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More Problems with Bishop Cox’s Deposition

Wednesday, March 26, 2008 • 10:20 am

This time, it’s with 815’s identification of exactly who it is they’re deposing. In the letter below, the person they’re deposing is “The Right Rev. William J. Cox - Bishop of the Diocese of Maryland, Resigned.”

In fact, Bishop Cox was the suffragan bishop, not the diocesan bishop, of Maryland, and when he resigned, it was as Assistant Bishop of Oklahoma, not Maryland.

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Seems as though the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing these days at 815, doesn’t it?

[1] Posted by Cennydd on 03-26-2008 at 11:39 AM • top

Details! Greg, you are too concerned about details. We have the man, so let’s convict him carry out the execution, we’ll find the evidence and fill in the blanks later, when we can make the story fit our ideas.

[2] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 03-26-2008 at 11:45 AM • top

If this keeps up, there will soon be only one bishop left in the Episcopal Church: Her Royal Highness.

[3] Posted by David+ on 03-26-2008 at 11:46 AM • top

Suppose a number of the Archbishops, Metropolitans, and Presiding Bishops in the Anglican Communion write back and say, “We still recognize Bp Cox as a bishop and he is welcome to officiate in our Church”? 

One of the things that made the Anglican Communion a communion has been the mutual recognition of members and ministries.  Individuals could move from one country to another and change parish membership by a letter of transfer, not by a second confirmation.  Clergy could move from one country to another and serve in the new country by license or by a letter dimissory.

But now we have clergy being deposed, and member Churches refusing to recognize the deposition—or in some cases refusing to recognize an ordination or consecration.  How much longer can this sort of semi-communion go on?

[4] Posted by AnglicanXn on 03-26-2008 at 11:56 AM • top

I find that many TEC leaders today seem to have a weak grasp of history, and that may have coloured this notice.
  Question:  What was the sin or misstep for which Bishop Cox was allegedly deposed?  I seem to recall he resided in the Dio OK, but traveled into the Dio KS and conducted confirmations and ordinations, at the behest of an African bishop, at a post-TEC parish.  Charges were then filed against Bishop Cox by the OK and KS bishops for conducting episcopal services without local permission—similar to the charges now being brought against Bishop McBurney.  But didn’t Bishop Cox then walk away, resign (or attempt to), and affiliate with the Province of the Southern Cone??
  So is the good bishop being defrocked for the unauthorized services, or for the affiliation w/ PSC??  And if the answer is the affiliation with PSC, how does that compare with the path Bishop Bena has taken??

[5] Posted by Dick Mitchell on 03-26-2008 at 11:58 AM • top

+KJS: “and a majority of the members of the House of Bishops entitled to vote having consented to this Deposition ...”

Of course as set out here the actual words of Canon IV.8 are “if a majority of the whole number of Bishops entitled to vote…”

The PB has been not only prepared gloss over the failure of the HOB vote under the canons but to pronounce and record the deposition in the presence of two bishops as witnesses.

It is not just a failure of honesty and truthfulness on the part of the Presiding Bishop it is a day of shame for all Anglicans associated with the Episcopal Church, us included.

[6] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 03-26-2008 at 12:11 PM • top

Are the Episcopal Witnesses related to the Episcopal Visitors?  Are they real bishops, or do they just play them on TV?

Has there been a poll yet of the “Archbishops and Metropolitans” and the “Presiding bishops of Churches in communion with this church” to determine how many of them recognize the deposition of the bishop of <strike>Maryland, Oklahoma</strike>, Southern Cone? I wonder if, at this point, Bishop Cox is not in communion with more of those Archbishops and Metropolitans than is bishop Schiori.

[7] Posted by tjmcmahon on 03-26-2008 at 12:13 PM • top

Picky!  Picky! Picky!  wink

[8] Posted by Piedmont on 03-26-2008 at 12:14 PM • top

I have just looked at the address list this pack of fibs has been addressed this to the Primates of the Communion as well.

[9] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 03-26-2008 at 12:21 PM • top

AnglicanXn, that could very well happen.  Schori and Company could find themselves in an uncomfortable and sticky situation if the primates DO respond with statements of support for Bishop Cox, and they’ll look even MORE foolish than they already are! 

Sorta like shooting oneself in the foot, or cutting off the the head to spite the face.

[10] Posted by Cennydd on 03-26-2008 at 12:25 PM • top

Very sloppy.

[11] Posted by Violent Papist on 03-26-2008 at 12:28 PM • top


Suppose a number of the Archbishops, Metropolitans, and Presiding Bishops in the Anglican Communion write back and say, “We still recognize Bp Cox as a bishop and he is welcome to officiate in our Church”? 

I think you will find that this is indeed the case.  I am reasonably sure that the continued recognition of Bishop Cox by some members of the HoB (much less the rest of the world) will be used in the deposition arguments against the remaining orthodox bishops of TEC.  It goes without saying that Southern Cone recognizes Bishop Cox, and that a number of the Anglican jurisdictions that are in communion with Southern Cone also recognize Bishop Cox (in truth, it would be difficult to argue that you are in full communion with a national or provincial church if you do not recognize the legitimacy of its bishops- even if a national church is nothing but an “abstraction”).  As someone still on the rolls of TEC, I recognize the legitimacy and authority of Bishop Cox, and if KJS wants to excommunicate me for that, well, bring it on.

[12] Posted by tjmcmahon on 03-26-2008 at 12:29 PM • top

Good for you, Greg, to bring this document to our attention.  We should make much greater outcry about Bp. Cox’s deposition.  Who in the world would not empathize with him?  His supposed “offenses” were so minor and so well-meaning (even by the most hostile evaluation) that it is astonishing the church would have moved against him.  Every Anglican in the world should be made aware of the circumstances.

[13] Posted by Paula on 03-26-2008 at 12:44 PM • top

He is 86 years old looking after a wife with Alzheimers - for Shame.

Bless you dear Bishop Cox.

[14] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 03-26-2008 at 12:49 PM • top

Their internal paperwork is no better than their filmsy theology.  These people would be a joke if they were not causing such disaster and pain.  I would think Rowan would kick em out just for all the embarassment they have caused him.

[15] Posted by Elizabeth on 03-26-2008 at 12:50 PM • top

Hell, let’s just issue a blanket disposition of every one and sort it out later. We will order sandwiches in…

[16] Posted by Intercessor on 03-26-2008 at 12:58 PM • top

I’m rapidly losing respect for Goodwin Procter. Back when I was a wet behind the ears associate, any official document like that would have been thoroughly proofread.

Help celebrate our Katie’s 54th birthday!

[17] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 03-26-2008 at 01:02 PM • top

If being picky is good enough for SC electing a bishop (twice), it’s good enough for the HOB “deposing” a bishop.

[18] Posted by Jason Miller on 03-26-2008 at 01:12 PM • top

Bishop Cox is a humble, gentle man of God.  And, as noted in the letter, he has resigned.

How stupid is it to waste time and $ deposing a bishop who has resigned??  What is the point??

Shame on you Shori.  Shame on you.

[19] Posted by B. Hunter on 03-26-2008 at 01:15 PM • top

This letter was issued by the same persons responsible for $200,000,000.00 in trust funds.

[20] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 03-26-2008 at 01:29 PM • top

Take heed…

“If I am found guilty they can’t put me in jail, they can’t strip me of my bishopric; orders are for life. All they can do is prohibit me from ministering in the Episcopal Church. The real and deeper question is, who is going to be left to minister to faithful orthodox believing Episcopalians in the coming months and years?”

[21] Posted by Festivus on 03-26-2008 at 01:30 PM • top

The real and deeper question is, who is going to be left to minister to faithful orthodox believing Episcopalians in the coming months and years?”

Windsor Bishops, your responses please?!  This week (first week in Eastertide 2008) and with clarity, please.

[22] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 03-26-2008 at 01:39 PM • top

This is based on outright fraud (he was never inhibited, as the Canon requires, since the three senior bishops with jurisdiction did not so consent) and on a whopper of a lie (that “a majority of the members of the House of Bishops entitled to vote” consented to the deposition).

How I wish, for the sake of all those who will follow in the wake of this cruel action, that Bishop Cox would consent to having a suit for defamation filed against KJS and Beers based on their deliberate, willful violation of the Canons.  It’s not about money or revenge—someone needs to stop this evil from spreading.  Lord, have mercy.

[23] Posted by hanks on 03-26-2008 at 01:52 PM • top

I can’t read it.  Can you change/darken the color of the font to make it easier to read?

[24] Posted by mactexan on 03-26-2008 at 02:16 PM • top

Breaking News:
Schori Deposes Archbishop of Canterbury for Fraternizing with Humans ... By Acclamation, Schori declares herself a simple majority and dissolves HOB - declares herself Queen of Narnia. Bishop Cox turned to Stone! Reward posted for information leading to the arrest of humans.  Everlasting winter declared as environmentalist solution to global warming!
(Mea Culpa ... is satire)

[25] Posted by monologistos on 03-26-2008 at 03:40 PM • top

In other words, +Cox will not be allowed to work without a wage, even if he wanted to.  TEC has created a situation that nullifies the possibility of a retired person being taken advantage of by well-meaning (but poor) congregations. 

Does it qualify as “social justice,” if a positive effect is unintentional?

Bishop Cox, in all seriousness, I envy you.  If you do not hang this letter in your household’s Place of Honor, you should consider doing so. 

[And no, those were not typos]

[26] Posted by J Eppinga on 03-26-2008 at 04:35 PM • top

This is nuts. Is it valid if they depose a bishop from the wrong diocese?!

[27] Posted by Andrewesman on 03-26-2008 at 07:11 PM • top

...from the Lizzy Borden School of Diplomacy…

[28] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 03-26-2008 at 09:28 PM • top

Anglican Xn [4] asked,

Suppose a number of the Archbishops, Metropolitans, and Presiding Bishops in the Anglican Communion write back and say, “We still recognize Bp Cox as a bishop and he is welcome to officiate in our Church”?

tjmcmahon [12] and cenydd [10] both think this could happen

If it does happen, and TEC deposes more orthodox bishops, won’t the result, in practice anyway, be the separation of TEC from the rest of the Anglican communion?  If TEC doesn’t recognize the bishops who defy them, and the rest of the Communion doesn’t recognize TEC’s non-recognition of them, nor any future non-celibate gay bishops, can the two still be said to be “in communion” with each other?

Historians, what did the early church do after the Ecumenical Councils when Arianism etc were rejected as heretical?  Was there always a de jure breakup with all of the heretical bishops formally deposed and excommunicated by the Church, or was part of the separation a somewhat sloppier de facto split, similar to what may happen between TEC and the rest of the Anglican Communion, or at least between TEC and the (currently hypothetical) “Communion-within-Communion” of Covenant signatories?

[29] Posted by kyounge1956 on 03-26-2008 at 10:46 PM • top

Anathemas were read out, sometimes people went into exile, it was not neat and tidy. The campaigns against the Donatists in North Africa and the later Iconoclastic controversies were particularly vicious.  Persecutions came and went.  Crusades went awry by nature and by design.  Churches aligned under the flags of nationalism and Christian nations warred with one another.  Faith grew cold in many places and people became cunning and wicked.  The saints endured and gave witness to the power of the Holy Spirit, people were faithful in worship and the Gospel was proclaimed in many places.

[30] Posted by monologistos on 03-27-2008 at 01:34 AM • top

people were faithful in worship

In that vein, prayers for San Joaquin can be found here.

[31] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 03-27-2008 at 04:01 AM • top

In Dr. Gayle Baldwin’s letter to the Bishop of North Dakota she writes, among other things, ” “Thus, it occurred to me that to obey the bishop in this
situation was not required of me, but to obey the desires of God’s people for pastoral care, for the sacraments and for hearing the Word was required of me. Consequently, I have decided to go ahead with the
celebration of the Maundy Thursday service to be held at Christus Rex on the campus of UND form 5-6 p.m.. March 20th for the Potting Shed community, friends, faculty and students who desire to participate.”

[32] Posted by TomRightmyer on 03-27-2008 at 05:11 AM • top

I sent the note above before I was quite finished. I am unable to see how her behavior differs from that for which a majority of a quorun of the House of Bishops purported to depose Bishop Cox.

Tom Rightmyer in Asheville, NC

[33] Posted by TomRightmyer on 03-27-2008 at 05:13 AM • top

Concerning Gayle Baldwin’s statement quoted by Tom Rightmyer, I am reminded of three basic definitions I heard once:  The Catholic: this is what the Church says; The Evangelical: this is what the Bible says; The Liberal: It occurs to me.

[34] Posted by The Rev. Richard Crocker on 03-27-2008 at 05:37 AM • top

#33, TomRightmyer, How dare you introduce facts and logic into a discussion about the Episcopal Church!

Smugly anonymous

[35] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 03-27-2008 at 06:27 AM • top

I received this comment from someone IN Oklahoma, when I posted the story in our group.  The “mix-up” is even worse..

“To be even more precise, Gloria, Bishop Cox is the “Retired” Assistant
Bishop of Oklahoma. He retired in 1988.”

So, he’s a retired “Assistant”, who resigned later.!

Amazing what a rats nest..

Grannie Gloria

[36] Posted by Grandmother on 03-27-2008 at 08:36 AM • top

They’re approaching this with all of the due diligence and solemnity of a cross burning. 

Re: Pageantmaster’s #9, I wonder how they determined which Churches are in Communion with TEC?  Did they send a copy to ++Akinola?  To the Lutherans?  Perhaps only to the 16 or so international jurisdictions that comprise their vision of “The Episcopal Communion”?

[37] Posted by Connecticutian on 03-27-2008 at 10:06 AM • top

KJS & Co. are looking more and more like the Sanhedrin instead of a Church that is supposed to be spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ and be a light unto the world!

[38] Posted by TLDillon on 03-27-2008 at 10:08 AM • top

More like the Devil’s Privy Council, in my opinion!

[39] Posted by Cennydd on 03-27-2008 at 10:51 AM • top

Tom, the ignorance of our heritage is our real trouble, since we actually have in these canons and in the “Discipline of the Church” a sufficient body of binding regulation.  Some commonly overlooked facts:
(1) That the Episcopal Church is a province of the Anglican Communion; (2) that the provinces of this Communion share a written and customary canon law (discipline) to which the canons of our General Convention are merely a provincial supplement; (3) that legislation by General Convention which contravenes essential principles of this general law is simply invalid.  We would cite Canon Broomfield in “Constitutional Episcopacy” for a succinct limit beyond which the enactments ordering the government of a province may not go:
“those things which can rightly be regarded as belonging to the Chuch as a whole - not merely the Church of the present, but the Catholic Church of all ages - the things which constitute the Apostolic tradition, witnessed to and intrepreted by the undivided Church.  They include matters of faith, order and morals, such s the Bible, the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the threefold ministry of bishops, priests and deacons, with ordination by laying-on of hands, the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, and monogamy.  Whatever falls into this category has behind it the authority of the Church as a whole; and no lesser body of Christians, while claiming a place in he Apostolic Church, and no individual ecclesiastic however highly placed, while acting in an official capacity, should feel at liberty to alter or abandon any such things.

[40] Posted by monologistos on 03-27-2008 at 11:41 AM • top

“Following the Holy Fathers”, the woman in question (either one, for that matter) is no priest to begin with and her actions, as illustrative of confusion and spiritual torment as they are, are not aptly comparable to those of Bp. Cox.  Again, citing Canon Broomfield, we would delineate two kinds of authority:
“There is first the authority connected with the responsibility for maintaining what has been handed down from the past, or has been decided by constitutional means in the part of the Church concerned.  Secondly, there is the authority which is competent to change, reinterpret or adapt what has previously been maintained.  I suggest that in the recognition of this distinction lies the secret of the right adjustment between the special authority of the bishops and the authority of the Church.  According to the principles observable in the New Testament and in the undivided Chuch, the first of the forms of authority is exercised by the bishops in virtue of a commission (Acts i:8) which distinguished the Apostles from the rest of the Church.  The second is operative through them as representatives of the Church, and its exercise requires the concurrence of the Church.”
“Better, indeed, a laudable war than a peace which severs one from God” (Saint Gregory the Theologian).

[41] Posted by monologistos on 03-27-2008 at 12:20 PM • top

I’m sure the snake oil priest-like guy will have a solution for this conundrum.  I can’t wait to read it.  Or perchance the deluded over at Deludium?  It is so difficult to know who now gets to eschew proper naming as a requirement.  If you are opposed to orthodoxy, why allow it to encumber your PB, your HOB, your canons, or your naming?

But that may be a little too consistent….....

[42] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 03-27-2008 at 10:47 PM • top

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