Thursday, January 17, 2008


I posted something similar elsewhere as a comment, but I think it bears repeating.

Bishop Duncan was not inhibited, but it appears as though the Presiding Bishop is moving ahead to have him deposed. The time line stated in her letter to him makes it clear that the Fall meeting of the House of Bishops will be the critical one.

The problem is that the sole arbiter of the fairness of any proceeding before the House of Bishops is the House of Bishops. There won't be a lot of due process here.

My take on it is that Bishop Duncan will be deposed in the Fall, if he is still around. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that the Diocese of Pittsburgh will have withdrawn from the Episcopal Church by then.

I think that is what the Presiding Bishop is counting on. Things run much more smoothly in a trial if the accused is not present. Internally, I think this is what she sees.

As far as the greater Anglican Communion, I doubt she will win any friends by what she is doing. She may very well alienate some, who under other circumstances, would be her supporters. I doubt that concerns her much.

While the church documents may charge Bishop Duncan with abandonment of the communion of the church, this whole debacle shows that the Presiding Bishop has abandoned the Anglican Communion.


Anonymous said...

Hi, it's Cathy_Lou from SF. This is a bit off topic, but I'm writing you since I think you've posted on 815 legal costs so maybe you'd be interested.

My idea - I think it would be very helpful to have a web page that lists all the litigation 815 and dioceses are currently engaged in, along with legal expense amounts in public domain. I'm not talking about great detail, but just a basic list or summary table showing the extent and sheer number of suits (listed by diocese). Maybe just "As of x date, Known court actions filed since x date." And if available and easy to get, show membership and ASA of churches impacted.

I think it would be a good thing to show "beloved Moderates" just how bad things have gotten and how much $ is being wasted. Maybe even a big total amount on the top of the page, compared to how much has been budgeted to MDGs (or 2 fund raising "thermometers next to each other for comparison) , as a good summary visual to stay in visitor's minds and show that all is NOT well.

Another audience could be those who might be convinced not to pledge if money goes toward legal costs.

I'm not in TEC, so don't have the contacts to gather that info. I enjoy your posts.

Allen Lewis said...

You would think that Bishop Henderson, having once been a lawyer, might have had some second thoughts about "due process," etc. But this just shows 1) +Henderson is a true "Company Man" and 2)Due process is the last thing on the TEC leadership radar.
For all their blather about "compassion", "pastoral care", "inclusion",ad nauseum, you would think that the TEC leadership would be able to see the contradictory positions in which they place themselves. But since their blindness is self-imposed, all of this just shows how far they have fallen from grace.

It is a real pity that basically good people like Bishop Duncan and Bishop Iker need to suffer for this, but that is what happens whenever we allow the revisionists even one foothold.

Matthew said...

Hi Cathy Lou,

I'm thinking about your idea. I'm trying to assess how much work it will really be and if it's likely anyone else would help.

I think it's a great idea, but I'm not sure if I have the time.

I know there are appeals going in New York and California. I think the suits in Connecticut have been disposed of. And there is a trial going on in Virginia. Is that accurate and are there any others?

Thank you

Matthew said...


I think the presentment against Bishop Duncan shocked me more than just about anything else Episcopal. Everyone expected the one against Bishop Schofield. I hoped they wouldn't but was not surprised when they did.

The Bishop Duncan affair just smells wrong. And for good or ill, I think it will come back to haunt Bishop Jefferts-Schori for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for thinking about it. Plus you probably have contacts I don't have who might be interested. I am good at thinking up work for others :-)

I feel like there were some other cases - Florida? I'll try to do a little research. It's almost a wiki type thing - asking for input from those who know. To be complete, any cases related to TEC division should be mentioned - e.g. Pittsburg church against Duncan? Any leaving churches that have filed?


Matthew said...

Well, I don't think there's been any national involvement, but one other case I'm intimately familiar with is All Saints Waccamaw vs the Diocese of South Carolina.

It's a good idea. I like the wiki idea. I know there is software available for creating wikis and this will give me an incentive to look at it this weekend and see how possible a project like this could be.

Anonymous said...

Isn't there also a Denver case against Armstrong's church?

My husband says he's gotten free wiki software from He hasn't installed it yet because we need a newer version of MySQL than we have.
IMO, showing both diocese-level and national suits shows the fullest picture of the amounts of money being spent/wasted.