(Latrobe, PA) The Rt. Rev. Frank Lyons has been appointed vicar-general of the Diocese of Western Anglicans. At the close of the College of Bishops conclave held 21-23 June 2014 at Saint Vincent College the Most Rev. Robert Duncan appointed Bishop Lyons to temporarily oversee the diocese.
The election of a successor to the Rt. Rev. William Thompson, the first bishop of the diocese, was to have taken place at the conclave. However, the time and discussions devoted to the election of a new primate prevented Western Anglicans from being taken up on the agenda. Bishop Lyons, who will continue to serve as Assistant Bishop of Pittsburgh, stated he believed it was a wise decision to defer consideration as the bishops were exhausted at the close of their conclave. “We were all fried,” he noted.
In a note explaining the decision to the diocese, the president of the standing committee, Debbie Kollgaard stated that the Chancellor of the Province, Hugo Blankingship advised the bishops that under Title III, Canon 8.3 the bishops were responsible for choosing a candidate for bishop, rejecting the candidates proposed by the diocese, or deferring action. “[N]ot rushing into a decision that is not ready to be affirmed by the College of Bishops. He further stated that the whole church is invested in a decision of a Bishop election, not just the diocese. The Provincial Council unanimously affirmed the Chancellor’s declaration,” she said.
Bishop Lyons told AI he would continue to reside in the East and commute to California over the coming months to provide pastoral and Episcopal support to the diocese. It was the college’s hope a new bishop would be approved at their next meeting in October.