Monday, September 29, 2008

Just Resign!!

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has this picture on their home page.  A fitting statement about the Diocese.  They can't help  themselves though.  They say the Bob Duncan has been "deposed" using quotes.  Such a cute way of saying that they don't buy it.  We have heard that they have hired the newest Bishop of the Southern Cone as a consultant.  I presume the salary happens to be the same as the salary of their previous Bishop along with the Southern Cone Bishop being able to use the previous Bishop of Pittsburgh's house or housing allowance.

This should be the first of many empty chairs.  There are members of the leadership of this Episcopal Diocese who are currently actively violating their fiduciary duty to the entity they lead.  They are charged with acting in the best interest of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.  You can not do that and actively negotiate with another province for oversight.  You can not do that and remove the accession clause in your constitution.  You can not do that and actively plan to take property from the entity you serve.  

If you feel that the proper course for your diocese is movement out of the Episcopal Church (putting aside that this is a legal impossibility) then RESIGN from a leadership position in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and work for what you think is the proper course.  But you can not morally or legally do these things and continue in a leadership position of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.  

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh's website also contains statements about the Constitution and Canons of the Province of the Southern Cone.  Putting aside the question of why would they obey these or even care about them given how they have treated the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church,  the Constitution of the Southern Cone does not allow a diocese from North America to be part of it.  But that's OK for the "Episcopalians" in Pittsburgh. (See I can be cute with quotes to.)  The website states not all provisions of the Constitution and Canons apply to them.  Funny that is what they said about the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church.

Constitution and Canons of the Southern Cone

SEPTEMBER 26, 2008

The Constitution and Canons of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone are available as a pdf document that has been prepared by the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.  Because of the emergency and temporary nature of their offer of oversight to Pittsburgh and other dioceses, not all descriptions and provisions will apply. 

Generally speaking, the constitution and canons provide a great deal more freedom to dioceses than those of The Episcopal Church.  The province makes no claim on the property of its dioceses and gives dioceses responsibility for ensuring “that the forms used in Public Worship and the Administration of the Sacraments be in accordance with Anglican Faith and Order and that nothing be established that is contrary to the Word of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures.”

Next weekend the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh will vote on an amendment to their Constitution.  

The Church in the Diocese of Pittsburgh is a constituent member of the Anglican Communion, a Fellowship within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of those duly constituted Dioceses, Provinces and regional churches in communion with the See of Canterbury, upholding and propagating the historic Faith and Order as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer. 

And this:

The Diocese of Pittsburgh shall have membership in such Province of the Anglican Communion as is by diocesan Canon specified. 

The full amendment is here along with a proposed amendment that would restore the accession clause.

Any member of the leadership of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh who has decided that they will vote for these amendments MUST RESIGN their leadership position immediately.  They violate their legal and ethical duty to the entity they lead if they do not.


Anonymous said...


If the Holy Spirit is calling them to a new understanding of their polity and His leadership, should they not discern that call in a diocesan vote and go where the Spirit leads? It is not as if it the people of Pittsburgh have not had time to prayerfully consider their vote and watch how TEC has acted towards them and their views over the past few years. And I doubt that Pittsburgh's delegates are any less prayerful than GC's. I suppose we could appeal to Scripture, but TEC has rejected that it has any authority. We could appeal to our Constitution and Canons, but again those mean only what we want them to mean. I guess we'll just have to trust that our relationships are strong enough to overcome any difficulties, but then we showed what kind of relationship we wanted with them when a number of bishops (fewer than would have been required to allow a bishop to resign) decided to expel the one they had discerned to lead them. Were the leadership to take your advice and resign, they would be abandoning the call of the Lord they have promised to serve. Such events never end happily.

Jr. said...


I don't have any problem with them voting. They just need to do it out of their leadership position in the Episcopal Church. Their position is a position in the Episcopal Church. Over the years there have been hundreds, thousands, maybe more people who have left the Episcopal Church. In all instances they have left the church and found their own way. It is unprecedented to try and have it both ways. Try and retain your power authority and control and leave the Episcopal Church.

They need to resign and then they have all my support and prayers as they determine their path in or out of the Episcopal Church.