The Presiding Bishop writes to the Bishop of Pittsburgh:
The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan
Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh
There have been numerous public references in recent weeks regarding resolutions to be introduced at your forthcoming diocesan convention. Those resolutions, if adopted, would amend several of your diocesan canons and begin the process of amending one or more provisions of your diocesan Constitution.
I have reviewed a number of these proposed resolutions, and it is evident to me that they would violate the Constitutional requirement that the Diocese conform to the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church. It is apparent from your pre-convention report that you endorse these proposed changes.
I am also aware of other of your statements and actions in recent months that demonstrate an intention to lead your diocese into a position that would purportedly permit it to depart from The Episcopal Church. All these efforts, in my view, display a fundamental misunderstanding of the relationship between The Episcopal Church and its dioceses. Our Constitution explicitly provides that a diocese must accede to the Constitution and Canons of the Church.
I call upon you to recede from this direction and to lead your diocese on a new course that recognizes the interdependent and hierarchical relationship between the national Church and its dioceses and parishes. That relationship is at the heart of our mission, as expressed in our polity. Specifically, I sincerely hope that you will change your position and urge your diocese at its forthcoming convention not to adopt the resolutions that you have until now supported.
If your course does not change, I shall regrettably be compelled to see that appropriate canonical steps are promptly taken to consider whether you have abandoned the Communion of this Church -- by actions and substantive statements, however they may be phrased -- and whether you have committed canonical offences that warrant disciplinary action.
It grieves me that any bishop of this Church would seek to lead any of its members out of it. I would remind you of my open offer of an Episcopal Visitor if you wish to receive pastoral care from another bishop. I continue to pray for reconciliation of this situation, and I remain
Your servant in Christ,
Katharine Jefferts Schori
My two cents??? BRAVA!
The PB's letter, made public in Jan Nunley's ELO article yesterday, is receiving the usual response from the usual suspects:
"If your course does not change, the Lord has revealed that judgment will promptly follow. Millstones await those who lead his little ones astray" from Mat Kennedy of Stand Firm fame ...
...and the titusonenine intelligentsia are offering comments like: "...you are not a creedal Christian. And, quite frankly, if Jesus is only what you say he is, then who cares what he said. In any event Susan Russel is not “inclusive” accept on her and Integraty’s terms. So spare the crocadile tears as we leave."
Meanwhile, Mark Harris offers a highly recommended concise and thorough overview at PRELUDIUM: everything you ever wanted to know about Title IV and didn't know enough to ask about!
[Photo credit: NYTimes]