Saturday, February 02, 2008

Tale of Two Bishops

Bishop Peter James Lee: This litigation became necessary when eleven diocesan congregations chose to leave the Episcopal Church but continue to use the Church’s property to the exclusion of those members who chose to remain loyal to the Episcopal Church .... Defending our heritage and securing our future is expensive. We have spent so far nearly two million dollars on litigation costs as a defendant. We are blessed with dedicated and very effective lawyers, a number of whom are either working pro bono or at discounted rates as a gift to the church. Mike Kerr, our chief financial officer, with the authorization of the Executive Board has obtained a line of credit for the legal fees so we are current in paying them. The interest on the line of credit is being paid by endowment income so that no pledge money from churches or individuals is used for legal fees. At the conclusion of this litigation, we expect to pay off the line of credit by selling undeveloped and unconsecrated property, a process that is already under way. No one likes lawsuits but at the same time, our generation has a stewardship responsibility to protect the property of our churches for Episcopalians in the next 400 years.
-From the Bishop's Pastoral Address, January 25, 2008

Bishop John W. Howe: In all of these situations I am very pleased we have been able to avoid litigation or acrimony. We are very conscious of the fact that we remain brothers and sisters in Christ with those who have felt the need to leave The Episcopal Church. This is a sad time, in many ways, as we part company with folks with whom we have worked and worshipped. But we bid them Godspeed, and I would like to ask all of us to think of this as a time of new beginnings rather than endings.
-From the Bishop's Pastoral Address, January 26, 2008


Anonymous said...

Baby Blue,

I have always enjoyed the wonderful insight that your blog provides. This is another example of Bishop Howe's godly approach to the situation vrs a Bishop who values his relationship to the "insitution" above all else.

From one San Diegan to a former one, who is always welcomed back to America's Finest City, keep providing us with the great music, videos and pictures!

God Bless!

Always a Hobbit said...

Reading the two bishops' responses makes me think of C.S. Lewis' comment in The Magician's Nephew, as he explains why the magician (Uncle Andrew) and his nephew (Digory) saw the creation of Narnia so differently, i.e. the magician couldn't leave soon enough, as he both hated all he saw and was afraid of it, while the nephew loved every bit of it, especially the Lion whose song brought the new world into being.

"For what a person sees and hear depends a good deal on where one is standing; it also depends on what sort of person you are."

We do see and hear out of our hearts. God alone will judge these men; at this moment in history it is hard to understand the hard-heartedness of Bishop Lee, and especially his cowardice in relationship to the "new sheriff has come to town," viz. Kathryn Schori. The response of capitulation was not required, as Bishop Howe shows us.

So much honest and true work of the kingdom could be done with the resources of time and money that his hardness of heart has brought about. May God be merciful to him.