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Dallas: stunned

Received by email

Diocese of Dallas Standing Committee Statement

July 2, 2012

We, the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Dallas, express our support of our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. James Stanton and our Bishop Suffragan, The Rt. Rev. Paul Lambert. In the midst of great turmoil in the Church, they have led us faithfully and well, stating at every opportunity their allegiance to the Episcopal Church and our Diocese’s place within it.

In a letter dated June 29, our Bishops received the following from The Rt. Rev. Clayton Matthews: “As the Intake Officer for the Church, I am obliged to inform you that a complaint has been received against you for your action in filing of Amicus Curiae Brief in the pending appeal in the Supreme Court of Texas in opposition to The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and The Episcopal Church. In the next few weeks, I will initiate a disciplinary process according to Title IV Canon 6 Sec. 3 & 4 of the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church.”

The Brief in question was submitted in April by the Anglican Communion Institute, in which a number of Bishops joined. Significantly, the Brief noted that each of the those submitting the Brief “oppose the decision by [the diocese of Fort Worth] to leave The Episcopal Church.” The Brief goes on to discuss that the submitters believe that the “hierarchy” of the Episcopal Church is in fact more nuanced and complicated than The Episcopal Church had previously argued and the trial court had found in its earlier rulings.

This type of complaint and the large number of spurious complaints against Bishops that have been received since the Title IV disciplinary canons were revised a year ago further demonstrate the urgent need to revisit the Title IV disciplinary Canons. Furthermore, as we approach the 236th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, we find it stunning that Bishops are now facing discipline for expressing their opinion.

We assure our Bishops of our support and call upon the people of our Diocese to be in prayer as events unfold.

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