A letter accusing nine bishops of disloyalty to the Episcopal Church and violation of its canons is scheduled for discussion on 6 July 2012 during a closed session of the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops meeting at the 77th General Convention in Indianapolis.
Daily Archives: July 6, 2012
Here is the text:
Resolved, That Rule of Order 34 of the House of Deputies be revised to read as follows:
When any member is about to speak or to deliver any matter to the House, the member shall, with due respect, address the President, state name and Diocese, and confine any remarks strictly to the point of debate. If the member is speaking about a resolution calling for the expenditure of any moneys, including the proposed Budget of The Episcopal Church, the member shall also state the percent of diocesan income that deputy’s diocese has committed to The Episcopal Church for the current year.
By the time we arrived, we had already been inundated with information. The “Blue Book” came out a month or so before convention with 758 pages of legislative information – reports of commissions, committees and agencies of the church, resolutions, and biographies of those running for a position on various councils.
First impressions: the convention center is huge, and so is the church – people from all over with different viewpoints, different worship expressions – and all seeking to find the way we can be church together.
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefforts Schori
The Episcopal Church
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY, 10017
Re: Request to set the record straight
Dear Bishop Jefforts Schori:
We, the bishops of the Dioceses of Quincy and Fort Worth, with the support of the Standing Committee and Council of each diocese, respectfully urge the Church’s House of Bishops, at its meeting at the 77th General Convention in Indianapolis, to set the record straight regarding recent statements by certain bishops in our Church. The subject bishops are:
1. The Rt. Rev. Maurice M. Benitez (resigned, Diocese of Texas);
2. The Rt. Rev. John W. Howe (resigned, Diocese of Central Florida);
3. The Rt. Rev. Paul E. Lambert (suffragan, Diocese of Dallas);
4. The Rt. Rev. William H. Love (diocesan, Diocese of Albany);
5. The Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson (diocesan, Diocese of W. Louisiana);
6. The Rt. Rev. Daniel H. Martins (diocesan, Diocese of Springfield);
7. The Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton (diocesan, Diocese of Dallas);
8. The Rt. Rev. Peter Beckwith (resigned, Diocese of Springfield); and
9. The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon (resigned, Diocese of South Carolina).
The House of Bishops is well aware of the litigation across this Church resulting from breakaway factions who left The Episcopal Church but claim to have taken parishes and entire dioceses, and all the historic church property, names, records, and funds, with them, and claim to “be” the continuing parish or diocese. In the Dioceses of Quincy, Fort Worth, San Joaquin, and Pittsburgh, these breakaway efforts were led by former members of the House of Bishops.
Recent events illustrate that there are still bishops in our Church who harm the Church by officially misrepresenting the polity of the Church; invading the episcopal jurisdiction of other bishops; taking official, formal, affirmative actions directly against their own Church and sister dioceses; and even recognizing the continuing authority of breakaway former bishops over the bishops who are recognized by this Church. In doing so they give aid and comfort to breakaway factions who would take title and control of substantially all of the real and personal property of this Church and cripple its mission and ministry.
Specifically, on April 23, 2012 Bishops Benitez, Howe, Lambert, Love, MacPherson, Martins, and Stanton, purporting to act in their oficial capacities as bishops of The Episcopal Church and its House of Bishops, caused to be filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief n litigation in support of a breakaway faction led by former bishop Jack Iker and against this Church and its Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.
Similarly, on October 6, 2011, 2011, Bishops Salmon, MacPherson, and Beckwith, purporting to act in their official capacities as bishops of The Episcopal Church and its House of Bishops, caused to be filed affidavits in litigation in support of a breakaway faction led by Alberto Morales and against this Church and its Episcopal Diocese of Quincy. The details of their misrepresentations are reflected in the documents themselves. However, generally the bishops falsely claimed as follows:
1. They Represented that Dioceses Can Unilaterally Leave: These bishops give aid and comfort to breakaway factions trying to alienate this Church’s historic property and identity and urge a false view of polity that would purport to authorize each bishop across this Church to lead his or her diocese and church property in the diocese out of The Episcopal Church.
2. They Denied the Dennis Canon and Failed to Safeguard Church Property: These bishops advocate that the breakaway parties should prevail in the litigation against The Episcopal Church and the loyal Episcopalians in those dioceses and assert positions that would strip millions of dollars of historic property and funds, lovingly accumulated by generations of Episcopalians, from the mission and ministry of this Church, and instead urge that they be used by breakaway factions for the mission and ministry of a new church. They thus would nullify this Church’s trust interest in all the real and personal property of congregations in those dioceses and, indeed, across The Episcopal Church and fail to safeguard property of the Church and its dioceses.
3. They Recognized the Wrong Bishops: The amicus bishops in the Fort Worth case expressly claim that Iker, not Bishop Wallis Ohl, repeatedly recognized by the Church, is still the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth; in the Quincy filing the affidavit bishops imply that Morales, not Bishop John C. Buchanan, repeatedly recognized by the Church, is the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy. By this claim these bishops not only reject this Church’s authority to recognize its own bishops but they arrogate for themselves, in direct defiance of this Church, the authority to determine the episcopal authority of every other bishop in the Church, substituting at will their personal standards for those of this Church and trying to inject chaos into core ecclesiastical functions of The Episcopal Church itself.
4. They Violated Episcopal Jurisdiction: By their public filings in local litigation, without invitation or consent of the ecclesiastical authority in those sister dioceses, these bishops directly violated the ecclesiastical authority and episcopal jurisdiction of Bishop C. Wallis Oh1 and Bishop John C. Buchanan, respectively, who have been consistently recognized by The Episcopal Church as being the current bishops of Fort Worth and Quincy. By inserting themselves in local litigation against the ecclesiastical authority in those dioceses, the subject bishops have violated the longstanding prohibition against “acting in another diocese without the consent of the diocesan authority”’ and have engaged in boundary crossing to interfere profoundly in the mission and the very existence of a sister diocese and the jurisdiction of other bishops of this Church.
This is not a matter of a few unhappy bishops stating their personal views on church polity. They each affirmatively and officially acted by injecting themselves, intentionally and without invitation from the bishops exercising jurisdiction, into local litigation, opposing this Church and sister dioceses on core ecclesiastical issues regarding the very identity of other dioceses.
We respectfully urge that the House of Bishops set the record straight on the polity of this Church regarding its hierarchical character.
(The Rt. Rev.) C. Wallis Ohl (TEC) Bishop of Fort Worth
(The Rt. Rev.) John C. Buchanan (TEC) Bishop of Quincy
U.S. job growth barely picked up in June, the latest sign that economic growth has slowed.
Nonfarm payrolls grew by 80,000 last month, the Labor Department said Friday. The politically important unemployment rate, obtained by a separate survey of U.S. households, was unchanged at 8.2%.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a gain of 100,000 in payrolls and the steady June jobless rate.
Important update: EconomicPicdata notes–“When looking at the household survey, we see that the headline measure of unemployment doesn’t account for the fact that teen employment (likely low pay part-time workers on summer break) accounted for more than 100% of all new jobs. Excluding teens (the second bracket from the left in the chart below), we can see that negative employment number. In addition, individuals over 20 continue to flee the workforce (more than 150,000 more 20+ year olds were classified as “not in the labor force”).” Read it all.
Word is there are a large number of speakers trying to address this matter. The hearing began at 7:30 est.
Make sure to be aware of the text of the resolution and go back also to reread this earlier blog thread on the subject.
“Peace is the only option which can allow the flourishing of South Sudan and its neighbour Sudan,” the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned. Speaking on the first anniversary of the independence of South Sudan, the Archbishop has called for urgent humanitarian assistance in conflict areas and renewed efforts to resolve outstanding differences between the two countries….
The subject of confirmation stirred passionate testimony July 5 before General Convention’s Education Committee. Clergy and laypeople addressed the committee on Resolutions A041, A042, A043 and A044, all of which address the nature of confirmation as a necessary step in becoming Episcopalian.
The Rev. Canon Robert Brooks, vice president of Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission, said the canons conflict with the Book of Common Prayer (1979), which describes Holy Baptism as full initiation into the Church. The resolutions seek to resolve that conflict, he said.
The Rev. Danielle Morris of the Diocese of Central Florida opposed the resolutions, saying confirmation helps create loyal members of the Church through education. She cited an example of a woman in her parish who wanted to serve on the vestry but had not been confirmed. “She said, ”˜I’ll go through the classes,’” Morris said. “By the time she ended those classes, she said, ”˜I had no idea. I’m an Episcopalian because I am now a part of all of that inheritance.’ She will be an Episcopalian for life.”
Today, we gathered in our opening Eucharist to liturgically open the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Indianapolis. In the room were thousands of Episcopalians, perhaps the largest such gathering since the last Convention three years ago. In this Eucharist we celebrated the lives and ministry of Walter Rauschenbusch, who came to believe that Jesus died “to substitute love for selfishness as the basis of human society” and boldly pointed out our “social sins” which Jesus bore on the cross, which included greed and political power;, and Washington Gladden, who was dedicated to the realization of the Kingdom of God in this world; and Jacob Riis, who did much to awaken the nation to the plight of the urban poor. With those great prophets on our minds and hearts, we celebrated Eucharist. However, this Eucharist was less to me, because in this liturgical expression we once again incarnated the reality of one of, if not our most pressing, spiritual issue for us as Western Christians, and Episcopalians: we failed to take any monetary offering.
I knew there would be many excuses for this, perhaps logistics, there were just so many present that it could not be done, or one I hear often, we are being “nickeled and dimed to death.” In fact, when asked, a few of the worship team stated that they had to “cut time” and this would have added four minutes. Four minutes.
Presbyterians in favor of divestment said that their church could not in good conscience hold stock in companies that they said perpetuate an unjust occupation and undermine the search for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. But opponents said that divestment would unfairly vilify Israel, and accomplish little but further polarization.
Arthur Shippee, a delegate from southern New England, said: “What divestment will achieve is this: We will add a whisper soon lost in the storm, but we will further the divisions in our church when we have our own serious problems to address, and we will precipitate divisions with the synagogues within our communities whom we work with frequently on a variety of issues. This will be perceived as picking on Israel, and how could it not?”
Speaking in favor of divestment and against the pro-investment resolution, Tim Simpson, a delegate from the Presbytery of St. Augustine in Jacksonville, Fla., said: “The Palestinians aren’t asking us for a check, sisters and brothers. The Palestinians are asking us for justice. They’re asking us for dignity. How can you write a check to a people who don’t control their own water?”
Several resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be considered by the Episcopal Church’s General Convention, meeting here July 5-12.
Among them is Resolution B019, which calls on the church to engage actively in the discipline of advocacy, study, and prayer for peace between Israelis and Palestinians; encourages all Episcopalians to travel to the Holy Land as pilgrims and witnesses; affirms the importance of economic measures designed to support a negotiated two-state solution; and calls for positive investment in the Palestine Territories and in the social service institutions of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East.
The resolution, proposed by Diocese of Northern California Bishop Barry Beisner and endorsed by Olympia Bishop Gregory Rickel and Bishop Suffragan for the Armed Services & Federal Ministries Jay Magness, also commends the leadership of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori in calling all Episcopalians to advocate for an end to the conflict and increase support for the Jerusalem diocese and the other Christian communities of the Holy Land.
Each province of the Anglican Communion is autonomous because there is no central authority uniting them. Adopting the covenant would mean the church would need to amend its constitution and canons, said Paul Valliere, a professor of religion at Butler University and an Episcopalian.
“As beautiful as the idea is of a united, global Anglicanism, it’s probably an unworkable ideal,” Theusen said.
A report prepared for the convention by the key House of Deputies Committee said the church’s angst about the inter-Anglican Communion and other issues “appears to be easing.”
Valliere said he disagrees with that assessment, calling the recent schisms “arguably the biggest schisms in the history of the Church.”
“I think the Episcopal Church is in denial over what’s happened in the last decade,” he said.
A proposal to expand the U.S. Episcopal Church’s nondiscrimination canons for the ordained ministry to include “gender identity and expression” passed its first hurdle on Thursday, when it won committee approval at the church’s General Convention…..
“Please don’t focus on us as an abstract issue,” said Rev. Vicki Gray, a deacon at Christ the Lord Episcopal Church in Pinole, California, who identifies as transgender. “We are flesh-and-blood human beings.”
“The resolution is important so transgender people can have access to our church. ‘All’ is not sufficient,” said Gray.