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         

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week ending 9/21/15

South Carolina Diocese Returns to Court on Wednesday

Oral arguments in the South Carolina Supreme Court by the Episcopal Church in South Carolina will be heard at 10:30 EDT on Wednesday, September 23.  The SC Supreme Court  has a live feed available for those who would like to watch the arguments.  A recorded version of the arguments will be available later.  So far the South Carolina Courts have sided with those who left the Episcopal Church, giving them rights to all property including the diocesan name and seal as well as the endowments and real estate.  The Episcopal Church in South Carolina provided background and information on how to watch the live or recorded arguments here.  Background on the appeal can be found in Update stories  here and here.

Speculation Rife About January 2016 Primates Meeting

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby's announcement that invitations had gone out to a special meeting of the leaders of the 38 churches and several extra-provincial leaders that are part of the Anglican Communion, and also an invitation to the ACNA Archbishop, Foley Beach to attend part of the meeting has had bloggers and church watchers from all sides speculating about who will actually go and what the meeting means. The specified topic of the meeting is the structure of the Anglican Communion.  GAFCON leaders are "prayerfully" considering their attendance because Welby did not fully embrace their position.  They had earlier told Welby they would not attend unless the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada leaders were excluded and the ACNA Archbishop fully included. Beach is treating the invitation as evidence he has been fully invited into the group.  The Archbishop of Kenya, current chair of the GAFCON group, is sending some mixed signals. Welby's comments included suggestions of a much less structured Anglican Communion.
Response has ranged from predictions that the Anglican Communion is dead, to those saying that the communion was returning to its roots.

Church in Wales Takes Straw Vote on Same-Sex Marriage

More members of the governing body of the Church in Wales in each of its three houses (bishops, clergy and laity) voted in favor of changing the canons to allow same sex marriage than those who opposed marriage voted to make no change to the canons. A small group in each house voted to allow blessing of civil marriages or unions.  Thus the vote was supportive of gay marriage but not strong enough for the bishops to go forward with drafting any legislation. It would require a two thirds supportive vote in each house to pass a change in canons.  Archbishop Dr. Barry Morgan noted that a majority was in favor of change, but any action at this time could polarize the church.  He did predict continuing discussion. You can find different takes on this vote here and here.

Tanzania Installs First Woman as Head of Theological College

The Rev. Hilda Kabia has been installed as Principal of the Msalato Theological College of St. John's University in Tanzania.  She is the first woman to head a theological college in the country.  Kabia, who has taught at the College for nine years and has served as Dean of Students, has a distinguished career, serving as the first woman to head the House of Clergy and to serve as General Secretary to the synod.  She also served as Secretary of the Mother's Union.

White House Guest List for Pope's Visit Includes Bishop Robinson

The inclusion of catholic dissenters, and gay activiists including resigned Bishop Gene Robinson on the guest list for those to gather on the White House lawn for the visit  of Pope Francis has made some Vatican officials unhappy.  Bishop Robinson has written an open letter in response.  Approximately 15,000 have been invited to be part of the crowd on the White House lawn.  Vatican officials expressed concern that photos showing the pope and the activist invitees might be interpreted as Pope Francis endorsing their views.