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Presiding Bishop to visit Central Florida

Presiding Bishop to visit Central Florida

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will visit the Diocese of Central Florida March 3 through 5, at the invitation of Bishop Gregory Brewer, according to a release from the Episcopal Church’s Office of Public Affairs. She will meet with clergy of the diocese on March 5 from 10 a.m. through lunchtime, a meeting the bishop wishes all clergy to attend. It’s interesting to note that the bishop asks to be informed if any clergy wish to be excused “because of conscience.”

A newsletter from the diocese states:

Bishop [Gregory] Brewer expects all active priests to be in attendance at the conference and extends a cordial invitation to all deacons and retired clergy. If there are any who wish to be excused because of conscience, illness or some other weighty reason, they should contact Bishop Brewer in writing stating their reasons for not attending.

Questions at the meeting will be welcome as long as they are respectful of the Presiding Bishop (for her position and as a person). If you wish to offer a question in advance, you can direct it to Canon [Ernest] Bennett and questions will be shared with the Presiding Bishop before the meeting.


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Ronald Caldwell

We should commend the presiding bishop for her decision. She should do everything in her power to shore up relations between Central Florida and the national church. Of course, she tried this in South Carolina several years ago, but to little avail. She was treated rudely, even in the city famous for its charming good manners.

Everyone is keeping an eye on South Carolina. There are 11 other solidly conservative dioceses in TEC watching SC with Central Florida being the one in the southeast. So far SC has outfoxed TEC: Lawrence gave the property to the local churches winning their favor; SC made the central issue sexuality as a sure appeal to the innate conservatism of the majority; SC declared self-rule; and the lawyers of SC chose a local judge who immediately sided with SC ex parte as the legitimate Episcopal diocese. She is almost certain to rule in favor of SC on the property suit pending before her. Most of the parishes and missions sided with Lawrence with 11 undecided. It now looks as if most if not all of the 11 undecideds will go with the Lawrence side. If SC continues to prevail in this manner, pressure will build withing Central Florida to follow the example of SC. This in turn will build pressure within the other 10 conservative dioceses to follow. Thus, eventually 16 dioceses may vote to leave TEC (5 have already left and 11 more may well depart).

The crisis in SC threatens the very integrity of the Episcopal Church as we know it. TEC must maintain its sovereignty over the local dioceses through its Constitution and Canons. If SC eventually preavails as the independent Episcopal diocese of South Carolina, TEC as we know it will collapse. National sovereignty will fall to local sovereignty.

Michael Hartney

Doesn’t it seem a bit odd that Episcopalians in Central Florida (who presumably know a salad fork from a dinner fork) have to be reminded to be ‘respectful of the Presiding Bishop’ (for her position and as a person)?

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