[Jan] Nunley said [David Booth] Beers, who declined to be interviewed, wasn’t threatening legal action. But Wicks Stephens, chancellor of the Pittsburgh-based Anglican Communion Network, of which Quincy is a member, isn’t convinced.
“What we’re seeing is an attempt on the part of The Episcopal Church, and now acting through the executive council, to simply issue intimidating language and threats in areas in which they have no authority,” Stephens said. “They’re after us because we reserve the right not to follow their unbiblical actions.”
Nor was the Rev. John Spencer, the president of Quincy’s standing committee, persuaded by Nunley’s reassurance.
“It’s just one more example of the sort of placating talk that we hear from the national leadership,” said Spencer, vicar of St. Francis Church in Dunlap. “They continually talk about reconciliation and trying to build bridges and so forth, but in my opinion this was another example of a heavy-handed tactic. ‘Submit or there will be legal consequences for you.’ ”
The church’s demands – or suggestions or threats, depending on whom you’re talking to – startedabout a year ago, Spencer said.
He said Beers sent a letter to Quincy and other dioceses telling them that if certain parts of their constitutions weren’t changed promptly, the presiding bishop would have to decide what action to take.
“It was sort of a veiled threat,” Spencer said. “It was a clear statement that we needed to change the constitution in order to conform to the language that they said it needed to have.”