TEC Affiliated Group in the Diocese of Pittsburgh Dispute Says No to Northern Michigan

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

10 comments on “TEC Affiliated Group in the Diocese of Pittsburgh Dispute Says No to Northern Michigan

  1. Ralph says:

    Heh-heh. The Roman Catholic church once had three Bishops, each claiming to be Pope. But does Pittsburgh have even one canonically legal standing committee with the authority and power to give or withhold consent to a TEC bishop election? (I think not, but I’m not a canon lawyer.)

  2. The young fogey says:

    You would have thought after Robinson that anything goes but it seems the liberals overplayed their hand with Thew-Forrester. His playing at Buddhism wasn’t even the most objectionable part (as one conservative blogger put it, that seems like posing to make himself more interesting). Looks like they’re not becoming Unitarians just yet. But give it 20 years. Many/most Anglicans have been crypto-nonbelievers since the 1700s. (Which both Methodism and Anglo-Catholicism were trying to fix.)

    The man obviously isn’t cut out to be a Christian bishop.

    [url=http://sergesblog.blogspot.com/]High-church libertarian curmudgeon[/url]

  3. dwstroudmd+ says:

    A pseudo-rump standing committee in a pseudo-diocese refuses consent to a pseudo-candidate nominated by a pseudo-canonical process – so ‘dere, ECUSA/TEC/GCC/EO-PAC will claim to be pseudo-Anglican complaint……………………………………………again.

  4. Bruce says:

    Wow. You guys are pretty rough. One of the things we’re trying to learn how to do here in Pittsburgh, in a very difficult time, is to see whether in the midst of unavoidable tension, inevitable and costly legal discernment, and many conflicted emotions, we can find ways to bless one another nonetheless, in a spirit of grace and generosity.

    That those faithful Christian clergy and laity who have determined to remain in the Episcopal Church might have the ability to continue orthodox witness in what is so often a very challenging ecclesial environment; that those faithful Christian clergy and laity who have determined to depart from the Episcopal Church might continue and flourish in ministry, our Lord working in them in this new way.

    I’m proud of our TEC-diocese Standing Committee for making this decision, and unanimously. I know for several of the members it was probably a difficult thing to do.

    I’m also proud of the work so many in the leadership of the Realigned diocese are doing in preparation for the Council of ACNA this summer. I don’t know all the issues that are to be addressed there, but I do know many of the people. And I know that they’ll do great things.

    In fact, there are really good, faithful, orthodox Christian people in ministry on both sides of this divide, and I hope we can keep both groups in our prayers. And no matter which side of the divide we’re standing on, the reality is that none of us wanted it to be this way, and we’re all doing the best we can by the light we are given.

    Anyway: there may be many opportunities for those on either side to be critical of the decisions or actions of those on the other. We’ll all make mistakes, for one thing, and we obviously aren’t of one mind about what we should be doing. But we’re better when we give voice to those criticisms with a spirit of gentleness. And when those on the other side of the divide do good things: well, it might be best just to say so, and with a smile.

    Bruce Robison

  5. Ralph says:

    These are rough times. One might guess that if Jesus had been gentle and engaged in a listening process, He might not have gotten in so much trouble. Hopefully we are not being MEAN.

    I simply wonder whether there is a duly-constituted diocese with authority to vote in a TEC consent process.

  6. Nevin says:

    Fr. Robison, as a conservative remaining in TEC this vote was noted and appreciated. That it was unanimous was encouraging as it suggests the absence of extreme reappraising positions on the committee…

  7. Mitchell says:

    Fr. Robinson as an Epispcopaliean choosing to remain in The Episcopal Church, I appreciate your remarks. They show an abiding love and respect for all our Christian brothers. Unfortuantely, I do not think you can expect anything comparable in return. The anger that seems to have filled the hearts of those who have chosen to depart the church, simply leaves no room.

  8. Bruce says:

    Thanks all. To #7, I would just say that I find very much an attitude of “abiding love and respect” among my brothers and sisters in the Realigned Diocese and in the wider “extra-mural” Anglican family. Clergy colleagues, old friends, extended families: many of us all indeed continue to talk, eat and drink, pray, and work together–and to bless one another’s lives and ministries. Most of the anxiety and negativity seems to happen on the internet and, happily, away from real life.

    Just a comment about the continuing conversation about the status of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh-TEC. Not something I can speak to in any official way, but a personal take. In the context of comments above questioning again the canonical status of Pittsburgh-TEC.

    1. Prior to October 4, 2008, there was one duly constituted Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh in the Episcopal Church, U.S.A.

    2. The “realignment” vote on October 4 is viewed canonically in two different ways, from two contextually valid and distinct points of view.

    From the point of view of the Province of the Southern Cone, a “Diocese of Pittsburgh” separated from the Episcopal Church on October 4 and attached itself extra-canonically but by special provision to the Province of the Southern Cone.

    From the point of view of the Episcopal Church, the vote could accomplish nothing canonically, but indicated the intention and action of a number of individual Episcopalians to resign from the Episcopal Church.

    On and following October 4, an “Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh in TEC” continued without interruption to be governed according both to diocesan and national canons, consequent to the assumption, not denied, that many–though not by any means all–of the officers of the diocese no longer considered themselves to be subject to governance under the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church. From the canonical point of view within TEC, nothing happened “to” the Diocese of Pittsburgh on October 4.

    Each diocesan governing body continued to function “within” the Episcopal Church, and vacancies of membership that had occured on October 4 were filled in the manner prescribed by diocesan canons. Some governing bodies of the Episcopal Church, such as the Executive Council, made informal statements of support to the continuing Episcopal Church diocese, and the Presiding Bishop fulfilled her canonical duty by contacting the Standing Committee of the Pittsburgh-TEC diocese regarding the vacancy that had occured in the episcopate a couple of weeks earlier when Bishop Duncan–who had already accepted canonical residence in Southern Cone–was deposed.

    My understanding is that circumstances may not have allowed for the orderly and canonical continuity of diocesan governance in San Joaquin, Fort Worth, and Quincy, and I don’t know enough about their situation to assess the extraordinary efforts to reorganize.

    But it should just again be noted that every governing body in Pittsburgh-TEC today includes officers who were elected to office in the diocese prior to October 4, 2008–including two of our clerical deputies and two of our lay deputies to General Convention. The remaining positions on governing bodies, again, were filled in accordance with diocesan canons, either by appointment or by election at the December, 2008 Special Convention–which was itself conducted in accordance with the diocesan canons.

    From the point of view of the TEC canons, and of our diocesan canons, we understand no “interruption” to have occured.

    This is in reference to canonical and institutional identity. I understand that my colleagues and friends do not accept the account which I have given, and my comment is simply that this is the account which, I believe, will on reasonable grounds continue to be affirmed by the Episcopal Church. There have been in my view a number of instances of misuse or abuse of canonical processes by the authorities of TEC in recent years, but I do not believe the Pittsburgh situation to be among them.

    The question of whether the legal identity of the diocese remained “with” the TEC Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh or the SC Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh following October 4 is an entirely separate, contested question that both groups are presently asking the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to decide.

    Bruce Robison

  9. miserable sinner says:

    #4 Fr. Robinson:
    Blessings upon you and your colleagues in the remnant diocese for putting to bed the myth that all faithful Christians exited with those who have left ECUSA. I actually believe this likely non-consent process will challenge the most far reaching claims the ACNA/GAFCONite folks with the rest of the Anglican Communion more than many of them currently realize.


  10. Mitchell says:

    Fr. Robinson, your statements that the seemingly boundless anger expressed by some on this and other blogs is not what is happening in the real world has truly lightened my heart. It gives me great hope that this too shall pass, and our church and whatever church those who have departed find comfort in can get on with the business of showing the world our love instead of our battles.