Thinking Anglicans

Pittsburgh: letter from Bishop Duncan

Updated again Sunday evening

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican) has published a Pastoral Letter from Bishop Robert Duncan. The website home page summarises the letter thus:

Bishop Duncan comments on the decision of the new Episcopal Church diocese to reject mediation.

Sunday Update

I should have added some background when posting the above note. First, the previous TA report on the Pittsburgh saga is Pittsburgh: national church seeks intervention.

Subsequent to that report, on 23 February, the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh issued a letter dated 18 February, which can be read in full as a PDF over here.

Sunday evening

Lionel Deimel has attempted an analysis of the Duncan letter, see Duncan Letter Decoded.

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Göran Koch-SwahneFord ElmsFather Ron SmithFord ElmsRobert Ian Williams Recent comment authors
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Marshall Scott
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How sad. Simply, how sad.

What would define “continuation” of a diocese of the Episcopal Church other than “continuation” of the relationship with the Episcopal Church. There is indeed a group of people who have continued in leadership roles for a community, including Duncan. However, it is the continuing relationship with the Episcopal Church, and not his continuing function of leadership for *some* community that defines the “continuing” diocese. I expect the court will rule accordingly.

The recent rulings in California, New York, and Connecticut should give him a clue – if only he wanted one.

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

The mind boggles. Does this man live in the same universe as the rest of us?

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

Bishop Duncan knows he is going to lose, but he is a bit like Hitler playing with his architectural models of his new capital, as the Red Army pounded Berlin.

The sad thing is that not one cent of the legal fees will come out of his pocket.

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

Three little words = three big lies: “Faithfully your bishop.”

‘T’aint so.

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

The Standing Committee of Bob Duncan’s diocese includes Geoffrey Chapman, author of the secessionist blueprint Chapman Memo. How stupid does Duncan think we are? One more “it’s not his lying to me I object to, so much as his thinking that I’m dumb enough to believe him” moment.

PeterK
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PeterK

Marshall Scott wrote: >>…it is the continuing relationship with the Episcopal Church, and not his continuing function of leadership for *some* community that defines the “continuing” diocese.<<

What is if the opposite party says:

In the 16. century the whole RC Church in England-except a small minority-abandoned the communion of Rome, but remained the continuing Catholic Church of England.
In the 18. century the whole RC diocese of Utrecht abandoned-under coercion-the communion of Rome, but remained the continuing Catholic /Old Catholic/ diocese of Utrecht.

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

Peterk, the majority of English and Welsh people didn’t realise what was happening..they were coerced by a vicious regime into acceptance of the Elizabethan settlement. Its a nineteenth century myth to say it was an all inclusive settlement.

Tobias Haller
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PeterK,
In the two cases you cite it was not a question of individual dioceses, but of “national churches.” This is the long-standing limit to the autonomous unit of churches in the Christian (i.e., Orthodox) tradition until Rome began to assert a universal primacy. Individual dioceses have no authority to withdraw from their province unilaterally; national churches do have the right to assert their autonomy over a central hegemony from Rome.

Two different things.

drdanfee
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drdanfee

xDuncan is murmuring reassurances into his own hat, just to hear his own voice resound. I hope it comforts him, but we need not take his self-soothing as definitive law. What xDuncan and Company so meanly preach about queer folks, well that is really personal, I assure you. xDuncan cannot have it both ways: I am a modern Martin Luther type reformer with huge amounts of personal faith and courage to speak truth to power; and at the same time, I am just a humble bishop doing his humble job (which just happens to be looting the diocesan treasuries). xDuncan… Read more »

Marshall Scott
Guest

PeterK:

We might need to discuss at length what it means to be “continuing Catholic;” but in neither case did the body consider itself the “continuing *Roman* Catholic” body – dioceses, but self-consciously in new ecclesial bodies. And the new prelates appointed from Rome with responsibility for the British Isles or for the Low Countries did not consider themselves coming to “new” sees, but to fill existing but vacated sees.

JCF
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JCF

After the theft, the thief wants to “mediate”. Oh xBob, same as you ever were!

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Yes and the real diocese of Pittsburgh have acted with restraint and Christian charity… read their reply to Duncan on their web site.

PeterK
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PeterK

Marshall Scott: Of course, the “Duncanites” are no more Episcopalians. But I wrote not about this problem, but about the possibility to be a continuing diocese. Regarding your argument: The CoE did not consider itself the continuing ROMAN Catholic body, but the CoE took the RC church property with it. The Old Catholics of the Netherlands did not want to become a separate church body. The official name of their Church is till now the “Roman Catholic Church of the Old Episcopal Cleresy”, although the commonly used name is the “Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands”. Tobias Haller: The Archdiocese… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

Sincerely held convictions are not proof of continuity..there are plenty of people in mental asylums who think they are Napoleon etc.

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“Sincerely held convictions are not proof of continuity..there are plenty of people in mental asylums who think they are Napoleon etc.”

And there’s been a whole string of bishops in Rome who think themselves kings of the bishops, too. The vast and intense disagreement with this on the part of a sizable chunk of the rest of the world’s bishops would seem to prove your point, the Pope’s convictions are not proof of continuity either.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Think the “Jerusalem syndrome”.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“the Pope’s convictions are not proof of continuity either.” – Ford Elms (apropos R.I.W) –

No! Especially when one considers the ‘accident’ of the Double Papacy – in Rome and Avignon. Who, then, was really ‘Pontifex Maximus’? And did (does) it really matter?. In some ways, every vicar could be said to be a ‘Vicar of Christ’.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

First Millennium Ecclesiology was that the Emperor or King was vicarius Christi.

The Bishop of Rome was successor to an Apostle and the Servant of the Servants of Christ.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Ah, but Goran, Rome’s refusal to accept this, at least as it related to the power of the Bishop of Rome, played a huge role in a certain Papal legate placing a Bull of Excommunication against the Patriarch on the altar of Hagia Sophia and beating the dust from his shoes as he stormed out in a huff.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“Refusal to accept”??? The definition of a Revolutionary Usurpation.

Leading to the 1073 Dictatus Papae and the split between Religion and Life so habitual in the West…