Admiral of Morality: Washington Diocese to Have Flying Bishop

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Washington Diocese to Have Flying Bishop

The Diocese of Washington reports that All Saints Parish in Chevy Chase, MD, will have certain activities supervised and performed by Bishop Edward Salmon of the Dicoese of South Carolina as part of a "supplemental oversight" pastoral arrangement to resolve disagreements between the parish and their bishop, John Chane. Bishop Chane appointed Bishop Salmon to visit the parish from time to time, to confirm on his behalf, and to supervise the process of discernment of individuals who wish to explore their potential call to ordination. Bishop Chane will continue to make canonical visitations to the parish and work with candidates for ordination under Bishop Salmon's oversight.

In a letter to the parish outlining the agreement, Bishop Chane noted that "It has become evident in recent months that the current leaders and a substantial majority of the congregation believe that they have significant theological disagreements with me. By initiating the invitation to the leadership of All Saints to consider supplemental pastoral oversight and by asking Bishop Salmon to assist me in this way, I have sought to provide a path toward continued relationship. The goal before us remains, as the Archbishop of Canterbury has said, for us to seek to be in “the highest degree of communion” with one another."

The diocese reports on the development at their website and at their blog, The Daily Episcopalian. The letter by Bishop Chane may be read in full here.

NB: The agreement is a sound and workable flying bishop arrangement that recognizes the integrity of all parties, including the diocesan bishop. Such canonical visitation agreements have an old provenance, as "flying bishops" or "provincial episcopal visitors" in the Church of England and wider Anglican Communion; and less commonly, as "apostolic visitors" in The Roman Catholic Church. As an arrangement with historical precedence and practical application, it could serve as a model approach throughout The Episcopal Church.

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