[Anglican Mainstream] 20 Sep 2008--We do applaud the 35 bishops who voted no the first time to the illegal actions taken. The Presiding Bishop announced in advance that she had reviewed all of the likely legitimate challenges to her proceedings and in anticipation found them failed. Her attempted refutation was based on her and her chancellors’ interpretation, and with a lynch mob dressed in Episcopal purple they were "somber and soberly" bent on getting their job done. Most people would take the plain meaning of the canons and bylaws, but she fashioned such mental gymnastics to justify setting aside the codified procedure that you might lose track of where she was going. She created ambiguity where there was none and then announced that in cases of ambiguity the final advantage had to rest with the presiding bishop’s point of view. In the United States there is a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and any ambiguity goes to the accused, but not so in the Robespierre Court of the HOB. The bishop and Diocese of Albany issued in advance a well-reasoned letter of protest describing the faults of Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori’s process, and a copy is available on the AAC website.
The greatest danger is not to Bishop Duncan, who although deposed by the HOB, may well discover his diocese has chosen to stick with him rather than with the Church of Perpetual Litigation. In any event, the HOB cannot strip him of his holy orders. They can only bar him from functioning as a TEC bishop and doing so in or on TEC property–and then only as long as it remains TEC property. The greatest danger of the HOB Robespierre actions is for those who participated in the proceedings, because someday soon they may need legal protection themselves, and when they look for it, they will discover that it is long gone. Pity those TEC bishops who have foolishly voted to override their own safeguards and have dismantled canon law and bylaw protections in their hurry to sever Bishop Duncan from his diocese. As they plant, so shall they reap. Like Robespierre, the leader of the French “reign of terror” who so happily sent so many to the guillotine and was later sentenced to the same fate, they may later become the victims of their own terror.