It’s a sad day for the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, based in Philadelphia (see article Episcopal Bishop Suspended). Their bishop, Charles Bennison, is being removed for his lack of oversight in a sexual misconduct case 30 years ago involving his brother. I also know that he has rankled all kinds of feathers in the diocese, from his stridently liberal positions on issues to his financial leadership – or lack thereof – in developing a camp on the Chesapeake.
May God grant grace and guidance to the diocese in this time of sorrow.
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Equally disturbing is the news from the Pittsburgh Diocese and its decision to remove itself from the Episcopal Church in the US.
JOHNSTOWN, Pa., Nov. 2 — By more than a two-to-one vote, members of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh voted Friday in favor of separating from the national church because of a theological rift that began with the consecration of an openly gay bishop in 2003.
The vote sets the stage for what could become a protracted legal battle between the diocese and the Episcopal Church U.S.A., which had warned Pittsburgh’s bishop not to go forward with the vote.
After passionate appeals from both sides of the debate, clergy members and lay people voted 227 to 82 to “realign” the conservative diocese.
If Friday’s vote is approved again in a year, the diocese will begin steps to remove itself from the American church and join with another province in the worldwide Anglican Communion.
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