One of the most interesting activities is watching them create reality out of whole cloth. Their sense of delusion makes Chamberlain's "Peace in our Time" look like reality. They have more brass than a fox in a hen house, to use that southern saying.
For background on the Pittsburgh story, I'll refer you to a post Fr. Jake wrote 7 June 2008.
It is customary for Bishops Diocesan to write a pastoral letter at Advent, Lent and Pentecost. Advent and Lent letters exhort the diocese to keep a holy tide, to prepare for the coming solemn feast day, and to do good works.
Bob Duncan, operating under the delusion that he is not only a bishop but also Bishop Diocesan of Pittsburgh, (he is neither, but) has released a "pastoral letter" to his ecclesial community.
One would think that he would exhort his people to keep a holy Lent. Ah, but we are dealing with Bob Duncan - so, of course, that's now what he did.
He begins his letter
As we enter the holy season of Lent, I have been thinking about the broken relationships we face. The depth of that brokenness was encapsulated for me in the most recent communication of the new Episcopal Church Diocese concerning our realignment and the Calvary Church litigation. I am especially troubled that the approach taken by the leaders of the new diocese misrepresents what the litigation to date has been about and calls into question the consistently expressed and long-standing commitment on our part to find a charitable and non-injurious way through the dispute between us.At the beginning of Lent, Bob isn't thinking about the season of repentance, Our Lord's suffering or the coming Resurrection. The self-styled episcopous vagrans is thinking about his little schism and is attempting to pump up the troops.
Note what he draws attention to in the opening of this so called pastoral letter:
- He is worried about the brokenness he created
- The continuing Episcopalians are a "new diocese"
- The continuing diocese misrepresents the facts
- He wants a charitable, non-injurious way to keep the property which he is attempting to steal
It is not for individual groups to claim the terms on which they will relate to the Communion.After the vote of no confidence in Alexandria (to which Akinola and Venables agreed) Duncan is worried that he may lose the farm he is trying to steal. The Anglican World is not falling at his feet as he believed it would.
The leadership of the Communion needs to stand together, and find an approach to which they are all committed.
Any scheme developed would rely on an undertaking from the present partners to ACNA that they would not seek to recruit and expand their membership by means of proselytisation. WCG believes that the advent of schemes such as the Communion Partners Fellowship and the Episcopal Visitors scheme instituted by the Presiding Bishop in the United States should be sufficient to provide for the care of those alienated within the Episcopal Church from recent developments.
As for TEC being a "new diocese" that is more of Duncan's lies. It is akin to the mayor of Los Angeles declaring LA is the real California and the rest of he state is the new California. But, claiming to be the real Episcopal Diocese is imperative to the cause. The Pittsburgh constitution says "Episcopal Diocese" and, like Ft. Worth, if they aren't that diocese, they are out in the cold. This is an attempt for legitimacy which they know they don't have. That makes them liars, doesn't it?
And of course he wants a non-injurious way out of the problem. He's afraid he may end up in jail for theft, which is, of course, where he belongs along with Schofield and Iker and Venables.
But the part that is most hypocritical is that he says the continuing Episcopalians misrepresent facts. Duncan and his lot are the masters of misrepresentation. It reminds one of that old joke "how do you tell if he is lying? His lips move."
In writing of the Calvary Episcopal Church litigation, Duncan says
Notice that all the schismatics have done has been done in the light. I guess they don't count the top secret Chapman Memo with the top secret plan to subvert TEC and steal the property, which was accidentally sent to the wrong person who made it public, or the secret conclaves with Akinola running back and forth from the primates' meeting to the schismatics meeting.This process was transparent. We have tried to follow the good example of St. Paul in the 26th chapter of Acts by speaking and acting openly, and “not in a corner.”The leaders of the new diocese challenge the validity of the Diocesan realignment. Although we strongly disagree with this position, we recognize that some of these leaders publicly took this position at our 2007 and 2008 Conventions. In this respect, it is right to acknowledge that their position on this issue is consistent, and to recognize that they believe it their duty to challenge the legitimacy of the Diocesan action.
The same cannot be said, however, for the new diocese leaders’ recent adoption of Calvary’s arguments regarding the 2005 Stipulation and Order. On behalf of the new diocese’s Standing Committee and Board of Trustees, Dr. Simons and Mr. Ayres (the presidents of each body) have written: “We call attention to the stipulation signed in good faith by Bishop Duncan’s attorneys on October 15, 2005, which clearly defines how assets are to be disposed of, if any attempt to leave the Episcopal Church occurred – they are to stay in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church.”
One of the interesting things about Duncan's letter is its timing - he released it the day after the California Supreme Court refused to hear arguments in the property case and said, once again, the property belongs to the National Church. Except for Virginia, all the cases have gone against the schismatics. In the Virginia case, argument is going to be made that the Civil War era law used to decide the case is contrary to the 14th amendment. When that law is overturned, the property will go to TEC, too.
This is the best bit, though:
The leaders of the new diocese, and many within TEC, will insist on a legal fight over the validity of our withdrawal from TEC. We will engage in this battle, as we must. But there should be no mistake on the following points: the Stipulation and Order does not address the Diocese leaving TEC, and the leaders of the new diocese want nothing less than all Diocesan assets.Well, of course TEC wants all diocesan assets: the assets belong to TEC in the first place. It is the schismatics who want to steal it, and Duncan is their leader.
Like Akinola's recent rant, Mr. Duncan's letter is an attempt to make the faithful believe Duncan is still the long expected messiah come to set schismatics free. He did all the expected things except to blame +Robinson and compare the schismatic's persecution to the plight of the people in Zimbabwe, Sudan and Gaza as he did previously. By the way, you must read this from back in 2007 regarding why use +Robinson as the whipping boy.
Mark Harris wrote an good article in May 2008. The Lead had a good follow up based on a comment made at Mark's blog