PROGRESSIVE EPISCOPALIANS OF PITTSBURGH
6393 Penn Avenue, PMB 207
Pittsburgh, PA 15206-4010
 

Contact:
Lionel Deimel, Member, Board of Directors
Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh
Telephone: +1 (412) 343-5337
E-mail: lionel@deimel.org
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Historian Exposes Flaws in Argument That Episcopal Dioceses Are Independent
 
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — September 18, 2008 — Two weeks before the convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh votes to leave The Episcopal Church, Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh (PEP) has issued a report stating that dioceses are inseparable units of The Episcopal Church and have been from the beginning. PEP, therefore, agrees with leaders of the church that the “realignment” promoted by Bishop of Pittsburgh Robert W. Duncan is canonically impossible.
 
“A Response to Mark McCall’s ‘Is The Episcopal Church Hierarchical?’” by church historian Dr. Joan R. Gundersen is a refutation of an analysis by attorney Mark McCall that was recently published on the World Wide Web by the Anglican Communion Institute. McCall, employing circumstantial legal evidence and inadequate historical research, concluded that dioceses are independent entities that can, in principle, separate themselves from the American church. McCall attacks the idea of The Episcopal Church as a hierarchical church, a claim that affects litigation surrounding ownership of parish property.
 
“The step being advocated by Bishop Duncan was inconceivable to founders of The Episcopal Church,” explained Mary Roehrich, parishioner of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in the Highland Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh. “They created a church where the parts were meant to support the unity of the whole. Dioceses are subordinate to and bound by the acts of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church.”
 
That The Episcopal Church is hierarchical has been the common understanding, both of Episcopalians and of Federal and state courts. Recent battles over church doctrine, however, have provided incentive to some to re-examine church structure and history in order to justify the departure of church dissidents with what has hitherto been considered Episcopal Church property. Dr. Gundersen’s research makes clear that dioceses are intended to be integral parts of The Episcopal Church.
 
This is the second time that PEP has issued a scholarly report arguing that dioceses are subordinate units of The Episcopal Church. “History Revisited: Historical Background of the Proposed Amendment to Article I. Section 1 of the Constitution of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh” was also written by Dr. Gundersen and was published by PEP before the 2004 diocesan convention.
 
Both contributions by Dr. Gundersen are available on PEP’s Web site.
 
 
Contact:
Lionel Deimel, Member, Board of Directors
Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh
Telephone: +1 (412) 343-5337
E-mail: lionel@deimel.org
 
 
On the Web:
This document:
http://progressiveepiscopalians.org/html/2008-09-18mccall.html
 
 “A Response to Mark McCall’s ‘Is The Episcopal Church Hierarchical?’”:
http://progressiveepiscopalians.org/html/mccall.pdf
 
“History Revisited: Historical Background of the Proposed Amendment to Article I. Section 1 of the Constitution of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh”:
http://progressiveepiscopalians.org/html/revisedhistory.pdf
 

Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh:
http://progressiveepiscopalians.org
 
“Is The Episcopal Church Hierarchical?”:
http://anglicancommunioninstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/is_the_episcopal_church_hierdoc.pdf
 
Anglican Communion Institute:

http://anglicancommunioninstitute.com

 
Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh is an organization of clergy and laypeople committed to the unity and diversity of The Episcopal Church, and of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. It is a member of the Via Media USA alliance.
 

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