November 23, 2014

January 9, 2013


Bishop Martins on “Toward Resolution on the Title IV Matter”

Interesting.

We’ll know soon enough if the eight bishops and two clergy caved on the assertions in the amicus curiae brief, removed their names from it, or in some other way repudiated or lessened what was said in the amicus curiae brief—or even promised “nevah evah evah to put our names to anything again having to do with our polity”—under the clownishly corrupt “conciliation process” that TECusa apparatchiks constructed. In other words, did TECusa leaders get what they wanted with their intimidation and bullying?

Read the entire piece:

We all signed an expansive confidentiality agreement, so there is not very much I can say, except this: We did reach an in-principle agreement that we expect will become an Accord, and that will resolve all the complaints that have been made against us.

According to the canons, an Accord is not officially reached until the Presiding Bishop approves it. In the event that happens, the document will be made public by her office. All of us who participated in this process are grateful beyond words for the prayers of a great many people. In time, there may be more that I can say about the agreement and my assessment of it. For now, I’m constrained by the confidentiality agreement.


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31 comments

I was able to read the full article by clicking the links an hour ago.  Now the piece appears to be gone.

[1] Posted by ToAllTheWorld on 1-10-2013 at 01:38 AM · [top]

Yes, #1, that is very interesting indeed. Apparently even the highly circumscribed account Bishop Martins gave on his blog of the mediation process has gotten him into some sort of hot water, so that he has had to pull down his post. Nevertheless, if his aim was to communicate what he could to the members of his Diocese, then I have to applaud him, for his instincts were entirely correct. And so, for those that come to this news item late (whether inside or outside the Diocese of Springfield), here is what he wrote on his blog (with the emphasis in the original, and not added here):

Early last year, I, along with seven other bishops and two priests, allowed my name to be attached to an amicus curiae brief placed before the Texas Supreme Court in a property dispute between the two factions that represent what used to be the unified Diocese of Fort Worth. The purpose of the brief was to refute certain claims made by attorneys for those remaining in the Episcopal Church regarding the hierarchical polity of the Episcopal Church. We believe that these claims falsely construe our polity, and to leave them unchallenged and allow them to contribute to the formation of legal precedent would be injurious to the long-term interets of our respective dioceses and of the Episcopal Church generally.

In late June, the eight of us were informed that a complaint had been lodged against us under Title IV of the Episcopal Church’s canons, those that concern clergy misconduct. In September, we were informed that, rather than proceeding to an adjudication, there would be a process of “conciliation” (a technical term under that canon).

Between midday yesterday and midday today, representatives of the accused bishops (I among them) met at a conference center in Richmond, Virginia with representatives of the complainants and a professional conciliator appointed by the Presiding Bishop. The desired outcome of such a meeting is formal document termed an Accord by the canons. An Accord is in lieu of a juridical determination of guilt or innocence and any attendant penalties.

We all signed an expansive confidentiality agreement, so there is not very much I can say, except this: We did reach an in-principle agreement that we expect will become an Accord, and that will resolve all the complaints that have been made against us.

According to the canons, an Accord is not officially reached until the Presiding Bishop approves it. In the event that happens, the document will be made public by her office. All of us who participated in this process are grateful beyond words for the prayers of a great many people. In time, there may be more that I can say about the agreement and my assessment of it. For now, I’m constrained by the confidentiality agreement.

Thus, if even that little bit was too much to say about the proceedings that concluded earlier today, then all I can say is: woe to those who become enmeshed in the canonical traps and snares of the new Title IV. If you voted for the new Title (either at GC or at your own diocesan convention, implementing the changes locally), and if you are a member of the clergy, you may never walk free of the shadows again. Indeed, you may want to read up on Robespierre.

[2] Posted by A. S. Haley on 1-10-2013 at 02:34 AM · [top]

Curioser and curioser. A google search for “Dan Martins” suggests that it was on Confessions of a Carioca, two hours ago, but the last readable post is from December 16.

Perhaps Sarah should have copied it in its entirety.

[3] Posted by Jeremy Bonner on 1-10-2013 at 02:39 AM · [top]

Allan—you’re a great man!  Thank you for copying it and pasting it into the links!!

[4] Posted by Sarah on 1-10-2013 at 07:46 AM · [top]

“Indeed, you may want to read up on Robespierre. “

The discipline of TEC is beginning to look like a bad community theater production of Marat/Sade.  Polity comes straight from Orwell’s Animal Farm- it is whatever KJS says it is.

What is ironic in all of this, the very best commentary on the real state of TEC is not contained in +Dan Martins message to his diocese, but in the fact that it was taken down.

We were, of course, not supposed to know that an agreement was reached by those in the room, UNTIL AND UNLESS it meets KJS requirements for obedience to her will.

So, instead of leaving intact a message that would have left conservatives assuming that the charged bishops and priests had caved, it is taken down, leaving us (and even fair minded revisionists who were already suspicious of Title IV) assuming there is more plot to this plot.

[5] Posted by tjmcmahon on 1-10-2013 at 08:16 AM · [top]

I believe the conciliation process will be evidence gathering for TEC leadership and self incrimination for those accused.

[6] Posted by Fr. Dale on 1-10-2013 at 08:18 AM · [top]

RE: “So, instead of leaving intact a message that would have left conservatives assuming that the charged bishops and priests had caved . . . “

Hi TJ, just to be clear, I have not assumed that Bishop Martins and others have caved.

I like these bishops and clergy.

I don’t know if they have the stomach to stand up against bullying which the “disciplinary process” transparently is.

If they don’t have the stomach, so be it—not a whole lot of people do, frankly, and I understand if they don’t.

But they might and I cannot tell, either way, by Bishop Martins’ statement.

I *do* think that if TECusa apparatchiks and bullies got their way, then we will know it, because the very essence of getting their way in this instance is some kind of “backing away” in a public venue or through a public medium by those whom they bullied.

So we’ll know, soon enough, if we see TECusa flourishing and waving their trophies publicly.

[7] Posted by Sarah on 1-10-2013 at 08:45 AM · [top]

Bishop Martins should in no way feel constrained by any confidentiality agreement made with these people. In TEc rules are made to be broken and the rule breakers are usually promoted as long as they break the rules in proper direction.

[8] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 1-10-2013 at 09:18 AM · [top]

Hmm, quite curious that the post was taken down. I wonder what lies TEC will be telling at the end of this matter (even if the clergy did cave) and how it will be spun on liberal blogs. The fact they were bound by signing a confidentiality statement speaks volumes about the “resolution”. If TEC were even the smallest bit honest why not make it all public? Of course I know from the dealings with Bishop Lawrence that they won’t be satisfied until they remake everything to according to KJS demands.

TEC is becoming more and more like a dictatorship and less and less like the democracy as it was founded. Really very sad but I am glad I am no longer part of that mess.

[9] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 1-10-2013 at 09:19 AM · [top]

Guess: the clergy in question agree not to insert themselves voluntarily into any future litigation to which TEC is a party (as by filing an amicus curiae brief) , but do not repudiate or deny their beliefs as to the polity of TEC.

[10] Posted by Real Toral on 1-10-2013 at 10:20 AM · [top]

Ha, ha.  Word just in - they didn’t cave but actually arrived at a very reasonable and fair Accord.  In response, the PB has accepted this Accord as written renunciation of their orders from all involved - those accused AND those tasked with negotiating.

Seriously - I would guess that Real Toral is probably close to the mark.

[11] Posted by jamesw on 1-10-2013 at 12:29 PM · [top]

Hi Sarah,

Just to be clear on my end, I did not mean to imply that you were expressing any sort of negative opinion (“caving” or otherwise) about the bishops and clergy under “conciliation.”  However, as you are well aware, the CP bishops and ACI (and all named are in one or both groups) in general receive a lot of “friendly fire” as is, and I was only speculating as to what that friendly fire might have been had Bishop Martins message been allowed to stay in place rather than suddenly disappearing.

In point of fact, over the years, I have had communications with a number of the bishops and priests named in the original charges, and whatever disagreements we might have had, they have always shown great charity to me.

[12] Posted by tjmcmahon on 1-10-2013 at 12:36 PM · [top]

Realistically, unless Bishop Martins becomes real tame real soon, I don’t expect that he will last much longer in TEC.  He is way too honest, way too transparent, and way too fair-minded to escape notice from the liberal extremists.  Now that Mark Lawrence has been purged, the fanatics will turn their bile on the next most well-known and vocal conservative, and that bishop is Dan Martins.  He already has a huge strike against him in that the fanatics in San Joaquin opposed his consents, and past experience is that KJS and the Potemkin diocese fanatics work hand-in-glove.

The big question is whether Dan Martins can survive until 2016, and if so, whether at that time (a) the moderate liberals win out and elect a more live-and-let-live liberal as PB; (b) the fanatics win out and either put KJS in for another term or elect someone just as autocratic.

Personally, I think that odds are against Bishop Martins, which is too bad, because so far, I have a lot of admiration for him.

[13] Posted by jamesw on 1-10-2013 at 12:37 PM · [top]

Real Toral, If the Accord is close to what you think, these bishops and other clergy just handed a HUGE VICTORY to KJS and her minions as I bet TEC will want to get that amicus brief thrown out of court ..... just watch and see.

I agree that Bishop Dan Martins will be the next target then perhaps Brewer of CEntral Fl. They will keep going until there is not one believing bishop left in TEC just like they want!

[14] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 1-10-2013 at 01:03 PM · [top]

TJ—we understand each other!  ; > )

[15] Posted by Sarah on 1-10-2013 at 02:13 PM · [top]

Confidentiality agreements are common in any kind of out of court settlement.  What this tells me is that all of the talk about the new Title IV being a pastoral rather than juridical model is a bunch of horse feathers.  If the concern was pastoral, certainly everyone would understand the pastoral need that Bishop Martins has to communicate with his diocese.  I would assume that many in the diocese would have a great sense of relief knowing that they are not going to get the same treatment as South Carolina…yet. 

Of course the pastoral needs of the church are nothing compared to the need of certain people to feel omnipotent.  The narcissistic personalities that run TEC never cease to depress me.  O for the days of Browning and Griswold again, when Presiding Bishops actually wanted to try to hold the church together.  They were heretics, but at least they were rational heretics.

[16] Posted by observer145 on 1-10-2013 at 03:03 PM · [top]

Friends, it all goes back to Orwell,

“All pigs are equal, but some (TEo) faithful) are much, much more equal than others!”, and this,after all, is from the queen swine in the sty.

Sorry, Mother, I just cannot behave myself any more!

[17] Posted by Fr. Chip, SF on 1-10-2013 at 03:10 PM · [top]

#16 Title IV as amended was not intended to be pastoral from the outset.  The canon was reworked so as to strengthen the hierarchal argument.  Like in so many progressive initiatives, soft words are used to describe something really terrible.  If the truth were told, nobody would stand for it. The previous Title IV had at least a modicum of due process; the new version has none…As Alan stated, once started the subject clergy has no hope of ever coming out the same again. 

I picture the conciliation meeting to be very similar to a scene from The Godfather where the conciliator makes a deal that should not be refused; or heads will roll…

[18] Posted by aacswfl1 on 1-10-2013 at 04:37 PM · [top]

I confess, the writing here is somewhat small and my eyes play games with what needs to be read.  The first name I saw was “Don Martin.”  You can guess when I grew up…..

[19] Posted by maineiac on 1-10-2013 at 07:26 PM · [top]

Cranmer writes:
“...This shall be my first exhortation: That you set not overmuch by this false glosing world, but upon God and the world to come. And learn to know what this lesson meaneth, which St John teacheth, that the love of this world is hatred against God…”

“...And now I come to the great thing that troubleth my conscience more than any other thing that ever I said or did in my life: and that is, the setting abroad of writings contrary to the truth. Which here now I renounce and refuse, as things written with my hand contrary to the truth which I thought in my heart, and writ for fear of death, and to save my life, if it might be: and that is, all such bills, which I have written or signed with mine own hand, since my degradation; wherein I have written many things untrue. And forasmuch as my hand offended in writing contrary to my heart, therefore my hand shall first be punished. For if I may come to the fire, it shall be first burned…”

[20] Posted by Ralph on 1-11-2013 at 08:40 AM · [top]

My favorite part is when they continue to consider themselves a church.  That always cracks me up.  So, what is going on here?

‘...my church threatened to enforce a confidentiality agreement against a bishop for updating his diocese on a church conciliation process without revealing the substance of an agreement in principle…’

wink

[21] Posted by tired on 1-11-2013 at 08:53 AM · [top]

Jamesw at #13, I fear you are correct.

[22] Posted by MichaelA on 1-11-2013 at 06:29 PM · [top]

An article on Virtue on Line by Bishop Love about the same conciliation meeting that I assume Bishop Martins was a part of is copied below.  The letter from Bishop Love remains.  The only differences that I can see are that Bp. Love does not mention the 2 priests that were involved in the case.  Also, Bp. Love states that the Accord is not final until all parties have signed the document.  Bp. Martins states that we have all signed a confidentiality agreement and await the PB agreement, signature, and announcement.

You can make your own conclusions.

Taken from Virtue on Line by Dr. David Virtue
RICHMOND, VA: Bishops Resolve Complaints against them
Accord will remain confidential till all parties sign off

From Bishop William Love
January 9, 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

For the past two days (Jan. 8 and 9), I have been participating in a conciliation meeting in accordance with Canon IV.10 in Richmond, VA, concerning complaints raised over an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief that I was a signatory to along with six other bishops in April 2012, involving an ongoing court case in the Diocese of Fort Worth.

We have reached an agreement in principle which resolves all the complaints brought against me and the other six respondent bishops named in the Fort Worth Complaint. In accordance with Canon IV.14.5, the terms of the Accord still have to be signed by all involved and are not final, thus remaining confidential until approved and released by the Presiding Bishop.

I greatly appreciate the concern expressed regarding this issue and all the love, support and prayers offered on my behalf and the others involved in this process. As always I am humbled and honored to serve as the Bishop of Albany. May the Lord Jesus Christ bless, guide and lead us as we continue to go forth in His name.

Faithfully Your Brother in Christ,

+Bill

The Rt. Rev. William Love is Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany

[23] Posted by Carpe DCN on 1-11-2013 at 08:21 PM · [top]

So, did KJS sign off on the thing, or not?

[24] Posted by tjmcmahon on 1-15-2013 at 06:11 PM · [top]

tjmcmahon:

See this.

The process is not over and more meetings for “conciliation” will be held in the future.

[25] Posted by jamesw on 1-15-2013 at 07:59 PM · [top]

Thank you Jamesw.  One sees that Bishop Martins was overly optimistic in his take on the situation.

[26] Posted by tjmcmahon on 1-15-2013 at 09:56 PM · [top]

Does anyone know if this session was just for the bishops involved and that the two priest will be dealt with (ooops I mean undergo “conciliation”) at another future meeting? If so, that could be part of the reason for the varying ways the finality of the accord is described. Bishop Love described the meeting he attended as involving the bishops…. but not the two priests?

[27] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 1-15-2013 at 10:53 PM · [top]

Something that no one has examined yet in any of the articles or commentary on this is the impact on Nashotah House.  With its president and Dean (+Ed Salmon) and the current Chair of the Board of Trustees (+Dan Martins) in this “conciliation” process,  it is difficult for me to believe that Nashotah is not one of the primary targets of KJS and Co. in their ongoing unconstitutional attack on these bishops and priests.  For anyone to comment from Nashotah would probably be taken as a breech of the confidentiality agreement by +Salmon or +Martins.

I mean, can’t you see a scenario playing out in KJS’ head, where the Dean and Chair “renounce their orders” and she “has to step in” and “appoint a provisional Dean and provisional Chair” to oversee the seminary (current bishops of Milwaukee and Chicago, perhaps?  Lee is actually a Nashotah grad, although during that period when it was falling over itself to catch up with revisionism in TEC), and while she is at it, will determine that she “does not recognize the current Board” and replace them as well?

Yes, I know the seminaries are independent educational institutions- Nashotah is not a TEC seminary, as such. But the term “Episcopal Church” does appear in some of it foundational documents, and it has always had an Episcopal dean (as far as I know). The legitimate Board might even win after the 10 year legal battle, but would the seminary survive intact?  As we see in S Carolina, not having a legal leg to stand on in no way impedes TEC from charging in.

[28] Posted by tjmcmahon on 1-16-2013 at 07:48 AM · [top]

The legacy of TEC is not being preserved. The leadership is changing it along with drawing down the financial endowment. the polity and theology (missiology, Christology, soteriology) has been recast to such an extent that nothing including the name of the organization remains the same. Perhaps a memorial service should be held for the organization.

[29] Posted by Fr. Dale on 1-16-2013 at 08:17 AM · [top]

I would guess that Nashotah House and Trinity School for Ministry would both be in the crosshairs of the malevolent TEC leadership. However, not even the PB can take away a faculty member’s academic credentials. I doubt that the accrediting bodies would care about ordination status.

[30] Posted by Ralph on 1-16-2013 at 10:35 AM · [top]

Ralph,
“However, not even the PB can take away a faculty member’s academic credentials.” What they can do however, is determine who is hired. What kind of faculty do you think Katherine Raggsdale would allow in the door? EDS for example is engaged in indoctrination and propaganda dissemination. The incestuous loop then hires those individuals who sat under their tutelage.

[31] Posted by Fr. Dale on 1-16-2013 at 02:09 PM · [top]

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