Monday, February 2, 2009

Episcopalians still a house divided

From the Philadelphia Inquirer-

With its towering stone steeple, marble steps and crimson doors, Pittsburgh's Trinity Episcopal Cathedral looks every bit a "mighty fortress" of faith.
But the 226-year-old cathedral is a house divided, like the denomination that built it.

Since October, Trinity's priests have been saying Sunday Masses for two warring dioceses: the older one composed of 28 theologically moderate or liberal parishes, and one newly created of 66 breakaway conservative parishes. Each claims to be the true "Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh." Each is dug in.

The cathedral parish has not taken sides. "They're both in our prayers," said the Rev. Canon Catherine Brall, Trinity's rector.

Quarrels and schism have been hallmarks of the 2.1-million-member Episcopal Church USA since the mid-1970s, when it began ordaining women and modernized its prayer book. Those changes, coupled with its acceptance of gay clergy in the 1990s, have pulled in new members and driven away traditionalists, including at least three entire parishes in the Philadelphia region.

Its all here-

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