Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pittsburgh's Episcopal diocese narrows its search for bishop

From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (and I was quoted accurately)

Next month the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh will elect a permanent bishop to lead it as it continues rebuilding after a split that took the majority of its parishes, clergy and its former bishop.

Its current prelate, Bishop Kenneth Price Jr., is a "provisional bishop" on loan from another diocese.

The Rev. George Werner, president of the diocesan Standing Committee, cited a diocesan history of hardball church politics in expressing his hope for the April 21 election.

"It's been 30 years since we've been healthy," he said. "It's a question of healing, a question of starting to rebuild, of patching up people who are still damaged and finding ways to use people who are still doing good things."

Last week the diocesan nominating committee added a local priest, the Rev. Scott Quinn of the Church of the Nativity in Crafton, to a slate of four outside candidates announced in January to lead the diocese, which has 32 parishes in 11 counties. His name emerged from a petition signed by clergy and laity from several parishes. All five candidates will tour the diocese March 20-23, taking questions at churches in Franklin Park, Brentwood, Homewood and Ligonier.

The diocese split in 2008, with the majority leaving the Episcopal Church for the theologically conservative Anglican Church in North America. But some of its conservatives stayed. Leaders on opposite sides of divisions over biblical interpretation and sexual morality now serve together in a diocese where more liberal voices were once shut out of power.

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