Bishop Jenkins: Separate in order not to seperate

General Convention

Brad Drell, has a piece on his blog by Bishop Jenkins that makes an interesting point:

“I have for years suggested that the Episcopal Church should separate (do not hear what I am not saying) in order that we need not separate. Again, this is a concept put forward by Rabbi Friedman. By ‘separate in order not to separate’, I do not mean division or schism. I am not talking about parallel jurisdictions, as the concept seems to have been put forth. I am not talking about two Anglican Churches in North America or anywhere else. I am saying that we Episcopalians have lately become too close and as in a marriage, such over-closeness, or fusion, often leads to separation or even divorce. I have been told the Canons do not allow for an appropriate sense of distance in our ecclesiastical relations to avoid an absolute separation for divorce. I may be the only person in the Episcopal Church who believes that we have become fused with one another (I have not been able to sell this concept).”

I’m not sure I understand exactly what Bishop Jenkins is talking about in practical terms here, but I think he’s diagnosed the situation correctly. What he seems to be calling for is a way for all of us in the Church to regain a sense of health boundaries with each other. I’m all for that, and if that can be accomplished with some sort of temporary parallel province structure, I’d be willing to have a go at it.

Read the rest here: Bishop Jenkins – Let’s Separate But Not Divorce

(Via Drell’s Descants.)

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...


  1. BobinWashPA says

    I wonder how that would play out with Network and Non-Network parishes in my Diocese (Pittsburgh). I also wonder if Duncan will allow non-network parishes to exist in peace? I have to admit I never felt so sick and hated as when I went to the diocesan convention. How do we get over all the horrible name calling. I would feel the the clergy would model reconcilliaton and forgiveness but reading over at Stand Firm I don’t see much hope.
    There’s a lot of hurt out there. I am hopeful.
    Blessed Passover and Holy Week.

  2. I have yet to see separation do anything but increase division – whether in institutions or in marriage. Gives both parties space to imagine all the worst about each other. Friedman suggests in his other books that with those who are a problem for leaders – one should bring them closer not separate. There has been way too much Friedman-izing IMO — used like proof texting from the Bible. I think working on commonly agreed on tasks would go a lot further for reconciliation than separation.

  3. Bob – back when +Bob and I were still communicating regularly, I asked him that question. He said that he had no objection to parishes in the dio. of Pittsburgh asking for a DEPO agreement with other, more amenable, bishops. He was willing to give up the assessments too. (Which concerned me back when I was on the Finance Committee.)
    I know there’s been a reluctance to take him up on the offer because of the fear it would effectively validate the other border violations taking place in TEC and the Communion. And I was sympathetic to that view for a very long time.
    But I’m increasingly being convinced that there is little good coming out of going to a convention in Pittsburgh where people (who are in a majority there but in a minority at General Convention) feel that the event gives them a chance to get revenge for the insults they have received elsewhere. (Which I think is at the heart of the name calling that’s been happening there for so long.)
    I don’t know what it would look like, but there has to be a way to allow people in Network dioceses to have access to people more welcoming to their minority views. (And vice-versa for the people in non-network dioceses who would like to affiliate with the network.)
    I’ve never understood why DEPO as it is presently configured is not considered satisfactory. Can someone explain it to me?

  4. Newlin says

    It is not so much that DEPO is the creation of TEC but that under the plan the oversight bishop is under the direction of the Bishop of the Diocese. That is the ‘unacceptable’ part.
    Those seeking DEPO have repeatedly said that appropriate oversight can only come from a person of their choosing who has no responsability to the Diocesean Bishop.
    The same argument is used with Primatial Vicar in that the PV is under the direction of the Presiding Bishop.
    That provision of the plan(s), which keeps it as an episcopal position, is the stumbling block – those seeking DEPO want no connection with the Bishop of the Diocese or, in the case of the PV, with the Presiding Bishop.

Comments are closed.