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, July 19, 2016

Week Ending 7/18/16

Retired Mississippi Bishop and Civil Rights Advocate Dies

Bishop Duncan Gray, Jr. died at age 89 this last week.  As a priest in Oxford, Mississippi in 1962 when James Meredith enrolled as the first black student at the University of Mississippi, Gray acted to support Meredith and tried to calm the mobs that gathered in protest.  Later as Bishop of Mississippi (a post also held by his father Duncan Gray Sr., and his son Duncan Gray III)  Gray continued to work against racism and build a more inclusive diocese.

San Joaquin Episcopalians Prevail

The Chancellor for the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin informed the diocese this week that the California Supreme Court had refused to hear an appeal on the lawsuit filed 7 years ago to recover diocesan and parish property from the group that left  the Episcopal Church.  The ACNA bishop acknowledged that the case was over and he would now focus on working out the details of an orderly transition for the roughly $50 million dollars worth of property including investments, building, and a diocesan conference center.  Three parish lawsuit still remain to be settled.  In contrast to the restrained statements by the two dioceses, Alex Haley, one of the lawyers for the losing side used his blog to vent angrily.  Pittsburgh Update has long tracked this case from the initial filing in 2008 through a set of appeals, a rehearing at the trial level and the final round of appeals.

Details and Responses to the Canadian Church Vote

More detail has emerged on the recount of the Anglican Church of Canada synod vote to explicitly include same sex couples in their marriage cannon. As the Pittsburgh Update reported last week, it was first announced that the vote had failed by one vote among the clergy.  However, when the vote tally was published, people noted that there were missing or misclassified voters. There was a breakdown in the electronic clicker system, and in the information identifying who was eligible to vote and as part of which order (lay, clergy, bishop). When the errors were corrected, the measure passed. Although the change will require a second vote, Canadian bishops are acting if it is a done deal, several announcing that they will authorize marriages under the current canons, and seven bishops issuing a statement of opposition to the change.  Archbishop Fred Hiltz has announced he has no authority to prevent bishops from authorizing church weddings for same sex couples.

Charges Against Bishop Bruno Sent to Panel of Review

Pittsburgh Update last week carried a short statement from the St. James the Great congregation that confirmed the case that they had filed against Bishop Bruno for actions taken as part of his efforts to sell their building will be sent forward for a Panel of Review hearing.  In general, the charges were for conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy, especially lying, and vindictively retaliating when he met opposition to the sale of the property.  The Conference Panel had the power to dismiss charges, send them forward for trial or try to work out an accord.  Bruno refused to discuss any possible settlement, and the panel found the charges credible enough to send forward for a hearing.  This is the closest thing to a trial in the current disciplinary canon of the Episcopal Church.  The Save St. James web site has posted an update letter, copies of their summary of their position and proposed accord submitted to the Conference Panel, and the charges the Church Attorney is sending to the Panel of Review.