Monday, October 30, 2006

Presiding Bishop's Chancellor Threatens Fort Worth, Quincy Dioceses

Reported today by today by The Living Church ... my, my my! Methinks twill be an interesting 9 years!

And DO check out Fr. Jake's "take" on these developements ... There's A New Boss In Town over at Fr. Jake Stops the World!

[TLC: 10/30/2006] On the eve of Nevada Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s investiture as the 26th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, her chancellor, David Booth Beers, has written identical letters to the chancellors of two traditionalist dioceses demanding that they change language “that can be read as cutting against an ‘unqualified accession’ to the Constitution and Canons of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church.

“The timing of this letter is shocking,” Fort Worth Bishop Jack L. Iker told The Living Church. “Some of the changes he refers to go back as far as 1989. All this was done completely out in the open and news of it was distributed widely. We have kept the Presiding Bishop informed at every step. “We are still contemplating our response, but I think we will refuse to take the ‘bait’ by responding in kind,” Bishop Iker said. “We will probably refer him to our website where our constitution and canons are published.”

In recent years, four dioceses – Fort Worth (Texas), Pittsburgh, Quincy (Ill.) and San Joaquin (Calif.) – have amended their constitutions to qualify the diocese’s accession to General Convention, reserving the right of the diocese to reject bylaws which in their view contradict scripture and/or historic church teachings. Spokespersons for Pittsburgh and San Joaquin reported being unaware of receiving a similar letter. Fort Worth, Quincy and San Joaquin are the only three dioceses in The Episcopal Church which do not ordain women. Mr. Beers concludes his letter stating “should your diocese decline to take that step, the Presiding Bishop will have to consider what sort of action she must take in order to bring your diocese into compliance.”

Bishop Iker questioned whether this was possible given that in September, Bishop Jefferts Schori told him to his face at a special meeting in New York City called by the Archbishop of Canterbury that the Presiding Bishop has no jurisdiction or oversight of dioceses under Episcopal Church polity.

Also during September, a disciplinary review board rejected holding San Joaquin Bishop John-David Schofield guilty of abandoning the communion of this church for similar changes made to its constitution by convention in that d


Ann said...

Shocking, I say, shocking!! Right - big surprise - someone is going to ask for accountability at last.

Anonymous said...

It looks like +Schori is not going to be afraid to restore the authority of the General Convention where it has been disregarded. Thank God!

Hiram said...

In 1979, General Convention passed a resolution that stated that it was inappropriate to ordain anyone in a same-sex partnership. Obviously, that resolution has been disregarded. It has not been rescinded or amended, simply ignored.

If you want the rule of law -- be true to all the law.

The "offending" dioceses are simply being true to historic Christian doctrine and moral practice. They are seeking to protect themselves from the intrusion of those who have a track record of first seeking accomodation for an alien viewpoint, in the name of "inclusion" or "comprehensiveness," and then requiring first an acceptance of that new view and then being forced to act according to that new view.

The institutional structure of the Episcopal Church has been taken over by those who hold a faith that is fundamentally different than that what the apostles taught. Those of us who uphold the faith of the apostles simply want to be able to live by and proclaim that historic faith with integrity.

What is being asked of us is to recognize the new faith as being equally valid as the historic faith, and that we cannot do. The leaders of dioceses and parishes are trying to resist the coercion to do so as legally as possible, but what we do is not always recognized as such by those who seek to root out divergent views and practice.

The Episcopal Church will divide; the only real question will be whether it will do so with relative peace and dignity, or by fierce lawsuits and/or painful departures. Bp Wolfe of RI is showing the first path; Bp Bruno is showing the latter.