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         

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Week Ending 4/4/16

Presiding Bishop Issues Statement on Staff Investigation

The Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, has issued a statement on the results of an investigation of charges against the Chief Operating Officer, Bishop Stacy Sauls; Sam McDonald, Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Director of Mission, and Alex Baumgarten, Director of Public Engagement and Mission Communications.  He announced that charges of misconduct had been confirmed against McDonald and Baumgarten and they had been terminated.  The investigation by an outside law firm found no reason to consider any action against Bishop Sauls.  However, Sauls will be leaving  because the Presiding Bishop is defining a different set of needs and priorities for senior leadership.  The announcement also included steps that are being taken to change the workplace culture at the Church Center and improve interpersonal relations.

Bishop Seage Issues Statement in Response to Passage of Bill Granting A Right to Discriminate 

Passage of a so-called "Freedom of Religion" law by the Mississippi legislature prompted the Episcopal Bishop of Mississippi, Brian Seage to issue a statement urging the governor to veto the law.  The Bishop's statement stressed the welcoming nature of the Episcopal Church for all and cited the church's baptismal covenant. Governor Phil Bryant, however signed the law today.  The law is broadly worded and will allow anyone who wishes to refuse services based on a religious belief.  It also added "In God We Trust" to the state seal. 

Women Walk Out of Polish Church As Bishops Issue Statement Calling for Stricter Abortion Laws

Poland already has the strictest abortion regulations of any EU country, but the Catholic bishops there have called for a total ban on abortion, even to save the life of a mother, and punishment of women who seek abortions or who appear to have intentionally miscarried.  Women got up and walked out of church as the letter from the bishops was read.   In a news story carried by the Guardian,  the leader of the majority party in the Polish parliament said he had enough support  to pass a bill enacting their requests.  The conservative party in power also plans on introducing legislation to ban into-vitro fertilization and to require a prescription for the "morning after" pill.

Archbishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt Insists That Primates do Have Authority 

In an essay published on the David Virtue website, Archbishop Mouneer Anis insists that the various resolutions of Anglican Communion bodies did confer special powers to the Primates Meeting. He interprets resolutions saying that there should be "consultation" as giving the primates a veto over action of any province in the Communion, and changes the three so-called "instruments of communion" (the Anglican Consultative Council, the Lambeth Conference, and the Primates Meeting) so that the Archbishop of Canterbury replaces the ACC as an instrument.   Anis has made his opposition to the Episcopal Church actions known in a number of ways, including refusal of all funds from any part of the Episcopal Church.  However, given that he is a member of the Standing Committee of the ACC, readers should be alert to how this might affect events at the upcoming ACC meeting. For more on the ACC meeting beginning April 8, see this Episcopal News Service article.