Canon Killwick and Prebendary Houlding (Letters, 30 November) both claim that the main rationale for supporting Bishops Duncan and Iker (News, 23 November) is "the threat of action under church law". In contrast Fr Kirk erroneously claims that a doctrinal offence is the issue.
The recent actions of these bishops, and of their diocesan synods, are clearly contrary to the constitution and canons of the Episcopal Church. It is passing strange for members of General Synod to express support for unlawful behaviour in any other province. If the Bishop of (say) Rochester or Blackburn were openly to egg on their diocesan synods to pass resolutions purporting to dissociate from the Church of England and join (say) the Province of the Southern Cone or the Church of Ireland, would they expect the Archbishops of Canterbury or York to stand idly by? Of course not.
The Presiding Bishop is to be commended for her gentle but firm tone in writing to ensure that these (and other) bishops are fully aware that their actions will have consequences. She knows full well that a small minority of disgruntled Episcopalians, well-financed by wealthy conservatives, were plotting and scheming, long before the election of the current Bishop of New Hampshire, to get The Episcopal Church excluded from the Anglican Communion.
We hope the Archbishop of Canterbury will take at least as firm a line as the Presiding Bishop is doing, in responding to the request of the Canadian church. He should make clear that the recent actions of the Southern Cone in both the USA and Canada are wholly unacceptable to the Communion at large.
Canon Giles Goddard
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Wednesday, 12 December 2007