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QCH: Disassociation from Bishop Spong

   Disassociation is not new to Bishop Spong and the Diocese of Newark.
   In 1990, at least 75 bishops (including all 26 of the 50 signers of
   the new document who were bishops before 1991) voted to dissociate
   from Bishop Spong and the Diocese in the ordination of openly gay
   priest Robert Williams. By 1994 many more signed the Statement of
   Koinonia drafted by Bishop Spong and calling for the very ordinations
   which provoked the disassociation. At this moment, 90 bishops have
   signed that statement. See their names at
   Disassociation is much milder than a formal 'presentment.'
   Disassociation does not inhibit the one disassociated (and certainly
   does not reject the diocese's gifts and offerings to the Church).
   Disassociation is tantamount to a loud 'harrumph! you embarrass me';
   and I cannot imagine a Christian worthy of the name who has not at
   some time embarrassed other Christians for the sake of the gospel.
   Of the 50 signers of this new disassociation statement, 37 (74%) also
   signed the Presentment in August 1995 to bring Bishop Walter Righter
   to trial for heresy -- and lost in their attempt.
   Of the remaining 13, six became bishops in 1995 or later:
   1995 Robert Duncan
   1995 John Lipscomb
   1995 Vernon E. Strickland
   1996 Paul Marshall
   1997 Dan Herzog
   1997 Mark MacDonald
   Seven bishops who signed here did not sign the presentment against
   Bishop Righter but were bishops when it was circulated:
   1960 Robert Mize, ret.
   1970 Alex Stewart, ret.
   1972 Herbert Edmondson, ret.
   1984 Leopold Frade
   1984 Don Wimberly
   1988 Herbert Thompson
   1989 John H. Smith
   There is a much more generous response when another person's faith
   challenges our own. Imagine our Lord saying, "Why Thomas, you little
   pip-squeak, how dare you ask to see the proof. I disassociate myself
   from you in no uncertain terms!"
   Why in the Episcopal Church we respect Thomas enough to name churches
   after him.
   My bishop invited those who disagree with him to debate him. These 50
   have taken a much safer response, one that frees them from having to
   defend their faith in any of its particulars.
   Do not be afraid of a Bishop who challenges us to think, and re-think,
   and re-think. Beware instead the Bishops of Laodicea, who take no
   risks at all.

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