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, June 8, 2021

Weekending 6/7/21

 All Items This Week Are Continuing Stories

Another Portrait Removed From Prominent Location

Update has been noting the decisions of various Episcopal parishes and organizations to remove from prominent location various memorials, plaques, and statutes giving places of honor to those who supported slavery, the Confederacy, or white supremacy and racism.  The latest institution to make such a decision is the  Rock Point  School in Burlington,Vermont.  The school was founded in 1888 and by the Rev. John Henry Hopkins, Jr. in honor of his father, Bishop John Hopkins, the first Bishop of Vermont and Presiding Bishop at the time of the Civil War.  Bishop Hopkins published a biblical defense of slavery in 1861, and it is for this reason that students at the school requested the removal of his portrait from the front hall of the main building (which remains named for Hopkins).  Another portrait of Hopkins has been left displayed in a less prominent location.  Hopkins was a supporter of education for women, and did much to build the diocese of Vermont.  The school weighed those positives against his defense of slavery.  Pittsburghers will find the name of Hopkins familiar.  Bishop Hopkins began his clerical career as organist and then rector of Trinity Parish (now Trinity Cathedral) in Pittsburgh, and worked tirelessly to train others to become clergy in the frontier communities of western Pennsylvania.  He also shepherded passage of the legislation at General Convention in 1865 that created the Diocese of Pittsburgh. 

South Carolina Insurance Case Dismissed by Court of Appeals

Episcopal leadership in South Carolina were shocked to find out that the Church Insurance Company had paid claims for legal expenses placed by parishes participating  in the schismatic diocese.  They sued the insurance company for actually paying out money to entities that used the funds pay legal costs as the schismatic leaders fought to prevent the Episcopal Church from recovering those properties.  The Federal Court of Appeals has dismissed the suit.  This is a side issue to the main battle still unresolved.  The State Supreme Court had ruled the properties belonged to the Episcopalians, but remanded the implementation of that decision to a state district court judge who then reversed the state court by ruling the property belonged to the schismatics.  The federal court  took the district judge opinion as the latest ruling and decided the Episcopal Diocese had no standing.  That a policy issued when a parish was a participating member and still in force could  be held by a parish no longer a member. That ruling has now been appealed to the state supreme court.

Oxford Dean Charges Dismissed Again

The multi-year battle between the professors of Christ Church College, Oxford and the Dean of the College and Cathedral has taken multiple forms, the most recent being charges of sexual harassment by the dean.  The charges involved touching a woman faculty member's hair and back.  Multiple actions were filed by the college against the dean, both using the Clergy Discipline Measures (which result in a special outside investigation),  and an internal collegiate procedure.  Dame Sara Asplin, the President of Tribunals under the CDM issued her report on May 28 and dismissed the complaint saying that the actions simply did not rise to the level that the CDM required.  The college's internal tribunal proceedings, however are not affected.  Update has followed the long saga of the efforts of a group of Christ Church Faculty  and College governing board to find some grounds for dismissal of the dean. The most recent post is here, and the the CDM complaint notice was covered here.  

Anglican Hospital in Gaza a Place of Healing

Update carried notice of the challenges facing the Anglican Hospital in the Gaza during the short, but violent short bombings and missile launchings this spring between Israel and the Gaza.  The Anglican Communion news site has a story on the role that the Anglican Hospital has played in treating the injured and the ways it is aiding in rebuilding and healing.  The hospital treats all without regard to fiath or politics.