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, September 13, 2017

Week Endimg 9/11/17

Bishop Bruno Files Appeal of his Suspension

Bishop Jon Bruno has filed an appeal of the Hearing Panel finding that he should be suspended from the ministry.  He claims the Panel itself violated Church Constitution and Canons, too easily accepted the Church Attorney's Statement of Facts, ruled on measures not in the original complaint, and exceeded their authority.  You can read his appeal here.  Bruno's objections in part refer to the fact that the Panel was not pleased when it learned of his secret sale negotiations while the Panel was deliberating and added some findings based on his disregard for the process under way.

South Carolina Litigants Active Despite Mediation

The September 10, 2017 entry in the blog written by Steve Skaradon has a good summary of the status of both the state court and federal court proceedings in South Carolina concerning church property and identity.  The Pittsburgh Update has covered this litigation fully with our most recent post here.

Marriage Equality Continues to Rile Some Provinces

Not surprisingly the recent meeting of the Global South group of Anglican Provinces issued a Communique expressing its displeasure with those Anglican Provinces now allowing same-sex marriage or blessing of civil unions.  Two primates have decided not to attend the October meeting of Primates.  This is one more than reported on earlier.  Meanwhile, the General Synod of the Anglican Church in Australia, also passed a measure expressing its displeasure with the Episcopal Church of Scotland for voting to allow same-sex marriage.  The Synod vote came as a poll of all voters ordered by the Australian parliament to discern support for civil same-sex marriage began nation-wide. Opinion polls suggest a majority of Australians are supportive. The Synod vote as reported by Anglican.ink was 60 to 45 among the laity, 68 to 42 among the clergy, and 12 to 6 among bishops. What that article does not note is the disproportionate influence of the diocese of Sydney in the Synod.  Sydney has 35 clergy and 35 lay deputies, and the province of New South Wales, headed by the Sydney Archbishop has 43% of the members of the  General Synod.  Sydney has recognized ACNA as the real Anglican presence in the U.S.  Of course, as the General Secretary of the Anglican Communion, pointed out last week in an official statement, ACNA is not a part of the Anglican Communion.

Status Updates on Dioceses Affected by Hurricanes

  Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have left a wide swath of damage across the American South and the Caribbean.  The Episcopal Church has dioceses in the affected parts of the U.S., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and is oversees the Church in Cuba.  The Anglican Communion has a presence in all the affected Caribbean Islands.,  For those wising to help in the rebuilding and relief efforts or check the status of Churches in these areas, Update is providing links to web sites in most of the dioceses and overseas that will provide that information.  The Diocese of the Virgin Islands does not have a web site; Cuba's was inoperative, but there has been a message from the Bishop in Cuba.  The Anglican Communion News Service carried an update on the Caribbean with information on how to help.  Here are links for the U.S. dioceses:  Texas, West Texas, Central Florida, Southeastern Florida, Southwest Florida, Florida.  

National Cathedral Removes Lee and Jackson Windows

The National Cathedral in Washington D.C. deconsecrated  the windows installed in the 1950s honoring Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.  The Lee window included images of him on horseback at the battle of Chancellorsville as well as other parts of his military career and his service as a college president after the war.  The Jackson window showed him reading the Bible at a Civil War encampment, his earlier career, and his triumphant entry into heaven after being killed during the war.  The cathedral will find a way to display the windows in an historic context away from the worship space. The Cathedral has been discussing the windows removal for nearly a year.

New Zealand Cathedral to Be Restored

  After years of controversy, the Episcopal Diocese in Christ Church, New Zealand, has chosen to restore their cathedral which was severely damaged in the Christ Church Earthquake.  The synod was presented with three options, rebuild the cathedral elsewhere, demolish the damage building and build new on site, or restore the original historic building. Now the synod is faced with the challenge of raising the money that restoration will require.  The most recent Update post on the controversy leading to this vote is here.

Mainline Churches and Millennials - Some Good News

 A recent in-depth study of church membership across all American denominations had one bit of good news for mainline protestant churches.  They are doing better than evangelicals or Roman Catholics in attracting Millennials as members.  The liberal stances of mainline protestant denominations has often been cited as a reason for their membership decline.  However, those stances seem to be part of what is making the mainline more attractive to Millennials.  In fact the survey showed that the age demographics of the various segments of church membership had shifted so that evangelical and Roman Catholic groups had an older membership than the mainlines.  

Women's Ordination Still a Sticking Point

Four of the  denominations that broke from the Episcopal Church over women's ordination and the replacement of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer have signed an agreement of full communion. The Anglican Church in America, The Anglican Catholic Church, the Anglican Province of America, and the Diocese of the Holy Cross had interest in working with ACNA as it formed, but they instead formed a group called FACA and remained separate.  The full communion agreement brings these small denominations with a total of about 300 congregations into much closer cooperation with each other.   The remain adamant in reserving ordination for men. The fact that ACNA was divided on women's ordination was one of the reasons they did not affiliate with it.  The division in ACNA seems unlikely to be resolved.  The ACNA House of Bishops held conversations on the ordination of women and then issued a statement saying there are strong theological arguments for ordaining women and for not ordaining women, and this would remain a matter to be settled by each diocese.  The bishops unanimously reaffirmed the position that women would not be joining their ranks.