Sunday, September 14, 2008
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church has told Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh that a vote will be taken Thursday at a meeting of the national House of Bishops on whether to remove him from ministry.
The step comes as the Diocese of Pittsburgh nears an Oct. 4 vote on whether to secede from the Episcopal Church -- the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion -- and realign with the more theologically conservative Anglican Province of the Southern Cone in South America.
A pastoral letter from Bishop Duncan indicated that he would abide by the vote of the House of Bishops, but does not believe it can stop the diocesan effort to secede. The diocesan Standing Committee, most of whose eight members back secession, would govern the diocese until the Oct. 4 convention. If the vote is for realignment as expected, then the seceding diocese could re-elect Bishop Duncan, according to diocesan spokesman, the Rev. Peter Frank.
"We as a diocese will not be intimidated or turned form our overriding commitment, which is faithfulness to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ within the mainstream of Anglicanism," Bishop Duncan wrote.
He and his supporters say the method that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori chose to try to remove him is a misuse of canon law and denies him due process.
"I continue to maintain that the House of Bishops 'vote' will be a gross violation of the constitution and canons of the Episcopal Church," he wrote.
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