Friday, January 05, 2007

The following statement was issued by the Bishop's Office of the Diocese of Northern California and represents a solution to the difficulty of renegade priests and bishops who attempt to hijack and hold hostage parishes of The Episcopal Church on behalf of bigoted bishops here and in other countries,therefore causing the very schism that the majority of Episcopalians have been working so hard to avoid, and none more vigorously than ++Katharine Jefferts Schori. I and others of the Episcopal majority share Bishop Lamb's view that rebel priests will not hold hostage parishes of TEC for spiritual ransom by foreign or domestic bishops.

"December 27, 2006

Last week the Office of the Bishop received a letter from David Miller, and an attorney representing David Miller and St. John’s Church in Petaluma, California.

David Miller requested Letters Dimissory to the Diocese of Argentina in the Province of the Southern Cone, under the jurisdiction of The Most Reverend Gregory James Venable. I have declined to send Letters Dimissory for David Miller to the Diocese of Argentina. When, and if, David Miller physically moves to Argentina, the question of sending Letters Dimissory will be revisited.

I have chosen to view David Miller’s letter of December 17, 2006 as a request to renounce orders in this church. This action was laid before the clerical members of the Standing Committee on December 26 and 27. They concurred with my acceptance of David Miller’s Renunciation of Holy Orders. I pronounced and recorded this action in the presence of two priests of this Diocese on December 27, 2006. As of that date, David Miller is no longer a Priest-in-Good-Standing in this Diocese and is no longer the Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Petaluma.

Also on December 27, 2006, I wrote to the Wardens and Vestry of St. John’s Episcopal Church that they appear to be in violation of Canon I.17.8, given their action to dissociate themselves and the Parish from the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Northern California. I therefore have declared the Offices of Wardens and the Vestry vacant.

A priest-in-charge, Wardens and Vestry may be appointed at a later date.

St. John’s Episcopal Church has been part of the Episcopal Church since its founding, first as a Parish in the Diocese of California and then as a Parish of the Diocese of Northern California when this diocese was formed. The Diocese of Northern California will resist any and all efforts to remove a parish from the jurisdiction of this diocese and the Bishop of Northern California.

The Rt. Rev. Jerry A. Lamb
Bishop of Northern California"


Eileen said...

Good for the Rt. Rev. Jerry Lamb! Someone needs to show some spine. Bravo! Bravo!

Catherine + said...

My thoughts exactly, Eileen. We are doing everything we can to get them to see reason and reconcile differences, but when they refuse, what choice is left to a Bishop when someone tampers with the diocese for which he or she is responsible?

I am sure +Jerry was sad to do what he had to do, but the time has come to give no quarter and brook no defections of those who refuse to love their neighbor, gay or straight, male or female.