Pittsburgh votes to leave Episcopal Church; Duncan returns


2 p.m. Update: Comments from Presiding Bishop here.

The Standing Committee of the portion of the Diocese that has voted to realign, has announced a special convention in November to elect a diocesan bishop and to admit into the Diocese of Pittsburgh any additional parishes that wish to join the Diocese of PIttsburgh of the Province of the Southern Cone. The Convention will be held at Trinity Cathedral. The first order of business on the second day of the special convention will be the Bishop’s Address and Vision. All clergy of the diocese are now able to pick up licenses as clergy of the Province of the Southern Cone. The back of the license spells out the terms they agree to when they accept that license.

Archbishop Venables announces that he has appointed Bishop Robert Duncan to serve as the “Episcopal Commissary” of the diocese.

Immediately following that announcement Bishop Duncan greeted the Convention. He reports that the existing Standing Committee is still the ecclesiastical authority until the new bishop is elected. It is explained to be a temporary measure in effect while this diocese and is expected to last until there is a new Orthodox diocese of “faithful Anglicans here in North America.”


The vote has been taken and its result is being reported as:

121 aye, 33 nay, 3 abstentions (clergy)

119 aye, 69 nay, 3 abstentions (laity)

At the moment the Diocesan Convention is reorganizing its committees and reporting the results of other elections.

UPDATE 2 p.m. – comments from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori:

“I believe that the vast majority of Episcopalians and Anglicans will be intensely grieved by the actions of individuals who thought it necessary to remove them from The Episcopal Church,” Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said after the vote. “I have repeatedly reassured Episcopalians that there is abundant room for dissent within this Church, and that loyal opposition is a long and honored tradition within Anglicanism. Schism is not, having frequently been seen as a more egregious error than charges of heresy. There is room in this Church for all who desire to be members of it. The actions of the former bishop of Pittsburgh, and some lay and clergy leaders, have removed themselves from this Church; the rest of the Church laments their departure. We stand ready to welcome the return of any who wish to rejoin this part of the Body of Christ.

“We will work with remaining Episcopalians in Pittsburgh to provide support as they reorganize the Diocese and call a bishop to provide episcopal ministry. The people of The Episcopal Church hold all concerned in our prayers — for healing and comfort in time of distress, and for discernment as they seek their way into the future.

This from Episcopal Life Online, which promises a fuller story later today.


The Diocese of Pittsburgh moved its annual convention up a month earlier this year when it became clear that Bp. Duncan might be deposed; so after a morning Eucharist and lunch, the Diocese will move to the business at hand: to wit, voting on Resolution One: whether to leave the Episcopal Church and affiliate with the Southern Cone.

Thinking Anglicans has a roundup of morning papers and other stories on today’s vote in Pittsburgh here.

Information on the convention and its resolutions are at the diocesan website, here.

Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh has some resources here.

More as it unfolds.

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