Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Bishop Howe responds to "Presentment"

From Central Florida-

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

There has been much discussion on this list (and elsewhere) over the past few days regarding a complaint leveled against seven bishops (myself included) who filed an Amicus Curiae  ("Friend of the Court") Brief back in April in the Texas Supreme Court related to the dispute between Bishop Jack Iker, the departing "Diocese of Fort Worth," and The Episcopal Church.

(First, thanks to all who have expressed sympathy and concern both on the list and in posts to me personally.  Please allow me to respond to everyone in these general remarks.)

The seven bishops (Benitez, Howe, Lambert, Love, MacPherson, Martins, and Stanton) signed onto a brief that was written by three theologians of the Anglican Communion Institute (Professors Ephraim Radner, Chris Seitz, and Philip Turner) that objected to, and attempted to correct, the way in which the court in Texas interpreted the structure of The Episcopal Church.

The question is: is The Episcopal Church "hierarchical" beyond the level of the diocese?  Our brief largely followed the argument the Anglican Communion Institute spelled out in great detail back in 2009, which in turn stemmed from an understanding of the structure of the Anglican Communion expressed in a letter the Archbishop of Canterbury sent to me, personally; and the brief itself can be found on the ACI web site.

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