Jim Mathes, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, had a meeting over breakfast with Bishop Gregory Venables, Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone. After an apology was offered on the part of Bishop Venables, both bishops have committed themselves to trying to find a way to resolve the tensions over “incursions” in the Diocese of San Diego.
From the letter that Bishop Mathes has posted on the diocesan website:
“Over breakfast, Gregory Venables, Presiding Bishop of the Church of the Southern Cone, apologized for not contacting me before making incursions into the Diocese of San Diego. Over the past two years, Bishop Venables together with Bishop Frank Lyons of the same province, have made numerous episcopal visits to our diocese without my knowledge or consent. I was heartened by his apology and relieved to hear him say he had not received either of the two letters I had sent protesting these actions and outlining the harm they caused to the church here in San Diego. Previously, I had taken his silence to mean his actions were intentional.
In light of these new developments, I have proposed that we continue discussing how to mend the tear these incursions have caused in our diocese. I am in preliminary conversations with Richard Blackburn of the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center as a possible mediator for these discussions. I’m delighted to say that Bishop Venables has agreed to consider such a plan and we will be meeting for breakfast tomorrow to discuss it further.
This kind of mutual walking towards each other and entering into respectful dialogue is exactly what the Archbishop of Canterbury has called us to over the past two weeks. Please pray that this, and other breakthroughs of generous love, will be the true fruit of this conference. “
Read the full letter here.