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, May 10, 2017

Week Ending 5/8/17

Heather Cook Denied Parole

Former Suffragan Bishop of Maryland, Heather Cook, was denied parole at a hearing this last week.  Cook is serving a term in prison for killing a bicyclist in a hit and run incident while driving under the influence.  At her first chance at parole the deposed bishop gave no statement of apology or remorse and was denied parole.  She will continue to serve her  seven year sentence, but is likely to serve only half of it in prison. 

Splinter Group Consecrates Church of England Traditionalist as Bishop

A conservative evangelical curate at Jesmond Parish in Newcastle surprised both GAFCON and the Church of England by being consecrated a bishop in the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (REACH-SA) which is a break away body from the The Church of Southern Africa. The news of Jonathan Pryke's consecration caught the various GAFCON groups by surprise. GAFCON had just the previous week agreed to consecrate a bishop to provide an alternative to bishops of the Church of England in Europe. The UK branch of GAFCON noted that REACH-SA had ordained several clergy serving in the Jesmond region, but made no other comment.  Orders in REACH-SA are recognized as valid by the Church of England, but the REACH-SA is not in communion with the Church of England.  Pryke intends to continue as curate in in Jesmond while also serving REACH-SA.  He took vows that said he would follow directions of bishops of the Church of God, not REACH-SA.  Bishop Christie Hardaman issued a statement saying that neither Pryke or the REACH-SA bishops had permission to function within her diocese of "England, and that this was contrary to Church canons. The situation may remind Americans of what David Moyer tried to do in Rosemont, PA after being consecrated a bishop in the Anglican Church in America. Moyer was deposed and the parish eventually reclaimed by the Diocese of Pennsylvania.   For more commentary on GAFCON and its strategy to take over the Anglican Communion, take a look the most recent blog entry by Mark Harris.

Parish Organist Arrested for Vandalizing Church

Just days after the 2016 presidential election two Episcopal parishes, one in Maryland and one in Indiana,  dealt with hate graffiti that seemed aimed at their inclusive positions.  Both incidents attracted national attention and support.  Presiding Bishop Curry celebrated communion in the Indiana parish in Bean Blossom while in Indiana for consecration of their new bishop.  Now the parish is shocked to find out that their own organist was the source of the graffiti in a misguided attempt to mobilize people for inclusion in the wake of the election. Police have arrested and charged Nathan Stang with vandalism.  Bishop Baskerville-Burrows' statement is here.  She promised full co-operation with the police, issued an apology, asked for prayers for all involved and urged Christians to resist the polarization of society.  Update's earlier coverage of the event is here