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         

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Week Ending 8/14/17

Episcopalians Witness Against Racism in Charlottesville

The three Episcopal parishes in Charlottesville were very active in helping to organize the ecumenical response in Charlottesville which formed when word of the planned march of White Supremacist and Nazi groups became public.  One of the parishes, adjacent to the campus and very close to the statue of Lee which was the focal point hosted the evening prayer service that was nearly surrounded by tiki torch-bearing Supremacists Friday night.  The three Episcopal bishops from the Diocese of Virginia issued a pre-protest call to clergy to gather as a peaceful, powerful witness against the Supremacist protesters.  After Supremacist attacks resulted in deaths and injuries on Saturday, the bishops issued another statement and suggestions for next actions.  Other Episcopal leaders have also condemned the attacks, especially after the first statement by President Trump spoke of violence from "many sides." (See the Episcopal Cafe and Episcopal News Service stories.)  Bishop Dorsey McConnell's statement is here. Trump has finally issued a second statement specifically condemning the Nazi and White Supremacist groups.

St. James the Great Church Heartbreak

 Celebrations of the Hearing Panel recommendations (See the previous Update) concerning Bishop Bruno and his attempts to sell St. James the Great property in Newport Beach came to a crashing end with a letter from Bishop Coadjutor Taylor saying that the diocese was bound by the sales agreement Bruno negotiated in secret after his first deal fell through. It means that almost certainly Bruno will be suspended from all clerical activities for three years.  Taylor did say that the commercial developer intended to preserve the worship space part of the property and would make it available to community groups including the dispossed congregation.

Break-Away Diocese in South Carolina Asks for Rehearing

The split decision, largely favoring the loyal Episcpalians in South Carolina, has encouraged the schismatic diocese's Standing Committee to ask the state supreme court to rehear the case.  Three of the five justices now serving were not on the court when it heard the case two years ago.  This may delay the hearing of the trademark case filed by the Episcopalians in federal court since the state court decision had left this issue to the federal court rather than rule on it.  Should the SC Supreme Court deny a rehearing, the schismatics will need to decide if they want to appeal to the US Supreme Court.

New Zealand Anglicans May Consider Local Option for Blessing Same-Sex Marriages

Last year the Anglican Church in New Zealand, which operates under a unique blend of three ethnic archbishoprics, found a report supporting blessing of same-sex marriages, was dividing the church.  Rather than vote on the propsals, they created a committee to study how the church could stay together while accomodating different theological positions on the issue.  The province includes pacific island countries where same-sex marriage is not legal, as well as New Zealand where such marriages have been legal since 2013.  The new report propses a form of local option, at a bishop's discretion, with promises of no penalties for those on either side of the issue, and possbly a separate track for dissenters.  The Church Times in England covered this, but a more detailed version of proposals can be found in New Zealand coverage, and the full report is here.