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, November 23, 2021

Week Ending 11/22/21

Responses to Rittenhouse Verdict

The decision of the jury to accept Kyle Rittenhouse's defense that he had short unarmed protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin in self defense has led to a variety of responses from religious leaders, all disappointed at the verdict, but taking different approaches to express both their disappointment and to urge peaceful action. Some leaders have focused on gun violence, others on the ways that this trial highlights white privilege, and others on the original protests which were about racial injustice.  For more on these different responses, consider the statements issued by the bishops of North Carolina, Milwaukee, California, Olympia, Spokane, and an article in Sojourner which casts a wider religious net.

Continuing Stories

Archbishop Makes a Third Try at Ghana Statement

In his statements to the Synod of the Church of England, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby made a third attempt to address the letter issued by the House of Bishops in Ghana in support of draconian anti-LGBTQA legislation then before the legislature of Ghana.  Originally, Welby reminded the Bishops of resolutions passed at the Lambeth Conference in 1998 which included statements about LGBTQA people being treated as children of God.  The bishops of Ghana took offense that Welby had not spoken with them before issuing a statement, so Welby then apologized.  That statement then received major criticism from those more supportive of the LGBTQA community, and so at the Synod, Welby made a another stab, saying the bishops in Ghana did accept the idea that there public letter seemed to deny, and that somehow that letter was taken out of context.  The response to this third try has been skeptical to say the least.  

Responses to Albany's Announcement on Same Sex Marriage

Two  weeks ago, Update carried a story on the letter from the Albany Standing Committee letter saying that they were implementing General Convention 2018 Resolution B012  which created a compromise way that allowed parishes wishing to celebrate same-sex marriages could do so by allowing a bishop opposed to such marriages to turn over pastoral oversight for such marriages to a bishop another bishop. In the U.S., the only Episcopal Bishop who refused to implement the resolution was Bishop Love of Albany, and it led to a disciplinary hearing with an adverse decision and Love's resignation. Attempts to amend sections of the Albany canons to end restrictions on such marriages and ordination of LGBTQA+ people had been sidetracked by parliamentary maneuvers that tabled proposed amendments.  Surprisingly, the Standing Committee announced shortly after convention implementation of B012. The Episcopal News Service has now provided a good piece on reactions to this announcement.  LGBTQA+ supporters note that this falls short of full compliance with Episcopal Church canons, especially in relation to ordination. 

Bishop Turning Guns into Pruning Hooks 

Following the slaughter of young children and their teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary, the then-suffragan bishop of Connecticut, the Rt. Rev. James Curry became a founder of Bishops United Against Gun Violence.  In 2017, then retired, he founded the non-profit Swords to Ploughshares Northeast and began literally taking a portable blacksmith forge to various locations around the country where he turned guns into garden implements.  The inspiration for his effort is found in a Biblical passage from Isaiah 2:4, and from a similar Mennonite effort in Colorado. His latest trip, with two others members of the non-profit, was to Washington D.C. where Curry set up shop outside the Lutheran Church of the Reformation.  The church is about a block and a half from the U.S. Capitol.  He was welcomed by Episcopal Bishop Marianne Budde.  The guns he melted down were mostly from recent buybacks organized by his non-profit and local Connecticut police. The Episcopal News Service has more on Curry's efforts.  Update has carried many notices about Episcopal Church witness against gun violence.  A recent one is here.