Thinking Anglicans

Bishop Frade explains

The Episcopal Café reports that Bishop Frade consented to inhibition of Bishop Duncan:

The Rt. Rev. Leo Frade, Bishop of the Diocese of Southeast Florida has released the following statement explaining his consent to the inhibition of Bishops Duncan and Schofield:

Dearly Beloved in Christ:

Greetings from the Holy Land! While leading my yearly pilgrimage of the faithful to the land of our Lord Jesus, I have been asked to comment on the decision of the Three Senior Bishops to unanimously move to inhibit the Bishop of San Joaquin, but not to inhibit the Bishop of Pittsburgh.

I must state that after carefully examining the decision of the Review Committee headed by the Rt. Rev. Dorsey Henderson of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, which recommended the move to inhibit both bishops—of the Dioceses of Pittsburgh and of San Joaquin—and after reviewing all the supporting documents that give evidence of their actions, I was astonished that we neglected to take action any sooner on their obvious violation and breach of their oath to engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline and worship of The Episcopal Church.

I firmly believe that any bishops whose words and actions are in violation of this oath, as stated by church canon, should be equally subject to the appropriate canonical discipline.

I also believe that it is my episcopal duty to assiduously safeguard both the membership and patrimony of our Church as a whole. The faithful of those dioceses that have been betrayed by their bishops need to know that they are not abandoned by their Church.

The Episcopate must not tolerate such actions as these bishops have taken; they have betrayed the trust that was given them when we, their brother and sister bishops, consented to their election. The seriousness of this betrayal is not mitigated by the fact that in one of the cases the goal of turning away from The Episcopal Church has not been fully achieved. As I have learned to say in America, “You can not just be a little pregnant.”

It was with great sadness that I concluded I had no other choice but to vote to move to inhibit two of my brothers who have betrayed their trust to be faithful shepherds of their dioceses, which are integral parts of our Episcopal Church.

The beauty and flexibility of Anglican polity has allowed since its foundation disparate and disagreeing parties to remain in full communion. It is my sincere hope and prayer that these two bishops, who once pledged of their own free will to engage to remain faithful to the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church, will in a spirit of reconciliation choose to fulfill their previous promises.

If they are unable to do so, we in the HOB must do our sad duty to discipline them and move in a timely manner to protect and provide for the many remaining faithful of these dioceses.

Blessings,

The Rt Rev Leopold Frade
Bishop of Southeast Florida and Senior Bishop with Jurisdiction of TEC. (780)

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Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

Thank you Bishop Frade.

Jerry Hannon
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Jerry Hannon

I thank God for the wisdom, clarity, and faithfulness of Bishop Frade. The pregnancy metaphor, related to Bishop Duncan, is precious and apropos. The situation is very much like someone charged with conspiracy and intent to commit a particular crime, under civil law; the law does not, and should not, wait for the completion of the criminal act that is being planned, and already underway. In similar fashion, Bishop Duncan’s intentions are clear, and his (admittedly open) conspiracy to depart from the canons to which he pledged obedience is clear, and he has simply not completed the schismatic act regarding… Read more »

Joe
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Joe

Frade: “You can not just be a little pregnant.”
Joe: “And the PB/TEC leadership is not just a little apostate!”

MargaretG
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MargaretG

I firmly believe that any bishops whose words and actions are in violation of this oath, as stated by church canon, should be equally subject to the appropriate canonical discipline.

While I totally agree with this statement, I thought the Episcopal church decided at the Righter trial that it no longer cared if its Bishops violated their oaths, and that that is the reason why Bishop Spong was never brought to trial despite denying every single tenet of the faith once delivered.

How come it is back in fashion now?

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

Joe is obviously angry, that he and his friends can’t get their own way, so he is trying to use a word that has many meanings, and in a context that only he, and they, are to be permitted to define. How sweet. If you disagree with someone within the Church, just call them “apostate.” Don’t deal in facts. Don’t admit that someone can legitimately believe non-core matters differently. Just call them a name. Wow, I suppose we could try calling some of the schismatic diocesan bishops some other faith-related names and beat the fans of Schofield, and Duncan, and… Read more »

trueanglican
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trueanglican

Joe is inadvertently quite correct. The presiding bishop and the Episcopal Church are not just a little apostate. They are not apostate at all. This kind of libel has been concocted by people who don’t know their theology, their Bible or their standards of common civility.

Ed Lowrie
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Ed Lowrie

What ever the bishop’s motive in writing this, his opinion did not prevail. So this sounds a bit like the theological equivalent of sour grapes.

It is interesting to note that someone solicited this letter. The TEC “front office”, and its councilor, are no doubt smarting at the failed strategy to Inhibit Duncan so are now looking for a bit of public relations propraganda as cover. Why otherwise publish this on the Episcopal Café??

Pluralist
Guest

John Spong stayed with his Church; he is part of the search in faith and a legitimate Christianity.

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

“What ever the bishop’s motive in writing this, his opinion did not prevail. So this sounds a bit like the theological equivalent of sour grapes.” So, Ed, what’s your take on Bishop Wimberley’s beating Frade to the draw by two days with “Why I did not consent to inhibition”? What right does Wimberley have to public discussion of his motives in this decision that Frade does not? Incidentally, your inquiry of Frade’s piece, “why otherwise publish this on the Episcopal Café??”, holds equally good of Wimberley, whose apology, as you may not have noticed, also appeared in Episcopal Café.

counterlight
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counterlight

If John Shelby Spong did not exist, then the Right would have to invent him. A movement based on spite must have its bogeys or die.

Ed Lowrie
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Ed Lowrie

Hello Lapinbizarre; Didn’t know about the +Wimberley thing. A TEC bishop friend of mine sent the Frade letter to me as part of his cyber-ministry but not Wimberly. You’re right, though. The issue holds equally well for both sides that appear to me as couple skunks with tails raised high and backsides pointed at each other. It’s all most unseemly for supposedly intelligent gentlepeople who are supposed to serve God and not their own egos or political and pecuniary agendas. How in the world can a life-long Episcopalian in his Medicare years respect these people? The answer is simply that… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

” I thought the Episcopal church decided at the Righter trial that it no longer cared if its Bishops violated their oaths” No. The Righter trial determined that there was no violation of doctrine in Righter’s ordaining an openly gay man to the priesthood. As for Bishop Spong, if he were not around, you’d be flailing away at poor old Bishop Pike. Much of what Bishop Spong has enunciated is a rehash of Bishop J.A.T. Robinson’s shocking discovery that we no longer consider the world to be a flat disk from which Jesus ascended like a hot air balloon. See… Read more »

JPM
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JPM

Margaret, the conservatives could have brought charges against Spong any time they liked, but they never even attempted it. They only did so in the case of Righter.

That simply confirms for many of us that despite all the talk of how “it’s about ‘orthodoxy,’ not the gay thing” in the end it really is all about the gay thing.

John Henry
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John Henry

Good for Cynthia mentioning +John AT Robinson. Pope Benedict XVI keeps quoting him in a positive way in some of his writings published in the late 1990s.

L Roberts
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L Roberts

Jack Spong is one of the great apologists and evangelists of the twentieth century.

I’m glad the name of John Robinson evoked here.

The two Johns’ work constitute a great anti-dote to fundamentalisms and other forms of obscurantism.

— but means nothing to those who have suspended their disbelief and set their inteligence and common-sense aside.

MargaretG
Guest
MargaretG

I too like the work of Bishop JAT Robinson. His Priority of John was a masterpiece, even though he did not live to complete it — and his Redating the New Testament (in which he argued that ALL of the Gospels and almost all of the epistles had to be written prior to AD 70 ie well within the life time of the witnesses to the events of Jesus’ life) has stood the test of time. I doubt that Bishop Spong is indeed a follower of JAT Robinson — who clearly did believe the tenets of the faith once delivered… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

MargaretG

I’m not sure what you would charge Spong with. Not believing in a literal virgin birth? That puts many of us out in the cold.

Not believing in a literal incarnation?
That deals with another huges cross section of Christians.

And on and on we go.
Spong denies the literal truth of everything, but affirms its theological and spiritual truth.

You don’t have to share his beliefs, but I fail to see what you can actually charge him with other than not being a literalist.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

I’m still puzzled why so many seem to think Spong isn’t a Christian. The following on the Resurrection comes from a speech answering Don Cupitt: http://sof.wellington.net.nz/jsrelig.htm “The biblical record itself is inadequate, incomplete and even contradictory. That’s not a statement that can be called either liberal or conservative, that’s just a fact available to anybody who will take the time to read the resurrection narratives of the New Testament… … We’ll do this first by asking certain questions of the biblical text. Who was the first person to experience the resurrection? He appeared first to Cephas, said Paul. Mark said… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

There’s a difference between finding common ground with people who are different to you and then becoming the same as each other. As Cynthia Gilliat reminded us recently “‘unity’ doen’t equate with unanimnity”. There’s nothing wrong with drawing parallels between the idea of the Spirit of Grace from the Abrahamic traditions and the Hindu understanding of Shiva. Both are to do with the God of gods intervening to end periods of suffering and tyranny, not because the humans concerned “deserved” it, but because God realised that humans were incapable of resolving their problems on their own. To dispute that God… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“… Bishops who apologise for sharing their faith Bishops who apologise for sharing their faith…”

… sharing their faith…

Newspeak?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Erika, I am also suspicious of Spong. In many ways, he’s a fundamentalist. I’m appalled at how his ideas on science seem, at times, to lead him astray. Ironically, his enlistment of science in the “explanation” of religion is not unlike that of Christopher Schell. ( Sorry, Christopher, not a sideways snipe at you, just a way of explaining my reactions to both Spong and yourself). He (Spong) denies the Incarnation based on what we now know of embryology. That’s just soulless. Surely God who made all the “rules of nature” can cause a conception in defiance of those rules… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Thanks for the keen comments about bringing up Spong on charges that he is not sufficiently literalistic in his readings of scripture. Quite congruent with much of the bottom line point, I think, about our underlying differences in doing ethics and/or theology. The realignment counter? If you do not read scriptures literalistically, then you do not take scriptures seriously. Problem is, even our best 21st century physics of the physical is now reaching wide and deep and high into constructive theoretical yet hypothesis-testable realms which so radically revise what we take to be the common sensically real-physical that the distinctions… Read more »

MargaretG
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MargaretG

Well caught Goran — it was very badly expressed. I should have said “non-Christian Bishops apologise for others sharing the Christian faith with Hindus”. I refer of course to Bishop Bruno’s recent apology to the Hindus for Christians who wanting to convert them. Clearly he is not a follower of the One who commanded “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” As this command came from our Lord Jesus Christ, after whom… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Ford, I agree to an extent. Spong was brought up a fundamentalist and then set out to show that those beliefs were not literally true, thereby moving to the other extreme. Ultimately, it’s not about scientific truth (the How), but about theological truths (the Why). And so I can see why Spong might appear soulless. I would say that he is a bit dated. With a few exceptions the question of the literal and scientific truth of the bible is not what occupies theologians any longer. The trend is towards rediscovering the spiritual. But that doesn’t invalidate him. Where he… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“non-Christian Bishops” How is one a non-Christian bishop? Oh, I see, one who does not seek to spread the Gospel. Well, that would to my eye leave out most of the modern “conservatives”. How they can think their actions spread the Gospel is beyond me. But then you give a quote in which the bishop apologizes for: “centuries-old acts of religious discrimination by Christians, including attempts to convert them.” He is apologizing for the coercive ways that Christians can “Evangelize”. I am always amused by the idea that one sees among some people that Evangelism is about making converts through… Read more »

James Thomas
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James Thomas

As an American Roman viewer of TEC I find all this a bit much. Where were the Global South and all these inhibitting minded bishops when Spong et al were touting their revisionist Christologies? A far more serious issue than anything else currently acting as coals for the ecclesiastical furnace. I find myself siding with the +AC – the fundamental issues facing the Communion are ecclesiological – something which has never been clear since Henry. There once was an Anglican Pope, it was the English monarch. Someone once did have the “ultimate say” in the Church of England (and maybe… Read more »

MargaretG
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MargaretG

Ford

I could accept your explanation of “He is apologizing for the coercive ways that Christians can “Evangelize”.” if that was what he said.

It wasn’t.

I am still swaiting the Presiding Bishop’s response to this gross violation of the faith delivered and the tradition of the church.

kieran crichton
Guest
kieran crichton

“There once was an Anglican Pope, it was the English monarch.” If this was ever truly the case, the execution of Charles I more or less squashed it as a viable reality. Moreover, if it WERE a reality, I suspect TEC, along with a number of other churches in the Anglican Communion, would have severe issues with it – which just happens to be the case with the draft Covenant. For a Roman Catholic viewing these arguments the ecclesiological side of things is really a moot point, as none of the *ecclesial bodies* that constitute the Anglican Communion is really… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

MargaretG,
I am not a subscriber, so I cannot read the link you provided. I only have your quote to go by. If the original article has more material to show that he thinks it is wrong for us to spread the Good News, I apologize. The material you provide, however, is an apology for religious discrimination, including attempts to convert. Well, I live in a country where the Anglican Church now has to pay millions of dollars in compensation to the victims of our past “conversion” attempts”. We have a lot to apologize for.

MargaretG
Guest
MargaretG

Ford – I too am not a subscriber — and I can get the link to take me to the whole article. I am sorry you feel that you are so ashamed of your faith, and so unwilling to follow the commands of the Lord Jesus that you too feel the need to apologise too for ALL attempts to convert — the issue of coercion is a total red herring, as you of course, were well aware right from the start. I am still waiting the Presiding Bishops rapid response to the violation of both the faith delivered and tradition.… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Margaret:

I see nothing in Jesus’ literal words in the great commission, nor in any possible subtext, that calls on us to FORCE anyone to become a Christian, either by violence or law or anything else.

Baptism is a choice that must be made by the individual or, in the case of infants, by their guardians. If the only way we can make someone get baptised is with a literal or virtual gun to his head, then we violate not only his conscience but our own.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I am sorry you feel that you are so ashamed of your faith, and so unwilling to follow the commands of the Lord Jesus that you too feel the need to apologise too for ALL attempts to convert — the issue of coercion is a total red herring, as you of course, were well aware right from the start.” This is false, and I never said that. If you can look at the way European Christians have treated nonChristians around the world for the past several centuries, and NOT feel a need to apologize, you either have never spoken to… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

Margaret’s slanderous misrepresentation of Ford’s position is breathtaking in its dishonesty. Unfortunately, it is altogether to typical of how “conservatives” engage in these discussions.

Margaret, if you really are a Christian, you should stop lying.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Malcolm, A bit of a clamer rethink. In the conservative position there is a lot of fear coming from the loss of the traditional power structures. It’s also about loss of certainty at how the world works. This generates anger. It’s why Consevos seriously think they are being oppressed when they are told they can’t act with impunity. It’s why she thinks white poeple are oppressed by the three tikangas of the NZ Church, and it’s why she has to savage someone who is honestly acknowledging the hurt that aggressive Christianizing has caused, both to Christians as well as nonChristians.… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

I don’t have a problem with Christians apologising for bad manners and coercion. It’s a very Christian thing to do, to rebuke priestly castes who desecrate God’s name and go to great lengths to convert others to adopt their appalling bad manners and distorted theology. Actually Jesus rebuked the rude missionaries of his time too. Matthew 23:12-31 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and… Read more »

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

Every Indian I have ever spoken to, and I have spoken to and worked with many over the years, makes reference to the issue of rice Christians and forced conversions. Perhaps Ford a completely different group of Indians live where you are (I presume the USA but I am not sure). Where I live (New Zealand) the many, many, many Indians who are Christians are very, very grateful for the work of the missionaries who came,lived,taught and in many cases died in their homeland so that they or their forebears could hear the Christian faith. I have yet to hear… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

I agree with your analysis about why the “conservatives” are so enraged. But none of that justifies the way they so consistently lie about what other people believe, do or say. They would do well to remember that “Thou shalt not bear false witness” made the top ten sin list – unlike the peccadilloes they have attempted to turn into the greatest sin of all. I have been reading Al Franken’s 2005 book “Truth – with jokes.” In particular, I’ve just finished a section describing Karl Rove’s approach to politics – an approach much like that of our “conservative” opponents.… Read more »

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

Malcolm+ — what exactly did you think I lied about in my last post? I have re-read it and it is totally and utterly factually correct, so in light of your comment above, it is up to you to list the lies you believe are there.

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

“But the facts aren’t the issue ….” For some that is so true. That is why it is okay to purport that talking to Indians in a relatively peaceful and pluralist society such as New Zealand supposedly reflects te experience of Indians both internationally and over time. I promise you that an Indian’s perspective of being made feel welcome in India is different to one who has survived race riots in Fiji, Apartheid in South Africa or harassment in the Phillipines. It is also different to those Indians who lived under English rule prior to independence. Let us not forget… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I think you are rewriting history here —- most missionaries in the past were more likely to be coerced than to coerce — more likely to die at the hands of others than to kill — and much, much more likely to be female than male!!!” No, Margaret, I don’t rewrite history, and I am not against evangelism. I know very well the stories of the martyrs of our colonial past, but their martyrdom does not mean that others behaved as honourably. If you don’t know what has been done in the past 2000 years in the name of God,… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

Well, Margaret, let us begin. Margaret said: “I am sorry you feel that you are so ashamed of your faith, “ Malcolm observes: Ford is not in the least ashamed of his faith, and you have nothing to support this slander. Margaret went continued: “and so unwilling to follow the commands of the Lord Jesus” Malcolm observes: You have exactly no evidence to support this slander either. Margret went on: “that you too feel the need to apologise too for ALL attempts to convert” Malcolm observes: Ford did no such thing. Slander number three. Margaret kept going: “the issue of… Read more »