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Bp. Philip Duncan Looks Back

Dick Schmidt writes for Coastline, the newsletter of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast about the Rt. Rev. Philip M. Duncan II, who will retire later this year:

Bishop Duncan acknowledged the right of individuals to leave the church but said it always made him sad. “We lost members due to various issues — a gay bishop, a female presiding bishop, the blessing of same-sex unions, and other things,” Duncan said. “Many of these were events and issues in the wider church and didn’t pertain directly to us, but they took a toll on our membership. We lost around 2,000 members in all, including most of the membership of five congregations, but the Diocese has remained whole and we lost no property. One of the congregations with clergy and lay leaders trying to pull it out of the church is now the cathedral parish of the Diocese. God works in wonderful and mysterious ways.”

Bishop Duncan said that court cases to retain church property and maintain the integrity of the Episcopal Church took a toll on him. “That was perhaps the low point of my 14 years here,” he said. “I am most grateful for those who give much of their time and energy and talents to stand firm in the faith.”

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