Consent for inhibition withheld

16 January 2008

by Pat Ashworth

Still loyal, he says: the Rt Revd Robert Duncan last September

Still loyal, he says: the Rt Revd Robert Duncan last September

THE BISHOP of Pittsburgh, the Rt Revd Robert Duncan, who is moderator of the Common Cause Partnership (CCP), has been deemed by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States to have abandoned its communion. The CCP seeks to set up a parallel jurisdiction in America.

The Presiding Bishop, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, informed Bishop Duncan in a letter made public on Wednesday, that the Title IV Review Committee had made the judgement. Significantly, however, it did not have the necessary consent of the three senior bishops with jurisdiction, Bishop Frade of Southeast Florida, Bishop Lee of Virginia, and Bishop Wimberley of Texas.

The three did, however, consent to the inhibition of the Bishop of San Joaquin, the Rt Revd John-David Schofield, whose diocese has left the Episcopal Church and affiliated with the Province of the Southern Cone

Bishop Duncan is not therefore inhibited at the present time. Bishop Jefferts Schori has invited from him within the next two months “a statement providing evidence that you once more consider yourself fully subject to the doctrine, discipline and worship of this Church”.

The matter cannot be brought before the March meeting of the House of Bishops because of a 60-day time limit stated in the relevant Canon.

Bishop Duncan’s brief response on Wednesday was: “Few bishops have been more loyal to the doctrine, discipline and worship of The Episcopal Church. I have not abandoned the communion of this Church. I will continue to serve and minister as the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.”

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