The Episcopal Church, dominated by 5 very liberal dioceses, succeeded in deposing Bishop Bob Duncan last Thursday, but it is an empty victory. The Episcopal Church will soon regret this action as it clears the decks for the last stage of realignment that will bring to reality a united Anglicanism in the United States.
Bishop Duncan is likely to head up that new entity, especially given the support that he has received from Anglican Primates around the world. Statements of support for Bishop Duncan began to appear yesterday from Archbishops Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone, Drexel Gomez of the West Indies and Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya. All said they considered Bishop Duncan's deposition "invalid."
"We continue to recognize the fidelity and validity of Bishop Duncan's orders, role, and ministry," they wrote.
Archbishop Mouneer Anis, Primate of the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East hailed Bishop Duncan as a martyr. "It is with great joy that I welcome you alongside the ranks of St. Athanasius, who, as Bishop of Alexandria, was deposed and exiled from his see. St. Athanasius did not waver and stood firm. History proved that his stance for orthodoxy was not in vain. I trust it will do the same for you! So please count it as honor my brother."
Bishop John Fulham, Chairman of Forward in Faith International, made this statement, "Forward in Faith deplores the deposition by the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church of the Bishop of Pittsburgh, Robert William Duncan. Bishop Duncan is a faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and a respected leader of faithful Anglicans both in and beyond The Episcopal Church. His summary deposition shows scant respect for due process and calls into question both the political wisdom and Christian charity of the Presiding Bishop. We welcome Bishop Duncan’s admission to the College of Bishops of the Southern Cone, and call upon all other orthodox bishops to assert their solidarity with him as a bishop in good standing in the Communion."
Support came from closer to Bishop Duncan's diocese in Pittsburgh as well. Bishop David Zubik of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh said he was "very sorry" to learn of the action against Bishop Duncan. Bishop Zubik said, "My heart aches for the Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh. Any time there is division in the church it hurts not only the Episcopal Church, in this case, but all Christians. I have profound respect for Bishop Duncan. He is a good friend and a courageous leader."