Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Investigation of Bp. Cox Launched

From the Living Church:

Acting on information compiled in part by the bishops of Oklahoma and Kansas, Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold has asked for an ecclesiastical investigation into offenses allegedly committed by retired Bishop William J. Cox who on June 21 received a formal inquiry into episcopal acts he performed last year at Christ Church, Overland Park, Kan., in a 21-page legal document signed by John Lankenau, church attorney...
Some background information regarding the alleged offenses can be found here. If the investigation finds that there was a serious violation of the canons, a presentment will be issued.

At the time of this incident, the only voice I can recall that noted the potential seriousness of this lack of respect for diocesan jurisdictions was Mark Harris:

...But my question concerns Bishop Cox: Are not retired Bishops of this church under some constraints in jurisdictions of this Church, even including acting in episcopal functions within the jurisdiction but in other churches? And more so in this particular situation where the church in which he was ministering is itself a church in the Anglican Communion? I have a strong sense we are limited in what we can require of the Archbishop, but don't we have some questions to raise here?

Bishop Cox is quoted in the Living Church article as saying,: "The Archbishop of Uganda asked me to do this on his behalf. I did not know the Episcopal Church had become so narrow.” Perhaps there is a matter of "narrow" interpretation here, but I think it is a matter of clarity. Bishops of the Episcopal Church are accountable to the rules governing actions within jurisdictions of the Episcopal Church, and that being so, I think that means we have a right to ask why Bishop Cox thinks this was appropriate.
It took a year, but it looks like we are finally getting around to seeking some answers to Mark's questions.


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