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Former US Bishop is to join Rome: CEN 11.30.07 p 7. December 2, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Roman Catholic Church, Southwest Florida.
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john-lipscomb.jpgThe former bishop of Southwest Florida has announced that he is quitting the Episcopal Church for Rome.Bishop John Lipscomb’s announcement last week makes him the fourth Episcopal Bishop to join the Roman Catholic Church and the seventh to have quit the Church this year.

Bishop Lipscomb offered no reason for his move, saying only that he and his wife had been through ‘a long season of prayer’ and had come to believe ‘this is the leading of the Holy Spirit and God’s call to us for the next chapter of our lives’.

Elected Bishop of Southwest Florida in 1997, Bishop Lipscomb took early retirement due to ill health, formally stepping down on September 15. He had been an active member of conservative caucus within the US House of Bishops until ill-health forced him to curtail his activities. Last November, he and Bishop Peter Lee of Virginia convened a meeting in New York on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury to work out a plan for pastoral oversight for conservatives, which failed to make any headway.

Citing a prayer of another Episcopalian convert to Roman Catholicism, Thomas Merton, Bishop Lipscomb wrote: “I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. … But I believe that the desire to please you [God] does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.”

Bishop Lipscomb follows the Bishop of the Rio Grande Jeffrey Steenson, the former Bishop of Fort Worth, Clarence Pope, and the former Bishop of Albany Daniel Herzog in joining the Roman Catholic Church this year.

Four U.S. Bishops Endorse Call for Repentance: TLC 9.21.04 September 2, 2004

Posted by geoconger in 74th General Convention, Central Florida, Dallas, Living Church, South Carolina, Southwest Florida.
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First printed in The Living Church magazine.

The bishops of Dallas, South Carolina, Central Florida and Southwest Florida have endorsed an international proposal calling for the expulsion of the Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion unless it repents within two years of the decisions taken by the 74th General Convention.

The Rt. Rev James M. Stanton, Bishop of Dallas; the Rt. Rev. Edward Salmon, Bishop of South Carolina; the Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, Bishop of Central Florida; and the Rt. Rev. John Lipscomb, Bishop of Southwest Florida, were joined by overseas and U.S. bishops and other church leaders in endorsing a submission prepared by the Anglican Communion Institute (ACI) to the Lambeth Commission on Communion (LCC) titled “Drawing the Line.”

“Drawing the Line” calls for a “clear and publicly recognized distinction between the continuing Anglican Communion and those provinces whose witness diverges from the Communion.”

The Episcopal Church “must therefore be seen and known to be a quite separate church or denomination” from Anglicanism. The consequences of the August votes by the 74th General Convention affirming the election of a partnered homosexual priest as Bishop of New Hampshire and recognizing rites for the blessing of same-sex unions have become “too literally, a ‘life and death’ issue” for Churches in the developing world and in Muslim majority countries, the paper averred.

The document states that neither the Episcopal Church nor the Anglican Church of Canada should be permitted to “use the label ‘Anglican’ in a way that identifies them as part of the Anglican Communion.” The paper argues that should the two churches desire a continuing relationship with Canterbury, it “must be of a qualitatively different kind from that which Canterbury will maintain with (what will become) the continuing Communion.”

The signatories ask that a démarche be given by the primates to General Convention that declares the Episcopal Church has “entered a period of restorative discipline, the purpose of which is to provide time for your reconciliation to the larger Communion and its teaching.” This discipline “will come into force with immediate effect” for “up to 2 years” and failure to recant would be “taken as a clear and conscious signal that you yourselves are unwilling to continue as constituent members of the Anglican Communion.”