Presiding Bishop recognizes non-realigning Pittsburgh EpiscopaliansPresiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has acknowledged the Standing Committee headed by the the Rev. James Simons, the only member of the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh remaining in The Episcopal Church, as the legitimate ecclesiastical authority in the Episcopal Church’s Diocese of Pittsburgh.
The move followed requests by Simons that the other people who had been on the diocese’s Standing Committee clarify their intentions with respect to Episcopal Church membership in the aftermath of the “realignment” vote taken at the October 4 diocesan convention.
So Simons explains in a post on the former Across the Aisle site, which has been re-branded as the Web home of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of The Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Simons was called Wednesday afternoon by the Rev. David Wilson, former president of the Standing Committee. Wilson informed him that the other seven former members of the Standing Committee were about to vote to remove Simons from the committee. The explanation for the action was that Simons had not accepted his Southern Cone credentials and because his parish, St. Michael’s of the Valley, Ligonier, had declared that it would stay in The Episcopal Church.
Once Simons confirmed that he was the sole member of the Standing Committee, he appointed, as is authorized by diocesan canon, two additional members to the committee. The new Standing Committee members are Ms. Mary Roehrich, of St. Andrew’s, Highland Park, and the Rev. Jeff Murph, of St. Thomas’, Oakmont.
These events were communicated to the Presiding Bishop’s office, and today, October 9, the Presiding Bishop recognized the three-person Standing Committee as the ecclesiastical authority in the diocese. Additional information is available in the aforementioned post. The letter sent to Wilson and similar to the letters sent to other former Standing Committee members can be found here.
A press release by the diocese can be read here. According to the Press release, the diocese will hold an informational meeting at Trinity Cathedral on October 16 and will hold a special convention on December 13.
The new diocesan Web site can be accessed at http://episcopalpgh.org.