Area News

Pittsburgh bishop responds to church warning

By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

JOHNSTOWN — Pittsburgh Episcopal Bishop Robert W. Duncan Jr. invoked the legacy of theologian Martin Luther today in his first public response to being warned Wednesday by the denomination’s leader that the diocese’s continued march to separate from the national church could force him out of his position.

“Here I stand,” Bishop Duncan told clergy and laity at the 142nd diocesan convention. “I can do no other. God help me. Amen.”

Those were the words spoken by Martin Luther in 1521 when he was called before the Diet of Worms for his supposedly heretical works. Emperor Charles the Fifth later declared the theologian an outlaw and he went into exile.

Bishop Duncan’s short response to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori came after he told convention deputies that “as a diocese we have come to a fork in the road.”

The convention will vote later today on whether or not to move forward with plans to leave the Episcopal Church.

More details in tomorrow’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
First published on November 2, 2007 at 3:14 pm
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MAJOR UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Local Episcopalians vote to leave the U.S. church
Friday, November 02, 2007
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

JOHNSTOWN — Members of the Pittsburgh Episcopal Diocese have voted overwhelmingly to break away from the denomination in the United States and align with an Anglican province in another country.

In today’s vote at the 142nd diocesan convention, the laity approved the measure 118-58 with one abstention. The clergy vote was 109-24 in favor of breaking away.

For the break to occur, the diocese must pass the same measure next year and select which Anglican province to join.

In a letter Wednesday to Pittsburgh Episcopal Bishop Robert W. Duncan Jr., U.S. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori warned that such a move could result in declaring the Pittsburgh Diocese vacant and ordering Bishop Duncan’s removal.

Bishop Duncan invoked the legacy of theologian Martin Luther today in his first public response to the wraning.

“Here I stand,” Bishop Duncan told clergy and laity at the convention. “I can do no other. God help me. Amen.”

Those were the words spoken by Martin Luther in 1521 when he was called before the Diet of Worms for his supposedly heretical works. Holy Roman Emperor Charles V declared the theologian an outlaw and he went into exile.

Bishop Duncan’s short response to Bishop Schori came after he told convention deputies that “as a diocese, we have come to a fork in the road.”

More details in tomorrow’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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7 thoughts on “Area News

  1. Not being Episcopalian – how large is a diocese? (I’m just wondering how significant this is – and also what will happen if Duncan is replaced between now and next year.)

  2. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Episcopal_Diocese_of_Pittsburgh

    The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, founded in 1865, is a diocese in the Episcopal Church of the United States of America. Geographically, it encompasses several counties in Western Pennsylvania and its cathedral is located in downtown Pittsburgh. It includes 66 individual parishes and in 2004 had a total membership of 20,263. The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan was elected bishop in 1997 and is the diocese’s seventh bishop. The Rt. Rev. Henry Scriven serves as Assistant Bishop. The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh holds to its motto, “One Church of Miraculous Expectation and Missionary Grace.”

    In addition to its parishes, the diocese is home to numerous other Episcopal organizations including the Community of Celebration, the Church Army, Rock the World Youth Mission Alliance, and the South American Missionary Society. Perhaps the most prominent of these is Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, a leading conservative evangelical seminary.

  3. Want us to hook up with them? There are plenty of Reformed Anglicans out there. But no Anglo-catholics…I can’t handle prayers to Mary!

  4. You are welcome Will. Living in the Pittsburgh area this will be a fascinating yet joyless time in the Pittsburgh area.

  5. joyless is right.

    It is interesting from an observation perspective – as one would study periods and events in history. Experiencing it or watching it up close is quite another thing.

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