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Selective Discipline: Former South Carolina Bishop Blasts Bishop Curry over Bishop Love's Partial Inhibition

Selective Discipline: Former South Carolina Bishop Blasts Bishop Curry over Bishop Love's Partial Inhibition

Bishop C. Fitzsimons Allison
January 30, 2019

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's response to Bishop William Love's refusal to authorize same-sex marriages in the Diocese of Albany was to say that those "who have taken vows to obey the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church must act in ways that reflect and uphold the discernment and decisions of the General Convention of the Church" [TLC, Dec. 2].

When Bishop Love took this oath, the doctrine of the Episcopal Church was, and had been for centuries, exactly what Bishop Love asserts. His views are in complete accord with Lambeth Conference Resolution 1:10 (1998).

Does no one see the irony and contradiction after decades of bishops ignoring oaths and vows concerning scriptural and creedal faith, they now are demanding obedience to General Convention teaching that was until very recently condemned by previous conventions.

Bishops' sworn obligation to guard the faith has been strikingly absent since Bishop James Pike's denial of the doctrine of Christ and the Trinity. He was censured by the House of Bishops for the "tone and manner" but not for the substance of his teaching.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori publicly identified with the teaching of Marcus Borg, who claimed Jesus was neither divine nor unique. Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold refused to distribute copies of Archbishop Rowan Williams's critique of Bishop John Spong's "12 Theses." The bishops of Province IV refused to respond to it because "it was too controversial."

This is only a brief list of a long history of our bishops' failure to fulfill their ordination vows concerning denials of the faith. Are they now preparing to coerce Bishop Love to abjure and relinquish the faith of the virtual unanimity of Christians living and dead? The faith of secularism is singularly sad, inadequate, and ultimately cruel. It is a religion that is threatening to replace the good news of God's love we see in Jesus Christ and know by the Holy Spirit.

Richard John Neuhaus was right: "Where orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed."

The Rt. Rev. C. FitzSimons Allison (SC ret.) lives in Georgetown, South Carolina

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