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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, January 15, 2019

Week Ending 01/14/19

Episcopalians Respond to Government Shutdown 

All over the country Episcopal parishes are trying to mitigate the damage and pain caused by the partial shutdown of government services ordered by President Trump.  The shutdown is the longest ever and has now gone on long enough that federal employees have missed paychecks and the loss of government programs has caused breaks in needed services.  Churches are reaching out to provide various forms of relief.  The Episcopal News Service has an article dealing with a number of these efforts. 

Updates on Continuing Issues

Presiding Bishop Issues Partial Inhibition of Albany Bishop

 Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has issued a partial inhibition that forbids Albany Bishop William Love from taking any punitive action against clergy or parishes who wish to preside at marriages for same-sex couples or bless their marriages.  Love had announced that he was going to defy General Convention Resolution b012 which made it mandatory that every diocese allow parishes and clergy wishing to use the authorized rites for same sex marriage to do so.  Love has stated that he will abide by the inhibition, but appeal it and challenge the legality of B012.  The conservative ACNA-friendly Anglican.ink posted a video commentary that suggested clergy would still be liable to charges because the disciplinary process for charging and hearing charges did not involve the bishop.  However, they forgot to note that only the bishop can impose sentence after such a trial. 

Tennessee Episcopalians Protest Delay in Issuing B012 Procedures

Bishop Bauerschmidt of the Diocese of Tennessee has publicly stated he will provide a way for same-sex couples in his diocese who wish to have a church service.  However, a group working for full inclusion in that diocese has now issued a statement pointing out that December 1 has come and gone, and there is still no set of procedures.  The question has arisen whether this is a subtle move to avoid providing any access. 

Bishops Against Gun Violence Offering Weekly On-Line Services

Bishops Against Gun Violence has been witnessing, praying and advocating for an end to gun violence since 2015.  Update has carried numerous stories on their activities. (See here and here for examples.)  The latest is an extension of the "pop-up" prayer meetings they held each day of General Convention at noon.  Now they have begun offering a weekly on-line prayer service every Friday from Epiphany through Easter on their Facebook page.  The bishop leading the prayers changes each week.  

Conservatives Organize Protest Against Oxford Diocese's "Guidance" on Transitions

 The  Diocese of Oxford bishops wanted to create some guidelines on responding to LGBTQ people, and transexual individuals wanting a liturgical acknowledgement of  their transition to their gender of identity.  The letter they sent to all clergy, however, sparked protest immediately from the GAFCON-friendly wing of the Church of England.  Now the one evangelical bishop who participated in drafting the guidelines and flipped sides and announced he no longer supports the guidelines.  Around 100 evangelical clergy from the diocese signed a letter protesting the document.  The guidelines were intended to be clarifications on a policy in place in the English church for decades. While 100 clergy may sound like a lot, the diocese has over 400 clergy and 800 parishes. While conservatives are calling this a "meltdown" of the diocese, the Church of England newspaper carried a more neutral assessment of the controversy. 

More Controversy at the Anglican Center in Rome

 The resignation in December of the Director of the Anglican Center in Rome because of sexual misconduct charges created a shock which was compounded when conservatives protested the appointment of a liberal Irish Bishop as Chair of the Center's Governing Board.  Now conservatives are upset that the liberal Australian picked to be interim head of the Center preached a sermon a decade ago that suggested the Resurrection might not have been a physical event.

More on Hurricane Recovery

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has made a practice of touring dioceses where there has been major damage from Hurricanes .  He visited both the Virginia Islands and Puerto Rico about 3 months after they were devastated by Hurricanes Maria and Irma.  He visited Houston less than a month later. He has now visited parts of Florida twice, once right after the September 2017 hurricane and most recently he was in Central Florida seeing the recovery efforts there from Hurricane Florence.