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The Reverend Canon Professor Christopher Seitz The Reverend Dr. Philip Turner The Reverend Dr. Ephraim Radner Mark McCall, Esq. The Episcopal News Service has announced that Bishop Ian Douglas of Connecticut was elected by the Executive Council on June 18 to succeed Bishop Catherine Roskam as the episcopal representative from TEC on the Anglican Consultative Council. In addition, a presbyter, the Rev. Gay Jennings, was elected to the clerical seat on the ACC formerly held but since vacated by Bishop Douglas. We note that until recently Bishop Douglas also held a presbyter seat on the...
June 18, 2010
When the turmoil surrounding Gene Robinson's consent and consecration arose in 2003, everyone knew that the Anglican Communion was in for some rough times. But even more pessimistic observers believed that these times would be relatively limited, and that somehow the Communion would muddle towards some stabilizing resolution. Few could have imagined how quickly and how completely the organizations that held the Communion together would fragment and crumble. Yet this is where we have arrived: a seemingly single incident in one small corner of the global church's reach has managed to unravel...
October 05, 2010
Bishop Dorsey Henderson, President of the Disciplinary Board for Bishops, has responded to questions concerning the canonical process underway involving Bishop Mark Lawrence. We appreciate his clarification on a matter of great interest to the church. Many in the church had assumed that the Lawrence matter was being processed by the normal intake procedures specified under the new Title IV. Included among these were bishops sympathetic to the national church who assumed that this was the beginning of an extended procedure involving the Reference Panel, subsequent Conference and Hearing Panels...
October 11, 2011
By "¨The Reverend Canon Professor Christopher Seitz The Reverend Dr. Philip Turner The Reverend Dr. Ephraim Radner "¨Mark McCall, Esq. This weekend's news that Title IV "complaints" have been lodged against nine bishops brings together two matters that have long concerned ACI. The first is the polity of The Episcopal Church. For several years ACI has advocated the same understanding of TEC governance as the accused bishops. Indeed, the three ACI clergy submitted the same affidavits as did the bishops in Quincy and signed the same amicus brief as did the bishops in Texas. In addition, since...
July 01, 2012
The recent decision in Illinois upholding the property rights of dioceses who withdraw from General Convention may not stand up on appeal. But the opinion's reasoning, by Judge Thomas Ortbal, was perhaps the most careful and thorough on record in such cases, and will likely have to be taken into account in all future judgments. In any case, the decision offers a chance for sober consideration of our church's mission and its relation to ecclesiastical structure. I am someone who once assumed that TEC was a single entity, and that dioceses were an integral part of this entity, gears in a larger...
October 23, 2013
A controversy has erupted in the Diocese of Central Florida over an apparent request by the dean of the cathedral to postpone the infant baptism of a same sex couple. This led to Facebook and blog postings, general outrage and immediate calls for charges under Title IV. All this before the facts were known. Given the lack of knowledge of all the relevant facts in this instance it is not appropriate for reasonable people to comment on this particular case, let alone encourage legal proceedings founded on ignorance of the facts. We will not address this case here. However, the question of...
May 07, 2015
From the end of the Roman Empire into early modern times the Christian Church has, here and there, practiced forced conversions. The most frequent objects of this practice were Jews; and among them were most especially children, "converted" in the form of forced baptism. The official teachings of the church since the 5th century at least, forbade such forced baptisms, but the practice continued nonetheless. One problem that the church had to face was how to deal with the children thus baptized. Forced baptism of Jewish children judged to be of the age of "reason" was assumed to be valid,...
May 10, 2015