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++Curry Places Restriction on Ministry on +Love

Discussion in 'Scripture,Tradition,Reason-Anglican & Old Catholic' started by Arcangl86, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Arcangl86

    Arcangl86 Newbie

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    So this summer the General Convention of the Episcopal Church passed a resolution that mandated that all Bishops make available the use of the alternative rites for marriage for same-gender couples who wished to be married. The Bishop of Albany announced that he wasn't going to obey the resolution and that any of his priests who performed same-gender marriages would be disciplined.

    Today the Presiding Bishop announced that he was going to start formal disciplinary action against Bishop Love and while that is happening has issued a restriction of Bishop Love's ministry forbidding him from disciplining any priest in his diocese for performing a same-gender marriage. Presiding Bishop’s response to Bishop William Love’s November 10, 2018 Pastoral Letter and Directive

    I know that people in this forum don't agree on the issue of SSM, but I thought it was worth discussion because it's a showdown between a Bishop and the Presiding Bishop which is something I'm not aware of happening before.
     
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  2. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

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    Back when the Episcopal Church first ordained women, there was provision for bishops who did not agree with that policy, so that they didn't have to participate in the ordination ceremony for a woman if they disagreed with women's ordination. A similar provision is appropriate here: no member of the clergy should be required to participate in a wedding they disagree with. (In fact, there should be broad discretion in general; for example, to decline to marry a couple if the priest thinks the marriage will be abusive or likely to end quickly in divorce.) So Bishop Love should have the freedom not to marry a same-sex couple.

    But if Bishop Love is forbidding all of his clergy to follow the national church's ruling, that's a problem. Bishop Curry probably does need to take this action, if the policy decisions of the national church are going to mean anything. I'm not happy that it's come to a direct clash like this, though.
     
  3. seeking.IAM

    seeking.IAM Episcopalian Supporter

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    The church I want to be a part of creates space for all Christian believers, and that means I want it to create space for people who believe like Bishop Love, too. I give folks on both sides of this issue credit for trying to follow their own conscience and do what they think is right. That includes folks that think differently than I do.

    Thinking out loud:
    • I wonder what it says about headship, submission and episcopal authority if a Bishop will not submit to the Presiding Bishop or the agreed-upon resolutions of the church?
    • And at the same time, I wonder what it says about episcopal authority if a Bishop cannot rule on what happens within his/her Diocese?
    That is all I have to say on the subject. I'll be interested to read what others think.
     
  4. Arcangl86

    Arcangl86 Newbie

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    Actually the marriage canon, to the best of my knowledge, has always made it clear that the final decision to preside at a wedding belonged to the minister involved. Nobody is ever required to preside at a wedding they object to. What the resolution this summer did was
    state that it was no longer within the Bishop's discretion to disallow the new rites, but if a Bishop objected to SSM they were then to assign another Bishop to take care of any episcopal issues that might arise.

    The difficulty here I think is that all ordained, including all Bishops swear upon ordination to abide by the doctrine and discipline of the Episcopal Church. We don't have monarchical Bishops in this church, because they are always bound to obey the Constitutions and Canons of the Church, as well as actions of General Convention.
     
  5. archer75

    archer75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do I understand right, that in very lay terms (I mean no disrespect), Bishop Love is digging in his heels about the resolution, and the Presiding Bishop is saying "okay, you can't dig in your heels on this one"?
     
  6. Arcangl86

    Arcangl86 Newbie

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    Essentially, yes.
     
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  7. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Staff Member Supervisor Supporter Recovery Team

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    From what I can understand, this is the nub of the issue. The new situation in canon law has, in effect, weakened the episcopal authority of +Love (and any others who agree with him) in a way which would not traditionally have occurred.

    I can see the problem. Priests only hold our authority as an extension of that of the bishop. How can I have authority to do something which my bishop will not give me? How can the church more broadly override my bishop and say "Despite the fact that you hold your licence from bishop X, and he does not authorise you to do something, we're telling you that you can do it anyway?"

    In effect it is placing the authority of the priests in a new location, not their bishop but a broader synodical source. That's actually a very profound change in the relationship between clergy, bishop, and wider church, and I can understand - the presenting issue aside - why +Love is not happy about it.
     
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  8. Tigger45

    Tigger45 Do not turn to the right or the left; Supporter

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    Under the same mode of thought doesn’t +Love derive his authority from +Curry?
     
  9. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Staff Member Supervisor Supporter Recovery Team

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    I'm not sure how things are structured in TEC, but here the answer would be no. A diocesan bishop doesn't hold that authority on extension from the primate or presiding bishop or the like.
     
  10. archer75

    archer75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In our confession, the primate (say, in the OCA) represents us to the other Churches with which we're in communion. I'm sure he has plenty of other responsibilities, too, but I do not know of any way something like this can happen (on any issue). I don't think he has authority to dictate anything to another bishop about how to handle things. I could be wrong, but I'm fairly sure...

    Very interesting, though I'm sure unpleasant / painful for the parties involved. I read Bishop Love's statement about this matter last fall and thought it was coherent and well-written. Do bishops write their own statements?
     
  11. Arcangl86

    Arcangl86 Newbie

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    I think here we are seeing a uniquely American adoption of the Episcopate. While the Presiding Bishop ordains new Bishops, it is not up to him to decide who to ordain. In order for a Bishop to be ordained, they need to be approved by a majority of the House of Bishops and a majority of the Standing Committees of the Dioceses. It actually used to be within a certain time frame the House of Deputies had to approve instead of the Standing Committees. So in a sense the Bishops are granted their authority by General Convention.
     
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  12. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Staff Member Supervisor Supporter Recovery Team

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    He might've, or he might have had a media advisor or the like do so. I don't think there's a hard and fast rule.

    Dioceses elect their bishops here too.
     
  13. Arcangl86

    Arcangl86 Newbie

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    But do they need to be confirmed by the other bishops and dioceses?
     
  14. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Staff Member Supervisor Supporter Recovery Team

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    I don't believe so, no. Our constitution is written in such a way as to give dioceses a pretty high degree of autonomy.

    Note: I am speaking here of a diocesan bishop. An assistant bishop is a whole other thing, and is just appointed by the diocesan.
     
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  15. Arcangl86

    Arcangl86 Newbie

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    I need to check, but i'm pretty sure even assistant Bishops need to be confirmed by the other Bishops and Diocese, and there was a recent change to the canons requiring them to be elected as well. They used to be appointed but confirmed.
     
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  16. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

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    Yes, that's how I understand it here, too. The authority of the diocesan bishops doesn't derive from that of the presiding bishop.

    Something like this is at the heart of what's going on, I think. Bishops set policy in their dioceses, of course, and the church members respect that, but General Convention sets policy for the whole church, and in that way, the authority of General Convention outranks the authority of the bishops. Our church has deliberately chosen a form of government in which policy decisions are made not made solely by bishops, but rather by a body that includes both clergy and laity.
     
  17. Naomi4Christ

    Naomi4Christ not a nutter Supporter

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    Here, the Archbishop of Canterbury only has jurisdiction over the Canterbury diocese. The other diocesan bishops have the same authority as him.
     
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