3 bishops face discipline

The Living Church reports that three resigned bishops of the Episcopal Church face discipline:

An ecclesiastical trial against the Rt. Rev. William Cox is still pending, despite the fact that he transferred to the Anglican Church of Southern Cone last March. Bishop Cox told The Living Church he was not aware that he was still a target of interest to the ecclesiastical court.

Bishop Cox served as Bishop Suffragan of Maryland from 1972-1980 and assisting Bishop of Oklahoma from 1980-1988. He previously admitted ordaining two priests and a deacon at Christ Church in Overland Park, Kan., in 2005 after he was asked to do so by the Primate of Uganda. A month later, he returned to Christ Church and led a service of confirmation.

Disciplinary investigations of the Rt. Rev. Andrew Fairfield, retired Bishop of North Dakota, and the Rt. Rev. David Bena, former Bishop Suffragan of Albany, are in process. Last June, Bishop Fairfield transferred to the Church of Uganda. Shortly before his own renunciation last January, the Rt. Rev. Daniel Herzog, former Bishop of Albany, approved the transfer of Bishop Bena’s episcopal orders to the Anglican Church of Nigeria.

The canons of The Episcopal Church require bishops to receive permission to resign from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction. … Bishops Bena, Cox and Fairfield wrote Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori informing her of their transfers, but they did not request approval for their actions from the House of Bishops.

Unlike priests, bishops cannot be found guilty of abandonment of communion without a trial. According to Title 4, Canon 9, section 1(iii), in order for inhibition and a trial to proceed, the Presiding Bishop must receive the unanimous endorsement of the three most senior bishops with jurisdiction before the accused bishop can be inhibited from performing ordained ministry functions.

Read it all here.

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