Timm’s statement is here. The Church Times story with comments from parishioners is here, and comments by Timm and a church spokesperson as part of a BBC broadcast are here.

Diocese of Melbourne Launches Plan for Reconciliation

In a concerted effort of the Anglican Church in Australia to face up to its past actions and build a new relationship with aborigines in Australia, Archbishop Philip Freier has announced the launch of a plan of reconciliation for the Diocese of Melbourne, his home diocese. The plan includes a variety of steps that will foster reconciliation with aboriginal peoples in Australia, better understanding and trust.