Our Sunday Visitor: Would you describe the movement to realign the Episcopal Church with the traditional doctrines of Christianity?
Bishop Robert Duncan: The movement that I lead has been called the Anglican Communion Network. The Episcopal Church, during the last four decades, has been headed on a path of innovation. As these years have passed it’s become clearer and clearer that the Episcopal Church, if it hadn’t previously stepped outside the boundaries, it would at one point do that clearly enough for all to recognize.
That point of great clarity came in August 2003, when the Episcopal Church agreed to a bishop who had been married, divorced and was in a long-term same-sex relationship. The movement that I lead is a movement that’s attempting to hold to the truth that the church has received and has always taught, as opposed to the innovations that are being held up now.
We’re in the midst of a reformation of our tradition, and, in fact, we think we’re actually in the midst of a major Christian reformation. Pope Benedict XVI wrote, when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, that the Western church will not be fruitful again until it was severely pruned ”“ referencing John 15. We’re in the midst of a significant pruning, and not only of the Anglicans but also of the whole of the Western Christian church.
That’s what we’re in the midst of. And again, it’s affecting all of the churches in the West, it must do so because God always reforms his church, and in the words of our lady, in her song, which we sing daily at vespers, he’s always casting the mighty from their thrones and lifting up the lowly, because the mighty think somehow they’re God, and so God always realigns his church.
Our Sunday Visitor: You are considered by many to be a leader of a “conservative” faction of the Episcopal Church. Is what you stand for a “conservative” viewpoint, or do you see it in a different light?
Bishop Robert Duncan: My understanding is that it’s simply what the gospel says, and that it is what the mainstream of Christianity has always held. All of the great Christian traditions, all of the major streams of Christianity would teach precisely what we teach on these issues. And again, it’s what the ages have always taught as well.