Bishop Kimsey responds to Bishop Breidenthal

The Lead earlier this month published the letter from The Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal (Southern Ohio) to his diocese regarding his decision not to consent to the consecration of Kevin Thew Forrester as Bishop of Northern Michigan. The Rt. Rev. Rustin R. Kimsey (Assisting Bishop for the Diocese of Alaska, The Fifth Bishop of Eastern Oregon, Retired, Assisting Bishop for the Episcopal Church in Navajoland, Retired) has written an open letter to Breidenthal. Kimsey writes,

Are you attempting to say that the Augustinian view of Original Sin is the only game in town? You and I could cite theologian after theologian who disagreed with one another over this pivotal issue of our nature–and the corresponding issue of the nature of God’s grace–and what occurred on Good Friday–and what was consummated on Easter morning, but the primary point of my entreaty to you is that we should welcome the debate. I find it reprehensible to even think of denying you access to the floor of the House of Bishops because of your theological belief about atonement.

If you prevail and Kevin’s election is not agreed to, what is the next litmus test to be? And perhaps the telling question is: if you prevail and Kevin’s election is not agreed to, what word do you have for the people of Northern Michigan? I would suggest you cut us all some slack and withdraw your opposition to Kevin’s election. In so doing you would add a moment of grace to a Communion that, I believe, is in search of openness and transparency, not inquisitional standards employed through the consent process.

Kimsey’s open letter is here.

We posted Breidenthal’s letter here. The comments to that post reflect a debate amongst progressives and moderates in the church: whether (a) core doctrine is important and bishops are for the wider church and, more important, the world, or (b) core doctrine is open for debate and bishops are for the House of Bishops.

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