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, March 28, 2018

Week Ending 03/26/18

Church of England Responds to the Sexual Abuse Hearings

Three weeks of testimony (see Update here) on the ways the Church of England failed to take appropriate action against sexual abusers has led to a number of comments. It also led the Archibshops of Canterbury and York to issue a pastoral letter which was read in parishes on Sunday. The blog, Thinking Anglicans has compiled a number of the responses to the hearings and to the joint pastoral letter issued by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.  The full pastoral letter may be found here.

Diocese of Los Angeles and St. James on Long Path to Reconciliation

Update reported recently on the hearings held about St. James the Greater in Newport Beach.  This week the Living Church has a story on the hearings, but also on the long process now beginning of reconciliation for the whole diocese.  The two-year struggle of St. James to regain its property  that resulted in suspension for a set time of retired Bishop Bruno left many throughout the diocese in need of healing. 

Episcopalians participate in March For Our Lives

Episcopalians participated in the marches around the country organized by students to protest Gun Violence. As the Update has reported, Episcopalians have been protesting gun violence for quite a while.  In a number of locations, church members and clergy marched as identifiable groups with banners. In many places bishops marched in clothes designed to visually make the point that the church was there.  The Religion News article quotes people from a number of different denominations, including the Episcopal Church.  The Episcopal Cafe article focused on Episcopal groups and was collecting images from the marches where activities were supported by the diocese. An earlier Cafe article listed dioceses that were planning to participate as a group.  While Episcopalians were at the march in Pittsburgh, there was no visible Episcopal church presence. 

Sewanee Trustees Rescind Honorary Degree

The Regents of the University of the South proved that they could change their minds and follow advice given to them by faculty and students.  Last Tuesday the Regents voted to rescind the honorary degree they had awarded journalist Charlie Rose in 2016. They also approved a policy and procedure for reconsidering a degree after it has been awarded.  Recently accusations of sexual harassment  had led a number of people to press for the recision.  Initially the Trustees had resisted the pressure, but detailed letters from both the School of Theology faculty and students , and an internal discernment process resulted in the decision to revoke the award. Update had been following the controversy.  The latest previous post is here.

Conservative Diocese Votes to Support Local Option Same-Sex Marriage.

New Zealand has been struggling to find a way to allow blessing of same-sex marriages while also embracing those who oppose it..  A special task force has issued its report in anticipation of discussion at their national synod meeting. The report argued that the church should allow local option and affirmed the Church should hold multiple teachings. Update reported recently on the vote by the Diocese of Christchurch to support the report.  Now, the most conservative diocese in New Zealand has voted to do the same.  That diocese also voted that the diocese would not be blessing same sex marriages.  At least one of the more conservative news sources has cast the "two teachings" vote as a referendum on staying in the Anglican Church of New Zealand.

General Convention Gets Recommendations on Rules for Dealing with Substance Abuse

The special committee charged with bringing recommendations to General Convention on the treatment of  substance abusers, especially those who are clergy has issued its report. The report notes that the Episcopal Church has in place procedures that encourage people to overlook the issue. A Baltimore publication has interpreted the report to mean that the church is in denial.  The special committee was crated following the trial of the then suffragan bishop of the Diocese of Maryland for the killing of a bicyclist while driving under the influence. The bishop, Heather Cook, resigned and was deposed.  She recently was denied parole.

Anglican Communion Conversations Continue

The special task force created by the Archbishop of Canterbury to develop a way for all the Anglican provinces to work together despite divisions over issues related to LGBT people and same-sex marriage has met for a second time.  The task force is hoping to structure a way to reconciliation at the Lambeth meeting in 2020.