Bishopsgate: A Guide with Links [Updated July 8th]

Posted by The_Elves

Post on Complaints filed against 9 bishops of the Episcopal Church and Philip Turner under Title IV

Post Last Updated 24 October 2012

[Latest Update: 24 October 2012: See this story for the latest news.]

[Further Update 8th July: Following a further closed session of the House of Bishops on Sunday 8th July 2012 a Resolution of the House of Bishops was issued expressing support for the continuing dioceses. Provisional Bishop Buchanan of Quincy is reported by Episcopal News Service to have “told the house I am grateful for the support and help the resolution provides, but it’s not what I asked for. I asked for clarification around the hierarchical character of our church.”]

Latest updates:
*An ENS Article on the Mind of the House of Bishops Resolution Passed Today [8th July 2012]
*Mind of the House of Bishops Resolution, July 8, 2012, as Passed [8th July 2012]
*Full Text of Letter from Eight bishops to TEC House of Bishops Refuting disloyalty allegation [7th July 2012]
*(Fort Worth Diocese led by Bishop Jack Iker) Motion filed for expedited hearing [7th July 2012]
*[Eight] bishops respond to charges brought to the House of Bishops [Updated] [7th July 2012]

*House of Bishops reaches No decision as of yet on complaint brought by Bishops Ohl and Buchanan [7th July 2012]
*House of Bishops to hear complaints from Fort Worth and Quincy on 6 July 2012 [6th July 2012]
*Current TEC Bishops in Fort Worth and Quincy write PB Jefferts Schori about recent Charges [6th July 2012]
Title IV Complaint Filed Against Philip Turner [4th July 2012]
*South Carolina Standing Committee Statement [3rd July 2012]
*What is it that the Bishops are saying about the Polity of The Episcopal Church? [3rd July 2012]
*[Allan Haley] Bishopsgate Plot Thickens: Complaint Timed to Intimidate Witness [3rd July 2012]
*Central Florida: Statement by Bishop Brewer and the Standing Committee [3rd July 2012]
*Bishop Howe responds to “Presentment” [3rd July 2012]
*Dr Ephraim Radner: How To Kill a Christian Church in Four Easy Steps [3rd July 2012]
*Dallas: Standing Committee Statement [3rd July 2012]
*Albany: Bishop Love’s Letter to the People of the Diocese of Albany [3rd July 2012]

A brief guide to the action being taken against 9 bishops of the Episcopal Church under the new Title IV Disciplinary Canons and against Dr Philip Turner with links in reverse chronological order so that the newest items appear first in each category. The Elves hope these links from T19 posts and elsewhere will assist the understanding of readers.

[A] UNOFFICIAL INTRODUCTION [Updated 8th July 2012]
On 28th June 2012 Bishop Clayton Matthews, Intake Officer for the Episcopal Church issued two communications:

1. To 3 bishops, Edward Salmon, former Bishop of South Carolina and current Dean of Nashotah House Theological Seminary, Peter Beckwith, former Bishop of Springfield, and Bruce MacPherson, sitting Bishop of Western Louisiana stating that he will initiate disciplinary process against them following complaints "for your action in signing affidavits" in proceedings regarding the Diocese of Quincy

2. To 7 bishops [including Bishop MacPherson again], Maurice Benitez, retired Bishop of Texas, John Howe, retired Bishop of Central Florida, Paul Lambert, Suffragan Bishop of Dallas, William Love, sitting Bishop of Albany, Bruce MacPherson, sitting Bishop of Western Louisiana, Daniel Martins, sitting Bishop of Springfield, James Stanton, sitting Bishop of Dallas stating that he will initiate disciplinary process against them following complaints "for your action in filing of Amicus Curiae Brief in the pending appeal in the Supreme Court of Texas in opposition to The Episcopal Diocese of Texas and The Episcopal Church" [n.b. there is no court involvement of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, however there is one in respect of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth]. An Amicus Curiae Brief is a third party submission offered 'as a friend' of the Court usually about something the Court will want and need to know.

Neither the identity of the complainants nor the specific canonical breaches alleged have been disclosed to the bishops. However the complaint seems to be that they gave submissions to the Courts regarding the polity of the constitution, canons and history of the Episcopal Church and in particular as it relates to dioceses and that their opinion may have differed from the assertions of the Episcopal Church litigators who claim that the polity of the church is hierachical with dioceses subservient to and at the total whim of the National Church bodies and in particular its General Convention and through that its central church offices under the Presiding Bishop. The bishops appear to be speaking up for the rights of the Dioceses in the polity of the Episcopal Church. [Update 3rd July 2012: see this post What is it that the Bishops are saying about the Polity of The Episcopal Church?]

[Update 8th July 2012: Responses have been issued from Springfield, Albany, Dallas, Central Florida and from Bishop Howe.

On 4th July 2012 The Very Reverend Dr Philip Turner former Dean of Berkeley Divinity School, Yale ascertained that Title IV proceedings were being brought against him in the Diocese of Texas - read his statement here.

On 6th July 2012 the text of a letter of complaint by the provisional bishops of the dioceses of Fort Worth and Quincy [reformed and funded by the Presiding Bishop's office in the wake of departures] to the House of Bishops was released. It states: "We respectfully urge that the House of Bishops set the record straight on the polity of this Church regarding its hierarchical character" and sets out four grounds of complaint which they make about the bishops.

Eight of the nine bishops have written to the Presiding Bishop refuting each of the four grounds of complaint and setting out their reasons of principle in defending the polity of The Episcopal Church in their Amicus Brief. Read the full text here.

It is reported that the House of Bishops together with Goodwin Proctor partner and Chancellor to the Presiding Bishop David Booth Beers met in closed session on the evening of Friday the 6th, and at the start of the afternoon session of Saturday 6th.

In further developments it appears that the General Convention litigation package may be about to impact on the current Court actions in ways which those who put it together may not have envisaged]

[Further Update 8th July: Following a further closed session of the House of Bishops on Sunday 8th July 2012 a Resolution of the House of Bishops was issued expressing support for the continuing dioceses. Provisional Bishop Buchanan of Quincy is reported by Episcopal News Service to have “told the house I am grateful for the support and help the resolution provides, but it’s not what I asked for. I asked for clarification around the hierarchical character of our church.”]


[B] FULL INDEX OF POSTS:

CHARGES AND ALLEGATIONS MADE AGAINST THE BISHOPS AND PHILIP TURNER
The Presiding Bishop is at it again [30th June 2012] - dealing with 2 Anglican Ink articles breaking news of the charges brought

Allan Haley comments on the aggressive action taken against 9 TEC Bishops on the Eve of GC 2012 [30th June 2012] legal analysis of the charges by Canon lawyer Allan Haley

Newspeak to become Official Language of TEC: Innovative Loyalty Oath Plan Put Forward [1st July 2012] containing allegations about the bishops by lawyer Kathleen Wells and the Bishop and Deputation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth

[*NEW] Title IV Complaint Filed Against Philip Turner [4th July 2012]

[*NEW] Current TEC Bishops in Fort Worth and Quincy write PB Jefferts Schori about recent Charges [6th July 2012]

[*NEW] House of Bishops to hear complaints from Fort Worth and Quincy on 6 July 2012 [6th July 2012]

[*NEW] House of Bishops reaches No decision as of yet on complaint brought by Bishops Ohl and Buchanan [7th July 2012]

[*NEW] (Fort Worth Diocese led by Bishop Jack Iker) Motion filed for expedited hearing [7th July 2012]

[*NEW] Mind of the House of Bishops Resolution, July 8, 2012, as Passed [8th July 2012]

RESPONSES AND DEVELOPMENTS
[*NEW] Full Text of Letter from Eight bishops to TEC House of Bishops Refuting disloyalty allegation [7th July 2012]

[*NEW] [Eight] bishops respond to charges brought to the House of Bishops [Updated] [7th July 2012]

South Carolina Standing Committee Statement [3rd July 2012]

Central Florida: Statement by Bishop Brewer and the Standing Committee [3rd July 2012]

Bishop Howe responds to “Presentment” [3rd July 2012]

Dallas: Standing Committee Statement [3rd July 2012]

Albany: Bishop Love’s Letter to the People of the Diocese of Albany [3rd July 2012]

Bishop Dan Martins: Speaking Truth in Love [2nd July 2012]

ANALYSIS
[Allan Haley] Bishopsgate Plot Thickens: Complaint Timed to Intimidate Witness [3rd July 2012]

ACI: The Quincy Three, The Fort Worth Seven And Title IV: What Now? [2nd July 2012]

Communion Partners: Title IV Exposed [1st July 2010]

COMMENT
[*NEW] An ENS Article on the Mind of the House of Bishops Resolution Passed Today [8th July 2012]

Dr Ephraim Radner: How To Kill a Christian Church in Four Easy Steps [3rd July 2012]

An ENS report on Bishopgate [2nd July 2010] from ENS staff working on Sunday

Open Thread: Tell us about an interesting experience you have had recently with an Opinion [1st July 2010]

Dr Peter Carrell: The Open Church and its Enemies [1st July 2010]
from a New Zealand priest

Mark Harris: Say it isn’t so…. seven bishops charged with misconduct [1st July 2010] from an Episcopal priest in Delaware and former Executive Council member

Robert Munday: Have you ever been stung by a dead bee? [1st July 2010] - from a former Dean of Nashotah House Theological Seminary and Episcopal Priest

Standfirm: Charges Deployed to Silence ECUSA Bishops in Court [30th June 2012] - note the comments from Allan Haley

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS AND INFORMATION
[*NEW] What is it that the Bishops are saying about the Polity of The Episcopal Church? [3rd July 2012]

Bishop Bruce MacPherson - A Prescient Diocesan Address from 2008 [1st July 2012]

Prayers from Lent and Beyond and more here

ACI: Friend of Court Brief Filed in Fort Worth Lawsuit [23rd April 2012] - with link to Amicus Curiae Brief

Online text of current Title IV Canon

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Polity & Canons--Aggressive Title IV Action Against Multiple Bishops on Eve of Gen. Con. 2012

13 Comments
Posted July 9, 2012 at 4:33 am

To comment on this article: Go to Article View

The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/43696/



1. SC blu cat lady wrote:

Thank you, Dr. Seitz for linking to the ACI website. Elves, the link given in the post refers back to the post.

Here is my favorite paragraph in the entire ACI document

Again we note that no Title IV complaint was lodged against these bishops in 2009 when they published these opinions in the Bishops’ Statement. Nor can anyone contend that submitting an amicus brief is a canonical offense; other TEC bishops have submitted a different amicus brief to the Texas Supreme Court this year expressing different opinions. Have we come to the point that amicus briefs expressing approved opinions get a nihil obstat but others, no matter how ancient and venerable their pedigree, are met with canonical reprisal? If so, our point that TEC’s polity is being transformed through secular litigation is proved beyond doubt.


I did not know about other TEC bishops signing an amicus brief with the opposing view (i.e. TEC approved view). That is indeed quite interesting. IF TEC were dealing evenhandedly with these bishops, ALL the bishops who signed amicus briefs with the court should have complaints of Title IV offenses against them. When will those complaints be lodged? Look forward to those complaints ;- )
Yes, indeed TEC polity has been transformed via secular litigation!!

[Thanks SC blu cat lady - link now fixed - Elf]

July 2, 10:20 am | [comment link]
2. wildcard wrote:

This is called Witness Tampering and it’s covered under the racketeering laws (RICO).  Will TEC officials be prosecuted under RICO?

July 3, 6:00 pm | [comment link]
3. Cennydd13 wrote:

Only if someone has the guts to call the nearest U.S. Attorney’s office.  Any takers?  Oh, and they need to make darned sure they’ve got ironclad proof.

July 3, 9:53 pm | [comment link]
4. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

How long is it going to take before TEC figures out that this makes them look like an utterly stupid laughingstock?

July 3, 11:07 pm | [comment link]
5. Big Vicar wrote:

Bookworm, that horse passed the post years ago.

July 3, 11:39 pm | [comment link]
6. MichaelA wrote:

Isn’t this just the typical behaviour of an organisation in meltdown?

If TEC were a listed corporation, both the current CEO (Schori) and the previous CEO (Griswold) would have been fired for incompetence.  Between them they have presided over a sustained drop in their organisation’s membership, income and influence. 

Even by their own standards, Griswold and Schori failed: instead of bringing the Anglican Communion over to the liberal way of thinking, they only succeeded in stimulating intense opposition. 

So, now things are starting to look quite bad with the bishops apparently unable to agree on a budget, parishes folding, etc.  Its at times like this that a failing central organisation looks for scapegoats to start a quarrel with, in the hope that it will take its members’ mind off the real problems. 

Budget being questioned by sundry TEC liberals in 2012? No problem - just find someone that those liberals don’t like, e.g. bishops that filed an amicus brief in 2009 and file a complaint against them!  Hopefully all the liberals will stand up to applaud, and forget their criticism of the budget process…

July 4, 5:00 am | [comment link]
7. MichaelA wrote:

Actually, it wouldn’t surprise if the “complaint” quietly disappeared.  After all, if 815 deposes all these bishops, who will they use as a scapegoat next time?

Its not as though budget woes are going to stop happening for TEC, ergo the need for scapegoats will only increase!

July 4, 5:02 am | [comment link]
8. SC blu cat lady wrote:

Elves and all, Breaking news from the Diocese of South Carolina. The standing committee has written a statement dated July 3rd concerning the recent complaints against the nine bishops. This is now published on the diocese’s website.

July 4, 10:17 am | [comment link]
9. Cennydd13 wrote:

“Who would they use as a scapegoat?”  Why, their own laity, of course!

July 4, 11:32 am | [comment link]
10. A Senior Priest wrote:

Another Biblical prophecy fulfilled. “If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my name,” says the LORD Almighty, “I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not set your heart to honor me.” -Malachi 2:2

July 4, 12:30 pm | [comment link]
11. Albeit wrote:

It would appear that the term “passive engagement” can not be found in the Episcopal Leadership Lexicon. That’s just how un-Christ like, hence, of the world this Church has become.

July 4, 9:35 pm | [comment link]
12. MichaelA wrote:

Good point, Cennydd

July 4, 11:06 pm | [comment link]
13. Brien wrote:

Although the issues involved are not the same, the principle of bishops being entitled to their civil rights as citizens figured in the story of the Seven Bishops in the Tower more than three hundred years ago.  They were all acquitted of seditious libel charges brought by the king; the court emphasized the rights of citizens to petition the government must not be abridged.  There is a lesson of encouragement here for all who hold a view different from that which prevails among those in power even though opposition to religious toleration might not gain many adherents today.

July 7, 10:35 pm | [comment link]


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