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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A Service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh         

Monday, November 30, 2015

Week Ending 11/30/15

Britain Adds Another Woman As Bishop

The Church of England is about to add the Venerable Karen Gorham to their list of bishops.  Gorham has been the Archdeacon of Buckingham and has been a priest for 19 years. Queen Elizabeth approved Gorham's appointment to the suffragan see of Sherborne in the Diocese of Salisbury on November 26. 

New Dallas Bishop Confirms Policy Barring Same Sex Marriage

The wax seals had hardly set on the consecration certificate for Dallas's new bishop, George Sumner when he circulated a letter saying he would not allow clergy of the Diocese of Dallas to participate in any way in a same-sex marriage ceremony in or out of the diocese, nor could any church-owned facility be used for that purpose. As bishop elect, he had promised (see Update story) to hold conversations in the diocese before issuing a statement on accomodations.  His letter simply referred people to the Diocese of Fort Worth and confirmed that it was acceptable for priests of the diocese to celebrate Eucharist in another diocese, if invited.  It is not clear if this means he would allow Dallas priests to celebrate a Eucharist following a same sex marriage performed elsewhere.

Texas Governor Threatens to Withhold All State Funds From Non-Profits That Resettle Syrian Refugees in State

Governor Greg Abbot was one of the politicians who responded to the Paris terrorist attacks by declaring that no Syrian refugees could be resettled in Texas. (See Update story here.)  Since governors do not control federal policy, nor run the private refugee resettlement groups, it was unclear whether such declarations would have any real impact.  Abbot has found a way to do so by announcing that he will refuse to authorize any state funding be sent to any agency that resettles Syrians in Texas.  Since most of the non-profits receive funding for other social service programs they run, this gives his policy some traction.  It also raises concerns that the Governor is interfering with religious freedom. 

Kunonga Appeals Restitution Award

Former Archbishop Kunonga from Zimbabwe has filed an appeal of the decision that meant he owed  the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa $428,000 in restitution for stock he illegally sold.  (See Update story here.http://update.pittsburghepiscopal.org/2015/11/week-ending-112315.html#2).

Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh Corrects Original Statements on Election of Successor to Duncan

The Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh forgot to check their own by-laws before announcing that the diocese would send between one and three names to the ACNA House of Bishops for final confirmation. (See original Update report on Duncan's retirement.)   In a full explanation of the process leading to election of a new bishop, the Standing Committee corrected earlier statements, noting that the Pittsburgh canons allow for only one name to be sent forward.  The election process will allow any number of names to be put forward (as long as they are ordained males) but that the only contact with candidates would come the night before election.

St. Paul's Richmond Gains Support for Removing Confederate Flag Images from Church

When you are located very close to what was the capitol of the Confederacy, and your congregation included a veritable "who's who" of the Confederate leadership during the Civil War, it is not surprising that the church sanctuary included memorials to some of those leaders.  The church even incorporated parts of the confederate flag into its communion kneelers, and church coal of arms. In response to the shootings in a Baptist Church in Charleston, SC, St. Paul's  decided to remove from the worship space plaques and symbols that are tied to the confederacy.  They will be preserved in other places in the building because of their historic significance   The Church picked up major support this last week when the Richmond Times-Dispatch announced its support for removal. The Times-Dispatch  is Richmond's leading newspaper and the official paper of record for the state of Virginia.