Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh Changes Constitution,

Joins Anglican Province

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Deputies to the diocese’s 143rd Annual convention voted by strong margins on October 4 to join the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.
Deputies to the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh’s 143rd Annual diocesan convention voted by strong margins on October 4 to join the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.
Vote totals on the key constitutional provision that opened the way for the change were as follows.  A total of 191 laity voted.  119 voted in favor.  69 voted against, 3 abstained.  A total of 160 clergy voted.  121 voted in favor.  33 voted no.  3 abstained.  2 invalid ballots were cast.
“We deeply value our shared heritage and years of friendship with those still within that denomination, but this diocese could not in good conscience continue down the road away from mainstream Christianity that the leadership of The Episcopal Church is so determined to follow,” said the Rev. Peter Frank, director of communications for the diocese.
The passage of the vote by the diocesan convention, the diocese’s highest governing authority, means that the entire Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, including all of its congregations and clergy, is now part of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.  The diocese expects a small group of the diocese’s 210 clergy and a minority of its 70 parishes to withdraw from the diocese and reorganize under the authority of The Episcopal Church.  The diocese is committed to making such decisions of conscience as easy as possible for all those involved.
The Province of The Southern Cone decided in 2007 to offer temporary oversight and pastoral care to mainstream Anglicans disengaging from The Episcopal Church.  They hope there will be a new Anglican province in North America for those Anglicans who hold to historic faith and order.  In the meantime, scores of individual congregations and four dioceses either have, or are considering, accepting the  generous offer of The Southern Cone.  The dioceses of Fort Worth and Quincy will both make their final decision in November.
“We are deeply thankful to the Province of the Southern Cone for offering us a clear way to stay within The Anglican Communion as the necessary work of building a new province goes forward.  We also owe a debt of gratitude to Christians of many denominations and traditions both here in Pittsburgh and around the world that have prayed for us, encouraged us and stood with us as we have made this decision,” said Frank.

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