Lionel Deimel did not attend the Pittsburgh Diocesan Council meeting this week, but he received a report for someone who did. The council met to consider constitutional changes that envision (1) the option of leaving the national church and (2) admitting into the diocese churches from other geographic regions. The constitution changes do not address how a free-floating diocese could be recognized as a member of the Anglican Communion.
During the council meeting Bishop Duncan was asked about churches within the diocese who are clear they would not leave the Episcopal Church. Deimel writes,
The bishop explained that the settlement agreement resulting from Calvary Church’s lawsuit provides a procedure by which parishes wishing to leave the diocese may negotiate their exit. The bishop says that this procedure can be used by parishes who want to remain in The Episcopal Church! This, of course, stands the settlement agreement on its head, as the point of the agreement, as far as Calvary Church was concerned, anyway, was to protect Episcopal Church property. Clearly, Bishop Duncan expects not only to remove his diocese from The Episcopal Church—apparently the Boston Globe got the story right—but to claim all the property as well. This is exactly what the Calvary lawsuit was initiated to prevent. Judge James may have something to say about the matter.
Read Deimel’s entire post on the council meeting here.
In Duncan’s world the settlement with Calvary — designed to protect Episcopal Church property — could be used against Calvary and churches faithful to the Episcopal Church if the diocese merely passes through the looking glass and says it is no longer part of the Episcopal Church. The Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson would have something to say about that.