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, July 12, 2017

Week Ending 07/10/17

Woman Born in Iran Appointed as newest Church of England Bishop 

The Queen's latest round of appointments included notice that the Rev.Gulnar Francis-Dehqani has been appointed to the newly created suffragan see of Loughborough in Leicester.  Her special focus with  be on reaching out to the immigrant community and women's ministries.  Fourteen-year-old Francis-Dehqani arrived in England with her family as refugees from Iran following the revolution there.  She holds a Ph.D. in theology and has been serving as Curate Training Officer and Advisor for Women’s Ministry in the Diocese of Peterborough and Canon at Peterborough Cathedral.  She has 3 children and is married to another Church of England cleric.  Her consecration is scheduled for Canterbury Cathedral November 30.

New Group of St. Paul's Students Charged with Assault

No matter how it tries, St. Paul's, the church related boarding school in Concord, New Hampshire cannot seem to escape issues related to sexual assault.  Two years ago, a senior student was convicted of sexual assault for forcing sex with a younger female student as part of a senior contest.  This was followed by a set of painful revelations about faculty and staff who had assaulted students over a long period of time.  Now they are facing a new incident where about a eight senior students engaged in a contest resulting in sexual assault.  The school's efforts to change its culture have obviously not had the desired effect.

Church of England Synod Bans Conversion Therapy

The Church of England Synod met last week in York and issued several resolutions that held out a welcome to LGBTQ people.  One of the most debated, with several amendments proposed, and at least one accepted, was a resolution condemning conversion therapy (i.e. attempts to change the sexual orientation of LGBTQ individuals).  The Church Times noted that the measures were passed while London was celebrating Gay Pride.  You can read the official press release on the resolution here, and the Church Times much longer story with details on the proposed amendments and testimony here.

Bruno Appeal Rejected

 The  sanctions imposed on Bishop Jon Bruno by the Hearing Panel convened to hear the dispute between the bishop and members of St. James the Great in Newport Beach have been upheld in a decision by the Disciplinary Board for Bishops.  No one from the Hearing Panel took part in the Disciplinary action.  Catherine Waynick, the recently retired bishop of the Diocese of Indianapolis, chairs the Disciplinary Board.  She convened the Board by phone and they supported the Panel's finding that efforts to sell the church property before the Hearing Panel issued its findings and decision that his actions "disrupted and interfered with the integrity of the process of the Title IV proceeding" and that the sanctions were appropriate.  As reported last week, the presiding bishop also issued a partial inhibition on Bruno forbidding him to sign any sale documents until the Panel completes its work. The denial of the appeal came one day before the new coadjutor bishop of Los Angeles, John Taylor was consecrated in a grand festive occasion.  Bruno has been scheduled to retire this fall.  The Hearing Panel may speed up his departure.

Episcopal Priest Arrested in Road Rage Case

The Rev. William Rian Adams was arrested by the Florida Highway Patrol for threatening the occupants of a truck with a gun.  Apparently the incident began when Adams stepped on the brakes to try to get a truck following his car too closely to back off.  The truck then pulled up along side Adam's car and from there the stories told by the occupants of the two vehicles diverge.  Adams, rector of a parish in Fletcher, North Carolina, and a former special forces chaplain who served in Afghanistan until an injury forced his retirement, claims that the occupants of the truck rolled down a window, yelled at him and threw a can of pop at his red corvette.  The truck occupants say Adams waved a gun at him.  Adams admits he had an unloaded gun in the car, but that it was under the passenger seat.  The priest posted the required bail and has been released.