Thursday, March 15, 2007

Pittsburgh Declaration

The breaking news today seems to be that Bishop Duncan and perhaps some other bishops of the Episcopal Church signed a document back in November pledging their loyalty to something other than the Episcopal Church. Mark Harris has the story here.

It was well reported back in November that certain bishops of the Episcopal Church met with some Anglican leaders of the "Global South." Now, as a result of litigation between Calvary Church and the Diocese of Pittsburgh, a most interesting document has come to light. It includes this text:

Private and Confidential Westfields Response to the Global South Steering Committee

November 16,2006
Chantilly, Virginia

The undersigned, having convened with the Global South Steering Committee in Chantilly, Virginia, on November 15-17, 2006, declare:

ARTICLE I: We are firmly committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the authority of holy Scripture and historic Anglican faith and practice.

ARTICLE II: We have chosen the Rt. Rev. Robert W. Duncan as our leader and hereby submit to his leadership without reservation in building unity among us and as our representative for the present in the councils of the Anglican Communion.

ARTICLE III: We pledge to lay aside all obstacles, which may prevent us from achieving our common purpose.

ARTICLE IV: We solemnly pledge not to withdraw from these commitments.

The full text can be found here. The original shows signatures for the Chancellor of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, the President of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, then a long whited-out space, and finally the signature of Pittsburgh Bishop Duncan.

It seems likely that the space whited-out in the document included the signatures of other bishops who attended that November meeting and signed this loyalty oath.

Many folks are wondering what to make of this document. The analysis by Mark Harris is most helpful, as is that of Jim Naughton. Even the Anglican Centrist has questions.

Since some bishops of the Episcopal Church have already declared they will submit to Bishop Duncan's leadership (but not that of the Presiding Bishop) "without reservation," one wonders what they can accomplish in the House of Bishops meeting that begins tomorrow. Bishop Duncan has already declared he will attend the meeting of his fellow bishops with hesitation. We will await the bishops' deliberations with interest.

Update 03/15/07: Mark Harris has posted additional reflections. Click here to read them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank goodness! for the release of this paper. It is truly amazing! I am shocked, shocked I tell you that there are bishops of the Episcopal Church who put our Lord Jesus Christ over everything else. Of all the nerve, to let anything or anyone come between them and a corporate entity focused on profits and property!

3/16/2007 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought that the bishops' "meeting" is their regularly scheduled spring retreat.

3/16/2007 8:51 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Thank God that there are bishops of the Episcopal Church who put our Lord Jesus Christ over everything else.

The other articles are of hugely lesser importance but of course hardly news. But the first article is wonderful news and it is unimaginable that any Christian would think otherwise.

4/03/2007 6:31 PM  

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