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 11, 2019

Week Ending 06/10/19

Australian Bishop's Trial Put on Hold

 Former Tasmanian Bishop Philip Newell was headed to a church court trial in for not taking appropriate action when informed about sexual abuse by a priest in his diocese.  However, the secular courts have stopped the trial for reasons of his health.  Because the Anglican Church is established in Australia, the secular courts can intervene.  The courts ruled that the bishop is unable to adequately participate in his own defense because of dementia.

Province of West Indies to Allow Women as Bishops

 Bishop Howard Gregory, recently elected the new Primate of the Province of the West Indies has announced that he is open to women serving as bishops in that province.  The province covers Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, northeastern Caribbean and Aruba, the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Windward Islands.  Women are serving widely throughout the islands as clergy, but none have been chosen as a bishop or suffragan.

Welby Encourages Kenya to Continue Stance Against LGBTQ

The Anglican Church in Kenya supposedly reached out to LGBTQ people by inviting them to church and saying that God loves us all during the Archbishop of Canterbury's visit, but Justin Welby stated while there that he does not believe the church should marry same-sex couples.  Welby stressed, however,  that the church should be open to different opinions.  Archbishop Sapit of Kenya, however, referred to the churches as "correctional institutions" for LGBTQ people, and made no objection to the recent Kenyan Supreme Court decision upholding laws declaring homosexuality a crime.   Welby also avoided mentioning the court decision.  Thinking Anglicans has links to several articles on Welby's visit and statements.

 Australia Converts 2020 Synod to Special Session

Anglican.ink reports that the general synod scheduled for 2020 by the Anglican Church in Australia has been converted to a special session that will deal exclusively with legislation related to the report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.  Anglican.ink, a conservative news source postulates that this delay of the general synod was to prevent a confrontation over LGTBQ issues including marriage.

Pittsburgh Explores New Uses for Part of Cathedral Property

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has announced that it has signed an agreement to explore the best use of the 1906 Trinity House with an international realty company.  Trinity house is attached to the 1872 Cathedral and adjoins the historic graveyard with burials dating back to the 1700s.  The Living Church carried a short article on the announcement.

Delaware Parish Mentors High School Students

The Episcopal News Service carried a feature article on a tiny Delaware Parish that has created a successful outreach program mentoring high school students through the process of applying for college scholarships.  The Mentoring has resulted in a noticeable increase in the students actually attending college. 

Solomon Islands Choose Retired Anglican Archbishop of Governor General

The Rt. Rev. David Vunagi, retired Bishop of Central Melanesia was chosen unanimously by the Parliament of the Solomon Islands as their Governor General.  As such he will serve as the Queen's representative to the British Commonwealth nation, and will sign legislation into law. 

Continuing Stories

South Carolina Moves Forward to  Begin Search for Full-Time Bishop

The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina has just circulated a letter saying that the continuing diocese has grown to the point where it will need a full time bishop when part-Time Bishop Provisional Skip Adams ends 3 years of service at the the end of 2019.  Thus the Standing Committee is looking for a full-time bishop Provisional to serve while the diocese conducts its search for a full-time diocesan bishop.  An earlier announcement had noted that Bishop Adams was retiring at the end of 2019 and the Standing Committee was studying its options. 

More Filings in Fort Worth Property Case

The Texas Supreme Court received another set of filings on the petition for an appeal being pursued by the schismatic group led by Bishop Iker.  Iker's group is trying to overturn an Texas Court of Appeals decision awarding diocesan property to the diocese participating in the Episcopal Church.  The latest filings are responses to the documents filed by both sides in April.  There are two filed by Episcopalians, and one filed by the schismatic group.  All three can be found at the Texas Supreme Court site. The crux of the schismatic group's plea is that the Episcopal Diocese is an illegal upstart.

Albany Bishop Continues Defiance of General Convention

Bishop William Love of Albany used his episcopal address at the diocese's annual convention to stress his continued to defiance of General Convention 2018's resolution B012.  That resolution mandated a way for parishes in the handful of dioceses not allowing any use of approved liturgies for blessing of same-sex couples marriages to make use of those liturgies while granting bishops a way to maintain  their personal opposition to same-sex marriage.  Clergy always have the right to refuse to preside at the marriage of any couple.  Love tried to position himself as a martyr for true religion, and evoked the rhetoric used by bishops who later left the Episcopal Church. He also expressed his desire to find a way to separate from those parishes in the diocese who are interested in making use of the option provided by General Convention. Update has reported on a few of the Albany parishes who oppose Bishop Love's stance.  (See here and here.) Love is under a partial inhibition preventing him from presiding at any Title IV proceedings brought against clergy under diocesan canons forbidding clergy from participating in services uniting a same-sex couple.

South Carolina Files Suit Against Church Insurance Company

The blog scepiscopalians.com has just posted (June 11, 2019)  that the Episcopal Church in South Carolina has filed suit against the Church Insurance Company of Vermont for paying a claim to one of the schismatic parishes, St. Philips, for legal expenses incurred by its efforts to leave the Episcopal Church.  The  Episcopalians learned about it from the Annual Report sent to members of the parish.  The suit claims that the insurance company wrongfully aided St. Philips in its efforts to defraud the Episcopal Church of its property. St. Philips is one of the parishes covered by the South Carolina Supreme Court decision, and while schismatics still control the parish, it is legally part of TEC.  The diocese has now posted further information on the suit they filed.