A Statement from the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Northern Indiana

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We, the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Northern Indiana strongly protest the failure of the Presiding Bishop, Katherine Jefferts Schori and Chancellor David Booth Beers to follow the Canons of our Episcopal Church in the depositions of Bishops John Schofield and William Cox. Deposition is the harshest punishment that can be handed a bishop. It is essential that both the letter and the spirit of the Canons be followed since, in this case, the rights of the accused are protected, in part, by the extraordinarily high level of involvement and concord called for within the House of Bishops by Canon IV.9.2. As others have pointed out, the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church at various times distinguishes between a majority of the Bishops at a meeting, from a vote by a majority of the whole. Mr. Beers was incorrect in his assertion, reaffirmed by the Presiding Bishop in a letter to the House of Bishops (April 30, 2008), that the Canonical language of “the whole number of bishops entitled to vote” can be taken to mean only “those in attendance at a particular meeting.” This makes deposition an action with no higher standard than any matter of routine business. We agree with the analysis provided by the Bishops and Standing Committees of the Dioceses of South Carolina and Central Florida that the Canons plainly require a majority of all Bishops entitled to vote, not just those in attendance at a particular meeting.

Read the whole thing.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Polity & Canons

12 Comments
Posted May 28, 2008 at 6:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Dilbertnomore wrote:

Didn’t see +Little getting into this as the non-Network company guy he seems to be. This ‘little indiscretion’ on the PB’s part just may have more legs than were originally thought possible.

May 28, 10:09 am | [comment link]
2. midwestnorwegian wrote:

Dear well-intentioned Standing Committee of Northern Indiana:  Haven’t you figured out yet that the Episcopal SturmGruppen Fuhrer, her lawyer, and followers make the rules up as they go along and the rules say exactly what they WANT them to say at any given point?  If the Bible means nothing to them…what makes ANYONE think that Canons mean anything to them?

May 28, 10:10 am | [comment link]
3. Choir Stall wrote:

Come on, everybody jump on while you can.
The fact that LESS than 1/2 of the bishops even showed up for Schori’s lynching party at the last HOB meeting shows that people are sick of her. Now’s the time to drive the point home and drive Beers out on the street as ineffectual and incompetent.

May 28, 11:02 am | [comment link]
4. Choir Stall wrote:

Deleted by elf. Off topic.

May 28, 11:05 am | [comment link]
5. Oldman wrote:

#3. “...drive Beers out on the street as ineffectual and incompetent.” I have thought for a long time that Beers is a Rasputin, rather than an incompetent. The question all of us should ask and demand an answer to is how much money he and his firm are making over all the lawsuits, depositions, etc.

Like the real Rasputin and the Czarina, I believe DBB has found the incompetent to be +KJS who he can and does control.

May 28, 1:12 pm | [comment link]
6. Bill Matz wrote:

Interesting analogy, Oldman. That does put a different light on this.

May 28, 5:38 pm | [comment link]
7. Albany* wrote:

Who appoints Beers and on what authority and how exactly, if at all, can he be moved along by the HOB or GC?

May 28, 9:07 pm | [comment link]
8. Irenaeus wrote:

Good for the Northern Indiana Standing Committee!
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Although Beers evidently failed to have KJS and her allies follow proper procedure here, incompetence doesn’t seem to be the greatest Beers-related problem.

We don’t know what advice he gives KJS. But scattered reports about his dealings with KJS and her predecessor suggest that he inclines toward litigation and similar hardball tactics. Does he adequately present the risks and costs (in money, reputation, and morale) of litigation? We don’t know. But can be easy, particularly in the midst of a conflict, to steer a client toward confrontation.

May 28, 10:36 pm | [comment link]
9. Irenaeus wrote:

Albany [#7]: As I understand it, KJS appoints Beers.

May 28, 10:37 pm | [comment link]
10. Albany* wrote:

#9 Can she be overruled? By whom?

May 28, 10:57 pm | [comment link]
11. Irenaeus wrote:

“Can she be overruled?”—-#10

If one of ECUSA’s governing bodies turned against Beers, his position would become untenable—-even if KJS supported him 1000%.

If 10 prominent non-Network bishops co-sponsored a HoB resolution calling for his replacement—-and meant to pursue the resolution seriously—-that might well do the job.

May 29, 12:09 am | [comment link]
12. BenJones wrote:

My name is Bennett Jones and I am the President of the Northern Indiana Standing Committee.  There is a very good reason why Bishop Little’s name was not on our statement.  It was a strategic move on our part.  Bishop Little has written an article to The Living Church (to be published in the next couple of weeks, I’m told) on this subject in which he says, essentially but more eloquently, the same thing as our statement.  Christopher Wells wrote in an email to me that TLC has a quote from Bishop Little on their web site.  The Bishop, in conversation with me, noted that the Bishop and Standing Committee are “General Convention in miniature.” So, both “houses”, if you will, have spoken (or soon will) separately on this issue, providing more force and emphasis to our statements.
Be assured that the Standing Committee and the Bishop of Northern Indiana are united.
Blessings,
Ben

May 29, 10:11 am | [comment link]
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