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 29, 2020

Week Ending 09-28-20

Priest Confirms Abuse at ICE Facility

A whistleblower complaint filed by a former nurse at an ICE Detention Center for women has been in the news because doctors there were doing hysterectomies on detained women far beyond what medical necessity would have dictated.  Now an Episcopal priest, the Rev. Leeann Culbreath, has confirmed that whistleblower's statements fit very closely with what women detained there were telling her.  Culbreath has ministered to the women at the Irwin County Detention Center.  Episcopal News Service has more on her work there and the conditions at the center. 

Church in South Africa Admits Complicity in Abuse

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa passed a pair of resolutions at its most recent Provincial Standing Committee meeting.  One resolution praises Archbishop Thabo for his work to try to end all forms of abuse within the church and for his pastoral leadership in the area.  The other resolution began by admitting the church had fallen short in addressing complaints of gender -based-violence, including domestic abuse, and requires every diocese to have a gender-based violence officer or task force to lead efforts in education against such violence, and to explore changes that will make liturgies more gender inclusive.   The full resolutions are included in the Episcopal News Service story.

Continuing Stories

Maryland Parish Deals With Its Slaveholder Past

The Diocese of Maryland has taken a leading role in dealing with church participation in slavery and racism.  Memorial Episcopal Church in Baltimore is now coming to terms with the way that its past not only is tied to slavery, but that two of its rectors were leaders in promoting racism and disfranchisement of African Americans after the Civil War.  The church itself was built as a memorial to slaveholders.  The parish began exploring its past when the deacon assigned to the parish discovered that she was descended from slaves owned by one of the rectors of the parish.  The parish has removed plaques from the church honoring the families, and is deciding where to place them outside of the worship spaces where they can be interpreted in context as part of the parish history.  The parish has also conducted a ceremony intended to begin the healing.  Update has been covering the Episcopal Church's efforts at coming to terms with its own racist past and the removal of various memorials honoring those who were slave owners or otherwise worked to exclude African Americans.


Washington Bishop Protests ICE Detention on Church Grounds

Last week Update carried a piece on  an ICE raid that arrested the live-in caretaker of a Methodist Church.  The arrest took place on church grounds, thus violating agency policy and undoing the claim of sanctuary that the Church made.  The church was a Maryland suburb of Washington. D.C. now Bishop Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington has joined with other church leaders in signing a protest of this violation of sanctuary.