McConnell becomes Pittsburgh’s bishop Saturday

Saturday, October 20, the Rev. Dorsey McConnell will become the next bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, the first diocese that suffered schism to elect a non-provisional bishop:

Ann Rodgers writes in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

When Bishop-elect Dorsey McConnell was chosen to lead an Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh still deeply wounded from a 2008 schism, he prepared to face anger, resentment and grief. … Pittsburgh has been among the most theologically conservative dioceses in an increasingly liberal denomination. That culminated in a 2008 split in which its last tenured bishop led a majority of parishes and clergy out of the Episcopal Church in a dispute over biblical theology and gay ordination. But some conservatives believed schism was wrong and remain in the Episcopal diocese, which is still fairly conservative by Episcopal standards. It has 9,000 members in 33 parishes.

In the interim it was led by provisional Bishop Kenneth Price Jr., who is credited with helping the shattered diocese to heal. It is the first of four split dioceses to elect a permanent bishop. Bishop-elect McConnell will be consecrated Saturday in Calvary Episcopal Church, Shadyside.

Most recently rector of Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, Mass., the 58-year-old is a theologically conservative veteran of some of the most liberal dioceses in the nation. He and his wife, Betsy, a clinical social worker, have settled in Edgewood.

His desire to build bridges rather than burn them is partly a legacy of diplomacy he witnessed as the son of an Air Force general. His mother, who fled Nazi-occupied France, calmed him when he was 8 and upset that German officers were coming to dinner: “They were the enemy. They’re allies now. Darling, learn this: Life is long, and we need each other,” she told him

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