Skip to comments.Bishop Smith Responds to Brother Diocesan Bishops
Posted on 07/29/2005 7:10:01 AM PDT by sionnsar
Connecticut Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Andrew D. Smith, accused nine other diocesan bishops of making a petulant ill-informed attack on his inhibition of the Rev. Mark H. Hansen, rector of St. Johns, Bristol, and denied spurning the Archbishop of Canterburys Panel of Reference or abusing the canons.
On July 27 nine diocesan bishops published A Second Open Letter to the Bishop and Standing Committee of Connecticut. The letter informs Bishop Smith, that the nine do not recognize the inhibition and are preparing ecclesiastical charges against him for conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy.
The letter was written by the Rt. Rev. James M. Adams, Bishop of Western Kansas, the Rt. Rev. Peter Beckwith, Bishop of Springfield, the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh, the Rt. Rev. Daniel Herzog, Bishop of Albany, the Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, Bishop of Central Florida, the Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth, the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Bishop of South Carolina, the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield, Bishop of San Joaquin, and the Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton, Bishop of Dallas.
Responding to those bishops who publicly castigated his handling of Fr. Hansen and the five other Connecticut priests under threat of inhibition, Bishop Smith said their letter was filled with assumptions, conclusions, and emotional, highly charged language. Bishop Smith denied responsibility for the very public conflict. Addressing the wider Church at one point in his letter, he said, I regret that none of the bishops who signed the letter had the wisdom or courtesy to call before launching this broadside.
Bishop Smith also denied preventing the dispute from being referred to the Archbishop of Canterburys Panel of Reference, Bishop Smith said he had neither the authority nor inclination to refuse to allow appeal. He proclaimed the deepest respect for Archbishop Williams and for his leadership and praised the panel as an offering of ministry, and a resource for the Church when local initiatives have not been successful.
He had done all of which he was capable in offering delegated episcopal pastoral oversight to the six parishes. The conundrum limits me to two choices that I repudiate decisions I have made as bishop so as to believe as they do. The other is that I suspend the Constitution and Canons of the Church and this diocese just for them.
Bishop Smith defended his decision to assume control of the day-to-day financial affairs of the parish. Fr. Hansen "held a secular position in another state," there were unpaid parish bills and disaffected members. The leadership he wrote, enabled and protected Father Hansen and were uncooperative, evasive and not forthcoming when questioned by members of my staff.
Our Lord Jesus will be better served, if brother bishops disciplined ourselves to refrain from publicly paraded, instantaneous judgments and automatic condemnations, he concluded. Bishop Smith further asked the Anglican Communion Network to refrain from the repeated incursions into the life and ministry of this diocese.
Have we seen any speculatyio0n, iformed or otherwise, as to why Drew+ acted, both in the manner and the timing? Was he nuts..did he reach his breaking point.was this a planned, coordinated strategy by the revisionists..?
I have seen none such. Even the revisionists are saying he overdid it.
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