The Rev. Dr. Patrick Malloy, Associate Dean and Professor of Liturgics in the H. Boone Porter Chair, was an invited guest at the ordination and consecration today of the Rt. Rev. Dorsey W. M. McConnell as the Eighth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.
One thousand Episcopalians gathered at Calvary Episcopal Church in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh for this historic consecration.
Bishop McConnell, 58, is the first tenured diocesan bishop to shepherd the Pittsburgh diocese since its previous bishop led a schism over theology and sexual ethics in 2008.
The spark for the schism was The Episcopal Church's approval of the election and consecration of the Rt. Rev. V. Eugene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire and the Anglican Communion's first openly gay, partnered bishop. Led by then Bishop Robert Duncan, the convention of the Diocese of Pittsburgh chose to leave The Episcopal Church and associate with the theologically conservative Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of America, comprising churches in several countries of South America. Pennsylvania courts later recognized those parishes and members remaining in communion with The Episcopal Church as the legitimate and legal heirs of the original diocese and the owners of its diocesan property. The rival diocese changed its name to the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh and is now affiliated with the Anglican Church in North America.
The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh is the first of four dioceses that have experienced schism to elect a new bishop.
The theme of Bishop McConnell's consecration was unity and bridge-building, and Bishop McConnell aptly drew upon the City of Pittsburgh's history to pursue these theme. In a surprise skit set amid the Great St. Patrick's Day Flood of 1936, Bp. McConnell, a Yale-educated former actor, played the part of a bridge-builder. In the days following the devastating flooding of Pittsburgh's two rivers, the Monongahela and the Allegheny, receding waters and debris caused rumors that the city's 16th Street Bridge had collapsed, leading police to close all of the city's bridges.