Saturday, November 3


Short Episcopalian Update

The Episcopal diocese of Pittsburgh has voted, for the first time, to remove its affiliation with the Episcopal Church (USA) from its constitution and place it in its canons. The move needs to be ratified at a second diocese convention, presumably next year.

The significance of this move is that the constitution can only be changed after two diocesan conventions vote on an amendment, whereas a canon can be changed in a single vote. This arrangement allows the diocese to respond to legal suits, until the second vote, that it is abandoning the Episcopal Church, since the stated intent is simply to move its affiliation from constitution to canons; however, presumably, at the next convention, the diocese could confirm the second vote to change its constitution and immediately change its canons, thus leaving the Episcopal Church--if it votes to do so. It is the second diocese to pass such a constitutional amendment; a third may do so in the near future. This allows for some protection in numbers, since three dioceses would be harder for the Episcopal Church to sue than one, and it also allows for some collegiality in whatever structure emerges after their departure.

The Episcopal diocese of Pittsburgh has 20,000 members. 8,000 of these attend Sunday services regularly, slightly higher then the number of people the Catholic diocese of Pittsburgh (with 765,000 members) baptizes or receives each year.

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