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Faith vs. Polity - Rev. Zabriskie writes to Bishop Fitz Allison

March 25, 2004

The Rt. Rev. Christopher Fitzsimons Allison
1081 Indigo Avenue
Georgetown, SC 29440

Dear Bishop Allison,

I write you as concerned Episcopal priest and as one who serves on several
national and international boards on behalf of the Episcopal Church and the
Anglican Communion, expressing my deep regret and concern for your actions
in the Diocese of Ohio.

Good friends and good Episcopalians are welcomed and entitled to differ
regarding important theological and ethical matters. This has and always
will be the case, if our tradition continues in its historic matter.

The biggest risk I fear at this time is the destruction of our polity, which
along with Common Prayer and respect for the episcopate essentially holds us
together. When any one of us shows disrespect for the boundaries exercised
by another bishop and his or her diocese, we jeopardize the very things that
unite us.

In closing, I acknowledge the pain that you must be bearing as you witness
the Episcopal Church moving in directions counter to your own inclinations
and sensibility. I know that this deeply concerns you. I pray, however,
that you will be increasingly open to respecting the right of fellow bishops
to govern, lead and shepherd their dioceses in ways which would not be your
way and to allow them the freedom to do so. It is my deepest hope that the
Communion will stand, the Church will flourish and we will not be
self-consumed and broken irrevocably.

I shall hold you in my prayers as we approach Easter.

Faithfully yours in Christ,

The Rev. Marek P. Zabriskie


cc: The Rt. Rev. Frank Griswold
Archbishop Rowan Williams
Secretary General John Petersen

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