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         

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Week Ending 10/03/16

Date Set for Bishop Bruno Hearing

The Hearing Panel in the complaint filed by members of the St. James the Great congregation and others against Bishop Bruno has scheduled October 26, 2016 as the date to hear arguments on motions filed by the congregation and church attorney to allow the congregation to resume use of the building they have been locked out of for over a year and also a counter motion by Bishop Bruno to dismiss the whole case.  The hearing will be held in Chicago.  Pittsburgh Update reported on the motions in question last month.

Nigerian Church Rejects Order to Restore Three Priests

Three priests removed by the Anglican Church of Nigeria because they were supposedly homosexual have won a series of secular legal actions to restore their status.  Nigeria has strict laws penalizing homosexuality.  The three men proved to the satisfaction of the secular courts that they were unjustly accused and the courts ordered their restoration and awarded them both back pay and compensation for pain and suffering.  The Church, however, has refused to restore the men or pay them, and is appealing the decision.  The details are in the Kenyan news source the Daily Nation.

National Cathedral Removes Confederate Flags from Stained Glass Windows

After a period of controversy, the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. has quietly replaced the image of a confederate flag in two windows with red and blue glass matching the backgrounds.  The windows were dedicated in the 1950s and honored Robert E. Lee and Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson. A renewed discussion over confederate symbols in Episcopal Churches was sparked by the June 2015 murder of 8 African Americans at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.  The Update earlier reported on the removal from the sanctuary of numerous memorials invoking the Civil War or confederate symbols at St. Paul's in Richmond.  In that case, many more items were removed than at the Cathedral, but they were placed in another area of the church complex as part of a historical display with appropriate interpretation. 

Church in South Africa Votes Against Blessing Same Sex Unions

South Africa is the only African nation that has legislation permitting civil unions for same sex couples. The Anglican Church of Southern Africa includes not only South Africa, but Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, and the Island of St. Helena. Laws in some of these countries criminalize some homosexual acts. For the first time, resolutions were brought to the provincial synod to bless sames sex civil unions and to allow clergy in such unions to serve in parishes.  The measure affecting clergy was withdrawn, but the synod discussed and voted on blessing civil unions.   Majorities in each of the three orders (bishops, clergy, and lay)  rejected a motion to allow blessings of such unions.  The official press release on this matter from the church is here. The Archbishop of the Province supported the measure and issued his own statement saying that the conversation around this issue had just begun in the South African Church and would continue.  He also raised the possibility of another vote at the next synod in 2019 or at the recently announced Lambeth Conference of 2020.