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, January 29, 2019

Week Ending 1/28/19

Pakistan Court Restores Recognition of Christian Marriages

Following a change from a central governmental registration system for marriages to a regionally based one in 2013, Christian Churches found that the regional registrars were refusing to recognize or record regional marriages. The lack of legal recognition of marriages caused couples and their childrn numerous legal problems.    The priest at an Anglican parish went to court, and the Pakistan Supreme Court has ruled that regional recorders must accept documentation from churches.  Christians in Pakistan have been facing increased persecution at the regional level. this decision provides some welcome breathing space.   

St. David's Recognized for Rebuilding Congregation 

St. David's Parish in Peters Township is the subject of a very positive Episcopal News Service story highlighting its congregational rebuilding from a tiny faithful remnant left behind after its ACNA majority relinquished the building to the the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. The parish has grown from fewer than 20 members to over 300 in 6 years.  Read the full ENS feature here.

Updates on Continuing Stories

Albany Parish Announces Intent to Implement B012

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Albany was one of the parishes that had sought DEPO in order to have the services of a Bishop more affirming of the LGBTQ community than the Albany bishop.   Bishop Love of Albany announced his intent in November 2018 to ignore General Convention's Resolution B012.  That resolution created space for parishes and priests who wanted to provide marriage rites and blessings to all their parishioners, including same sex couples. Members of St. Andrews responded by burning the pastoral letter on the church steps. The Albany Bishop is under a partial inhibition preventing him from taking action against parishes or priests who implement B012.  Now  St. Andrews has taken the next step by passing a resolution at the parish annual meeting to implement B012.  

Episcopal Conference Centers Feed Furloughed Government Workers 

As federal workers are now heading back to work, the Episcopal News Service featured another group of Episcopal Church institutions reaching out to furloughed government workers.  A number of the Church camps and conference centers opened their doors to offer meals to furloughed federal workers and their families.  While workers are returning to work, the deal is temporary and the church groups may need to spring into action again.  The previous stories are here and here.   President Trump held a citizenship January 20, 2019 swearing-in at the Oval Office of five carefully chosen immigrants to try to indicate he didn't oppose immigrants who entered the U.S. legally.  One was an ACNA priest from England.

British Bishop Bell Gets Full Clearance on Charges

The Church of England made a mess of an investigation into charges of sexual abuse against the long-dead and previously much respected bishop, George Bell.  The charges surfaced shortly after George Bell was added to The Episcopal Church's  Holy Women, Holy Men.  Update covered the announcement of a new inquiry, a follow up report showing that the inquiry was terribly flawed and unfair to the dead prelate, the dropping of a police inquiry and now after a second investigation, the Church has cleared the prelate of new charges that arose when people stepped forward after 2015. 

Anglican Mission in America Splits Again

 Groups that left The Episcopal Church in the late 1970s over women's ordination and prayer book revision experienced their own repeated divisions and withdrawals.  The Anglican Mission in America (AMiA), which was formed in 2001 following the rogue consecration of American bishops by bishops from Rwanda and Southeast Asia, seems destined to repeat that history.  In 2012, the group split over ties to Rwanda and questions of internal leadership.  Update covered the development during that split in several stories including ones here, here, and here.  Some AMiA parishes joined ACNA and others stayed independent as AMiA.  The AMiA now lists only 19 parishes in 11 states, all in the South and Southwest. There were 20, but David Virtue reports that another parish has split off to form the Anglican Union For The Propagation Of The Gospel: A Confraternity Of Oratories (AUPG).  That congregation, Epiphany in Longmont, CO now claims affiliation through a diocese in  the Anglican Province of South Sudan. The AUPG incorporated in Florida in November 2018.  The incorporation documents lists several clergy.  None are now listed in the AMiA web pages, but they also are not yet claiming affiliation with AUPG, just with an African diocese or Anglican Mission International, one of the groups formed in the 2012 split.