Post-Gazette: Bishop Robert Duncan is trading sacred places

In his office at the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican), Bishop Robert Duncan has mounted a Scottish broadsword, like that of the hero in his favorite movie, “Braveheart.” It was a gift from a priest after the Episcopal Church accepted a partnered gay bishop.

The legend of “Braveheart” “is about somebody who rallies people to stand up against what is very wrong,” Bishop Duncan said. “It’s a two-edged sword, and the holy scriptures describe scripture as sharper than any two-edged sword.”

Tomorrow in Texas, he is slated to become archbishop of the new Anglican Church in North America. Its 100,000 members broke with the Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada, believing they failed to uphold biblical authority and classic doctrine about Jesus when they approved the consecration of a partnered gay bishop and failed to discipline another bishop who denied Jesus was God incarnate.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Common Cause Partnership

5 comments on “Post-Gazette: Bishop Robert Duncan is trading sacred places

  1. New Reformation Advocate says:

    This is a remarkably good and balanced article about +Bob Duncan the Lion-Hearted. It’s refreshing to see a major city newspaper like the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette produce such a well-researched, fair, and well-written article about such a controversial local figure. I learned some new things about the man that increased my appreciation for him all the more.

    David Handy+

  2. David Wilson says:

    Being labeled a demogogue by Harold Lewis and a mutineer by George Werner made my day

  3. Katherine says:

    A well-written article, with significant input from both sides. I wish more reporters could do this.

    What is very interesting to me is that Duncan came to the bishopric from a career focused on young people in university settings. After he was elected, he set out intentionally to strengthen the diocese, rather than just reacting to whatever came along. And yet he was generous and fair to those who couldn’t go with him. A bishop, in fact as well as in appointment.

  4. Jon says:

    Wow. All I can do is reiterate what #1 and #3 said.

    The tiniest tweak I might make would be to her presentation of KJS. For example, the reporter writes:

    Those close to Bishop Duncan agree that he gave up on the Episcopal Church after a bishops’ meeting in 2007 in Texas. He arrived hoping they would approve a plan he’d earlier persuaded the primates to endorse. That plan called for “alternative primatial oversight” for eight dioceses, including Pittsburgh, that had rejected the new primate of the Episcopal Church, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori — some because of her gender, some because she’d voted for the gay bishop.

    The reader doesn’t get any clear inkling of the very radical innovations Schiori was on record as supporting — from her opening Mother Jesus sermon to her implied denial of the afterlife to her eviseration of the atonement to her advocacy of Jack Spong. So it’s not merely one vote she cast (for VGR) or the mere fact that she was female, that was fueling the need for APO.

    I was so delighted to hear the reporter dig a little to uncover stories that reveal what I had already known: that Duncan is not about being anti-gay, and has never stood for the idea that gay laity can’t be actively involved in the church or saved by the blood of Christ (he emphasizes that straight traditionalists all have their own individual sins and blindnesses). The issue with VGR in 2003 was GC implicitly but very clearly altering church teaching.

    Again, nice piece.

  5. Jeremy Bonner says:

    I thought that the discussion of his relationship with Jeff Murph – going back to college days, interestingly – was particularly revealing. It’s a valuable reminder that people of good conscience and fundamentally similar theological worldview can end by taking different paths.

    For Pittsburgh, specifically, the most fruitful part of +Bob Duncan’s ministry would seem to have been his years as Canon to the Ordinary, a time when he could truly be all things to all sorts and conditions of parish.

    From the moment he took office, and particularly after the founding of AMIA in 2000, the focus went national – and ultimately global – just as happened with his predecessor in the late 1980s. You can argue that there was no way of avoiding this, given the presenting issues, but it still has meant that the Diocese has been birthing a metropolitan-in-waiting for some years past (in terms of where commitments had to be made).

    It’s interesting that the evangelistic head of steam building in the mid-1990s (anyone remember the East Tennessee Initiative), dissipated even before 2003, with Mary Hays admitting to me in an interview that church planting in the 2000s had not lived up to the promise of the previous decade. Now of course the state of the national church was a contributory factor (it was was one of the arguments for realignment, after all), but I can’t help wondering if having a peripatetic bishop also had its effect.

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