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, May 3, 2017

Week Ending 5/1/17

Women Continue Breaking New Ground as Bishops

While churches in England and Wales were reacting to the appointment of June Osborne, the Dean of the Cathedral in Salisbury as the 72nd Bishop of Landaff in Wales, The Episcopal Church was celebrating the consecration  of Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows as the first African-American woman to serve as a diocesan Bishop. Osborne's appointment must still be ratified by the Bishop of the Church of Wales, but it seems to quiet much of the controversy that arose when the church did not muster the super majority of votes needed to elect a bishop, and complaints were filed that discrimination against gays had played a part in that outcome.  There was little controversy, but much celebrating as Baskerville-Burrows's consecration as the Eleventh Bishop of Indianapolis set a second precedent.  She became the first woman bishop to follow another woman as bishop in the same see. Bishop Catherine Waynick is retiring after 20 years as Bishop of Indianaoplis.  The first woman consecrated a bishop in the Anglican Communion, retired suffragan bishop of Massachusetts, Barbara Harris served as one of the consecrators for Baskerville- Burrows.

Both Parties File Final Statements in Bruno Hearing

Both the Church Attorney representing the Episcopal Church and those who signed the original complaint and the counsel for Bishop Bruno filed their closing arguments in the disciplinary hearing that arose from Bruno's efforts to sell St. James the Great in Newport Beach.  There had been no closing statements at the hearing itself, and final statements could not be filed until a transcript of the hearing testimony was available.  The Bruno defense asked for the case to be dismissed and submitted a suggested order to that effect along with a long list of exhibits filed in the case.  Church Attorney Raymond Coughlin argued that Bruno had committed serious offenses that could justify his suspension, but suggested a better way forward would be to craft an agreement that would put the displaced congregation back in their building while keeping Bruno from having any control over the parish.  Coughlin also submitted a statement of proposed facts including a time line of events. Coughlin's solution would require agreement from Bruno to not pursue an appeal. The five member panel has not set a date for issuing an opinion. After it is issued, there is a 90 day appeal period. Bruno's posture towards the congregation has hardened over time.  After the lockout in 2015 he allowed use of the building for a wedding and a funeral.   This last week, however, he denied use of the building for the funeral of a woman who had been an active member for 61 years.  Update has carried many stories on the proposed sale, dispossession of the parish, and charges against the bishop.  The most recent one is here.

Church Use of Tiny Houses to Address Homeless Continues to Spread

The Deseret News in Salt Lake published a story featuring the several projects being sponsored by Episcopal parishes around the country to use "tiny houses" to provide homes for the homeless.  Update has carried stories on three projects already, with the most recent one being here.  The Salt Lake article has additional information on the Montana project and adds another location to the list -- four tiny houses being built on parish property adjacent to St. James Episcopal Church in Canon Ball on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota.

GAFCON Announces It Will Send a Missionary Bishop to Scotland

GAFCON leadership decided at their meeting last week to send a missionary bishop to Scotland because the Scottish Episcopal Church is moving towards permitting same sex marriage. They had previously announced that they would be considering this action.  The GAFCON group in the United Kingdom responded to the announcement with pleasure, and the Scottish Church primate objected to the move both as it would be a deliberate violation of the integrity of each province, and secondly because the church's synod had not yet met and it was not clear what the actual decision would be.  It is possible to read the GAFCON announcement as a threat designed to keep the synod from moving forward on this issue.  Update's previous coverage of the report issued for the synod on same sex marriage and reactions to it are here.

Anglican Women Around the Globe Speak Out on Women's Issues

The seven women serving as bishops in the Provinces of Australia and of New Zealand, Aotearoa and Polynesia met for three days in Australia. It was the first such meeting for the bishops. They used that meeting to explore the experience of women in the church including the episcopate.  At the conclusion they issued a communique expressing their concern for the well being of women and girls throughout the Anglican Communion. The communique expressed concern that there were no women on the Lambeth Conference planning committee and noted that the meeting of  Oceania primates was a single sex gathering (i.e. all male).  Less than a week earlier, the Mother's Union which represents Anglican women in 83 different countries issued a statement expressing concern that government support for the empowerment of women is weakening and that countries are not doing enough to end violence against women and challenge the stereotypes and assumptions about gender roles that hold back women.

Bishop Gallagher Urges Senators to Protect Alaskan Lands

Bishop Carol Gallagher, Assistant Bishop of Montana, authored an opinion column carried in the Helena, Montana newspaper stating the case for protection of lands in Alaska that are currently threatened by executive orders and congressional legislation. Gallagher, a member of an indigenous group, stressed that protection was necessary to ensure that the caribou migrations which indigenous  peoples depend upon would not be affected.  She called on Montanans, especially Episcopalians to urge Montana's senators to vote against any repeal of protection.