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, May 3, 2016

Week ending 5/2/16

ACNA Diocese Files Request for Rehearing in San Joaquin

The ACNA diocese in San Joaquin followed through on their announcement (see the April 25, 2016 Update) and has filed a brief requesting a rehearing, claiming both error and that the Appeals Court opinion did not resolve issues surrounding all of the contested property.  Alex Haley, counsel for the ACNA group summarized the argument in his blog and provided a link to the filing.  As of posting time, there has been no public response from the Episcopal Diocese, nor any indication of how this may delay final resolution of this 8 year litigation.

Bishop of Diocese of Kansas Says Church Will Continue Resettling Refugees

Bishop Dean Wolfe of Kansas has announced that his diocese will continue to resettle refugees working with the Episcopal Migration Ministry despite the Governor of Kansas's announcement that the state is withdrawing from the federal refugee resettlement program.  Wolfe stressed that the church had an obligation to reach out to those in need, stating "Jesus was a refugee."

St. James Newport Beach Finally to Get Its Hearing

St. James the Great, Newport Beach congregation which filed a Title IV complaint in July 2015 against Los Angeles Bishop Bruno announced that a date for the Title IV hearing has finally been set.  The hearing will be held at a venue yet to be announced on June 20, 2016. The congregation filed the complaint after Bruno announced he was selling their property for redevelopment and locked the congregation out of the building. ( See Update Stories here, here and here.)  The congregation currently meets in a building owned by the City of Newport.  The announcement noted that the sales agreement lapsed months ago. The parish has uncovered questionable financial dealings by the bishop, and events became more complicated when Bishop Bruno sued the company that originally donated the land for the church building over deed restrictions.  Bishop Bruno has announced his retirement for 2018 and the diocese is currently preparing to elect a bishop coadjutor.

Events Affecting Anglican-Roman Catholic Relations 

Conversations around ministry and ordination continued  April 17-22 between Anglican and Roman Catholic theologians meeting at Rocca di Papa just South of Rome, This was a follow-up on topics explored at a meeting held last year at Chestnut Hill in Massachusetts.  The next meeting is scheduled for 2017 at Cambridge, England.  Meanwhile, the Anglican Church in America, a splinter group that broke from the Episcopal Church in the 1970s over ordination of women has voted to move as a block to the Roman Catholic Church's Ordinate.  The ACA has about 100 parishes. The ordinate is a special  structure that allows those from the Anglican tradition to keep their worship and clergy while affiliating with the Roman Catholics.  The ACA was a member of the Traditional Anglican Communion.  This is the second block of churches to move to the Ordinate.  The first was the Australian Chapter of Forward in Faith (FiF).  The British FiF is also exploring changing their affiliation from Church of England to the Ordinate.  While  a move by the British FiF suggests the Roman Church is ready to accept SOME Anglican orders as valid, it will complicate ecumenical relations.

Methodists and Episcopalians Hold Latest Conversations On Full Communion

The conversations between the United Methodist Church and The Episcopal Church continued and the committee's communique suggested that they had made substantial progress in crafting a proposal for full communion between the two bodies. They will meet again in 2016.  Conversations with the Methodists have been approved by several General Conventions, including Resolution A017 of the 2015 convention.

Church in Brazil Supports Embattled President

As the movement for impeachment of the Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff, gained momentum, the House of Bishop and Primate of the Anglican Church in Brazil issued a statement in support of her.  They claim that the impeachment charges surrounding manipulation of some accounts is being engineered by right wing elites and conservative Christians who oppose her governments actions to improve the lives of the poor and working classes. Spokemen for the church noted that some of those leading the impeachment efforts are themselves accused of crimes, or  used the same financial tactics they are charging Rousseff with. 

The Crusty Old Dean Takes on Archbishop Welby

Comments on the recent Anglican Consultative Council continue.  The Archbishop of Canterbury has now tried to suggest that the resolution "receiving" the Primate's Communique was a full endorsement and adoption of it.  This is not what "receive" means in parliamentary procedure.  In response to Archbishop Welby, The Rev. Tom Ferguson, who blogs as "The Crusty Old Dean" wrote this withering response.