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         

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Week Ending 03/27/17

Bishop Bruno's Church Trial Under Way

The first day of the three day hearing on the charges filed by members of St. James the Great in Newport Beach and others against Bishop Jon Bruno has concluded.  The Los Angeles Times reported on the testimony of prish members here and the Episcopal New Service filed this story before the start and this one at the close of the first day.  The Pittsburgh Update has been following this saga from its origins in spring 2015 when Bruno surprised the congregation with an announcement he was selling the parish building to developers.  Our most recent coverage is here and our initial stories are here and here.

Episcopal Bishops Issue Response to Trump's Executive Order on Environmental Regulations

Fifteen Episcopal Bishops have jointly issued a response to the recent executive order rolling back environmental regulations.  They spoke as faith leaders concerned about good stewardship of creation and the damage climate change is already doing to the lives of members of their churches.  They called on "the Trump Administration to protect the American people through implementing, strengthening, and improving critical climate change policies in our national agenda, building an American dream that courageously confronts the climate crisis."  You can read the whole statement and see the list of signers here.

Oregon Diocese Backs "Dreamer" arrested by ICE

When Ice agents pounded on the door of Francisco J. Rodriguez Dominguez who had come to  the US when he was 5 without papers, Dominguez called his local Episcopal priest for help.  The member of Holy Family Episcopal Church was arrested by federal agents minutes later even though they had no warrant.  Dominguez volunteered at a local food bank, worked for a social service agency, and coached a youth soccer league.  He was picked up because of a DUI charge that he was in the process of satisfying through a special program.  The Episcopal Bishop responded with a strong statement in support, members of the diocese rallied, and the ACLU was able to get him released on bond.  His release was speeded by the strong community and church support that quickly mobilized.   Dominguez, age 25, was a duly registered "dreamer" and his arrest on a misdemeanor has concerned many.  

Controversy in Wales and England continues over Choice of Bishops

Following the controversy over choice of a traditionalists who opposes ordination of women as  Bishop for Sheffield (which has women priests in about 30% of its parishes)  and his subsequent decision to decline the appointment, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have jointly issued a statement saying the have asked the official Independent Reviewer to address the concerns that arose from this controversy.  In other words, there will be an investigation of sorts. Meanwhile in Wales, five members of the electoral body have lodged a complaint and a formal investigation has begun as to whether homophobia was involved in the decision not to bring forward Jeffrey John's candidacy for Bishop of Llandaff.  Update has covered the Sheffield controversy here and the Wales situation here.

Anglican Delegation to UN Women's Meeting Vows to Work for Change

The Anglican Delegation to the United Nations Women's Meeting has vowed to work for change in all of their countries and churches that improve the status of women within the Anglican Communion and their own countries.  They have sent a statement to the Anglican Consultative Council urging that the Council encourage provinces to work for full inclusions of women within the life and leadership of the church, to train women as leaders, and denounce leaders implicated in gender violence. The earlier update story on Anglican involvement in the UN meeting is here.

Rise of a Christian Left 

Episcopal Cafe picked up a Reuters story on the rise of a Christian left following the recent election.  The story claims that Christian liberals are finally beginning to organize as a counter force to the Christian right.  The Episcopal Cafe has asked for comments if readers have noticed an upsurge in church activities supportive of liberal social and political causes.  Pittsburgh Update would like to point out that the Christian left is not a new thing.  Episcopalians were very much involved in a movement of Christian Socialism that was active during the Progressive Era and New Deal, and that the Episcopal Peace Fellowship (founded in 1939) has continued to be a voice for such liberal issues as abolition of the death penalty. In fact, they just issue a statement of concern in response to an announcement that Arkansas has scheduled eight executions for shortly after Easter. The Episcopal Environmental Network formed in 1989 to be a voice for concerns about the environment. The Episcopal Public Policy Network, which works across many issues was came out of a resolution of General Convention in 1982.

Nigerian Archbishop Quashes Hopes for Removal of Bishop in Sapele

Anglican.ink carried a story on the turmoil in the diocese of Sapele where members of the cathedral revolted against a bishop they found to be corrupt and were in turn locked out of the cathedral.  The statlemate has continued for two years.  Refusal of the opponents to the current bishop have refused to participate in hearings, however, and so the Nigerian archbishop has told them they have no choice but to recognize the existing bishop and stop their rebellion.