Episcopal Bishops will continue in ministry with Virginia priests
Pittsburgh, PA -- A decision by Bishop Peter Lee of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia to declare 21 priests to have “abandoned the communion of this Church,” will not have force in much of the Anglican Communion or in a number of Episcopal dioceses.
The Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman of the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy, the Rt. Rev. Peter Beckwith of the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield, the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, the. Rt. Rev. Jack Iker of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and the Rt. Rev. John David Schofield of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin have issued the following statement:
“In conscience we must remain in relationship and ministry with these priests, and the many others who have had this canon used against them, because of their determination to stand with mainstream Anglicanism. As bishops, we ordain priests for the whole church. Surely we overstep our bounds when we attempt to decide for the whole church that a priest’s ministry is ended because he is no longer under our authority.
“Because these Virginia priests are priests in good standing in the Provinces of Uganda and Nigeria, respectively, the deposition is, in fact, of no effect. Each is recognized as a priest in good standing of the Anglican Communion. Therefore, we welcome them to exercise their sacerdotal ministries in our Dioceses. Though we continue to work and pray for a charitable disengagement, actions such as this only make our relationships with each other more difficult and divided.”