I am sure Fr. [Mark] Harris is well aware that the articulation of TEC’s polity in the Bishops’ Statement is hardly novel, but has long been the standard understanding of our governance. See, for example, the widely-used series on “The Church’s Teaching” by Dr. Powel Dawley of GTS, the work by Dr. Daniel Stevick of EDS on Canon Law and the article by Dr. Robert Prichard of VTS, one of TEC’s leading historians, in the current issue of “Anglican and Episcopal History,” who reviews this history and my paper and concludes that my work is “cogent and based on good historical argument.”
Finally and most importantly, none of this should deflect attention from the Bishops’ Statement itself. It is what it is says it is: a statement by fifteen bishops of this Church, including a candidate for Presiding Bishop in 1985 (Bishop Frey), a candidate for Presiding Bishop in 1997 and one of the three Senior Bishops of the Church who exercise canonical responsibilities under Title IV (Bishop Wimberly) and the immediate past president of the Presiding Bishop’s Council of Advice (Bishop MacPherson). I urge Fr. Harris and others to focus on this Statement by fifteen distinguished Bishops rather than discuss obviously confidential emails that should never have been made public in the first place.