Thursday, September 18, 2008

Diocese of Pittsburgh Maintains Course after Purported Deposition

As the diocese prepares for its convention on October 4, the standing committee will serve as ecclesiastical authority.

The House of Bishops purported deposition of Bishop Robert Duncan will not change the agenda for the Oct. 4 Diocesan Convention or change Bishop Duncan’s status as a bishop in good standing within the Anglican Communion.

The action of the House of Bishops, which was taken in a closed meeting on September 18 in Salt Lake City, Utah, contravenes numerous canons of The Episcopal Church. While Bishop Duncan continues to believe that the "deposition" is unlawful, he will not challenge the "deposition" prior to the end of the diocese’s October 4 convention unless forced to do so by the leadership of The Episcopal Church.

On October 4, diocesan convention deputies will consider the second reading of a constitutional change that would realign the diocese with the Province of the Southern Cone. With the passage of that constitutional change, the diocese will be free to welcome Bishop Duncan back as its bishop. In the meantime, under the diocese’s governing documents, the standing committee will serve as the diocese’s ecclesiastical authority.

“This is of course a very painful moment for Pittsburgh Episcopalians. The leadership of The Episcopal Church has inserted itself in a most violent manner into the affairs and governance of our diocese. While we await the decision of the diocesan convention on realignment to a different province of the Anglican Communion, we will stand firm against any further attempts by those outside our boundaries intimidate us,” said the Rev. David Wilson, president of the Standing Committee.

Bishop Duncan’s own continuing status as a bishop in The Anglican Communion has been secured by the Province of the Southern Cone.

“As was resolved by resolution made at the Provincial Synod in Valparaiso last November 2007, we are happy to welcome Bishop Duncan into the Province of the Southern Cone as a member of our House of Bishops, effective immediately. Neither the Presiding Bishop nor the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church has any further jurisdiction over his ministry. We pray for all Anglicans in Pittsburgh as they consider their own relationship with The Episcopal Church in the coming weeks,” said Archbishop Gregory Venables.

- Posted September 18, 2008 -

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