From:

Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact:

Lionel Deimel, President

Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh

Voice: (412) 343-5337

Fax: (412) 343-6816

E-mail: lionel@deimel.org

Web: http://progressiveepiscopalians.org

 

Bishop Threatens Parishes with Expulsion

 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — November 6, 2004 — In a stunning climax to the annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, Bishop Robert W. Duncan, following a morning of voting and debate that exposed widespread and profound alienation from the Episcopal Church, announced his intention to bring before the next convention the possible dissolution of diocesan bonds to two parishes that have been involved in a lawsuit against the bishop and other diocesan leaders for more than a year. In their suit, Calvary Church (East Liberty) and St. Stephen’s Parish (Wilkinsburg) seek to protect church property during a controversy that could end in groups withdrawing from the Episcopal Church.

 

Lamenting the protracted nature of the lawsuit, the bishop had publicly called upon the parishes yesterday to drop their action.

 

Much of the morning had been taken up with parliamentary measures designed to avoid voting on six resolutions proposed by members of the diocese. Diocesan leaders opposed voting on the resolutions as potentially divisive. A common theme running through much of the debate was the desire to have no connection and provide no support for the Episcopal Church or its ministries.

 

About one-fourth of those present resisted the direction taken by the convention. Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh (PEP) applauds the efforts of those faithful deputies who stood to defend connections to the Episcopal Church and called for real dialogue on issues of substance.

 

The dissatisfaction with the Episcopal Church was underscored by the failure to re-elect the current President of the national church’s House of Deputies, the former Dean of Trinity Cathedral, the Very Rev. George Werner, as a convention deputy. Werner, who must be a deputy to serve as House of Deputies President, was out of town attending a national church meeting.

 

“I am appalled that our bishop wrapped in the rhetoric of “reconciliation” the intimidation of and threats against two loyal Episcopal Church parishes,” said PEP President Lionel Deimel of Mt. Lebanon.

 

While we are uncertain how events will unfold, PEP is certain to support these two parishes. We will continue to pray for true reconciliation and healing in the diocese of Pittsburgh and beyond.

 

Contact

Lionel Deimel, President

Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh

Voice: (412) 343-5337

Fax: (412) 343-6816

E-mail: lionel@deimel.org

Web: http://progressiveepiscopalians.org

 

Additional Web references:

 

Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh: http://www.pgh.anglican.org


The Episcopal Church: http://episcopalchurch.org

 

Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh is an organization of clergy and laypeople committed to unity and diversity of the Episcopal Church, USA, and of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

 

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