Episcopal Café has the story, Rift amongst conservative Episcopalians is showing.
In the first public sign of disagreement among theologically conservative clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh over the leadership of Bishop Robert W. Duncan Jr., 12 such rectors and priests told him this week they disapprove of his effort to remove the diocese from the Episcopal Church and will, instead, remain with the denomination.
The 12, including the president of the diocese’s clergy association and its longest-tenured rector, mailed a signed, one-paragraph letter yesterday to the diocese’s 66 churches saying that while they supported the “reformation of the Episcopal Church … we have determined to remain within, and not realign out of” it….
TO THE PEOPLE AND CLERGY OF THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH:
We are rectors and clergy in good standing of the Diocese of Pittsburgh who believe the best way forward for renewal and reformation of the Episcopal Church is support for the Windsor Report and its recommendations. While we understand the need of many of our brothers and sisters to leave the Episcopal Church, we have determined to remain within, and not re-align out of, the Episcopal Church. We intend to “keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:6).
Dated this 29th day of January, 2008:
• The Rev. Nancy Chalfant-Walker, priest in charge of St. Stephen’s, Wilkinsburg
• The Rev. Jay Geisler, rector of St. Stephen’s, McKeesport
• The Rev. Daniel Hall, priest associate, assigned to First Lutheran Church
• The Rev. Norman Koehler, priest, chaplain at Presbyterian Senior Care, Oakmont
• The Rev. Jeffrey Murph, rector of St. Thomas’, Oakmont
• The Rev. Scott Quinn, rector of Church of the Nativity, Crafton
• The Rev. Bruce Robison, rector of St. Andrews’, Highland Park
• The Rev. James Shoucair, rector of Christ Church, North Hills
• The Rev. James Simons, St. Michael’s of the Valley, Ligonier
• The Rev. Stephen Smalley, rector of St. Barnabas’, Brackenridge
• The Rev. Philip Wainwright, rector of St. Peter’s, Brentwood
• The Rev. Don Youse, priest in charge, Emmanuel, North Side
Here are some links I did not have time to include here yesterday:
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Steve Levin Letter shows rift among Episcopal conservatives
Episcopal News Service PITTSBURGH: Group of priests tells Duncan they will not leave Episcopal Church
And a later article at Episcopal Café notes that:
…of the 180 clergy others are in progressive parishes and were not part of this group of 12 conservatives. It has been estimated that together the opponents of the course Duncan is [taking] could represent as much as 45 percent of average Sunday attendance in the diocese.