December 22, 2008

Change It Now!

I was distressed that, even after Bishop Duncan was deposed, the convention of the Diocese of Pittsburgh voted to “realign,” and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori acknowledged new leadership in the continuing diocese of The Episcopal Church, the official Anglican Communion Web site’s page about the Diocese of Pittsburgh did not change. I wrote to the Anglican Communion Office about the page, and I was reassured that The Episcopal Church had requested changes as well. When I checked today, however, more than three months after Bob Duncan was deposed and two-and-a-half months after Duncan’s supporters voted to leave The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion page on the Diocese of Pittsburgh is unchanged.

I say enough is enough! It’s time for a serious campaign of harassment of the Anglican Communion Office to update the page. For all you church activists out there, I offer the graphic below (click on it for a larger version):

CHANGE IT NOW!


I am beginning my campaign with this post and with the following message that I sent from the Comments page of the Anglican Communion Web site:
I find it distressing that your page about the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (http://www.anglicancommunion.org/tour/diocese.cfm?Idind=686&view=alpha) still lists Robert Duncan as bishop and Henry Scriven as assistant bishop. It also lists the wrong address, the wrong telephone numbers, and the wrong URL for the Web site (which, as it turns out, is redirected to the proper site). Bishop Duncan was deposed by The Episcopal Church in September, and his followers voted to “join” the Southern Cone in October. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, a few days later, recognized a diocese quite distinct from the “diocese” you list on the official Anglican Communion Web site. The Anglican Communion Office has had ample time to correct this page.

I and others have tried to get the page changed to no avail. More than two months after Bob Duncan led members of the diocese out of The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion Web site still does not recognize the real Diocese of Pittsburgh. After this much time, one begins to wonder if the failure to update the page is deliberate. Surely, this failure is yet another indignity visited upon The Episcopal Church by an Anglican Communion obsessed with appeasing whoever whines the loudest. Your “Diocese of Pittsburgh” page can only encourage Bob Duncan and his schismatic followers. The Communion will not be better for it.

Your unacknowledged brother in Christ,
Lionel Deimel
St. Paul's, Mt. Lebanon
Diocese of Pittsburgh (in The Episcopal Church)
I will follow up with e-mail messages to selected people listed on the Contacts page as well. Perhaps some messages to people at the Episcopal Church Center would also be in order.

As it happens, the pages for the Dioceses of Fort Worth and Quincy are also unchanged, though the San Joaquin page does seem to be up-to-date. I’m not sure how long it took for the San Joaquin page to be changed; perhaps I have unrealistic expectations of what business-as-usual looks like at the Anglican Communion Office. Or perhaps the Communion should spend a bit less money on travel and report writing and a bit more on actually communicating facts to Anglicans around the world.

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