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, October 27, 2020

Week Ending 10/26/20

Anglican Priest Elected President of Seychelles

The Rev. Wavel Ramkalaran has been elected president of the Seychelles.  Ramkalaran helped found and has led the National Party since 1994.  That party has been the major opposition party until the most recent election.  Originally motivated to oppose the party in power because he had members who had been arrested and tortured by the party in power, Ramkalaran has built a political movement while continuing to serve as a minister. The Living Church has a story on his election and his background.

Church of England to Release Study Materials on Homosexuality

The response of the Church of England to the LGBTQ community has been a contested area within the church.  The C of E synod has discussed it numerous times.  A goup of 40 individuals has been working on a whole package of study materials to begin a major conversation within the church, including parish study groups.  The church announced that the materials would become available on November 9.
Its contents are not yet clear.   

Roman Catholics Shaken by Pope Francis's Statements on Civil Marriage

A statement by Pope Francis that he understands and approves of civil marriage for same sex couples as a means of ensuring basic legal rights and the right of gays and lesbians to have a family has shaken many Catholic leaders who saw this as undermining the Roman Catholic Church's teachings on marriage.  The pope framed his statements as pastoral, not doctrinal, however.

Continuing Stories

 Albany Bishop Chooses to Resign

Two weeks ago  the Hearing Panel published findings that Bishop William Love had violated canons and his ordination vows by refusing to implement the 2018 General Convention Resolution B012.  The panel was to reconvene this week to determine sentence, but Bishop Love signed an agreement with Presiding Bishop Curry that eliminates the need for further action by the panel.  Love has agreed to a month's leave in January 2021 with his resignation to take effect February 1, 2021.  Love made the announcement in a letter and at the Albany diocese's annual conventionReaction was swift from Claim the Blessing (one of the groups advocating for full inclusion of the LGBTQ community within the Episcopal Church).   The Episcopal New Service article opens discussion of the loose ends that leaves behind in the Diocese of Albany and the church at large.

Vicar of Baghdad Censored After Investigation

The Rev. Andrew White gained fame for his work  at St. George's in Baghdad, and actions throughout the Middle East.  However those actions have led to several controversies.  He was cleared early in 2018 of criminal action, but censured recently for his actions in trying to ransom young women from ISIS sex slavery.  Now he has run afoul of the National Charities Commission for sloppy record keeping, conflicts of interest and misuse of funds of a charity organization he heads.  He has been barred for 10 years from holding any senior post or serving as a trustee on any charity board after an investigation by England's National Charity Board.  The Anglican.ink story focuses on the details of the misuse.  The article in Christian Today focused more on the penalty.

Bishops Close Churches in Wales To Fight Pandemic Surge

The second wave surge of the pandemic has led the  Bishops of the Church in Wales to issue a statement closing the churches there for two weeks as a form of "fire break" to slow the spread.  They are allowing small gathers at outdoor services for Remembrance Day (Veteran's Day), and making an exception for essential services such as food banks and day care run by churches, but churches are urged to consider carefully if these really are essential.  The British Isles have been struggling to find the right mix between opening churches and stopping covid-19 spread.

Outreach to Navajo Families Grows

Covid-19 has hit the Navajo much harder than the rest of the U.S.  The small Episcopal missions in Navajoland have been expanding their outreach to Navajo families sheltering in place but in need of food and supplies.  Update noted the beginnings of this ministry hereThe Living Church has published the first of a two-part series on the Episcopal Church's efforts in Navajoland.  The first part looks at the expanded food and supplies ministry being run by the church.  You can read the full article here.