Dispatches > The Buzz

The Buzz

"The Buzz" Continued...

Issue: "Bleeding economy," Oct. 18, 2008

Clean break

The theologically conservative Pittsburgh diocese voted overwhelmingly on Oct. 4 to split from the American Episcopal Church. The 210 clergy and 70 parishes of the Pittsburgh diocese make up by far the largest single group so far to break away from the liberal Episcopal Church.

The Rev. Peter Frank, a spokesman for the diocese, said a "small number" of parishes will likely stay in the Episcopal Church, and that the national Episcopal Church will likely claim that they are the true diocese. The point is more than academic since in the Episcopal Church it is generally the diocese, not local congregations, that owns real estate. According to Frank, "They will attempt to undo this decision. But we think our legal position is strong. Besides, we didn't make this decision based on legal risks. This was a decision of conscience."

The Pittsburgh diocese will temporarily be under the authority of the Province of the Southern Cone of Africa, and all clergy and church members will thereby remain members in good standing of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

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