T A

due process for bishops

There has been considerable discussion on blogs, for example here, about the voting process in the American House of Bishops. Some articles arising from that:

Living Church HOB Secretary: ‘No One Challenged’ PB’s Ruling by George Conger and Steve Waring, and also this commentary Flaws in Misconduct Canons by Steve Waring.

The Anglican Communion Institute has published On the Matter of Deposing Bishops at a Time of Communion Self-Assessment by Ephraim Radner, Christopher Seitz, Philip Turner.

Tony Clavier wrote To encourage others: The canon-legal conundrum on Covenant.

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Pat O'NeillBen WErika BakerGöran Koch-Swahnedr.primrose Recent comment authors
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drdanfee
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drdanfee

Well I can agree with Radner and company over at ACI that the canons are not entirely clear – certainly not in the strictest possible quasi-doctrinal, legal-penal senses which apparently these leaders/believers would like to apply to as much of our shared Anglican church life as possible. One can hardly lay that fault, obvious as it is, at the feet of the PB or the HoB alone. The missing pieces, the missing people who share the responsibility involved? Well, for one the whole drummed up new conservative Anglican realignment campaign. By spin doctoring the silly justifications – that doctrinal or… Read more »

Pluralist
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What nonsense from Radner and company. Once again they are elevating the Anglican Communion to something it is not. The Bishop of San Joaquin attempted to take the diocese away from The Episcopal Church. That Church – with its unity of Canon Law – is perfectly entitled to remove him and, in effect, take the diocese back. The Church of England is not a sub-Church of a Church called Anglican, in Nigeria, or Hong Kong, or even the USA. It is entirely its own body. If Rochester ran off to Nigeria (sounds like a novel) then the C of E… Read more »

Tobias Haller
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Steve Waring is misplaced in his concern about the removal of the “three senior bishops with jurisdiction” from the proposed Amendment to Canon IV.9. These are a relic of the days in which the Presiding Bishop was ex officio the senior bishop with jurisdiction, and in those days they served the function now better exercised by the Review Committee. They should have been removed from this process when the other committee (it has been various committees over the years) became the “show cause” body. There is nothing sinister in their removal at this time. That being said, I would rather… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
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The TEC canons are not quite clear, but I find it strange that fundamentals of boardroom skills should be missing in these quarters… It belongs to A) the PB and the Chancellor to interpret any lose canons. B) it belongs to the HOB present to confirm or alter same interpretation. C) it is TEC which is the church in question. There is not one Anglican curch the way +Schofield, +Duncan and others pretend, only several separate Anglican churches, each with their on set of canons – and widely differing sets of dogmatics and ecclesiologies. Obviously, no one had a word… Read more »

John-Julian, OJN
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John-Julian, OJN

In principle I agree with Tobias, but in practical reality I have serious problems with his dismissal of the abandonment canon. The difficulty comes in the matter of duration of time and money. Charges, review, presentment, trial, etc. can take sometimes years and hundreds of thousands of dollars — and we have neither the years nor the dollars in these present days. Better the terms of the abandonment canon be tightened and made more efficient so actions can be taken with reasonable alacrity before massive destruction occurs. In fact – while I have no idea how to work it out… Read more »

Margaret
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Margaret

I don’t think that it matters what either party thinks at this point in time. What will matter is what the judge thinks this canon meant when the issue of who has the property comes before the secular law court, as I am 100% sure the legality or otherwise of this vote will be one of the many issues that will be up for his decision.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Margaret
You’re still around, I thought you might have signed off for Easter.
Did you not want to comment on my last post to you on this thread?

http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/002955.html#c1163723

I assume it must have dropped off the active list when you came back to TA, but it would be good if we could round this conversation off.

(Simon, apologies for posting off-topic)

Ben W
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Ben W

drdanfee,Pluralist, Interesting, presentation of the expected line but no real conversation! You nicely overlook that what is involved is not mere “doctrinal hairsplitting.” That is to betray a blind ignorance of where people are coming from and of the issue itself(does listening go only one way?). It involves an issue of historic Christian moral practise! drfee – when people don’t want to see the first response is always it is not clear. That was true in an earlier discussion of scripture on homosexuality (though it is completely clear what is affirmed as the sexual union or marriage all the way… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

Ben W: IMO, the “larger church” refers not to the Anglican Communion, but to Christ’s church–the communion of ALL believers (Roman, Anglican, Methodist, etc.). But there is no “Anglican church”…rather there are numerous national churches with a “sibling” relationship sharing certain doctrines and a “communion” through the historic episcopate. That relationship is defined–sufficiently for me–in the Chicago Lambeth Quadrilateral. Those who seek a covenant seek a world-wide arrangement nearer to that of the Roman Catholic church…one that seeks to impose a universal culture on that of various and varied nations. Such an arrangement goes against all that has made Anglican… Read more »

dr.primrose
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dr.primrose

Margaret said, “I am 100% sure the legality or otherwise of this vote will be one of the many issues that will be up for his [“the secular law court”] decision.” Actually, under the U.S. Constitution’s bar of the civil government’s interfering with the free exercise of religious freedom, the American secular law courts are very likely barred from second-guessing the House of Bishop’s decision. Similar claims were considered in the 1976 U.S. Supreme Court case of Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese v. Milivojevich. In that case, the diocese removed and defrocked a bishop, who then sued the church, claiming that… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
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Ben W wrote: “… when people don’t want to see the first response is always it is not clear.” Seems to me it is you who don’t want to see ; = ) Ben W wrote: “That was true in an earlier discussion of scripture on homosexuality (though it is completely clear what is affirmed as the sexual union or marriage all the way through scripture)…” Your probably referring to Polygamy – valid in Judaism until the Crusades, are you not? Ben W wrote: “then we managed to reach a point of some agreement, “Yes this is true but we… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

No Göran, he means the example given by God’s true follower Lot, who offered his daughters to be raped, and later fathered their children.
At least he wasn’t gay!

Ben W
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Ben W

Pat, I would underscore what you say about “the larger church to include churches” beyond what we have called the Anglican Church. I believe relations need to be built and accountability strengthened within and beween these churches. But if so, that would certainly include within the Anglican Church as a whole. The Chicago Lambeth Quadrilateral may shed some light but the deeper issue, if we think Christian unity, is to think Biblically (that still is a more common and authoritative reference point). You say the covenant process “goes against all that has made Anglican Christianity workable in a multicultural world.”… Read more »

Ben W
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Ben W

Erika,

I had thought better of you than to stoop to this. It is not worthy of this list nor of you. Enough said, lets leave it there.

Ben W

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

“This is not to impose “a universal culture” on the churches in the various parts(there is concern about that and must be protection against that), but without some clear reference points and allegiance we simply lose our Christian identity and destroy the basis for Christian relations within the church.”

I think we have clear reference points…the creeds, the two great commandments, and baptism. Everything else is, as I’ve noted before, commentary. We have managed for thirty years with distinctions among us about female ordination, about use of liturgical garments, even about lay presidency. Why is this particular distinction a breaking point?

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Pat,

I question whether you are prepared to stand with the statement that “everything else is commentary.” Certain moral teaching for instance like “do not steal,” or “do not commit adultery” etc? Especially if we wanted to turn some of this around and celebrate this in blessing.

Agreed, there has been blindness on the full place of women, and in accord with scripture seek to set thisright (but in the mean time work with distinctions). Compared to clear affirmation of marriage all the way through scripture and through Christian history these matters liturgical garments or lay presidency are trivial matters.

Ben W

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ben
The point was flippantly made, I apologise.
But I am very tired of being told that Scripture is clear on sexuality and that there is only one way of living a holy Christian life.

It does no harm to look at actual sexual practices in Scripture, especially those that were not condemned by the writer but simply told.

If you find it possible to interpret those away and still arrive at a pure sexual morality that excludes gays, then at least accept that you’re interpreting.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“I question whether you are prepared to stand with the statement that “everything else is commentary.” Certain moral teaching for instance like “do not steal,” or “do not commit adultery” etc? Especially if we wanted to turn some of this around and celebrate this in blessing.” I am absolutely prepared to stand with that statement. How can I love my neighbor as myself if I am willing to steal from him? Or to sleep with his wife? “Agreed, there has been blindness on the full place of women, and in accord with scripture seek to set thisright (but in the… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Pat, If “everything else is commentary” then you can in today’s moral climate massage it all to your own inclination. That is why scripture does not just say “love” and leave us without direction on what this means. Some taking this line have, as Paul knew, affirmed “let us go on in sin because the more sin the more grace” (cf Rom 6:1,2). And we still live with the Joseph Fletcher hangover of “situation ethics,” of love and do what you think is “the loving thing”(interesting that as I recall he had a TEC backround and moved in these circles).… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“If “everything else is commentary” then you can in today’s moral climate massage it all to your own inclination. That is why scripture does not just say “love” and leave us without direction on what this means. Some taking this line have, as Paul knew, affirmed “let us go on in sin because the more sin the more grace” (cf Rom 6:1,2). And we still live with the Joseph Fletcher hangover of “situation ethics,” of love and do what you think is “the loving thing”(interesting that as I recall he had a TEC backround and moved in these circles).” You… Read more »