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, June 26, 2018

Week Ending 6/25/18

Church Continues to Speak Out on Immigration

The recent Executive Order supposedly ending the policy of separating children from parents has not slowed members of the church from speaking out.  The local vigil sponsored by the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Temple Sinai, and 6th Presbyterian all in the Squirrel Hill area of Pittsburgh drew over 800 people despite flash flood warnings and heavy rain that meant crowding into the Presbyterian Church at the last minute. The Pittsburgh crowd was larger, but the vigil shorter, than the one held the next day  in Washington, D.C.  The Presiding Bishop made a statement, and General Convention is planning a prayer service at one of the detention sites during the July 3-13 meeting. The protests by church members are having an effect on Washington politicians.

Canadian Deacon Arrested at Pipeline Protest

Environmental issues were at the forefront of the protests led by Native Americans at the Standing Rock Reservation last year.  Environmental issues remain in the forefront of protests by Indigenous Peoples.  At one of the more recent demonstrations, in Canada, an Anglican Church of Canada Deacon was among those arrested for blocking a site. He has pled guilty to the charges filed against him.

Church Has Visible Presence at "Poor People's March"

Episcopal News Service highlighted the participation of at least 100 Episcopalians in the "Poor People's March" held June 23 in Washington D.C.  The march was organized by the Rev. William Barber of  North Carolina, the Disciplies of Christ minister who leads the movement "Moral Mondays" and the ecumenical "Repairers of the Breach" foundation.  The Episcopal Church was the second denomination to sign on as a sponsor of the Poor People's Campaign.

GAFCON Conference Continues Divisive Ways

The third Global Anglican Futures Conference has concluded its meeting, ACNA's Archbishop Foley Beach is the chair of the GAFCON Primates' Council. The official Communique was mostly rhetoric with only one demand, that the Archbishop of Canterbury revoke any invitation to the bishops from the churches that are now blessing or allowing marriages of single-sex Couples (The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Scottish Episcopal Church, and the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil) and replace them with invitations to the bishops of ACNA, and the recently created alternative province in Brazil.  The communique did not threaten a boycott of Lambeth if their wishes were not met, but urged bishops to stay home. Several of the primates originally scheduled to come stayed home.   The commentary includes articles noting that a majority of the new officers are white males from "western" countries; discussion that the lack of a boycott suggests disagreement among the primates on leaving the Anglican Communion behind; article on Kenya questioning how they will participate in GAFCON in the future; and public criticism of two Irish bishops who participated.  Before the meeting, the Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion wrote to express concern that GAFCON seemed to be setting up parallel committees to those already existing in the Anglican Communion, and got a tart reply from GAFCON leadership that dismissed the concerns as evidence of "colonialism."  

Investigations of Church Involvement in Sexual Abuse Bring New Controversies

While Pennsylvanians are debating the decision last week of the state Supreme Court to delay publication of a Grand Jury report on the complicity of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in sexual abuse cover-ups,  Church of England members are dealing with the Singleton Report.  The Singleton Report is highly critical of a church investigation done two years ago on the complicity of Anglican bishops and other officials in cover-ups of sexual abuse committed by clergy and/or at church institutions.  The web site "Thinking Anglicans" is keeping tabs on all of the commentary and related stories on the Singleton Report. 

South Carolina Break-Away Wardens Turn to Newspaper

As the Update noted, South Carolinian break-aways are refusing to call it quits in the legal fight over church property.  The latest salvo came in the form of a letter to the editor signed by the senior wardens of historic parishes in Charleston that were leaders in the break-away movement.  Blogger Steve Skaradon provides perspective on their letter, and on the break-aways attacks on the South Carolina Supreme Court.