AAC President Comments on Recent Actions by the Diocese and Bishop of Virginia Against 11 Anglican Congregations and 21 Priests
February 8, 2007
For Immediate Release
Last week, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, the Rt. Rev. Peter Lee, filed civil litigation against 11 Virginia congregations that recently departed the diocese and joined the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA). Bishop Lee also inhibited 21 priests associated with the churches under the charge of “abandonment of Communion.” The 11 parishes, which have repeatedly emphasized their desire and willingness to meet the bishop and diocesan leaders at the negotiation table rather than in court, called the legal action by the diocese an “act of betrayal” and has requested that the diocese “step back from this precipitous behavior” so that an “amicable and reasonable” resolution may be pursued.
“These actions by the Diocese of Virginia are shameful and un-Christian, and the bishop’s refusal to consider further negotiation appears to be intentionally punitive,” said the Rev. Canon David C. Anderson, American Anglican Council (AAC) President and CEO. “After leading the churches to believe that their disaffiliation decisions would be respected and responded to with Christian charity and without litigation, the bishop and other diocesan officials have indeed betrayed and deceived these churches, plus attempted to shipwreck the ordained ministry of many faithful priests.” the rest