Dear Members of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh,
I write to provide you more information regarding the process that led to the Standing Committee’s request, under their canonical authority, that Bishop Hobby resign.
The Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh Standing Committee unanimously concluded that Bishop Hobby had broken the bond of trust which is essential to the office of Bishop. As a result of this conclusion, after consultation with Archbishop Foley Beach, the Standing Committee requested on October 28, 2020 that Bishop Hobby resign as Bishop of Pittsburgh. Bishop Hobby agreed to resign and submitted his resignation on October 29, 2020. The Standing Committee reached its conclusion because Bishop Hobby:
- Failed to act with urgency, transparency, and timeliness when an accusation of sexual misconduct by a member of the clergy was brought to his attention. To be clear, this misconduct involved another adult who is a clergy member.
- Repeatedly failed to properly follow the Canonical process for this accusation.
- Inexplicably delayed in advising the Standing Committee of other formal complaints about the same clergy member.
- Did not share material information regarding the investigation with the Standing Committee and the Canonical Investigator in a timely manner.
- Failed repeatedly to act in a manner that demonstrated proper concern for the victims of an abusive priest. To be clear, this abuse related to adults and did not involve physical contact.
With regard to the process leading to Bishop Hobby’s resignation, the ACNA Canons include a procedure to follow in situations in which “The Episcopal Relationship is Imperiled or Hindered.” See ACNA Canons, Title III, Canon 8, Section 8. After the Standing Committee unanimously concluded that Bishop Hobby had broken the bond of trust essential to the office of the Bishop, it consulted with Archbishop Foley Beach and Canon Phil Ashey, who serves as Special Counsel to the Archbishop, and received their advice. The committee then unanimously agreed to ask Bishop Hobby to voluntarily resign. Bishop Hobby was aware that he could reject this request and go through the formal Canonical process set forth in Title III, Canon 8, Section 8 of the ANCA Canons. In response to the committee’s request, Bishop Hobby chose to resign.
Thank you for your continued prayers for the diocese as we seek healing and restoration. If you have further questions, we encourage you to contact your Rector.
The Rev. Jeffrey Wylie, President, Standing Committee of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh