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 28, 2016

Week Ending 6/27/16

Zanzibar Cathedral Opens Slave Trade Memorial

The Anglican Cathedral in Zanzibar has opened a slave trade heritage center on church grounds in Stone Town in the Diocese of Zanzibar.  The cathedral itself sits on the site of a former slave trading market. The site documents the history of the slave trade in East Africa and the role the Anglican Church played in ending it.  East African slave trading continued after the British began enforcing a ban on slave trading in West Africa.

Kansas Bishops Ban Guns in Episcopal Churches

Bishops Wolfe of the Diocese of Kansas and Bishop Millikin of Western Kansas have issued a joint pastoral letter banning guns from Episcopal Churches in Kansas beginning August 1, except for those carried by law enforcement officials in the course of their duties.  The letter was a response to changes in state law that allowed both open and concealed carry of weapons in all houses of worship. The law allowed ecclesiastical authorities to ban weapons if proper signage was placed at the buildings. The bishops have made available to parishes quantities of the sign approved by the state attorney general. The ENS story on this is here.

"Vicar of Bagdad" Investigated

The Rev. Andrew White, who was for years the voice of the Episcopal Church in Bagdad, and was ordered to leave for his own safety by Archbishop Welby in 2014 is being investigated over concerns he may have paid ransom to ISIS in order to rescue girls from sexual slavery.  Payment to terrorists groups, including ransom payments are illegal under British law.   White is head of a charity, the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation,  founded in 2010 that has worked with more than 150 girls freed from ISIS slavery.  White insists he is innocent, and that his organization is not tied to another Canadian-based group that does ransom girls.  The story was carried by Christianity Today.

Churches Respond to "Brexit" Vote

A number of bishops, including the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued statements on the recent vote to leave the European Union and the current unsettled state of affairs in Britain.  The vote has direct effect for the Church of England parishes in the Diocese in Europe and Gibraltar. The primates from the Anglican Churches in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales have all weighed in as well as the Archbishop of Armagh (Northern Ireland).  A good place to find links to many of the statements is at Thinking Anglicans.

Closed Sessions at Executive Council Challenged

The Living Church reported frustration at Executive Council's use of executive sessions which exclude observers and the press. Four out of five Council Committees pursued their work in executive session, including most of the matters in the area of World Mission. There is no provision in Executive Council by-laws for committees to meet in executive session, although the Council itself may do so. The Council used an executive session to hear a report on personnel matters. Mark Harris, a former member of the Council, voiced his concerns in an essay on his blog, suggesting that the matters discussed in the committee executive sessions, especially those on World Mission should have been open.