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, June 12, 2018

Week Ending 06/11/18

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Break-Away Appeal

Among the Monday decisions issued by the U.S. Supreme Court was a denial of Certiorari  of the appeal filed by the break-away group in South Carolina.  This leaves the South Carolina Supreme Court decision in favor of the Episcopal Church in place.  The press release from the Episcopal Church in South Carolina explains what will happen next.  The break-away group led by Mark Lawrence  has said that they will appeal the implementation orders in state court.  Not surprisingly, Alan Halley (lawyer for the losing ACNA diocese in the San Joaquin property litigation) thinks the U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong.  For a thorough review of the implications from the Episcopal perspective, go to Steve Skaradon's blog, scepiscopalians.com.

"Vicar of Baghdad," Andrew White, Cleared of Charges

Two years ago, the Rev. Andrew White, who had been staffing the Anglican Church in Baghdad, was charged by the British with unlawful dealing with a terrorist group.  White, "the Vicar of Baghdad" had followed his parishioners to Jordan whichen they fled Iraq.  He was charged with paying ISIS for the return of young women kidnapped and used as sex slaves by the terrorists.  The charges were filed by the board of the Foundation For Reconciliation and Relief in the Middle East,  a group White had founded.  As a result he was forced to resign and undergo psychiatric evaluation.  White remained in the Middle East and has been working with a school and clinic for refugees in Jordan and has set up a new charity in Jerusalem that is working for reconciliation among the religious groups there.  He has now been notified that all charges have been dropped after a full investigation.  

Pride Week News

In this week of marches and celebrations of "Pride" by the LGBTQ community in many parts of the world, sexual politics has been much in the news. 

Bishop of Guyana Speaks Out Against Discrimination of LGBTQ People

As Guyana LGBTQ people celebrated their second "Pride Week,"  Charles Davidson, the Bishop of the Diocese of Guyana spoke out in favor of ending discriminatory laws aimed at  LGBTQ persons. As part of Pride week the bishop hosted a forum on faith for the LGBTQ community.  He also expressed an interest in meeting with the Transgender sex workers who work the area around the Anglican Cathedral in Georgetown.

Church of England Diocese of Lichfield  Faces Controversy Over Inclusion

When the bishops in the Diocese of Lichfield (Church of England) issued a letter directing their parishes to be welcoming and open to LGBTQ people, including welcoming them hold church offices and come to communion, the Bishop of Maidstone, Rod Thomas took them to task, and with them the Church of England's whole effort towards "radical welcome."  Thomas is no stranger to controversy having been the Church of England's leading opponent of women bishops.  In fact he is one of the "flying bishops" who provide services for those parishes who do not accept women's ordination.  Thomas issued a highly critical letter insisting that LGBTQ people would have to confess their "sin" and then reform their sexual lives before being admitted to communion, and insisting that LGBTQ people would need to remain celibate in order to seek ordination.  The English press has been filled with commentaries and responses countering his claims. The blog Thinking Anglicans is keeping track of the whole debate.  Start here and here to see what has been printed.

Pittsburgh Parishes March in Pride Parade

Several Episcopal Parishes marched in the Pittsburgh Pride Parades, including St. Brendan's Parish from Franklin Park, and Church of the Redeemer from Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh.  St. Brendan's posted pictures on their Facebook page.  The Church of Redeemer had representatives in both parades on Sunday. Redeemer has had a group in the Pride parade for a number of years. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette had an article on the two marches.