[VirtueOnline] 6 Oct 2008--In a move that will further strain relationships within The Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Pittsburgh voted overwhelmingly to leave the Episcopal Church and align itself with the Province of the Southern Cone under the ecclesiastical authority of Archbishop Gregory Venables.
A simple resolution reading "The Diocese of Pittsburgh shall be a member of that Province of the Anglican Communion known as the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone" was read out loud by an English-born priest. Two small groups who wished to speak both for and against the resolution generated little emotion. Both sides made their cases. The Rev. Harold Lewis of Calvary Episcopal Church and the diocese's most notorious liberal did not rise to the occasion. The assembled 350 plus clergy and laity voted down extended time to address the issue. The vote was then taken.
While it was clear that the diocese would vote to leave, Bishop Duncan would later describe the final vote tally as "overwhelming". More than 240 of the delegates voted to leave. 102 voted to stay. Among the 160 clergy ballots cast, 121 said they wanted out, 33 wanted to stay. Of the laity, 119 said they wanted to go and 69 said they wanted to stay. There were single digit abstentions. Only 96 votes, a simple majority were needed to leave.
Ironically, many who spoke to stay were orthodox clergy who believe The Episcopal Church is morally and theologically flawed, but believe that to stay and fight is better than acquiescing to the church's leadership by leaving. The vote for realignment was complete.
Pittsburgh Episcopal Diocese Votes for Split - The New York Times
After Theological Split, a Clash Over Church Assets - The New York Times
Bulletin: Pittsburgh votes to leave Episcopal Church, align with Southern Cone - Episcopal News Service