Sunday, 14 September 2008

Legal doubt over Presiding Bishop’s move to depose Duncan

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori may face legal hurdles in her bid to depose Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan (pictured) this week, as her decision to change the agenda of the special session of the House of Bishops five days before its start appears to violate canon law.

On Sept 12, Bishop Schori distributed a memorandum to the American bishops announcing that on Sept 18 she would attempt to depose the conservative leader.

“I shall present to the House the matter of the certification to me by the Title IV Review Committee that Bishop Robert W Duncan has abandoned the Communion of this Church within the meaning of Canon IV.9,” she wrote.

However, the rules of the House of Bishops forbid modifying the agenda of a special session after the meeting has been announced, placing her plans in legal and canonical limbo. Whether the bishops will challenge her request is unclear, however, as her past legal missteps in the cases of Bishops John-David Schofield and Williams Cox provoked protests from bishops and dioceses distressed over what they perceived was her abuse of office, but no action followed. Read more
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