Bishop Peter James Lee has been appointed to another prestigious post since his retirement from the Diocese of Virginia in 2009. He has served as both the interim dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco (2009-2010), and as the interim dean of General Theological Seminary in New York City (2010-current) and has now been appointed as interim dean of the American Cathedral in Paris. He is slated to take the post in early 2012.
In addition, Bishop Lee will be awarded the 2012 Distinguished Service Award by the First Freedom Awards based in Richmond, VA. He will receive the award in January 2012.
Bishop Lee served as the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Virginia for 25 years, a time that saw his diocese become the largest Episcopal diocese in the United States.
Bishop Lee worked hard to find a reconciling path during a very difficult period of division in the Diocese of Virginia with the creation of both the Diocese of Virginia Commission on Reconciliation (2004-2005) and his landmark Special Committee (2005-2006) which created the Protocol for Departing Congregations and was chaired by the late Russ Palmore.
Fifteen Episcopal congregations voted to separate from the Episcopal Church following the protocol, however a difficult and costly path of litigation and inhibition was authorized following the elevation of Katharine Jefferts Schori to Presiding Bishop in November 2006.
Bishop Lee’s new position and award may publicly coincide with the long-awaited announcement by the Circuit Court of Fairfax in Virginia regarding the ongoing congregational property litigation. Judge Randy Bellows will hold one more public hearing in his court some time in late October or early November before issuing his final ruling on the fate of the church properties.