So what happened in Pittsburgh?

OK, I know that the Episcopal Church is in a lather, and that plans are amuck for the conservatives to pull out the Episcopal Church, try to get the property, and set up a province in communion with Canterbury (leaving the Episcopal Church in the cold.)

I’ve not seen much about the rollback resolution B033 apart from what Hubby told me and the secular press as I was in Pittsburgh for the last week staffing my Day Job’s Convention. The bishop of Pittsburgh, you will recall, is a big name in this act of schism.

So at first, I thought little of a the sight of an Episcopal priest yesterday — he could have been Lutheran, perhaps, but I know my collars and the Episcopal cathedral was very nearby — leading a group of people in “civilian clothing” through downtown Pittsburgh. Their manner was “we’ve got business to do.” Or perhaps they had a short coffee break and were having a hard time finding a cup. I was more interested in my airport shuttle.

When I got to the airport, there was another priest with two laypersons. Since his party was directly in the way of where I needed to go, I made eye contact to negotiate my way around and good a look back that I can’t quite describe but wasn’t wholesome. Two persons seen in clericals in one day. Hmm, fact noted.

Then, I got in line to get my boarding pass and there was a bishop a few flyers ahead of me. In a purple shirt, collar, and baseball cap. (PeaceBang, you would not have been pleased.) Of course, by now I have to think something was up — perhaps a schismatic planning meeting? I noted on my way to the gate the bishop was flying to Philadelphia.

Anyone have an idea?

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. I’ll poke around some of the arch-conservative US Anglican websites and see if anything is referenced. (Do you ever read any of those? They’re genuinely frightening.)

    The main reason I could never, ever be a bishop = the purple shirt.

  2. A kind reader-blogger emailed me privately that Bp. Duncan of Pittsburgh released a statement yesterday responding to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s proposed two-tier Anglican Communion. (The US Episcopal church would certainly be relegated to the lower tier: voice but no vote.) Unfortunately, the link he provided is on the most vicious of traditionalist Episcopalian sites, and I won’t link to it on principle. I’ll see if I can find another source.

    He concluded — and I bet he’s right — that the people I saw might have been a working group. I got a good look at the bishop, and I wonder if there’s a page of “mug shots” I can review to ID him.

    And Per’ as for the purple, you’re right. Of all the purples a bish could wear, why choose that nasty Victorian neon violet they all seem to wear? It really looks quite cheap. (So does the semi-olive green seen in liturgical wear.) If I had to dress a bishop — God forbid; this whole episode reminded me of why I detest episcopal polity — I’d opt for something closer to oxblood.

  3. Darling, if you ever have to dress a bishop, throw a terrycloth robe around him and get him out the door quick.

    Oh, ick. Maybe all the conservative haters can start embracing the baseball cap thing and save the Anglican Communion from both homophobia AND bad headgear.

  4. “The bishops of the dioceses for Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, Texas, South Carolina, Central Florida, Springfield, Illinois, and San Joaquin, California, appealed this past week to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to be assigned somebody other than Katharine Jefferts Schori as their leader.” —, a longer version of the smalll blurb the WX Post had earlier in the week.

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