Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bishop Lee Writes a Friday the 13th Letter to over twenty Virginia Anglican Clergy ...

On Friday The 13th, Bishop Peter James Lee sent the following letter out to twenty one clergy whose congregations, following the Diocese of Virginia Protocol, voted to separate from the Episcopal Church, and whom he inhibited following his sudden cancellation of his own Property Committee as well as the stand-still agreement - all designed to negotiate amicably.

Notice that Bishop Lee introduces a new phrase, a new organization, in his Friday the 13th Letter. It's called The Communion of The Episcopal Church (as opposed to the Anglican Communion). Since the inception of the Episcopal Church, when churches won recognition from the Archbishop of Canterbury himself and then went to form dioceses, the word "communion" has meant the Anglican Communion.

Church of the Apostles, Fairfax, was able to call a New Zealand priest to be their rector because he was an Anglican priest. Bishop Lee is "in communion" with the Anglican bishops in New Zealand and so the clerical orders are recognized. That is what "communion" means. It means that all these clergy and bishops have orders that are valid to celebrate the Eucharist.

As we were reminded this week by the Pope, Anglican clergy and bishops are not recognized by any Roman Catholic church or bishop - for our clergy and bishops are not in communion with the Roman Catholic church or bishops. The Roman Catholic bishops do not recognized the orders of the Anglican/Episcopal clergy or bishops as "valid." From their point of view, if Anglican clergy celebrate the Eucharist, the elements are invalid. That's serious stuff.

But this is not the case for the Anglican Communion. Any Anglican/Episcopal clergy can celebrate the Eucharist, for the Anglican Communion recognizes the validity of the orders.

If this letter's threat goes through, Bishop Lee seems to be saying that he is no longer in communion with the bishops of the Anglican province in Nigeria - he seems to not recognize that the twenty-plus clergy cannot be defrocked by him because they are no longer under his jurisdiction. But they are still in the communion because the Anglican Church of Nigeria is in the Communion. And their orders are still valid.

Does Bishop Lee think that The Episcopal Church will no longer recognize the orders of clergy from around the Anglican Communion and the only province that is "valid" is The Episcopal Church? If the Episcopal Church is now setting up their own brand new "Communion" - and that is what this letter implies - well, that's breaking news.

Here is the text of this letter with commentary.

On January 22, 2007, I inhibited you from exercising your priestly ministry on the basis that by your actions, you had abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church.

What he fails to mention is that he had also cut off all the health care for the so-called "inhibited" clergy as well, including one whose wife was about to have a baby. He didn't wait six months for that - just cut it off then. And didn't even permit the clergy to have COBRA - which still boggles the mind as an action of Umbridge-like punishment. So he didn't just inhibit the clergy, he cut off their heath care and blocked them from extending the benefits through COBRA during the six month period. It's clear he had no intention of welcoming anyone back. Why would anyone go back to a bishop who cut off their health care?

He also introduces a brand new phrase here - not seen before in 400 years of the Anglican Church in Virginia. There is now something called "The Communion of The Episcopal Church." So now we have not only the Anglican Communion that all we all know, we also have something new called The Communion of the Episcopal Church. When Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury (Anglican, not Episcopalian), was in Virginia doing confirmations, I don't think he was confirming people into the Communion of the Episcopal Church, but into the Anglican Communion. That's what my reaffirmed certificate says.

The six month period is nearing which will conclude your opportunity to retract your actions and I am writing in the hope that you might do so.

The problem is, the clergy are no longer in the Episcopal Church - they are now clergy in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America and their Anglican orders are recognized by other bishops in the Episcopal Church (even if Bishop Lee says something different) as well as in Anglican provinces around the world. In fact, one of the newly-ordained CANA clergy is going to serve in the Church of England. Oops. So Bishop Lee no longer has jurisdiction over these clergy because they are Anglican and his fellow Episcopal bishops still recognize the Virginia Anglican clergy. As long as Bishop Lee is still in communion with the bishops of Nigeria, he is communion with the clergy - we're all supposed to be in the same Anglican Communion (we're not Baptists, and we're not Roman Catholics - we're all supposed to be Anglican). Has he conveniently forgotten, or did the 815 litigators write this part?

The fact is that the Diocese of Virginia has taken no actions to interfere with your theological convictions or your ministry prior to your abandonment of the communion of the Episcopal Church. We have a large tent and you are welcome to to remain in it.

So we'll just ignore the actions taken by The Episcopal Church, which last time I checked the Diocese of Virginia was still a part of (and claims to be in a hierarchical church at that - which of course is news to us all - and this shows that it isn't actually true for Bishop Lee either, for he seems to be making a distinction between the actions of the Diocese of Virginia and the actions of the Episcopal Church - as if they are not the same thing). Sorry, Peter, you can't have your cake and eat it too. If the Episcopal Church authorizes the consecration of non-celibate gay bishops and condones same sex unions and does not affirm the Windsor Report requests - then that includes the Diocese of Virginia too - or does it?

I hope very much that you will retract your actions of abandoning this communion and return to the family of the Episcopal Church.

Once again, Bishop Lee seems to be building a wall between the Anglican Communion and the Communion of the Episcopal Church. Does this mean he anticipates the Episcopal Church leaving the Anglican Communion and so they have to set up a new one - is that why the Presiding Bishop is out touring the foreign countries in TEC and why flags from all the nations in The Episcopal Church were hung in the House of Deputies at General Convention? Is Bishop Lee sounding the Death Knell of The Episcopal Church's membership in the Anglican Communion and so is making a division here between two different communions? Or was this part again just written by the lawyers?

The Episcopal Church is not a Communion - it's in The Anglican Communion, it's not a communion unto itself. Does the Presiding Bishop think she'll replace Canterbury as the center of this new communion, this Communion of the Episcopal Church?

I hope you have noticed that the Archbishop of Canterbury is not inviting Bishops from the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) nor from the American Mission in America (AMiA) to the Lambeth Conference which raises the significant question whether churches associated with groups like that can be considered Anglican. My hope is that you will give prayerful consideration to returning to the communion of the Episcopal Church and offer your considerable gifts within our community.

I hope you have noticed that the Archbishop of Canterbury is not inviting Bishop Gene Robinson from the Diocese of New Hampshire to the Lambeth Conference which raises the significant question whether churches associated with the Diocese of New Hampshire can be considered Anglican.

The progressives are going to love that statement, Peter.

And just to sort of stick it to the Anglican Communion as well, we see he uses that phrase "The Communion of the Episcopal Church" yet again. We do wonder if he wrote this "letter" or the 815 lawyers did.

The six months period expires on July 22, 2007. I will be out of the country at a consultation on mission at that time so I am not likely to remove you from the ministry of the Episcopal Church until I return late on July 27.

Peter Lee can't remove anyone from ministry who has been received by an Anglican Archbishop in Communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury - unless The Episcopal Church no longer sees itself in the Anglican Communion. The clergy that he is threatening here are all recognized by the Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network and its bishops.

So if The Episcopal Church is hierarchical, then how can Peter Lee threaten something that other bishops in the Episcopal Church do not recognize?

What are we going to have - a Grand Inquisitor going around to all the dioceses to check to see if any CANA clergy are participating in worship? And then what? "Off with her head?"

The church is weakened by your absence and strengthened by your presence and my prayer is that you might consider returning to your appropriate place within our communion.

I think he means, "Strong letter will follow."

31 comments:

Kevin said...

Per Rome -- Pope Leo XIII dealt with that in 1895.

Per TEC and Lambeth -- Until somebody places pressure on the ABC, then +Lee is technically correct. AMiA & CANA have mention in one instrument of unity but ABC and ACC seem to vote against and by no Lambeth invite and probable no show of CoN then +Lee is holding a high card ecclesiastically speaking. The liberals will be using the ACC card as hard and fast as they can as legally they are the only instrument with designated authority (also DioNH is probably going to be at Lambeth in some capacity). This is a move to say AMiA and CANA are not a valid part of the AC. Rwanda has already joined Uganda in not attenting Lambeth, this will cuts out two voices and ++Carey's denouncement of AMiA will be used to the fullest against CANA.

Well, BB, listen to all the venom against AMiA as recent as Oct. '06 all I can say is welcome to the club.

Jim Workman said...

BB--I enjoy your writing partly because it is technically very savvy. But you are mistaken here about Bp. Lee's use of "communion." You are capitalizing it; he is not. His usage is well-recognized to mean "the fellowship of the Episcopal Church through shared Holy Communion." The proof is that Bp. Lee would not assert an Episcopal Communion of Churches as if they were parallel to the Anglican Communion. That day may come, but it isn't here yet.

Best wishes and prayers in the fight.

BabyBlue said...

This letter is not only written to the clergy, it's written with the lawsuits in mind - including the bit about the Archbishop of Canterbury and CANA (if what he says is true, the the Diocese of New Hampshire also has a problem). It is clear that those lines were written by the 815 lawyers. The "communion" is not the Episcopal Church - abandoning communion means that you've renounced your orders or you have gone to a denomination where the clergy orders are not recognized by the Episcopal Church. The orders of the Anglican Church of Nigeria are recognized by the Episcopal Church as valid - so the charge that the Virginia Clergy have "abandoned communion" is false. Their orders are still valid. What they lack now from Bishop Lee is a license to serve in Episcopal Churches in Virginia. But their orders are still valid, they have not "abandoned communion" unless he is saying he does not believe that the orders of Anglican clergy in the Church of Nigeria are valid.

So the phrase the communion of the Episcopal Church is inaccurate. The Episcopal Church is a province, not a communion.

What the 815 lawyers are trying to do is illustrate that the Episcopal Church is its own communion and not part of a larger communion where clergy and bishops are free to serve and whose orders are valid - unlike say, Roman Catholic clergy and bishops whom we are not in communion with, as the Pope reminded us last week.

Bishop Lee does not have the authority to order these clergy defrocked on the charge of abandoning communion - they have not become Roman Catholics or Baptists. They are Anglicans. They are in communion.

And their orders are recognized - and will continue to be recognized by other Episcopal bishops - so we will see yet another illustration of the division in the Episcopal Church if Bishop Lee carries out his threat.

bb

WannabeAnglican said...

Note how ++Rowan's Lambeth invitations have aided persecution of the faithful.

Kevin said...
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Kevin said...
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Jim Workman said...

BB--You responded "...the phrase 'the communion of the Episcopal Church' is inaccurate." You are not seeing that the word "communion" can be used in at least these two ways: 1) A structure or organization (e.g. Anglican Communion); or 2) the fellowship within a church-body represented by Holy Communion.

You are correct that it would be inaccurate to describe TEC as a communion in the first sense. I don't believe Bp. Lee is using it that way.

He is quoting a technical phrase from the Canons describing someone who has left (abandoned) the discipline and life (communion) of the Episcopal Church.

Your priests have done that. They are no longer under TEC or Bp. Lee. He is simply documenting that.

The strategic question of whether TEC is positioning itself for a "continuing" Anglican Communion is another matter. I'm just saying that you can't pin that on these words from Bp. Lee.

Kevin said...

My last posting dealt with too many issues so I deleted them. Some of the defense you are giving, BB, I find very silly -- however my post did not take into consideration to personal nature this has for you as a defendant, where maybe a roll eyes and head shake is more appropriate.

I do think you are putting too much emphasis on this letter or +Lee's actions. Like it or not, this has become SOP for them, it didn't doom Ashley+ or the others.

There does seem to be a fixation in CANA to prove legitimacy, well it's a mix bag and the orders are not universally recognized at the moment, not even in one nation such as the UK, where one might and another forbid the recognition. These are confusing times.

There is only one Judge who matters and I urge you to focus on him, Pope Leo X had all the cards and excommunicated Luther, but the movement was of the Lord so it didn't die in fact it forced the Council of Trent which did address many of the abuses that help create the Reformation in the first place.

BabyBlue said...

You are correct that it would be inaccurate to describe TEC as a communion in the first sense. I don't believe Bp. Lee is using it that way.

He is quoting a technical phrase from the Canons describing someone who has left (abandoned) the discipline and life (communion) of the Episcopal Church.


I profoundly disagree. Abandoning communion is what Ann Holmes Redding is in danger of doing with her conversion to the Islamic faith. If she doesn't reconsider her conversion, she will have abandoned the communion - she will not be able to be an Episcopal priest and a Muslim, at least from the position of her bishop (though, perhaps, not for her licensing bishop).

This is a legal maneuver on the part of Bishop Lee - it is not about "abandoning the communion" but about leaving the Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Church is not in communion with itself - but it sure does act as though it does and this is at the heart of the division within the Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal Church is in this crisis precisely because it believes it is a "communion to itself." It has unilaterally made decisions as though it is a communion without regard with how those decisions impact other parts of the real communion - the Anglican Communion.

Notice too how he takes the effort to point out the current status of Rowan Williams invitations to Lambeth (but doesn't mention that the Diocese of New Hampshire is in similar dire straights with their own bishop not - yet - invited to Lambeth either).

Bishop Lee is using this letter to further his own litigation, including redefining the word (as the Bishop of Connecticut has done as well) to mean that the Episcopal Church is a communion unto itself.

What is happening here is unprecedented - Episcopal bishops do not accuse clergy who have transferred to other Anglican provinces as having abandoned the communion. That would be like the Bishop of the diocese in New Zealand where the Rev. David Harper came from charging him with abandoning communion for transferring the The Episcopal Church. It's ridiculous.

No, what's going on here is that the clergy were transferred and accepted into another province, clergy who continue to be recognized as clergy (and not inhibited clergy at that) by diocesan bishops in the Episcopal Church - and will continue to be accepted with valid orders in those Episcopal dioceses. If Bishop Lee carries out his threat, he will again illustrate that the Episcopal Church is divided.

If being transferred into another Anglican province is a reason to be defrocked, then we are in very serious trouble in the Anglican Communion.

bb

Kevin said...

then we are in very serious trouble in the Anglican Communion.

Bingo! That's what I deleted -- we're witness to the sad split up of the AC, the ABC is using his power to put this in a position where the GS walk out. Tragically +Lee's letter is not all that far off if those where the cards they're playing with the help of +++RDW.

Anonymous said...

BabyBlue,

I am confused.

I am often confused by TEC, but you bring clarity to these dizzying issues.

I seem to recall that neither The Falls Church nor Truro removed their property from the diocese of Virginia. I think you wrote (at some point) that this is one reason why the legal actions against Truro and Falls Church are so spurious.

So is it then true that Anglican clergy (under the authority of Akinola) are just using property that is still in the diocese of Virginia? Does this give Lee some authority over the issue (not authority over the clergy, but authority over the property)?

I am confused.

Selah

Bryan+ said...

Baby Blue wrote: "Since the inception of the Episcopal Church, when churches won recognition from the Archbishop of Canterbury himself and then went to form dioceses, the word 'communion' has meant the Anglican Communion."

I think this may be inaccurate.

The Episcopal Church was formally organized by the first General Convention in 1789 with 9 dioceses represented. I don’t know if the Archbishop of Canterbury gave his stamp of approval for the formation of these 9 dioceses. But I'd be surprised if he was asked to do so for any dioceses formed subsequent to the 1789 General Convention. If I’m wrong about that, I would appreciate knowing more with reference to authoritative sources.

In the grand sweep of Church history, the term "Anglican Communion" is quite recent. Its first usage dates from sometime in the mid-19th Century. To be sure, it's a concept whose currency has grown since the Lambeth Conference first met in 1867. But as we use the term today, the concept of an "Anglican Communion" is still rather young.

It’s also worth noting that the phrase in the Preamble to the Episcopal Church's Constitution which notes that we are "a constituent member of the Anglican Communion" was not in the originally adopted Preamble of 1789, but was added 40 years ago in 1967 - 100 years after the first Lambeth Conference.

Looks like there’s an interesting article about some of this in The International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church.

ruidh said...

I don't get it. If the priests left TEC and affiliated with the Province of Nigeria (as they have claimed all along) why isn't the Province of Nigeria providing for their health care? Why is that the job of the Diocese of Virginia? Nigeria won;t take tainted TEC money, why should these priests?

BabyBlue said...

The clergy are now contributing to the ADV health care plan. The point is, Bishop Lee inhibited the clergy and he said it was in the hope that they would all return to his fold. But he also cut off their health care and would not even allow them to apply for COBRA (which costs him nothing). Now he writes this letter - tell me, why would anyone in their right mind want to go back to that? The point is - he doesn't really want the clergy back or he wouldn't have cut off their health care. Let's just be clear.

bb

Kevin said...

Ruidh,

I don't believe you are very familiar with US Health Insurance common practice?

This issue has to be with CANA not knowing how many people to issue until a vote, thus a sales person really can't sell without number. Of course problem resolved in a month or so. However DioVA not offering a COBRA as would be required in EVERY other circumstance except religious institution.

It does not involve DioVA money going to CANA rather CANA employees paying DioVA, just like if I left my current employer I could opt to continue my insurance (often done because of the 'pre-existing condition' clauses in insurance fine print).

So this is a case where DioVA lived to a lower standard (because they could) than secular employers,thus foreign workers who work in construction had a greater standard than DioVA gave their former employees.

Kevin said...

BB & I must have been typing at the same time -- well in keeping with over abundance of information ...

Here is how the rest of the US works with health insurance.

Anonymous said...

I think there is some confusion about the use of the term "communion" in this posting- Bp Lee is probably using it in the sense used in the TEC disciplinary canons (Title III or IV), not in sense of creating a separate "Communion".

ruidh said...

The COBRA claims are complete nonsense. If the terminated persons have a COBRA right (COBRA is the name of a Reagan-era law the Consolidated, Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) then they have a right which is not dependent on the approval of the diocese. All they need do is exercise it.

The fact remains that the clergy in question held themselves out as no longer being a part of the Diocese of VA. The *only* canonical way to terminate their status is abandonment of communion. The events occurring are merely the consequences of their attempting to leave the diocese without getting letters dimissory.

Kevin said...

Ruidh -- I LOVE your logic, I too had the same and you can find me saying it, right here in the Baby Blue achieves but found out that I was wrong. Religious organization do not have to offer COBRA, so they didn't. It was a very cheap shot!!

Well after being called on it, DioVA did extend health insurance till the end of January (they did this at the DioVA convention on January 27 - so three whole days, basically that would create a headache for the poor insurance company as well, to back date every thing. However for the majority of January an admin could not take a child to the doctors for +Lee's pettiness -- shame on him even my jerk bosses have not been that petty.

Per canon 10, you are incorrect. My Uncle was under the Dio of Indianapolis for many years working as a missionary, when he retired he moved his canonical residence to CofE. He is no longer in canonically in TEC, they transferred him. So it is wrong to say it is the only way. This is the way DioVA has chosen.

Granted, +Minns probably should not have requested the transfer, it should have come from ++Akinola, for that would really have fun with the situation.

Kevin said...

even my jerk bosses have not been that petty

Okay, that's a lie, some of my bosses have been that petty, that why law like this exist. I do wonder if all this cannon law maneuvering will do anything but annoy the judge since Virginia is a Right to Work state.

Lizzy said...

I am very sad that we seem to live in a world where we seem so disinclined to give a benefit of the doubt to people we disagree with. It seems so easy to attribute malevolent intention to the other guy and so hard to see our own human error, our own rationalizations.

Look past the "walls" of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, and you see that this human shortcoming causes much of this world's strife - whether we're talking Republicans and Democrats, Palestinians and Israelis, Sunnis and Shia.

To my mind, Episcopals & Anglicans should be well-equipped to help the world a bit with this problem, if only we were able to muck our way through our own little corner of it. I think that starts with taking responsibility for our own shortcomings, not obsessing over the shortcomings of others.

There is something that is missing in the accomodations we are willing to make for each other.

Anam Cara said...

Lizzie,

I'm not sure what you mean by "There is something that is missing in the accomodations we are willing to make for each other."

Let's just imagine that you were a volunteer for some organization. Let's say you were the local trip coordinator for a neighborhood of Girl Scouts. You sit on the local council and have a vote in local issues. In your position, you get to know the "professional" Girl Scouts well, include some of the top administration as your friends. Because you are on the council, when it decides things, you are considered a part of the decision.

Now, the day comes when the council realizes that the Girl Scout cookies they have been selling in past years are stale! No one in the community wants stale cookies. They do buy them because they see the cost is a donation to a good cause, but they really don't want the cookies.

So the following year, the committee decides to buy from a different bakery. The professional Girl Scouts know there are regional bakeries throughout the US, and they offer information of other bakeries that are doing a good job. The committee, with the approval of the troops they are responsible for, vote to change bakeries.

But the National Girl Scouts tell them that they can't! They MUST order the cookies from the bakery the folks in NY tell them they have to order from. (That is not a Freudian slip - GS HQ is NY, too.)

The locals say they want good cookies to sell. NY says, "Take what we tell you to take." Locals say, "No, we want to sell something good and healthful." NY says, "We will sue the committe for the cost of the cookies! And, since you are Girl Scout troops, we will take away any camping gear you have, as well as your arts and craft supplies! And we will hold volunteers who hold to this idea responsible finanically for our loss." Still, the locals want healthy snacks and resist the spoiled cookies.

Then NY makes good its threat and sues the entire committee. All you are is a volunteer who wants the best for your community and the girls you feel responsible for. You want good things to sell to your community, not spoiled things that will injure those who consume them. And yet, next thing you know, you are being sued all because you wouldn't buy into the idea of stale cookies! You could loose your home because you didn't want stale cookies!!!!!!

Not only that, the professional Girl Scouts have been told they may no longer work with girls. Even if they join 4-H or Campfire Girls or the YMCA Indian Princess Program.

(I can't figure out how to work in the analogy of the health insurance, but you are getting the picture, right? These people in NY are just mean spirited!)

Okay, now what accomodations should the local and professional Girls Scouts be making for the folks in NY?

Can you identify the parties involved? BB was a simple trip coordinator sitting on a committee and now she is being sued! People she knows, worked with, grew to love, who wanted the best for their local parish are being told that they can't serve in their possitions even if they change "groups."



All that and the health care that I can't work in.

RFSJ said...

I really have to reiterate what has been said above. Title IV, Canon 10 is specifically titled "Of Abandonment of the Communion of This Church by a Priest or Deacon." Bishop Lee is not creating anything new here, regardless of the repeated suspicions of some. He is clearly using a formal canonical term to describe the offense of these clergy under which he has inhibited them. He is following IV.10 exactly to the letter and using the language of the canon itself to make clear what he is doing. That's all.

There does not seem to be an online version of the canons, but a pdf is available at: www.churchpublishing.org/general_convention/index.cfm?fuseaction=candc


RFSJ

Kevin said...

Except RFSJ a letter of transfer was sent to +Lee before he inhibited them. Thus "offense of these clergy" is to ask to leave for another province, just like my uncle did when he transfered his conical residence to CofE? Boy I'm still VERY suspicions of +Lee, there seems to be precedent of another non-"offensive" way of handling this.

Anonymous said...

anam cara:

Let me offer a different analogy.

Prince Peter has some nobles who have pledged their allegiance to a foreign prince But they want to keep the castles they have occupied in Prince Peter's lands. The nobles are loved by the subjects and the subjects want the nobles to stay in the castles.

Prince Peter has offered to allow the nobles to keep their titles and castles if they again declare their allegiance to him and the royal court. But, if they don't he will void their titles and take his castles back.

Evicted in Virginia said...

Straight, direct and fair. Actions have consequences, and Bishop Lee is more than fair in reminding the disobedient clergy of this fact.

Kevin said...

Hey Evicted,

So in your proclamation of judgment, I must ask, "What about Nicholas Lubelfeld?"

It seems to me that he actually tried to do as this letter had exhorted but +Lee had inhibited him anyways (as well as a few he had no conical rights {they were licensed not resident}] so it seems that your support for a scorched Earth policy is creating injustices by DioVA imposing commands on folks that they are blocking even if one tried to follow or inhibiting folks who are not resident. Maybe a bit rash with your proclamation of judgments?

Anam Cara said...

Anonymous,

Is the allegiance the nobles swore to Prince Peter or were they thinking it was perhaps to King Jesus with Prince Peter standing in as proxy? When Prince Peter (or Princess Kate, or fill in any other name) changes what King Jesus has said, who should the nobles side with?

As background for you, long ago I said that the Episcopal Church left me. After years of searching, I finally found home. Although neither Episcopalian nor Anglican, I still have an interest in the church I belonged to for so long as one might have an interest in a distant relative. I wonder how they are doing and I wish them well. I went through the 40 Days of Discernment with a Truro group.

I don't really have a dog in this fight, but if I had a voice/vote - I would have said leave the Episcopal Church - leave it ALL - leave the propert - leave the retreat centers - turn and, as so profoundly said in Monty Python. "Run away! Run away!" Leave it behind and be thankful.

I think these lawsuits are a scandel for both sides. Perhaps Truro and others SHOULD have walked away from the property. But since +Lee was working with them to keep it, there is NO excuse for him turning 180° and filing law suits. Truro worked in good faith. +Lee showed that his word cannot be trusted. Is that what people should say about a Bishop?????

You really got us going on this one, BB!!!1

Alice C. Linsley said...

Does anyone in Virginia who has had dealings with Bishop Lee believe that he is in the driver's seat? I doubt it. Still, this letter must gratify his injured ego. And notice how he got that part in about being overseas on a "mission " conference? Lord, have mercy!

Lizzy said...

Anam Cara & other intelligent analogy-makers,

I respect that this is "girl scout cookies" to you and that everything associated with your analogy is valid, but if I weren't so tired, I could come up with how it looks from the other side of the divide, equally as understandable and personal and valid. You might think them wrong, but is that really your/our job to judge?

At a time when the world needs Christianity terribly, we're not lookin' so very good.

I am very far away from Virginia, but Bishop Lee used to be my grandparents' priest. They're both gone now but they loved him deeply. He hung the moon to them. I doubt if I've been in the same room as him since I was ten, but I'm inclined to give him some benefit of the doubt - as I want to give all of you as well (and I hope you'll consider giving me). . . and the many human beings who occupy "815".

We're all fallen, aren't we?

BabyBlue said...

I've posted the Virginia Protocol online now. You can read it for yourselves. It was an amazing achievement.

bb