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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A Service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh         

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Week Ending 04/10/2017

Cathedrals in the News

The Church of England is buzzing about the precarious financial and physical states of a number of their historic cathedrals.  Trying to maintain cathedrals build 700 or 800 years ago presents numerous challenges.  There is now a commission looking into matters at several of the historic sites. Meanwhile in New Zealand information has been released that sheds light on our most recent update on the struggle surrounding what to do with the Anglican cathedral in Christ Church, New Zealand which was destroyed in a major earthquake in 2011.

Crown Tries Again to Get a Bishop for Sheffield

The uproar around the appointment of Bishop Philip North as the new diocesan bishop of Sheffield in England led to his declining the appointment.  Now the crown has announced its new choice, and this time there is no major protest.  The new nominee, the Rev. Dr. Pete Wilcox,  is currently the dean of the Cathedral in Liverpool and is an evangelical who supports women's ordination.  He has promised to respect the traditionalist parishes in his new diocese.  The most recent previous Update story is here.

Bishops Entangled with the Courts

News continues around three different legal struggles for Bishops around the Anglican Communion.
Heather Cook, the former suffragan bishop of Maryland is about to have her first parole hearing.  Cook pled guilty to felony charges filed after she killed a bicyclist while driving drunk and then left the scene and has been serving her sentence in prison. Update's most recent coverage of Cook is here.  The legal struggles continue between the current Archbishop of Tanzania and the bishop of Dar es Salom (and former Archbishop of Tanzania).  Bishop Mokiwa has been ordered to appear before a civil authority's investigation committee looking into fraud charges.  He has filed a countering civil suit and is trying to get a meeting of the Tanzanian House of Bishops called to look into the way the current Archbishop has handled the matter.  The Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa has now weighed in with a statement asking the current and former Archbishops to find a way to settle the issue outside the courts. The most recent Update coverage is here.

St. James Newport Beach Issues a Statement

As Los Angeles bishop Jon Bruno and the dispossessed congregation of St. James the Great await the outcome of the hearing conducted last week by  an Episcopal Church panel, the congregation has issued a statement offering thanks for finally having "been heard" and posted to their web site recordings of all three days of the hearing and a good listing of the print media coverage of the hearings.  There is no indication of when the Hearing Panel will finish its deliberations and issue its findings.

Religious Leaders Around the Globe Respond to Palm Sunday Terrorist Attacks on Coptic Churches

Archbishop Mouneer Anis, primate for the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East is among the many who have issued statements of support and sympathy for the bombing attacks on the Coptic cathedral in Alexandria, Egypt and St. George's Church in Tanta, north of Cairo.  Religion News has provided a convenient background piece on the Coptic tradition of churches.

New Poll on Discrimination and Religious Liberty Issues Shows Americans Largely Agree

The PRRI is a Washington D.C. based research institute which polls on subjects related to religion and public policy. Polling done by PRRI in February 2017 shows that substantial majorities of Americans agree that business should not refuse services to LGBTQ people, support the idea that LGBTQ people should be covered by anti-discrimination laws, and oppose the recent legislative attempts to force transgendered people to use bathrooms contrary to their identity. This holds true across religious groups, except for one category: white evangelicals. The major divide is between Republicans and Democrats, with the general profile of Americans looking more like the Democrats than the Republicans.   There is a major perception gap is in who faces a lot of discrimination.  Republicans believe that whites and Christians are more likely to be discriminated against than blacks, Muslims, or lesbians and gays.  They do believe that transgender people are as likely to face discrimination as Christians.   Democrats overwhelmingly saw whites and Christians as facing little discrimination, and considered immigrants, muslims, blacks, gays, and transgendered as the groups facing discrimination.  Americans as a whole were less emphatic than Democrats, but generally agreed with the Democrats on which groups faced a lot of discrimination.

Survey Issued on Liturgies for Same Sex Marriage

Episcopal Cafe has a good story on the survey the Episcopal Church is making concerning two liturgical options for same-sex marriages.  The Standing Committee on Liturgy and Music is looking for feedback on the liturgy approved for experimental use by General Convention 2015 and the other is a newly developed gender neutral version of the marriage service in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.  You can take the survey here