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.

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A Service of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh         

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Week Ending 09/12/16

Los Angeles Diocesan Council Returns Report of Property to Task Force

The Council of the Diocese of Los Angeles received and then returned to the authoring Task Force the draft report on corporation sole property mandated by the last diocesan convention.  The Council returned the report to the Task Force stating it needed to be more specific on individual properties, the tax status and the financial impact on the Diocese of receiving the property currently held by the bishop in a corporation sole. The draft report noted that there were no controls or transparency on the actions of the corporation sole, and that this was not in line with best practices of the Church.  This report is one of the outgrowths of the ongoing struggle between Bishop Bruno and the Congregation of St. James Newport Beach over whether he could close and sell the property out from under a restart congregation about to become completely self-sufficient financially. The Update story on the original report is here.

Bishop Carol Gallagher Resigns from EDS Board

Bishop Carol Gallagher, one of four Episcopal Divinity School Trustees who was not convinced that seminary needed to close, has resigned from the board citing several irregular actions. She especially objected to a public announcement that decision of the board was unanimous when she had not been polled on the matter, and the fact that the acting president was given less than 24 hours notice that he had to vacate his office for a new president.  She also raised issues of race, noting that none of the persons of color had supported the decision cease granting decisions.

Australian Primate Makes Statement Supporting National Vote on Same-Sex Marriage

The current Prime Minister of Australia is taking steps to make good on his campaign promise to hold a national vote on whether to allow same-sex marriage. Australian newspapers report that in response the Anglican Primate, Archbishop Philip Freier wrote the country's bishops urging them to help keep the discussion civil and noting that he did not expect the church to change its definition of marriage should the plebiscite be favorable,  although the church would need to welcome those who chose civil marriage.  He stated that Anglicans should be urged to vote their conscience.  The idea of the plebiscite is controversial among those working for marriage equality, some favoring the vote and others afraid that it will simply divide the country more and hurt LGBT individuals.  The bishop's full letter is here.

Task Force on Mending Anglican Relations Holds First Meeting

Archbishop Justin Welby is proceeding to implement things requested at the January meeting of Anglican Primates.  One of the things primates specified was a task group to explore how the Communion could mend relations and better walk together.  That request was endorsed at the April meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council.  The task force has now met, and it is a broadly based group including TEC Presiding Bishop Michael Curry,  a Canadian bishop supportive of same-sex marriage, and Australian Archbishop Philip Freier (see preceding story).  The task group also includes former Global South chair, Archbishop Ian Ernst, and the highest ranking woman in the Kenyan Church, Canon Rosemary Mbogo, who is known for interdenominational work and advocacy for women and girls. The former ACC vice-chair, Elizabeth Paver, Archbishop Sarker of Bangladesh, Archbishop Clarke of Ireland, and Archbishop Hing of SE Asia also are part of the group.  The ranking Bishop from India will not be participating.

Standing Rock Protesters Gain Support from Obama, But Not the Courts

In the on-going protests against a gas pipeline in North Dakota led by Sioux from the Standing Rock reservation, the courts continue to support the company building the pipeline, refusing to halt construction, except for a temporary stay on a small area near the reservation.  However, President Obama ordered the Federal Agencies to deny permits for construction on lands they control.  Meanwhile, following the lead of the Presiding Bishop and the Diocese of North Dakota,  numerous Episcopal dioceses and organizations have announced their support for the protesters.