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, September 10, 2019

Week Ending 9/9/19

Brazilian Bishops Blame Amazon Fires of Greed and Hatred

Fifteen bishop of the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil had issued a pastoral letter strongly critical of the Brazilian president and his complicity in conditions leading to the fire in the Amazon basin that is wreaking environmental havoc.  They framed their response in terms of the Anglican Communion's "Marks of Mission" and their duty to protect God's creation.  The Anglican News Service has more

Farewell to Another of the "Philadelphia 11"

This last week the Rev. Alison Cheek, one of the "Philadelphia" died.  She was one of the 11 women in deacon's orders who called the bluff of the Episcopal Church after the 1973 General Convention narrowly defeated a measure to explicitly allow ordination of women to the priesthood.  Of the Eleven, Cheek was the first to publicly preside at a service of Holy Communion. Their ordination was originally declared "irregular" but was recognized in 1976 when the General Convention approved what it had defeated in 1973.  The 92 year-old Cheek is the 5th of the eleven to die. Episcopal News Service has more on her life and ordination. 

Virginia Theological Seminary Set Aside Funds for Reparations

The Virginia Theological Seminary has acknowledged that from its founding on it has benefited from slavery, and that it actively participated in the enforcement of segregation and racism has announced that it will set aside a portion of its endowment to provide reparations to the local black community.  The funds will be used largely for grants, not as payments to individuals.  The seminary announcement includes many of the details. 

Continuing Stories

South Carolina Mediation Rescheduled

The break-away group in South Carolina has announced a new date for mediation.  The original date was  a victim of Hurricane Dorian.  It is now scheduled for September 26.  The judge who is supposed to implement the decision of the state supreme court which granted most property to the Episcopal Church has ordered mediation on all issues, including a separate "Betterments" suit filed by the schismatics after they lost at the state supreme court.

Canadian Church Finding Path Forward After Synod Defeat on Same Sex Marriage

The Synod  of the Anglican Church of Canada narrowly defeated a measure this summer that would have explicitly allowed parishes and clergy to bless same sex marriages or  host and preside at them.  An earlier vote (which passed by a margin of 1) had allowed bishops to authorize blessings and marriages under a particular reading of existing church rules.  Since the failure of the measure, a number of bishops have announced they will continue to authorize blessings and marriages, and one bishop who opposes blessings has declared that he is not leaving the church, but that his diocese is in impaired communion with the rest of the denomination.  Update covered the vote and the immediate responses after the vote here.  The Canadian publication, The Anglican Journal, has published a follow-up piece on the status of the church.  This was picked up by the Episcopal News Service here.

Welby's India Trip Prompts Lawsuit

The leaders of the Church of India, a part of the Traditional Anglican Church, have filed a lawsuit claiming that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby lied when he told people that the United Churches of North and South India were the historic continuations of the Anglican Communion  in India. Welby's trip to India has been marred by multiple controversies.  Unfortunately, the only source reporting on the lawsuit is the web site of the vitriolic anti-TEC  David Virtue. The suit is likely to be considered a nuisance suit. Welby, of course, would not consider the break-away Church of India a part of the historic communion.  The break-away's origin are among people unhappy when the Anglicans, Methodists and Presbyterians created the United Churches in North India and in South India.  Welby is the first Archbishop to declare that the CSI and CNI are full provinces in the Anglican Communion.  Their status was up until recently a mixed status given the number of clergy and congregations that were included from the other two denominations. The Update carried a link to an earlier background story on the churches in India here