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, August 9, 2022

Week Ending 08/08/22

Christopher Wells Appointed to Anglican Communion Post

The Archbishop of Canterbury has announced the appointment of the Communion's Director of  Unity, Faith and Order.   Wells is the current chair of the Board of Directors, for the Living Church, and was the paper's editor from 2009-2019. He has a long association with Episcopal conservatives, especially the group called "Communion Partners," who are opposed to same sex marriage, but have not left the Episcopal Church.  Wells is also a part-time instructor at Nashotah House which walks a very fine line between ACNA and the Episcopal Church.  It is an appointment that should provide some reassurance the Global South bishops.  What his appointment means for the Episcopal Church and other liberal member churches of the Anglican Communion, such as Canada, New Zealand, Brazil, Mexico, and Scotland will only be apparent over time.

Continuing Stories

Lambeth Closes With Lines Drawn But No Decision 

The Lambeth meeting of Anglican Communion bishops concluded with a focus on issues ranging from climate change,  to persecution of christians and  gun violence.  On these issues bishops divided over sexuality could find common ground and compassionate listening. A good overview of the meeting is here.  However, the lines remain drawn.  For a summary of the standoff on sexuality go here.  The Global South issued a communique after the meeting which began with concerns and challenges facing the whole world but ended with a long section saying they would continue to push from what they considered orthodoxy and building a coalition against the members of the Communion they saw as holding heretical opinions. The liberal bishops published a document affirming their love and acceptance of LGBTQ+ people and their support for full inclusion in the church.  This document was signed by 164 bishops from at least 12 different Anglican Provinces.  The published list has signatures through August 7.  It does not include Pittsburgh's bishop, Ketlen Solak.   Update had a mid-meeting brief on Lambeth last week

Episcopal Leaders Participate in Legal Challenge to Abortion Law

With the media focused on Lambeth, the participation of the Episcopal Church in a lawsuit challenging a  Florida abortion law on the basis of religious freedom not gotten the attention it deserves.  The Episcopal Church is part of a religious coalition including Reform Judaism, Buddhism,  the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Church that filed suit in Miami -Dade courts to challenge the Florida law banning abortions after 15 weeks. The suit argues that the law violates the faith-based groups constitutional rights to free speech, freedom of religion, and the separation of Church and State because there are penalties for anyone who advises, consults or aids someone seeking an abortion after 15 weeks.  The Episcopal Church has long stated that abortion is a matter of conscience and that the state should not prevent a woman in consultation with a doctor choosing the best reproductive health options for herself. Update carried notice of statements issued earlier this year following the Supreme Court decision.    

Churches Respond to Latest Natural Disaster

The Diocese of Lexington and Episcopal Relief and Development are already providing help to the parts of Kentucky that were hit hard in recent flash floods.  This is the latest in a long list of examples of the Church responding to such events.  For more on the Kentucky aid go here, and for a past example carried by Update, look here.

Anglicans Concerned by Latest Chinese Actions in Hong Kong

The Chinese government has been exerting stronger and stronger controls over expression in Hong Kong, and now has sent an administrator to that city who is known for his crack-down and closing of christian worship communities.  The Chinese government insists it has the right to review all church publications and ensure they are in line with Chinese government positions.  In Hong Kong, this control is actually creating a shortage of Bibles because printers are afraid to print new copies.  While the article is mostly about pressure on the Roman Catholic Church, Anglicans are also quoted warning about the loss of religious freedom. The current Anglican Archbishop of Hong Kong has previously expressed concerns and will face new pressures on his return from Lambeth.