The Presiding Bishop
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017
I have read with great sadness your letter to Bishop Bob Duncan of Pittsburgh. And, since you have chosen to make your letter to him public, I will make this one public, as well.
I have stood shoulder to shoulder with Bob in the efforts of the Network to reverse the course of The Episcopal Church with regard to recent decisions regarding human sexuality.
I part company with him in his decision to abandon the commitment we made when we formed the Network, to work “within the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church.”
But, Katharine, I cannot support your thinly veiled threat to resort to litigation if the Diocese of Pittsburgh rescinds its accession to the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church.
Dioceses voluntarily join (accede to) The Episcopal Church. And they can voluntarily determine to separate from (withdraw their accession from) The Episcopal Church.
During the Civil War, the Dioceses within the Confederate States withdrew from The Episcopal Church without penalty. They were reunited when that terrible war ended. Perhaps there will be a reunion of presently seceding Dioceses at some point in our future, as well.
But just now, to threaten litigation, especially in the face of the unanimous exhortation from the Primates in Dar es Salaam (an exhortation you agreed to) to end such litigation, is deeply troubling. I beg you to stand down.
This can only harm our relationships as fellow members of the Body of Christ and our witness to the outside world. Warmest regards in our Lord,
The Right Rev. John W. Howe
Episcopal Bishop of Central Florida
\1017 East Robinson St.
Orlando, FL 32801
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