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.

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A Service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh         

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Week Ending 12/11/17

Planning to Keep the Next Lambeth Conference Civil

Canadian Archbishop Hilz is just back from a four week visit to England where he consulted with Archbishop of Canterbury Welby on plans for the 2020 Lambeth Conference.  Hilz annually visits England to consult with those in the Anglican Communion, but this visit included conversation on plans for Lambeth since Hilz is on the committee appointed to help with planning.  The discussions focused on how to make sure that the many pressing areas of concern, such as climate change, human trafficking, and the Middle East, will not be shoved to the side by discussion of human sexuality. 

New Zealanders Unhappy at Tax Support for Rebuilding Cathedral

 It seems that the controversy surrounding the earthquake damaged cathedral in Christ Church, New Zealand simply will not go away.  For six years the Anglican diocese has been trying to decide what to do with a building so badly damaged that not one can enter.  The diocese originally wanted to tear it down and rebuild, but local historic preservationists wanted the building restored, although the cost would be much more.  This summer the diocese decided to restore the building after government and outside funds were offered to help with the costs.  Now a number of residents in Christ Church are complaining that the city is planning on raising taxes to cover their share of the pledged money.

Priest in Road Rage Case May Plea Bargain

 The Western North Carolina priest involved in a road-rage incident in Florida has withdrawn his not-guilty plea and plead no contest to a misdemeanor charge of improperly displaying a weapon if everything goes according to plans in court this Friday.  The bargain would reduce charges from a felony with a possible 15 year sentence to a misdemeanor with a year probation.  Both Anglican.ink and local southern Florida papers carried the story.  Update has information on the original incident here.

Church of England Facing Tactics Familiar to TEC

 Members of the Episcopal Church will find events orchestrated by the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) taking on an increasingly familiar turn.  This last week English commentators were discussing the impact of the ordination of a group of priests by ACNA consecrated Bishop Andy Lines to serve parishes not wishing to continue in the Church of England.  For statements from a number of those supporting this extra-jurisdictional ordination, look here. Then one of the leading evangelical parishes in London declared it was not in communion with the other members of their Church of England deanery  and would no longer worship with them at any meetings.  They accused the other churches and leaders of apostacy.  This followed the announcement covered by the Update earlier that a small parish in Scotland was withdrawing from the Episcopal Church of Scotland and going under the jurisdiction of Lines. Topping off the week the Global South leaders issued a statement saying they were in full communion with ACNA thus trying to counter the recent statements saying that ACNA was not a member of the Anglican Communion.

Report on Protests in Charlottesville Released

A careful and detailed report on the official handling of the protests in Charlottesville, VA this last summer dishes out a lot of criticism to the public safety officials who were charged with keeping order.  The report also brings into better view how the well-publicized August protests were actually the third set of demonstrations in the summer and that as the summer went on, the protection got worse.  The 8 page executive summary at the beginning of the 200+ page report gives a good overview.  Pittsburgh Update carried stories on the church responses that were part of the counter-demonstrations in August. This report fills in and confirms the lack of protection noted by clergy at those events. 

Episcopal Clergy Signed Public Statement in Alabama Senate Race

The Alabama special election to replace Jeff Sessions as U.S. Senator has had many religious overtones with many evangelicals endorsing Ray Moore, a controversial candidate known for his homophobia, racism, and for twice being removed from the state supreme court for defying federal law.  Most recently he has been accused  pedophilia for trying to date young teens when he was in his 30s.  Sixty religious leaders, mostly from mainstream denominations signed a public letter condemning him in November.  Among those were eight Episcopal priests.  It appears that they may not only be on the side of righteousness but also the winning side as vote returns Tuesday December 12 show a narrow victory for his Democratic opponent Doug Jones, although Moore refuses to concede and awaits a recount.

 Latest California Fires Challenged Parishes and Clergy

 As six fires threatened wide swaths of Los Angeles and San Diego Counties, Episcopalians were among those forced from their homes.  The Episcopal New Service has a story filed early in the fight against the fires which focuses on clergy who were refugees and how they have tried to offer parish resources to others fleeing or fighting the fires.  Latest news counts over 1000 homes damaged or destroyed. The Thomas Fire in Ventura County is still active heavy smoke is affecting the whole region.

Scriven to Retire

Former Assistant Bishop Henry Scriven has announced his retirement from the Church Mission Society. While there he oversaw the merger of the South American Missionary Society with the CMS. His first stop in retirement will be to serve as assistant chaplain to a church in Bangkok, Thailand for six months.

Good Will At Christmas in Malta

The Anglican pro-cathedral in Valetta has moved its Christmas service across the harbor to a smaller church in Sliema so that the Carmelites can borrow the pro-cathedral for their midnight mass.  The Roman Catholic order's building is being restored and the congregation has been worshiping in a small church elsewhere in Valetta, but the Christmas service usually draws around 200 people.   When the Carmelites asked about using the Anglican building, the Anglicans responded positively and arranged another site for their service.  A Merry Christmas for all in Malta.