General Convention 2009, in adopting Resolution D035, proclaimed the doctrine outmoded in this day and age, even though there has been no example of its application in recent times. The Resolution calls for the governing bodies of ECUSA to write a letter to the Queen of England, Elizabeth II:
Resolved, that The Episcopal Church . . . directs the appropriate representatives of the House of Bishops and House of Deputies . . . to write to Queen Elizabeth II, the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, requesting that her Majesty disavow, and repudiate publicly, the claimed validity of the Christian Doctrine of Discovery . . .
It is, as already noted, unclear how or why the Queen should repudiate a doctrine which she herself has not personally espoused. Moreover, the Presiding Bishop has recently declared a new Episcopalian form of the Doctrine in a letter to the House of Bishops not yet published on the official ENS site, but released elsewhere. In her letter, she declares it her policy not to allow any Episcopalian Diocese or bishop to sell any of their parish property without a clause that would exclude the setting foot on it by any bishop or other clergy of another church in competition with ECUSA for a period of at least five years from the date of sale:
I will continue to uphold two basic principles in the work some of us face in dealing with former Episcopalians who claim rights to church property or assets. Our participation in God’s mission as leaders and stewards of The Episcopal Church means that we expect a reasonable and fair financial arrangement in any property settlement, and that we do not make settlements that encourage religious bodies who seek to replace The Episcopal Church.
Pragmatically, the latter means property settlements need to include a clause that forbids, for a period of at least five years, the presence of bishops on the property who are not members of this House, unless they are invited by the diocesan bishop for purposes which do not subvert mission and ministry in the name of this Church.
It is worthy to note how the Presiding Bishop simply assumes, without any discussion, that she has the authority to impose these requirements on the bishops responsible for the lawsuits brought….
Read it all.