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, May 24, 2016

Week Ending 5/23/16

Episcopalians Lose Again in Illinois

An Illinois District Court has ruled against Episcopal Church claims again.  In a follow-up case involving funds frozen while litigation continued, an Illinois District Court ruled again against the Episcopal Church claims.  The Illinois Supreme Court refused to take an appeal from the earlier decision in 2014, ( see notice from Chicago Diocese here)  but the Episcopal Church went back to the appeals court claiming the earlier decision had not disposed of all the issues related to funds held in trust for parishes.  The legal issues are still not fully settled because there are cases concerning parish property pending in several counties.  The comments on this decision are all from those siding with ACNA, but they include more details.  The ACNA bishop's Statement is here and Alex Haley's comments are here.

National Cathedral Chooses New Dean

Bishop Budde of the Diocese of Washington has announced that the Rev. Randy Hollerith, rector of a large and thriving parish in Richmond, Virginia, has been selected as the new Dean of the National Cathedral.  The previous dean, the Rev. Gary Hall, had resigned last year (see update story) saying he was too close to retirement age to carry the cathedral through an extensive fundraising effort. Hollerithl has ties to the Cathedral, and has been in his Richmond parish for 16 years. The Washington Post article gives more details on Hollerith's successful parish building and fundraising.

New Zealand Anglicans Set Goals for Gender Equity in Church Offices

While last week's synod meeting of the Anglican in Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia deferred decisions on blessing same sex marriages, they passed a resolution setting a goal of 50% representation of women in all aspects of their church's governance, including appointed boards, and at the highest levels of liturgical leadership (i.e. bishops).  The resolution was sponsored by those who had attended the UN meeting on the status of women and it passed to rounds of applause.

Same Sex Marriage in the News in Scotland and South Africa

Both the (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland and the Scottish Episcopal Church put same sex marriage on the agendas of their governing body meetings this spring.  The Church of Scotland passed changes that allow ministers of their denomination to take advantage of the civil marriage laws.  They have not approved any changes though that would allow same sex couples to wed in the church.  That however, is the question that the Scottish Episcopal Church will vote on at its synod in early June.  A commission has submitted a proposal to amend the marriage canon to allow same sex marriages.  It will require votes at two successive synods to go into effect.  Meanwhile, Archbishop Tutu's daughter has resigned her ministerial license rather than be suspended by the church in South Africa because she married her same sex partner in the Netherlands, home of her spouse.  Archbishop Tutu and his wife were present for the wedding, and the Archbishop gave a father's blessing during the service.  South Africa has had legal civil marriage for same sex couples since 2006, but the church has not changed its canons.  Her resignation does not affect Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu-Van Furth's standing as a priest in the Episcopal Church.  She is canonically resident in the Diocese of Washington.

Initial Court Ruling Disappoints St. James Newport Beach

The initial court ruling on whether the restrictive covenant forbidding sale of St. James Church in Newport Beach has disappointed that congregation.  The original donor of the land was sued by Bishop Bruno because they claimed that they had not removed restrictions on the church property that barred its use for anything other than a church.  The trial court has ruled that the restrictions were lifted on all three parcels of land donated by the company in the 1980s.  The company claimed it had only removed the restrictions on parcels being bused for parking.  The company is considering appealing. For more on the dispute, you can pick up the threads at this Update post.

Bishops of Four Rebuilding Dioceses Meet with President of the House of Deputies in Pittsburgh

On May 10-11, Bishops from Fort Worth, South Carolina, San Joaquin and Pittsburgh met with Gay Jennings, the President of the House of Deputies, and Sally Johnson, Chancellor to Jennings.  The bishops of the four dioceses have met periodically to discuss common issues and news.  The meeting in Pittsburgh allowed them to also brief Jennings on what was happening in the dioceses. The Diocese of South Carolina e-news has an article on the meeting and a picture.