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, April 23, 2019

Week Ending 4/22/19

Perspective and Responses to the Sri Lanka Bombing

The Easter morning bombings of churches and hotels in Sri Lanka have brought numerous responses.  coverage of the bombings has sometimes erroneously listed all three religious targets as Roman Catholic.  Two of the churches bombed were Roman Catholic; the third was evangelical protestant. Those bombings and the ones at three hotels, plus two more bombs detonated that day killed nearly 300 and injured over 500.  Although the churches belonging to the Anglican Communion were not bombed, their leaders felt threatened.  The Anglican Bishop of Columbo refused to leave when police tried to get him to stop in the middle of Easter services.  The Church of Ceylon is extra-provincial  under the care of the Archbishop of Canterbury and is the second largest Christian church on the island after the Roman Catholics.  The bishops of its two diocese issued a statement of support and concern.  A clergyperson in Australia who was born in Sri Lanka issued a statement urging that Christians respond as Christ would - with mercy, not retribution. Christian Today pointed out that indifference of officials in Sri Lanka towards the threat of religious extremism helped to make the churches vulnerable.  A slightly different take with more background on the Roman Cathkic Church in Sri Lanka is found in an opinion piece in Religion News.

Outreach from the Inner City

Local newspapers carried stories about two historic Episcopal Churches that are using their resources to reach out to the homeless and those in need. Bethesda Episcopal Church in downtown Saratoga Springs, NY has planned a new parish hall that will also host a series of non-profit organizations and provide housing for families and individuals at risk or homeless. The first floor will be parish space and the second and third floors serve as housing and office space. for a number of non-profits working to provide support services.  The parish formed a new non-profit agency to coordinate it all and that agency will have an on-site, live-in manager.  In Elmira, NY the downtown Trinity Episcopal Church has decided to turn their parish hall into Crossroads Community Center and use it to serve the whole community.  They are hosting an expo to make the community aware of the spaces available.

Continuing Stories

Expressing Solidarity with Notre Dame

In the wake of the fire that did serious damage to the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, there have been a number of responses of support.  While the major treasurers and the ancient rose windows all survived the fire, the damage will take years to repair.  Episcopalians expressed their solidarity this week as cathedrals from a number of TEC  dioceses rang their bells on April 18 to express their solidarity with Notre Dame.  Many of the cathedrals timed their chiming to coincide with the time that the fire started.  Some of the churches also announced that they were also tolling in support of churches in the U.S. that had been burned during Lent in Louisiana.  Pittsburgh's Trinity Cathedral participated, and Bishop Dorsey McConnell also posted reflections on his connections to Notre Dame.

Die-Hard Opponents of Same-Sex Marriage Try Again in Canada

Four clergy calling themselves the Anglican Communion Alliance have sent an open letter to the bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada urging them to turn back from embracing canons that include same sex couples within the marriage canons.  Three of these clergy signed  an appeal in October 2016 to the Archbishop of Canterbury asking him to intervene shortly after the Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada passed measures to amend their canons by one vote. (Update reported on the vote here and the protest here.) The synod meeting this year is scheduled to complete the process. The fourth priest signing the open letter is Ephriam Radnor, who has long been associated with tiny American Communion Institute that has consistently been a voice protesting inclusion.  Given that the Canadian church has been performing same-sex  marriages, including one for one of their bishops, their plea not to move towards a single new inclusive definition of marriage seems unlikely to sway the bishops.