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There’s no such thing as a departed diocese

There’s no such thing as a departed diocese

from #GC78

There is a resolution, Do56 Laying the Foundation for Reunion with Departed Groups that says

These resolutions should include providing explicit paths for reunion with: departed dioceses; departed congregations; departed bishops, priests and deacons; and departed parishioners; and be it further

The only problem with this, of course, is that there aren’t any “departed dioceses.”  There were four dioceses that experienced significant schisms led by former diocesan officials, San Joaquin, Pittsburgh, Fort Worth and Quincy.  All four dioceses, however, continued to exist even after these schismatic officials attempted to run off with the treasure and property that generations of Episcopalians had worked to create and build.  One of these, Quincy, opted to merge with a larger nearby diocese (Chicago), but the other three are still functioning dioceses of the Episcopal Church with bishops, Standing Committees, GC deputies and congregations.  All of them are seeking redress, through the courts, to make whole what the schismatic groups sought to sunder.

It is understandable that a church of Jesus Christ would seek reconciliation of wayward members and it is to be applauded.  At the same time we need to be clear, in the language we use, that there is no authority or means by which a diocese (or congregation) can “depart” the church – it is contrary to the very ethos of Anglicanism that such a thing could transpire.

We understand that deputies from the four affected diocese are working to change this resolution as to affirm that the notion of a “departed” diocese is a fiction while still being open and actively working towards the reconciliation of individuals with the church.


posted by Jon White


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Jay Croft

Individuals and congregations should be welcomed back. Deacons and priests, probably.

But a bishop who has led a “departure” or capture of diocesan churches and assets–let him (so far, they have all been males) be anathema.

Eric Bonetti

Agree. Great idea, badly implemented.

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