February 8, 2013

Resolution 1 Again

In two recent posts, “God and Gender/Sex” and “Seeing the Future Clearly,” I mentioned Resolution 1 that was passed by the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh at its 2002 annual convention. That resolution was a kind of first shot in the war for the diocese, an ecclesiastical conflict whose end still is not in sight. It is because of its importance that I mention Resolution 1 yet again. In particular, I direct your attention to an Episcopal News Service story of November 5, 2002, “‘Firewall’ Resolution Passes in Pittsburgh.” After the vote was taken, a group of people who opposed the resolution were allowed to “demonstrate”—this was a respectful  affair, as befitting Episcopalians, of course—at the front of St. David’s, Peters Township, the church where the convention was held.

Opposition to Resolution 1 was organized under the acronym TORO, Those Opposed to Resolution One. The demonstration was the final public act of TORO, which would later morph into Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh. TORO’s spokesperson at the convention was the rector of Church of the Redeemer, Squirrel Hill, the Rev. Cynthia Bronson-Sweigart. I was proud to stand with Cynthia and others as she read a statement from TORO. Here is how ENS reported her statement:
‘We are in profound pain over the positions stated in this resolution and concerned about the consequences its adoption will have on the already fragile common life of this diocese,’ the statement said. ‘We believe this unyielding document further divides our people, rendering some of us invisible. Some priests and parishes will bear allegiance to the dictates of this document and the diocese, and some will bear allegiance to the dictates of the national church. In a diocese where the fabric of unity is increasingly threadbare, passage of this resolution creates a tear which is almost impossible to mend.’
That statement was prescient.

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