Sunday, September 21, 2008

How TEC Railroaded Bishop Duncan

At his blog TitusOneNine, one of Kendall Harmon's blogging elfs examined the voting at the recent Episcopal House of Bishops meeting and discovered who put Bob Duncan on the train. Here is what the venerable Elf wrote:

I'm working on putting the roll call vote data into spreadsheet format, and adding in information about absent diocesan bishops, and reviewing the total number of eligible bishops, etc. I made several startling discoveries.

1. If I correctly understand Louie Crew's House of Bishops data, there were 290 TOTAL bishops that were entitled to vote at the HoB meeting. Only 127 bishops attended the HoB meeting, not even 50% of eligible bishops.

2. ONLY 56 TEC diocesan bishops (or "acting" diocesans, see note below) -- representing exactly 50% of the 112 TEC dioceses -- voted YES to depose Duncan. In the remaining 56 dioceses, the diocesan bishop either voted No, abstained, was absent, or the see of the diocese was vacant. The breakdown is as follows:

29 Diocesans / Acting Diocesans Voted NO

4 Abstained

17 diocesans were absent (TEC only counted 15 as absent, I'm not sure why there is a discrepancy)(among the absent diocesans are at least 4 who would almost certainly have voted No (Ackerman, Iker, Duncan, Wimberly)

6 sees are vacant with no acting bishop (including PA since Bennison is inhibited and couldn't vote)

Among "Acting Diocesans," I've counted Lamb (San Joaquin), Frey (Rio Grande), MacDonald (Navajo), Buchanan (S. Virginia) all of whom attended the meeting.

3. Finally, something else is very striking. A few dioceses had extraordinary clout in the vote. A mere 6 dioceses (Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Connecticut, Chicago, North Carolina and Maine) accounted for 21 of the 88 YES votes (nearly 1/4 of the total Yes votes). Wow.

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