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, August 30, 2016

Week Ending 8/29/16

Churches Support Pipeline Protest

The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation that straddles North and South Dakota is leading a protest against an oil pipeline that will cross the Missouri River just north of their reservation.  They are concerned both because the land involved is considered sacred (and they own the mineral rights to it) and because a leak would potentially destroy the source of water for the reservation.  Some leaders of the protest have been arrested; other tribes have gathered in support of the protesters, and there have demonstrations of support in various locations around the country. A number of the protesters are members of the Episcopal Churches on the reservation. The Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota issued an early statement supporting the protesters, and they were soon joined by the Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, and now the Anglican Church of Canada.   The situation is still ongoing.

Episcopal Schools Remain in the News

Two Episcopal Schools continue struggle with issues related to sexual abuse on campus.  Legal issues continue surrounding conviction last year of a senior student who raped an underclass woman as part of a contest among graduating men at St. Paul's School in New Hampshire. The young woman's lawyers have now filed a complaint because some parents raised money to help pay the senior's legal fees.  They are holding the school responsible.  Meanwhile in Boca Raton, the Board of St. Andrew's School has announced the dismissal of a second senior administrator at the school for mishandling two complaints about possible sexual abuse. They had terminated the head of school in May and hired an outside investigating team to explore a report of abuse. The team's report uncovered a second case.  The terminated officials failed to follow state law requiring them to report possible abuse.  Earlier update stories on these schools can be found here and here

Church of England Conservatives Start Down Path to Schism

The most recent interview with Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, where he commented on the awful way gays and lesbians have been treated by the church,  was one more piece of evidence for clergy from 12 parishes who have begun preliminary steps to set up their own "church within a church" shadow synod.  They are upset by what they see as the Church of England's softening stance against homosexuality, same sex marriage, and ordination of those in a same sex relationship. Episcopalians will recognize the similarity to the first actions and rhetoric taken by those who eventually left the church to form the Anglican Church in North America.  In fact, ultra-conservative bloggers are already noting the parallel.   Like ACNA the group has announced adherence to the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration, and like ACNA the Church of England group looks to GAFCON (Global Anglican Future Conference) for support. In return GAFCON has issued a statement supportive of the Church of England group, while carefully noting they did not initiate the meeting.

U.S. Government to Work with Church in Ghana to End Child Slavery

The diocese of Accra in Ghana has launched a major effort to redeem children caught in child trafficking and slavery, and they have secured the U.S. government as a partner.  Ambassador Jackson was present last week at the launching of a five year program to create a "City of Hope," a refuge for trafficked children and those in forced labor developed by the Diocese of Accra in the Anglican province of West Africa. With more than 22% of Ghana's children in the labor force and 14% dong hazardous labor, the church has begun a widespread initiative that includes not only rescue and rehabilitation of children, but affordable education, sustainable employment that will eliminate the need for child labor, and changes to public policy.