jump to navigation

Fort Worth 7 indicted on charges of failure to inform on other bishops: Anglican Ink, November 13, 2012 November 13, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Canon Law, Fort Worth, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

The episcopal defendants in the Fort Worth 7 case have been charged with fraud, financial misconduct and failing to inform on their fellow bishops  who held opinions on church order contrary to those advocated by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

In an email dated 2 Oct 2012 seen by Anglican Ink the Fort Worth 7 were informed of the specific canonical violations they had committed by filing an amicus brief in the Fort Worth case before the Texas Supreme Court.

The intake officer for the House of Bishops, the Rt. Rev. F. Clayton Matthews told the seven:

“The complaints were filed by the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Fort Worth and Mr. Paul Ambos, a member in good standing of Christ Church, New Brunswick, New Jersey and a Deputy to the 77th General Convention from the Diocese of New Jersey.  They allege you violated Canons IV.3.1, and Canons IV.4.Sec1(c),(e),(g),(f),(h)(6),(h)(8), and possibly IV.4.Sec.1(h)(2).”

The canonical violations enumerated by Bishop Matthews were:

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Advertisements

Presiding Bishop finds theological opponents guilty of misconduct: The Church of England Newspaper, November 4, 2012 p 7. November 6, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Canon Law, Church of England Newspaper, Property Litigation, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

A 3-member Reference Panel led by U.S. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has found that a prima facie case of misconduct can be made against nine serving and retired bishops of the Episcopal Church for voicing public disagreement with her view of church polity.

Bishops Peter Beckwith, Maurice Benitez, John W. Howe, Paul Lambert, William Love, Bruce MacPherson, Daniel Martins, Edward L. Salmon, Jr, and James Stanton were told on 19 Oct 2012 a reference panel consisting of Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori, her aide Bishop Clayton Matthews, and the retired Bishop of Upper South Carolina and chair of the church’s disciplinary board Dorsey Henderson had found there was merit in the charges brought against them for having dissented from her view of the nature of the church’s hierarchy by testifying in court or having submitted an amicus brief to a court.

The Reference Panel recommended the accused bishops pursue “conciliation” with their accusers. Conciliation is not defined, however, in the canons.

In his email to the accused informing them of the panel’s decision, Bishop Matthews said that “after obtaining the agreement of the complainants, we will include in the process some representatives from the House of Bishops, in the spirit of our closed sessions, appointed by The Presiding Bishop.  After some research for potential persons to serve as a Conciliator, I will meet on October 29th with the person, who we hope will serve as the Conciliator. I hope following this meeting, a schedule for proceeding will be forth coming.”

Under the Title IV disciplinary canons adopted in 2009, an intake officer must first determine if the offense described in the complaint warrants action. As intake officer for the House of Bishops, Bishop Matthews held that  having endorsed an amicus brief with the Texas Supreme court that defends one view of Episcopal Church history and canon law, or in the case of Bishops Beckwith, MacPherson and Salmon, for having testified to their views of church polity in a case involving the secession of the Diocese of Quincy, the nine bisohps violated the canons.

Bishop Matthews then referred his findings to the panel, of which he is one of three members, and which was led by the presiding bishop whose views on church polity were the subject of the dispute, for determination of guilt.

Canon lawyer Allan Haley said the system adopted by the Episcopal Church to try political dissent was absurd. “No man shall be judge of his own cause is a maxim of law from the time of Solomon,” he said. In this case the presiding bishop and her staff are the investigators, prosecutor, judge and jury.

This “reeks of the kangaroo courts of rough justice of the mining claim” of the old West, he said.

One of the nine accused told CEN he has yet to be told what it was about his actions that violated the canons.  Is it the “issue” or “expressing the issue in court” he said.

If it is the issue, the bishop noted the position set forth in their brief was identical to that put forward in 2009 in the Bishops Statement on Polity.  If it was stating this belief in court, “what is illegitimate about that,” he asked.

Canon law experts note the prosecution of the nine bishops was politically motivated, as the actions for which they are accused are not considered “triable” when done by bishops who endorsed the party line.

Canon IV.19.of Title IV states: “No member of the Church, whether lay or ordained, may seek to have the Constitution and Canons of the Church interpreted by a secular court, or resort to a secular court to address a dispute arising under the Constitution and Canons, or for any purpose of delay, hindrance, review or otherwise affecting any proceeding under this Title.”

If the nine are being charged with violating this canon, the question need be asked why the Bishops of Texas, Southwest Texas, Northwest Texas and the Rio Grande have not been brought up on charges also, one bishop told CEN.

In the case of Masterson, et al. v. Diocese of Northwest Texas, No. 11-0332, the Rt Rev. Andrew Doyle, the Rt. Rev. Garry Lillebridge, the Rt. Rev. Michael Vono and the Rt. Rev. C. Wallis Ohl, Jr., filed an amicus brief with the Texas Supreme Court that endorsed the three-tier hierarchy concept favored by attorneys for the presiding bishop’s office.

One commentator asked “why it is OK for some bishops or dioceses and TEC itself to seek to have the courts interpret the C&Cs, but when others specifically advise the courts that they cannot get embroiled in these issues, it is a canonical offense.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Panel of Reference report on the Fort Worth 7 finds misconduct: Anglican Ink, October 22, 2012 October 23, 2012

Posted by geoconger in 77th General Convention, Anglican Ink, Fort Worth, Quincy.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

Bishop F Clayton Matthews

A Reference Panel has found that a prima facie case of misconduct can be made against nine serving and retired bishops of the Episcopal Church for having endorsed an amicus brief presented to the Texas Supreme Court, or for having given testimony in a trial court proceeding involving the Diocese of Quincy.

The Rt Rev. Peter H. Beckwith, the Rt Rev Maurice M. Benitez, the Rt Rev John W. Howe, the Rt Rev Paul E. Lambert, the Rt Rev William H. Love, the Rt Rev D. Bruce MacPherson, the Rt Rev Daniel H. Martins, the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr, and the Rt Rev James M. Stanton have been informed the Reference Panel had reviewed the charges brought against them by the provisional bishops of Fort Worth and Quincy and by lay and clergy accusers.

In an 19 Oct 2012 email Bishop Matthews wrote:

“The Reference Panel unanimously decided according to IV. 6.sec.8 that the complaint will proceed with option (c), Conciliation pursuant to Canon IV.10.”

Under the Title IV disciplinary canons, if the intake officer finds that if a prima facie case can be made against the accused – if the charges if proven true would constitute an offense – the proceedings are passed on to a Reference Panel for action.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

12 Bishops say no to gay blessings — Indianapolis Statement released: Anglican Ink, July 11, 2012 July 11, 2012

Posted by geoconger in 77th General Convention, Anglican Ink, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

A coalition of conservative and moderate bishops attending the 77th General Convention have released a statement denouncing the passage of Resolution A059: “Authorize Liturgical Resources for Blessing Same-Sex Relationships”.

The “Indianapolis Statement” joins declarations by the bishops and deputations of South Carolina and Central Florida in rejecting the authorization of provisional local rites for gay blessings as being contrary to Scripture, the Prayer Book, the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church, and the undivided theological, pastoral and moral witness of the universal church for the past 2000 years.

The Rt. Rev. Michael Smith, Bishop of North Dakota, rose at the start of the morning session of the House of Bishops today and said:

“Presiding Bishop, thank you for allowing me to rise to speak on behalf of at least twelve members of this House. Those of us known as the Communion Partners have expended a great deal of energy for at least the past six years working to persuade theological conservatives to remain in the Episcopal Church and theological liberals to remain in the Anglican Communion. Two actions of this General Convention have made this task more difficult: the authorization of same-sex blessings through the passage of Resolution 049, and our decision to ‘decline to take a position on the Anglican Covenant’ by the passage of Resolution D008.”

“We find ourselves between the proverbial ‘rock and a hard place’. We struggle to hold together the evangelical faith of the Church, from which we see this Convention as departing, and the catholic order of the Church, which causes us, for the sake of the unity for which Jesus prayed, to resist the temptation to leave this fellowship.”

“Therefore, we submit to this House the following Minority Report:”

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Show’s over – No censure for Fort Worth 9: Anglican Ink, July 9, 2012 July 9, 2012

Posted by geoconger in 77th General Convention, Anglican Ink, Fort Worth, Property Litigation, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

The push by the provisional bishops of Fort Worth and Quincy to censure nine bishops for disloyalty to the Episcopal Church has failed in the House of Bishops and has likely sunk any attempt to discipline the accused through the church’s legal system.

After two and a half hours of discussion over three private sessions at the 77th General Convention meeting in Indianapolis, on 8 July 2012 the House of Bishops responded to claims of misconduct leveled against the nine by the provisional bishops of Quincy and Fort Worth.  The House of Bishops responded with a “Mind of the House” resolution proposed by one of the accused, the Rt. Rev. Daniel Martins, Bishop of Springfield, affirming the loyalty of Episcopalians in the dioceses of Fort Worth, Quincy, San Joaquin and Pittsburgh.

The House of Bishops had “no stomach” to discipline Bishop Martins, the Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, retired Bishop of Central Florida, the Rt. Rev. Maurice Benitez, retired Bishop of Texas, the Rt. Rev. Peter Beckwith, the retired Bishop of Springfield, the Rt. Rev. Paul E. Lambert, suffragan Bishop of Dallas, the Rt. Rev. William H. Love, Bishop of Albany, the Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson, Bishop of Western Louisiana, the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, retired Bishop of South Carolina and Dean of Nashotah House, and the Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton, Bishop of Dallas, a participant in the 6-8 July meetings told Anglican Ink.

The “Mind of the House” resolution does not end the Title IV investigations into misconduct made against the nine, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told the bishops.  However, by seeking an immediate resolution to the dispute the Title IV process has effectively been shut down as those bishops present in the discussions who serve on the disciplinary board will have to recuse themselves from adjudicating the case.  All of the episcopal judges that will hear the case are now disqualified from participation in a decision on grounds of personal involvement.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Accused bishops protest loyalty to TEC and Truth: Anglican Ink, July 7, 2012 July 7, 2012

Posted by geoconger in 77th General Convention, Anglican Ink, Property Litigation, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

Six bishops have written an open letter to the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops repudiating charges of disloyalty brought against them by the provisional bishops of Fort Worth and Quincy.

On 6 July 2012, six of nine bishops accused of misconduct by Bishops C. Wallis Ohl Jr., and James C. Buchanan stated there was no truth in the accusations leveled against them.

The Rt. Rev. Paul E. Lambert, suffragan Bishop of Dallas, the Rt. Rev. William H. Love, Bishop of Albany, the Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson, Bishop of Western Louisiana, the Rt. Rev. Daniel H. Martins, Bishop of Springfield, the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, retired Bishop of South Carolina and Dean of Nashotah House, and the Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton, Bishop of Dallas stated they had been forced to act in order to protect the Episcopal Church – not to harm it.

“No charge is more serious to us than the one that we have acted against our own Church—in other words, that we have been disloyal. We assure each of you that we have acted out of a profound loyalty to this Church we love,” they wrote.

Read it all at Anglican Ink.

Bishops Salmon, Beckwith, and MacPherson charged with misconduct: Anglican Ink, June 30, 2012 June 30, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Property Litigation, Quincy.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

Disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against three bishops of the Episcopal Church under the provisions of Title IV for having endorsed a legal pleading filed in the Quincy lawsuit.

On 28 June 2012, the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr., former Bishop of South Carolina and Dean of Nashotah House seminary, the Rt. Rev. Peter H. Beckwith, former Bishop of Springfield, and th Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson, Bishop of Western Louisiana received an email from the Rt. Rev. F. Clayton Matthews stating that the charges had been leveled against them.

“As the Intake Officer for the Church, I am obliged to inform you that a complaint has been received against you for your action in signing affidavits in opposition to a motion for Summary Judgment made by representatives of The Episcopal Diocese of Quincy and The Episcopal Church in the Fall of 2011 to secure the Diocesan financial assets from a breakaway group. In the next few weeks, I will initiate a disciplinary process according to Title IV Canon 6 Sec. 3 & 4 of the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church,” Bishop Matthews wrote.

The bishops have not been informed what canon they violated.  But they appear to be accused of violating the canons for having filed a brief in opposition to the national church’s motion for summary judgment in the case of the Diocese of Quincy v. the Episcopal Church.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.