Diocese of Pittsburgh Developments (IV)–Lionel Diemel's Comments

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh

14 comments on “Diocese of Pittsburgh Developments (IV)–Lionel Diemel's Comments

  1. Cennydd13 says:

    I find the remarks in Mr Deimel’s article describing Archbishop Dincan’s “overweening desire to be an archbishop in a church…..any church”……to be an [b]insult.[/b] He [b]IS[/b] an Anglican archbishop, who is accepted and recognized by the primates of GAFCON, the Southern Cone, and the Global South, and though Mr Deimel and his cronies refuse to acknowledge that [b]FACT,[/b] that is not going to change. So he and his friends might as well get used to it.

  2. Jeremy Bonner says:


    At the risk of stating the obvious, it can only be an insult if you regard TEC as a legitimate institution. I don’t get that sense from comments of yours that I’ve read here and at Stand Firm. Lionel has much the same view of ACNA that you have of TEC. It may be irritating to read (I sometimes find it so), but it is honest. Aren’t there other things more deserving of your angst? I’m sure ++Bob isn’t bothered by what Lionel thinks of him.

  3. robroy says:

    [i]I’m sure ++Bob isn’t bothered by what Lionel thinks of him.[/i]

    Jeremy, that is so true. I can see the twinkle in ++Bob eyes and his soft chuckle (and those bushy eyebrows!) at Deimel’s comments.

    ++Bob has plenty of concerns about the welfare of the parishes under his care, but the opinion of the inconsequential Deimel and his ilk matters not one iota.

  4. Sarah says:

    RE: “. . . it can only be an insult if you regard TEC as a legitimate institution.”


    I regard TEC as a legitimate institution — after all I’m a member of it — and I agree that anything negative that Diemel says about someone I respect is [i]a compliment[/i], not an insult — though of course it’s an *attempted* insult. ; > )

    This has nothing to do with whether somebody regards TEC as a legitimate institution and everything to do with whether one regards Diemel as somebody whose good opinion is worth pursuing. ; > )

    All his opinion demonstrates is how enraged Diemel is . . . and that has been interesting to observe. In light of the “victories” that revisionist activists in TEC have gained . . . just why are they so enraged?

    The “pass the popcorn” aspect of all of this is, of course, the sheer humorous spectacle of the faux diocese of Pittsburgh attempting to restart a TEC congregation when the majority of members have left. We’ve seen this played out repeatedly over the past several years . . . and it’s always a show of delusion, cluelessness, denial, massive quantities of rhetorical spin as the attempt dies, and then, ultimately, closure and the quiet sale of the building.

  5. Sarah says:

    I should also add that one of the other “ground rules” of negotiation made transparently clear is that any congregation that gets the parish building has to agree not to join ACNA for umpty-ump years.

    Good to see this congregation rejecting that ground rule — one that, oddly, doesn’t seem to find its way into the article.

  6. Jeremy Bonner says:

    Quite true, Sarah, but most people aren’t you.

    I was thinking more in terms of how partisans of TEC the institution (of whom Deimel is one) and partisans of ACNA the institution (of whom I believe Cenydd is one) view each each other institutionally. Neither believe, I think, that the other side [i]exists[/i], at least not on a theological level.

    You belong to a parish in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, but that doesn’t make you a member of TEC in the way that I tend to think of membership. For that matter, I belong to a parish that – for a little while longer, at least – belongs to two dioceses and I direct the diocesan portion of my pledge to ACNA, but I still have difficulty feeling myself to be a member of it.

  7. Cennydd13 says:

    You’re quite right…..I don’t regard TEC as being legitimate, though of course I did years ago. And you’re right in that Archbishop Duncan doesn’t care what TEC thinks…..nor do I. It took me a long time to make up my mind to leave, and that wasn’t until 2003, when the last straw hit the fan (we know what that was), and I’ve never looked back.

    As for Deimel’s diatribes against us, I give them short shrift, considering where his views originate from, and I suppose it would be only fair for me to treat TEC as I wish the ACNA would be treated by them, but it’s hard for someone like me to have to endure what their present leaders have done to a Church that I loved so much and for so long.

    I’m sorry, but what they’ve done to Christ and His Church is unforgivable.

  8. Sarah says:

    RE: “You belong to a parish in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, but that doesn’t make you a member of TEC in the way that I tend to think of membership.”

    Hmmm. I’m not sure how to take this.

    I actually think I’m a member of TEC the way many many people are in my own diocese and in so many other dioceses. I’m probably more informed, but quite honestly, masses of Episcopalians despise the national entity and its leaders. They’re still members of TEC.

    I have no difficulty claiming membership in TEC; that’s the organization of which I’m a part and it looks unlikely to change any time soon [unless, in my wildest dreams, TEC national leaders were to make a really stupid mistake which I won’t go into, but which would thrill my very soul]. Like I’ve said . . . the vast majority of TEC’s current leadership are truly corrupt, bullying, tawdry, incompetent, slimy, lying, and generally repulsive. But . . . there are plenty of historic organizations who have had decades and scores of years with similar leadership and their members trudged along for many and varied reasons. Some of us are more informed than others, but plenty of the others are indifferent verging on disdainful, too. If people could listen in on phone or email conversations that I have constantly with perfectly normal TECusans, they would gain a lot of broad smiles!

    As to Mr. Diemel, there are plenty of folks like him out there — we can all name various revisionist activists in TEC for whom we have zero respect — and the only healthy response I can think of to an ill opinion from him is a twirl of one’s umbrella and the whistling of a happy tune!

  9. Ralph says:

    #6 writes, “You belong to a parish in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, but that doesn’t make you a member of TEC in the way that I tend to think of membership.”

    I’d also like to learn more about that. I’ve been considering myself a loyal member of TEC who conscientiously disagrees with most of the positions taken by its national leadership, and the leadership of some dioceses.

    The conservative blogs frequently remind me of a cartoon I’ve seen on the Internet. Today, it seems applicable to what some are saying is a reconstituted TEC diocese of Pittsburgh, and its silly attempt to fill empty church buildings.

    Idiocy: Never underestimate the power of stupid people meeting in large groups.

    I would someday like to see a faithful Christian as the Bishop of each TEC diocese, and a faithful Christian in the office of Presiding Bishop of TEC.

    I’m not aware of any branch of Christianity that isn’t diseased in some way. There could come a time when a “Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice” (one hesitates to say, “Gestapo”) in DioUSC or other southern dioceses try to obliterate conservative Christian thought, as has certainly happened elsewhere in TEC. Then, I will no longer be a member of my diocese, and TEC.

  10. Jeremy Bonner says:


    No one who has had occasion to read your observations would count you either uninformed or uninvolved. 🙂 If you wish to affirm your membership, far be it from me to deny you.

    I would merely add that, particularly after a year of preparing expert witness briefs in the cases now going through the Texas and Illinois courts, I’ve come to the conclusion that remarkably few members of TEC down the ages have defined their membership in terms of the national church, even in the glory days of the first half of the twentieth century. The parish, the Diocese, the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, even the Anglican Communion have all at times drawn believers’ attention; the Episcopal Church, not so much, even in liberal circles (at least until the advent of the Anglican Covenant).

  11. MichaelA says:

    Jeremy Bonner at #10, that is a curious way to put it. Most Anglicans are aware that we belong to a parish, a diocese, a province, the Anglican Communion and the wider Church of God. Its not an either/or proposition.

    I know which parish and diocese I belong to. That doesn’t mean I agree with every single thing that the leaders or parish council/diocesan Synod decide, but I am happy in my membership.

    I am rather less happy with my province (Australia) and I disagree strongly with its liberal stance on many important issues of doctrine. But that doesn’t mean I pretend I am not a member of it – as long as my diocese remains part of it, that is where I am.

  12. Jeremy Bonner says:


    I agree that it is curious, but it seems to be the way that Episcopalians have functioned for much of their existence. To some extent, it has to do with the very nature of the structures that constitute the national church (structures that are fundamental to the case that the the four dioceses that have withdrawn have sought to advance in court). Provincial identity has meant a great deal less in North America – as a whole and taking the long view – than in England or Australia (or, I suspect, in Africa).

    If you want proof, you have only to look at how ACNA has chosen to constitute itself, with a strong emphasis on parish control of parochial assets and nationally a set of ecclesiastical affiliates, some of whom – like CANA – are still very qualified in their association. I’m not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it’s very reflective of the Episcopal heritage from which most of these Anglicans hail.

    The one notable exception was to be found among liberal churchmen at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, when the national church idea was in vogue, and men like the decidedly eccentric William Montgomery Brown were penning such works as [i]The Church for America[/i] (1895). It didn’t last and by the 1940s, as the character of the ecumenical movement changed, sympathy for the national church idea was on the wane.

  13. MichaelA says:

    I don’t know if it is the same article, but I have just read Lionel Deimel’s blog (does anyone else read it?) and it is rather bizarre: He gives an account of going to the first episcopal service at St James. You have to burrow through most of the story before learning that there were only 10 people present. But then he admits:
    [blockquote] Some people were there for the same reason I was, but there were others. [/blockquote]
    He refers specifically to a former warden and his wife. I wonder, might these be the only two present who were not part of TEC ‘rent-a-crowd’?!

    I suppose things might improve there, but its not likely. So very typical liberal – run a law suit, take a church property, and then be utterly unable to attract enough parishioners to pay the bills. Sooner or later the property will be sold, in a desperate attempt to cover a fraction of the legal bills paid to get it. How pathetic!

    And we can also predict what will happen to the Anglican congregation that left – they will pay all their bills, the Lord will add to their number, and eventually they will purchase their own property free and clear. How joyful!

  14. Militaris Artifex says:

    This, when considered in light of the factual information concerning the conduct of the Episcopal Church with respect to property law, says all that needs be said about Mr. Deimel [emphasis mine]: [blockquote]I am a computer scientist, writer, and [b]Episcopal Church activist[/b] with concerns for truth, beauty, and justice.[/blockquote] If he had any concern for truth and/or justice, he would recognize that the Dennis Canon violates the [i]Rule of Law[/i], by purporting retrospectively to impose a trust on property without so much as the concurrence of the titled owner of that property. There is the little matter of the [i]statute of frauds[/i] that applies to that sort of conduct, whether the convoluted thinking which has become regnant in far too many jurisdictions in these United States any longer recognizes it or not, that appears to contradict Mr. Deimel’s views on the question of ownership. I can’t speak to his conception of beauty, except to refer to the Catholic understanding that anything which is not true cannot be beautiful, an assertion which my experience confirms. I would humbly suggest that Mr. Deimel is failing the course. Apparently [b]activists[/b] are not required to be upright and law-abiding citizens, which I would think contradicts one’s being concerned with justice or truth.

    [i]Pax et bonum[/i],
    Keith Töpfer