Sunday, 14 September 2008

Presiding Bishop of TEC's memo on deposing Bishop of Pittsburgh

Ed: This bit reads to me like "We're going to have him, whatever it takes."

[...] Finally, the Chancellor has noted with respect to the requirement that the vote be taken at a meeting of the House that most meetings of the House are not attended by a majority of all the voting members of the House. Thus, in the last several Triennia, while a majority of all voting members of the House were present at the meetings held in conjunction with a meeting of the General Convention, such a majority was not present at most of the interim and special meetings.

And, at those interim and special meetings where a majority was present, the majority was only by a bare handful, so that under an opposing reading of the canon, a vote to consent to the deposition of a bishop would have had to have been virtually unanimous. My Chancellor advised me that the votes to consent to the depositions of Bishop Davies, the resigned Bishop of Fort Worth, in 1993, and Bishop Larrea, the Bishop of Ecuador Central, in 2004, were cast at interim meetings of the House at which no account was taken of the absent members and, indeed, less than a majority of all the voting members of the House appear to have been present.

In these circumstances, I concur with my Chancellor and the Parliamentarian that any ambiguity in the canon should be resolved in favor of making this important provision work effectively and that the discipline of the Church should not be stymied because a majority or nearly a majority of voting bishops are no longer in active episcopal positions in the Church and their attendance at meetings is hampered by age, health, economics, or interest in other legitimate pursuits.

That will be the ruling of the Chair, subject to appeal as discussed above.

I urge your prayerful reflection on these matters as you prepare for our meeting in Salt Lake City, and I remain

Your servant in Christ,

Katharine Jefferts Schori Read more
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