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 8, 2019

Week Ending 10/07/19

Kenya Affirms Possibility of Women as Bishops

The Anglican Church in Kenya's synod wants to be sure that their commitment to women clergy at all levels is unmistakable.  They have thus started a process to amend their governing documents so that it is explicit that both male and female clergy are eligible to be bishops.  Women have been ordained as priests in Kenya for a while under a reading of documents that the use of male terminology was intended to be generic and not gender specific. The change will require a second vote by the next synod, scheduled for 2021.

Parishes Opposed to Women's Ordination in England Hide Their Stance

A recent study has shown that 90% of the conservative evangelical parishes in the Church of England that do not support women's leadership, especially ordination do not make that position clear anywhere on their web sites or in materials available to their congregation.  Since many of these parishes are near universities that might attract student members, this has the effect of discouraging women from entering ordained ministry. 

Actions Around the Anglican Communion in Support of Environment

The global environmental crisis has sparked a number of statements over time from members of the Anglican Communion.  The latest two are a strongly worded statement by the 9 bishops of the Province of South America.  Their statement  was a strong condemnation of the destruction of forests for agriculture or other development, especially the forests of South America.  The Anglican Communion News Service has a good description of the implications of their letter and a link to the letter in  its original Spanish.  Meanwhile, in London, Church of England clergy and laity are participating in demonstrations that close the bridge over the Thames closest to Lambeth Palace. The demonstrations are to call attention to the mass extinction of species being caused by climate change.  As part of these demonstrations, the clergy are performing baptisms and celebrating Eucharist on the bridge.

Updates on Ongoing Stories

Communion Partners Support Bishop Love and Lambeth

The House of Bishops meeting  in September included statements urging bishops to follow their consciences on whether to attend Lambeth 2020 given that same sex spouses were excluded from the invitation.  The Bishops also allowed the Title IV disciplinary process to move forward to a hearing on Bishop Love for his refusal to implement a General Convention resolution requiring bishops to allow parishes and priests in their dioceses to celebrate weddings for same sex couples if  they wished to do so.  The handful of Communion Partner Bishops (i.e. very conservative) in The Episcopal Church have now issued a statement supporting Bishop Love and saying that they all intend to go to Lambeth. The defense of Bishop Love of Albany was based on a claim that liberal bishops who ignored canons have not been brought up on charges.

South Carolina Diocese Requests Hearing

 The Episcopalians in South Carolina have sent a letter requesting that Judge Dickson move forward with a new hearing on their requests for implementation of the property settlement given the federal court decision and failure of mediation.  The judge has managed to stall doing what the state court asked him to do two years ago.

St. Paul's School Removes Names from Buildings

St. Paul's School in Conway, New Hampshire, which has been trying to rebuild its credibility after a damaging scandal involving the sexual abuse of students by faculty and staff over a number of years, has removed from campus buildings the names of two men who were involved in covering up the abuse.  Bill Matthews name was removed from the Episcopal school's hockey center, and Bill Oates's name is no longer on the preforming arts center.  In 2018, the school signed an agreement with the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office which ended an official criminal investigation of the abuse.