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, August 1, 2017

Week Ending 7/31/17

Presiding Bishop Issues New Partial Restriction on Bruno

Presiding Bishop Curry has expanded his original partial restriction on Los Angeles Bishop Jon Bruno.  The original order forbade Bruno from taking any action on the sale of St. James the Great until after that Hearing Panel completes its work on the case brought by members of St. James against the Bishop.  The new restriction expands the prohibition of action to include any dealings with the parish in exile, its members, the priest serving that group or other property owned by the parish and extends to any subsequent appeals.  It specifically gives care of the congregation and its rector to Bishop Coadjutor John Taylor and the Standing Committee.  The latest restrictions comes after the Presiding Bishop read the draft decision.  The congregation of St. James the Great made the draft decision public, but there is a period for comment from those who filed the complaint and the Church Attorney before a final version is issued.

Church Stands with Transgender in Military

President Trump's overnight tweet announcing he was banning all transgendered people from service in the military, including those already in the service, has met with a a number of condemnations from those supporting military service by transgender people.  Presiding Bishop Curry issued a statement supporting transgender service as have a number of other Episcopal Church leaders, including the Dean of  Washington Cathedral, the Bishop for the Armed Forces.  The Episcopal News Service article carries links to all of the statements issued so far.

Joint Statement by Archbishops Provokes Response

The 50th anniversary of decriminalization of homosexual acts in Britain was marked by a joint statement from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.  That statement has been the subject of a wide range of commentary and criticism from both progressives and conservatives.  Progressives were critical of the way the statement moved from support for civil equality to a discussion of sin, coming close to a statement that while legal all such acts are sinful.  Conservatives were unhappy that the statement was too accepting of same sex people.  Others commented that the statement seemed a typical Anglican muddle in the middle.

New GAFCON Bishop Denied License in English Diocese

The plans of GAFCON to send a missionary bishop consecrated outside the Church of England to minister to traditionalists in England has met with resistance in England.  The new Bishop, consecrated by ACNA at its recent synod in Chicago, is a priest licensed in the Dioceses of Sheffield and Canterbury.  The Bishop of Sheffield did not renew the license for Andy Lines to serve in any capacity in his diocese.  All clergy in the diocese have annual licenses that expire on June 30.  Without that license Lines cannot provide any services in a parish in the diocese. Because the Church of England is an established church, Lines could find himself subject to legal penalties. The story was originally carried by the Church of England Newspaper which limits on-line viewing to subscribers.  David Virtue, however, picked up the story.

Cabinet Members Meeting for Bible Study

A core group of Trump cabinet officials has been meeting regularly with Ralph Drollinger for Bible study.  Drollinger runs Capitol Ministries, an ultra conservative group with branches in 40 cities.  He is claiming that he sees the cabinet members have been applying his lessons in their policies statments.  Drollinger is a climate change denier, who has argued that God only hears the prayers of the righteous.  For more on his views see this article.

Australian Court Reverses Deposition of Bishop and Priest Who Abused Children

A recent court ruling in Australia has abuse victims and Church official upset.  Church courts under disciplinary procedures created in 2004 had deposed Bishop Keith Slaver and priest Patrick Comben for their handling of sexual abuse complaints 1940-1980 at a children's home.  On appeal, however the courts ruled that the church courts did not have jurisdiction and thus restored the men's orders.  However, it appears they will not be given a license to officiate and thus will be unable to act in any official capacity.  The Australian Church has proposals coming before its next synod to tighten and strengthen the disciplinary procedures to avoid a repeat of this appeal outcome.