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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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Week Ending 02/27/17

Federal Appeals Court Tells Judge to Hear Bishop's Law Suit

Judge Houk, the senior federal judge assigned the lawsuit filed by South Carolina Bishop vonRosenberg, who has refused twice to go forward with the case involving damage done to the Bishop by the schismatic Bishop Mark Lawrence claiming to be an Episcopal diocese has been told a second time by the Federal Appeals Court that the issues are different enough from the state court suit to justify going forward with a separate hearing.  You can find the previous Update story from March 2016 when the bishop filed an appeal of Houk's second refusal to move forward here, and a summary by the Church in South Carolina with a link to the full appeals court opinion from this last week here

St. Paul's Cathedral, London, Breaks Thousand-Year Tradition by Hiring a Woman as a Singer with Boy's Choir

The St. Paul's Cathedral in London has had a Boys Choir for 1000 years.  The choristers sing the soprano line and 12 professional adult singers supply the Bass, Tenor and Alto parts.  All of these have been men until now. St. Paul's has announced that Carris Jones, a graduate of the University of Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music will begin working as an Alto Vicar Choral in September, after the birth of her second child (due in May).  Jones has an impressive career as a soloist and singer with prestigious ensembles doing classic and music from the Renaissance and Baroque Periods. 

New York's Union Theological Seminary and Boston's Episcopal Divinity School Explore Merger

In a controversial move last year, the Episcopal Divinity School Board decided to cease offering degrees in 2017.  That move led to the resignation from the Board of Trustees of Bishop Carol Gallagher and protests by a number of alumni.  Update covered these events here and here.  The Board has been exploring how to best continue the school's tradition and use its remaining endowment.  The announcement this last week of merger talks with Union Theological Seminary provides a possible answer.  It may also put additional stress on General Theological Seminary in New York which is recovering from its own controversy that resulted in an almost complete turnover of faculty and reduced enrollment.

Appointment of New Bishop of Sheffield Stirs Protests

The Diocese of Sheffield has long been accepting women as priests and women hold over 30% of parish appointments.  However, the selection process for their new bishop has resulted in the appointment of the Suffragan Bishop of another diocese who does not ordain women.  He has promised to help all priests in his diocese reach full potential of their ministries, but there is a considerable outcry that he should refuse the appointment and is not an appropriate match with the diocese.  Traditionalists see this as a test of whether the Church of England is really still open to male clergy who do not accept women's ordination.  Thinking Anglicans has a good summary of the various positions and statements.

Winthrop University Poll Shows Great Divides Among South Carolinans on Trump

A recent phone poll of over 700 people has resulted in fascinating evidence of the differing perceptions of men and women, whites and blacks, and Republicans and Democrats on how they think things are doing both in the nation under Donald Trump and in their state.  The most telling statement is that South Carolinans had warmer feelings towards Muslims, Hispanics, refugees, the police,  blacks, President Obama than they did towards Trump.  Women and blacks were much more dissatisfied, and the group most satisfied with Trump were white male Republicans.  The whole survey is well worth pondering.