[Stand Firm] 6 Feb 2008--What is going to happen to the Bishop of San Joaquin now that the Presiding Bishop has decided that by becoming affiliated with the Province of the Southern Cone he should be deposed for “abandoning the communion of this church” [TLC, Feb. 3]? What about the bishops of those other dioceses that may do the same? Does that mean that they will no longer be bishops, unable to confirm your children or ordain your laity to the diaconate or priesthood? Will they no longer be able to bless you and absolve you from your sins, or celebrate the Holy Eucharist?
These bishops certainly won’t be able to do these things in The Episcopal Church (TEC). Like any religious society, TEC has the right and ability to decide who its clergy are and what they can do, including who it recognizes as its bishops. But those bishops whom it does not recognize will still be bishops, because they were not ordained bishops of The Episcopal Church but of the whole Catholic Church throughout the world.