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         

Monday, August 7, 2017

Week Ending 8/7/17

South Carolina Supreme Issues Decision

The South Carolina Supreme Court finally issued its opinion in the appeal of the trial court award of Church property to the schismatic parishes and diocese.  The opinion makes clear why there was a two year wait following final arguments and filings.  The five judges each wrote their own opinion.  The result was a mixed opinion, granting the diocesan property, and  most of the parish properties to the group that remained in The Episcopal Church. A handful of schismatic parishes that had never acknowledged the Dennis Canon in their governing documents were able to keep their property.  The justices punted on the issue of diocesan name, seal, and identity.  Both sides are now waiting next steps.  The schismatics have to decide if they want to ask for a rehearing in front of a court that has had substantial personnel changes, appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, or just call it a day.  So far they have issued a pastoral letter.  The ACNA presiding bishop has also issued a statement. Not surprisingly,  the schismatic group in Fort Worth which is awaiting a Texas Supreme Court decision, weighed in to distinguish their case from South Carolina's.  Alex Haley, the lawyer who represented the San Joaquin schismatics in their unsuccessful attempt to keep property has raised conflict of interest charges against the South Carolina judges.  The schismatics did not raise the issue when the court heard the case. The loyal Episcopalians have to decide what they want to do with properties which would be returned.  They issued an initial pastoral letter and have held a meeting of clergy to begin sorting out their response.  The Post and Courier in South Carolina carried an initial article and a follow-up article on the decision.  The scepiscopalians.com blog has a number of postings on the legal issues.  read back to July 20 for a full picture. The Update has followed the case from the begining.  The most update coverage of the supreme court hearing is here.

Major Gender Wage Gap Documented Among English Clergy

A national study in England has documented a wage gap between male and female Church of England clergy with women making 40% less than men. This is much worse than the national average for all occupations. 

Kenyan Appeals Court Orders Reinstatement of Three Clergy

 Three Kenyan Anglican clergy who were removed as clergy on charges that they were gay, have not only prevailed a second time in court, but have been awarded compensation.  All three claimed the charges were false.  Both the trial and appeals courts ruled the Church had no evidence to support charges that the men were gay.

Final Recommendations Issued in Bishop Bruno Case

The Hearing Panel has issued its final order in the case against Bishop Jon Bruno, and as in the draft order, has recommended a three year suspenion from all clerical and episcopal actions.  It is now up to the Disciplinary Board for Bishops to affirm that order.  Because Bruno can appeal, the Presiding Bishop issued an expanded restriction on Bruno that removed him from any actions related to the property, members or clergy associated with St. James the Great in Newport Beach, CA.  Presiding Bishop Curry's restriction turned these matters over to the new Coadjutor in Los Angeles, John Taylor and the standing committee.  They have now issued a statement accepting that responsibilty.

 First Episcopal Wedding of Same Sex Couple in Scotland

We reported recently2 that St. Mary's Cathedral in Scotland was the first Parish in the Episcopa Church of Scotland to be approved to do weddings of same-sex couples.  However the first wedding was done in a small chapel not at the cathedral.  The two men have been together for 24 years.  It is expected that many couples from England will seek a Scottish wedding.  The wedding puts great pressure on the Church of England,