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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, December 11, 2018

Week Ending 12/10/18

Bush Funeral Showcases Episcopal Rites

This last week, the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, more frequently referred to as the Washington National Cathedral, was the site of the national funeral for former President George H.W. Bush.  Bush was a lifelong Episcopalian.  A full complement of Episcopal leaders took place, including Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Bishop Marion Budde of the Diocese of Washington, the cathedral dean, and the rector of Bush's parish in Texas.  The "national" service was followed the next day by a service for Bush in the Houston parish. Episcopal News Service provides all the details.

San Joaquin Celebrates First Ordinations in Reclaimed Cathedral

One of the many signs of healing following schism in the Diocese of San Joaquin occurred this last week when the Episcopal Diocese welcomed a new dean and celebrated the ordination of four deacons in the diocesan cathedral.  The building was one of the many that were returned to Episcopalians at the conclusion of legal action.  The cathedral is now in the process of reinventing its ministries.  The Episcopal News Service has a more detailed story on the ordination and the cathedral ministries here.

ACNA Offices in Pittsburgh Move

The ACNA Diocese of Pittsburgh has left the offices they occupied in the former Allegheny Center Mall (now Nova Place) since 2009.  Their new location is still in the Allegheny Center area, but now occupying space in one of the Roman Catholic church complexes that have become parts of merged parishes.  Their new location is in Our Lady Queen of Peace on Middle Street. 

Latest on Ongoing Stories

Another Albany Parish Makes Statement

Christ Church in Hudson, New York has now issued a statement stating their disagreement with Bishop Love's decree that no parish in the Albany Diocese could use the fully authorized rites for same sex marriages. They thus join churches in Schenectady and Albany in opposing Bishop Love's stand.  The Christ Church statement was voted by the vestry and wardens and affirms the parish as a welcoming place for LGBTQ people. They published it on the parish Facebook pages which are open to the public. The statement does not, however, say they will defy the bishop's order. 

SC Episcopalians Ask Federal Judge for Summary Judgement

Episcopalians in South Carolina are still entangled in 3 separate legal fronts despite the  South Carolina Supreme Court decision  awarding property to them.  One of the suits is a trademark case being pursued in federal court. The Episcopal Church and South Carolina Episcopalians filed motions and memorandums this last week asking the federal judge to issue a summary judgement in favor of the Episcopalians.  The argument boils down to this: deciding who is a member and what bodies belong to the Episcopal Church is a first amendment right reserved to the Churches.  The courts must defer to the judgement of the Church.  You can read the announcement of the filing here, the Episcopal Church's argument here, and the documents filed by the South Carolina Episcopalians here.  The break-away group continues to drag its heels and resist the decisions already reached.  In fact one ACNA priest has said he would prefer God to tear down the historic St. Philips in Charleston rather than let it fall into the hands of the Episcopal Church. 

Consecration Delayed for Haitian Bishop

Diocesan Bishops are lagging in their responses to the election of a Haitian Bishop, so Presiding bishop Michael Curry has delayed the consecration.  The Presiding Bishop's announcement serves as a reminder to bishops with "Jurisdicition" that have only until January 3, 2019 to send in approvals.  Given that the announcement made no mention of approvals from Standing Committees, the Presiding Bishop must have the required approvals from diocesan Standing Committees. The Haitian election has been marred by controversy of the fairness of the election.  Update has reported on the controversy several times, most recently here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Week Ending 12/03/18

Primates from the Americas Meet ad Elect Anglican Communion Standing Committee Member

Canada hosted a regional meeting of primates from Anglican Communion Provinces in the Caribbean, and South, Central and North America.  All provinces were represented and they discussed a number of issues.  The primates also elected a representative to sit on the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion.  Presiding Bishop Michael Curry declined to be considered in order not to upset some members of the communion.  The Canadian primate also declined, noting he was due to retire within a year.  The group chose Archbishop Julio Murray of Panama, the primate for the Province of Central America.

Presiding Bishop Statement on Death of George H.W. Bush

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry issued this statement upon the death of former U.S. President, George H.W. Bush. The funeral will be at the National Cathedral.  Bush was a lifelong Episcopalian as was his wife.

Conservatives Upset by English Cathedral Dean

When a student organization wanted to hold an Carol Service at the Derby Cathedral, the Dean of the Cathedral agreed, but he refused their first choice of preacher.  That choice was a man whose parish has refused to pay assessments to the diocese because of its stand in favor of inclusion of  LGBTQ people and because a member was "insulted" when she tried to support conversion therapy at a diocesan synod meeting.  Those associated with GAFCON are raising a stink claiming he has banned the clergy person from the cathedral. Typical is this Anglican.ink story.  Dean Stephen Hance invited another leading evangelical conservative to preside instead.

New Zealand Church Issues Apology to Maori 

Archbishop Philip Richardson  of the "Settler" strand in the threefold structure of the Province of Aotera, New Zealand and Polynesia, led a deputation to Tauranga Moana iwi to apologize for the Church's failure to hold on to land entrusted to the Church Missionary Society in the 1830s.  In 1867 the Society protested but did not prevent the government from claiming 526 hectacres of ancestral lands of the Maori.  Maori leaders were on hand to welcome the deputation and receive the apology.  The loss of this land has long been a source of on-going pain for the Maori.

Church in Japan Begins Campaign to End Use of Nuclear Power

The Anglican Communion province in Japan, the Nippon Sei Ko Kai has announced a campaign to end the use of Nuclear Power stations worldwide.  Japan, of course has more experience than any other nation in the power of nuclear explosions, and following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has the most recent experience with a nuclear power station disaster.  The Anglican New Service has more details. 

Updates on Ongoing Stories

Another Filing in Fort Worth Appeal

The filings seem endless in the lawsuit over Episcopal Church property in Texas.  The latest filings are based on identity claims each side making the case that documents needed to be interpreted from a stance that their side was the real diocese of Fort Worth. You can read the latest filing by the schismatic group here.  Update provided links to the filings this latest brief references here

South Carolina Parish Defying Court Decision

 In August 2017 the South Carolina Supreme Court awarded the diocesan property and the property of 29 parishes participating in the schismatic group to the Episcopal Diocese.  Implementation of the decree was assigned to Judge Dickinson, a SC district court judge.  He has not yet made a ruling, although he has received filings and had a hearing on some of the issues.   St. Jude's parish in Walterboro, however has decided to act as if the supreme court decision had not been made and is listing for sale some of the church property.

Lawsuit by Bishop Sauls Postponed

Retired Bishop Stacy Sauls was put on leave during an investigation of working climate issues in December 2015, and  let go from his position at the Episcopal Church Center in April 2016 when the position was eliminated by Presiding Bishop Curry.  He has been frustrated in his search for a new position, so he filed suit against the Episcopal Church in Alabama where he was living in 2017, but the Alabama suit was thrown out of court,  and he filed a new suit in New York where the Episcopal Center offices are located. The hearing was scheduled for late this year, but has now been delayed for several months more.

More Commentary on the Albany Ban on Same Sex Marriages

Responses to Bishop Love of Albany's announcement that he would defy General Convention and forbid implementation of Resolution B012 in his diocese because it was part of a "gay agenda" that was the work of "Satan" have continued to surface.  St. Andrews in Albany invited everyone to attend their services on the First Sunday of Advent  when they had a visitation from their DEPO bishop, DeDe Probe of Central New York, and hung a rainbow flag as part of their Advent door decorations.  The rector of an inclusive parish in Schenectady responded in his parish's December newsletter by countering Love's statement and vowing the church would continue to be inclusive.  The Standing Committee of Albany put out a non-committal announcement that they had had a conversation with the Presiding Bishop, and Mark Harris wrote a scathing rejoinder in his blog.  

Another All-Woman Slate for Bishop Announced

Update has noted that in several recent episcopal elections dioceses chose from slates where all the candidates were women.  These were all for diocesan bishops.  Now the Diocese of Texas has announced the slate for their election of a suffragan bishop to replace Suffragan Bishop Dena Harrison, and it is three women, all of whom serve in the Diocese of Texas.