Sunday, 25 May 2008

US Presiding Bishop gives warning to traditionalists

ANGLICAN bishops exercise universal jurisdiction over the geographical territories that lie within their dioceses, US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, has argued.

This proprietary ecclesial oversight covers all parts of the geographic territory of a diocese, Bishop Schori said, and extends to entities outside of the Episcopal Church --- an opinion not shared by other leaders of the Anglican Communion.

While the concept of territorial episcopal inviolability has been active in Anglicanism since the debates over the restoration of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in England in 1850, it has taken on a new life within the Episcopal Church in recent years as a tool to stifle dissent, conservatives claim.

The former Bishop of Quincy was brought up on charges by the Bishop of San Diego earlier this year when he made a visitation to a non-Episcopal parish in San Diego, while the former suffragan bishop of Oklahoma was accused of violating the “ancient customs of the church” for performing an ordination in Kansas on behalf of the Archbishop of Uganda without the permission of the Bishop of Kansas.

On May 12, US Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori released a public letter addressed to Ugandan Archbishop Henry Orombi, protesting his “unwarranted incursion” into the Episcopal Church by visiting a former parish of the Diocese of Georgia.

Bishop Schori said she was “concerned that you seem to feel it appropriate to visit, preach, and exercise episcopal ministry within the territory of this Church, and I wonder how you would receive similar behaviour in Uganda. These actions violate the spirit and letter of the work of the Windsor Report, and only lead to heightened tensions."

Archbishop Orombi responded on May 14, that were he to visit a parish of the Diocese of Georgia he would “observe the courtesy” of contacting the local bishop. “However, I am visiting a congregation that is part of the Church of Uganda, I feel very free to visit them and encourage them through the Word of God.”

If there was any blame to be apportioned, Archbishop Orombi said, it fell on the Episcopal Church which had persisted in an “unbiblical” course of action in “defiance of repeated warnings by all of the Anglican Instruments of Communion.” It was “ironic for you to be quoting the Windsor Report to me,” Archbishop Orombi said in light of the Episcopal Church’s conduct. Read more
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2 comments:

sandiegoanglicans.com said...

Schori's a pilot, right? Funny why she didn't include "airspace" in her definition of universal jurisdiction. I'll be sure to tell all the Catholic and Luthern bishops to get her permission before performing any pastoral or liturgical acts in San Diego geography or airspace.

Revd John P Richardson said...

sandiegoanglicans.com can I please have a name (I presume your location is San Diego). The policy on this blog is no anonymous or pseudonymous posting, so I'm afraid I will delete this comment if there is no name forthcoming.