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, October 23, 2018

Week Ending 10/22/18

Brazilian Bishops Oppose Election Lies and Appeals to Hatred

The run-off election for  President of Brazil has grown heated with a far right candidate coming out as the top vote-getter in the preliminary round. That candidate is recovering from a stab wound inflicted by someone claiming to act in the name of religion and liberty.   The campaign generally has been marred with violence, racism, and false claims.  The Bishops of Episcopal Church of Brazil  have issued a statement condemning violence, racism, and lies, and urging their members to  read their Bibles deeply and consider the teachings of Jesus, when they vote.  The statement endorses no specific candidates.  The English version of the statement is is summarized by the Anglican Communion News Service. .

Church of Ireland Supports Removal of Blasphemy Laws 

Irish voters will soon decide whether to remove the anti-blasphemy clause from their country's constitution.  The Anglican Church of Ireland is supporting removal.  While church leaders would have preferred replacing the clause with a statement guaranteeing freedom of religion, they are supporting the removal of a clause which limits free speech and thought. 

Sydney Synod Closes Church Doors to Many

The super-conservative Province of Sydney within the Anglican Province of Australia has passed a resolution at its synod that forbids the use of any church property (including schools or other public facilities) by groups who are not in agreement with church pronouncements.  It forbids clergy or others for advocating for same-sex marriage, blessing of partnerships, or ordination of LGBTQ individuals on church property, and a number of practices, such as the use use of church halls by those of other faiths, yoga groups, or for local indigenous ceremonies.  The vote has provoked several  critical stories in the Sydney papers such as this and this.  The Guardian also has a story here.

Updates on Continuing Stories

South Carolina Filings Now Posted

Last week the Update carried a story about the final set of filings before oral arguments in the South Carolina District Court proceedings to implement the opinion awarding Episcopalians control of church properties.  The Episcopal Church in South Carolina web site has now posted the actual documents from schismatics and the Episcopal response. (A reminder: the schismatic group and parishes participating in that group are the plaintiffs, and the Episcopalians are the defendants in these documents.)  

Episcopal Elections Increase Number of Women Diocesans

This last weekend three dioceses elected new bishops, assuming approval by the requisite number of diocesan standing committees and bishops, the House of bishops is adding two women (Kansas and Arizona) and a man (Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe).  Kansas was one of three dioceses whose final slates were composed entirely of women. The other two (Tennessee and Colorado) have not yet held their conventions.  Counting the October 2, 2018 consecration of Carlye Hughes as Bishop of Newark, the church is on track to add 5 women diocesan bishops one calendar year.  They will join 7 other women currently in charge of dioceses.  There is still a long way to go since these additions will only bring women's share of diocesan episcopates to 10%.

Letter from English Evangelical Bishops Provokes Responses

Last week Update reported on a letter sent by 11 evangelical bishops to the commission working on measures for the next Church of England Synod.  The letter urged the commission to not propose any changes in the church's current stand that marriage is only permissible between a man and a woman. Since then there have been a number of letters and statements posted countering their letter, including a series of three essays, two by retired evangelical English bishops (here and here) and the third by a noted layperson.  Another public letter addressed to GAFCON  (and responding to GAFCON's latest statements) by 13 evangelical bishops announced the intent of the 13 to remain inside the Church of England working within its structures and while praising GAFCON's goals, criticizing GAFCON for going outside the structures of the Anglican Communion.