The last great theological debate in Pittsburgh…

Lionel Deimel covers a forum on realignment held in the Diocese of Pittsburgh:

What was striking was the contrast, particularly in the question-and-answer period, to the dialogue that took place at a similar meeting in the same space. One of the aforementioned district meeting (that for District VII) was held at St. Andrew’s. It, too, was well attended and was similar in format, though the presentations were even more weighted in favor of realignment. The audience was almost uniformly opposed to this point of view—only one of the questions could be considered at all sympathetic or neutral—and the session became progressively more acrimonious as it wore on, with questioners angrily hurling charges and posing questions designed to embarrass the presenters.

The mood on June 1, however, was one of resignation to some sort of division of the diocese. The first question, in fact, was about whether there is a way to part gracefully. The consensus was that there likely is not, an answer disputed by no one. Some perfunctory words were said about being gracious to one another and possibly sharing projects and resources, but the words seemed to lack conviction.

Perhaps most surprising was the absence, both in the initial presentations and in the subsequent questions, of discussion related to the canonical or legal propriety of realignment. There was little concern expressed for the effect realignment might have on the Anglican Communion, and no talk at all of the likely effect on The Episcopal Church. These concerns had seemingly become irrelevant, as if everyone was part of a Greek tragedy, and no one had control over his or her fate.

Read it all here.

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