Somebody or other released a letter over the signature of the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns saying that Bishop Peter Lee of Virginia has decided to allow Minns to remain as rector of Truro Church in Fairfax until the church can call a new rector. If this has happened, it is out of the ordinary because Minns is a newly-ordained bishop in Church of Nigeria, which is not in Communion with the Episcopal Church and is endeavoring to have the Episcopal Church thrown out of the Anglican Communion.
I say if because no sooner had the letter appeared on the blog of a Truro vestry member than it disappeared. It is still posted on two other conservative sites, but has yet to appear on the Web sites of the diocese or the church.
If Bishop Lee has made this decision, I am sure he has his reasons and I am eager to hear them. In the letter below the "keep reading" button, Minns promises to refrain from episcopal acts in the diocese of Virginia until next year. I'd feel better if he agreed to refrain from all episcopal acts while serving at any Episcopal church
For the past month we have been in conversation with Bishop Lee regarding my ministry here at Truro during this critical time of transition. Our goal has been to find a way to both honor the Vestry’s desire for me to continue to exercise the duties of Rector and the Bishop’s understandable concerns about the canonical challenge that this presents. I am delighted to let you know that we have agreed on a way forward.
As you all know, Truro has been engaged in a search process for a new Rector with the goal of issuing a call by the first quarter of 2007. On August 20, when I was consecrated as Bishop of the Church of Nigeria to serve as a missionary bishop for CANA (Convocation of Anglicans in North America) I ceased to have canonical residence in the Diocese of Virginia. In order to allow me to continue to exercise the duties of Rector I now require a license from the Bishop of Virginia. This has been granted and so will allow me to continue my ministry among you during this critical phase of our life together.
As part of the agreement, I have assured Bishop Lee that I will not perform any “episcopal acts” within the boundaries of the Diocese of Virginia through January 1, 2007. In other words, I will respect his jurisdiction and not conduct confirmations or ordinations in Virginia during this time.
I am very grateful for Bishop Lee’s generosity in making these rather unusual arrangements and pleased that we have found a way forward that brings glory to God and honors His Church.
Your brother in Christ,