Monday, June 18, 2007

Pittsburgh Episcopalians Thank Executive Council

In a press release also posted June 17, Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh has thanked the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church for "affirming the long-settled constitutional understanding that dioceses do not have the power or authority to ignore or supersede the canons of The Episcopal Church in favor of diocesan actions."

As reported by Episcopal News Service, the resolution was one of a number of critical issues that the Executive Council addressed last week.

The Pittsburgh group recounts that, in November 2004, the Diocese of Pittsburgh completed adoption of an amendment to its constitution that declared its independence from the Episcopal Church, despite opponents' claims that the amendment was out of order, contradicted the constitution of the Episcopal Church, and was based on a faulty understanding of the relationship of dioceses to the whole church.

According to Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh, Executive Council has now affirmed the minority’s stance as the correct one. The Executive Council resolution specifies that the changes made by the Diocese of Pittsburgh to its constitution and canons are “null and void,” as are similar changes made by the dioceses of San Joaquin, Quincy, and Fort Worth.

“This resolution offers relief to faithful Episcopalians in this diocese who have been pressured to accept procedures or policies they knew were at odds with Episcopal Church canons,” said Dr. Joan Gundersen, president of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh. “The Council was aware of these pressures. "

Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh has committed itself to working for unity within the Episcopal Church and to be a welcoming church open to all who wish to remain within its bounds.

The full text of the Pittsburgh Episcopalians' press release is available here, along with links to several related documents.

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