Friday, October 03, 2008

Postcard from Pittsburgh

The other night I had the joy of attending the installation of the Very Rev. Dr. Justyn Terry as Dean and President of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry. The preacher for the service, Canon Michael Green, prefaced his sermon by paying tribute to Bishop Robert Duncan, whose recent deposition by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church has been the subject of controversy.

Canon Green could scarcely finish his remarks before a resounding standing ovation for Bishop Duncan (who was seated in the chancel) erupted from the congregation which lasted for at least five minutes. Bishop Duncan's wife, Nara, was escorted from her seat in the congregation to the front to stand with her husband while the ovation continued.

There can be no mistake: Bishop Duncan is much loved by the people of Pittsburgh--the group calling itself the Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh (PEP) not withstanding.

As London Times religion columnist Ruth Gledhill has written:
It has crossed my mind recently that Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is secretly one of the "orthodox". That can surely be the only reason that she has created a martyr who is now being venerated by evangelicals worldwide, and who is poised to become the sanctified leader of an orthodox movement that is demanding, and might well get, its own province.

Gledhill goes on to mention the new website that has been created to catalogue all the expressions of support from around the world for Bishop Duncan.

One thing is sure: the PB's actions have only strengthened support for Bishop Duncan both inside and outside the Diocese of Pittsburgh and virtually guarantee that the Diocese's vote to leave the Episcopal Church (scheduled to take place tomorrow) will be a "slam dunk."

There is another sports expression that applies here as well: "own goal," and the PB has most certainly scored one just as phenomenal as any of these.

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