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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, June 21, 2017

Week Ending 06/19/17

New Twists in Sauls and Bruno Cases

An Alabama judge has ordered mediation before he rules on dismissing the law suit filed by resigned Bishop Stacey Sauls.  Sauls sued the Episcopal Church and a number of its officers because he has been unable to find a position after being terminated as COO of the Episcopal Church Center and the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.  Update covered the filing of the suit here and here.

The Hearing Panel which held a formal "trial" of the charges brought against Bishop Jon Bruno of Los Angeles concerning his behavior related to the sale of St. James the Greater in Newport Beach, CA was not pleased to learn that Bruno may have recently signed a sales agreement for the property with a different developer.  The original sale fell through.  The Panel asked for information on the possible sales agreement from both sides of the dispute.  Bishop Bruno's legal team filed several objections but did not answer the Panel's request for clarification about a potential sale.  The Panel has responded by placing Bishop Bruno under sanctions forbidding him to take any actions to sell the property until after the Panel has ruled.  The story first became public in the Orange County Register.  The Episcopal News Service also has filed a story.  In final filings before the Panel, the Episcopal Church said that the members of St. James sought a return of their building and no punishment of the Bishop, although the Church Attorney recommended a year suspension of Bruno.  Bruno's legal team continued to argue that all charges should be dismissed.

Church Responds to Heartbreak in London

It has been a rough spring for London with an ISIS -inspired terrorist attack using a vehicle and knives on London Bridge and then devastating fire at a public housing high rise that left more than 70 dead and nearly 600 homeless, and most recently a second vehicle assault this time on muslims coming out of their mosque after prayers during Ramadan.  The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primus of the Episcopal Church of Scotland have made statements on the latest attack.  You can find them here and here.  Meanwhile, nearby houses of worship have been serving as centers for help to the fire victims.  In the center of the action is St. Clement's Church which is located only 4 blocks from the high rise.

Standing Rock Sioux Get Partial Legal Victory 

Leaders of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation were pleased that the federal judge hearing their case against the Dakota Access Pipeline.  The federal judge ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers did not properly investigate all the environmental impacts, including possible damage to the tribes hunting and fishing rights,  environmental justice issues, and possible controversial effects. The Corps has been ordered to complete this part of the assessment.  However, the judge ruled against several other complaints by the tribe and did not issue an order to stop oil coming through the pipeline. The court will allow further argument before ruing on a stay on use of the pipeline. The most recent Update story on the pipeline protest is here.

Poll Shows Wide Interest in New Zealand Cathedral Rebuilding

Episcopal Update has been following the saga of the controversy about what to do with the ruins of the cathedral in Christ Church.  There is a strong push to rebuild the Cathedral just as it was before the 2005 earthquake.  However, Bishop Mathews and the diocesan leadership have advocated for a fresh start with a new building.  The diocesan Synod will make the final determination later this year.  In the meantime, with local politicians (see Update) weighing in, the Church conducted a poll to the general public.  A majority (55%) responded that they wanted the cathedral rebuilt.  When those polled were told that public funds and taxes were not involved, and when they learned how much more expensive restoration would be compared to a fresh start, support dropped to 43%.  Those preferring a new building went from  33% (before cost information) to 49% (after learning of the costs).  Those aged 18-24 were the strongest supporters of restoration (69%)

Sale of Seminary Property Hits Snag

Trustees of Episcopal Divinity School have closed its campus in Massachusetts and signed an agreement with Union Seminary in New York City to open an EDS track as part of its campus.  The trustees had expected the sale of the 8 acre campus at Harvard Square in Cambridge to bring a large sum, but the sale has hit a snag.  In 2008 they opened a partnership with Lesley that gave Lesley ownership of at least 7 of the buildings on campus.  Lesley is using the buildings and is not interested in selling.