Friday, March 13, 2009

Shunned for 3 Years, Bishop Bane Joins ACNA

After a long and fruitless search for an opportunity to continue active ministry within The Episcopal Church, the Rt. Rev. David C. Bane, Bishop of Southern Virginia from 1998-2006, has “joyfully and gratefully” accepted an invitation from Archbishop Gregory Venables to be received as a bishop in the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. He will serve in the Anglican Church of North America as an assisting bishop in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Long-simmering divisions in the Diocese of Southern Virginia culminated in Bishop Bane’s decision to resign in 2006. In a March 9 letter to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Bishop Bane said he believed that his “remaining as bishop would prevent the diocese from healing and moving forward as so much of the blame and animosity continued to be focused on me personally.” He said his decision to resign also was predicated on assurances that there would still be opportunities for him to exercise his vocation within The Episcopal Church. The Living Church received a copy of Bishop Bane’s letter.

Before he and his wife, Alice, relocated to the Diocese of East Carolina and joined an Episcopal parish near their new residence, Bishop Bane said he contacted that diocese’s bishop, the Rt. Rev. Clifton Daniel. He said he had to contact Bishop Daniel three times before he was able to arrange a meeting and that since then, Bishop Daniel has initiated no contact, nor has he returned his phone calls or letters. Bishop Daniel also has refused to include him on the clergy mailing list. Bishop Bane said he learned second hand that Bishop Daniel had intervened to remove his name from consideration as an interim at a nearby parish.

“I assume that Bishop Daniel does not trust me nor see me as a helpful colleague, but that is a guess at this point as I have not heard from him,” Bishop Bane wrote. Bishop Daniel was en route to the House of Bishops’ spring retreat and was unavailable to comment, according to a member of the diocese’s staff.

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