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, March 26, 2019

Week Ending 3/25/19

Retired Bishop Martin Barahona of El Salvador Dies

Retired Bishop Martin Barahona of El Salvadorhas just died.  The Bishop was deeply respected for his commitment to the poor, for his work to heal divisions after the bitter civil war in El Salvador, and for his advocay for refugees. The bishop is best known in the U.S. for his participation in the consecration of V. Gene Robinson as bishop, and for his recent statements on the refugee caravans seeking entrance to the U.S.  The death notice is in Spanish.  The Google translation gives the gist of it. Click on the word "translating" to see the article.

British Controversy Over Denial of Refugee Status to Middle East Christians

The Church of England was not happy to find that a British official had been denying entrance to refugees from Iran seeking asylum because they had converted to Christianity.  The officer cited passages from the old testament to prove that it was a violent religion and thus claims of conversion to Christianity because it was more peaceful were false.  The Bishop of Durham has called for better training and a review of the way the Home Office is handling asylum claims following publication by the asylum seeker's lawyer of the officer's explanation of the reason for refusal. 

Kenyan Archbishop Denounces Decision to Allow LBGTQ Group to Register with Government

African Anglicans often hold up a 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution on sexuality as though it were legislation in order to fault those members of the communion that allow LGTBQ people to serve as clergy and/or marry.  However that resolution also stated that churches were to "minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals . . ." The Archbishop of Kenya seems to have missed this part of the resolution.  He has denounced a recent Kenyan supreme court opinion that allows a  gay and lesbian rights organization to register with the government as an NGO.  This will allow the group to legally operate in Kenya.  Archbishop  Sapit announced the the Anglican Church in Kenya repudiated the ruling and would continue to "fight sin."

Continuing Stories

Bishop of Rio Grande on the Humanitarian Border Crisis

The Episcopal Church has been actively involved in advocacy and support for refugees and immigrants for a number of years.  Update has carried stories on this ministry a number of times, most recently here.  Bishop Michael Hunn of the Diocese of Rio Grande has produced the first of what promises to be a set of videos on what his diocese is doing to address the humanitarian crisis along the border.  The information on the current border situation that he gives in the first video is of interest for everyone.  It was published on Facebook.  You do not need an account to watch it.

Vermont Has All Female Slate for Bishop

All male slates for bishop have been common in The Episcopal Church,  but in the last year a string of all female slates has emerged.  The Diocese of Vermont is the latest to bring forward a set of choices for election as the next bishop which are all female.  Women are also winning election in some diocese where there were male candidates as well.  The result is that the entering class of new bishops looks very different than in past years. Update has been noting these elections.

More on the Lambeth Spouse Controversy

The announcement that same sex spouses were being excluded from the invitation of spouses to join bishops at the 202 Lambeth Conference continues to make waves.  Students at the University of Kent in Canterbury, which has traditionally served as the host site for the Lambeth Conference, have challenged the University officials to rethink hosting the event because it would be contrary to university values of inclusion.  The University of Kent issued this statement in response. The university is committed to providing housing for the spouses whether invited or not. Meanwhile criticism of the decision to exclude same sex spouses continues to be voiced. Thinking Anglicans has links to all of these. The Update has been following developments in this controversy.  The most recent previous report is here.

Latest Legal News from South Carolina

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina has grown tired of waiting for the state district judge assign to implement the state supreme court opinion awarding control of most church property in the Diocese of South Carolina to the Episcopalians.  The Episcopal diocese has filed a request for a writ of mandamus from the state supreme court to direct the Judge to move forward with disposition of property, not re-try the case.  In a separate matter, the blog scepiscopalians.com published a story on March 25, 2019 saying the judge has ordered a hearing next week on the motion to  dismiss the "Betterments" suit filed by the schismatic group.  The "Betterments" suit is seeking payment for all improvements ever made on the properties of the parishes that tried to leave TEC.  Update has followed all the twists and turns of the South Carolina Church legal dispute. The most recent previous post is here.

Vigil for Gun Victims

On the anniversary of the Parkland Shooting, the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Santa Rosa, CA created a special Vigil for victims of mass gun violence.  It was open to the public.  The vigil was built around a litany of the names of those killed in mass shootings and set to a new musical composition. This is the latest  of many occasions the Episcopal Church has spoken about gun violence. The most recent previous story in Update is here.