April 28, 2015

In or Out?

The Episcopal Church is slow to rid itself of schismatic bishops. For example, Robert Duncan was deposed less than a month before the split of the Pittsburgh diocese he had engineered was effected; John-David Schofield was deposed only after he nearly destroyed the Diocese of San Joaquin by attempting to take most of it out of The Episcopal Church. Some bishops who are clearly functioning in rival churches still appear to be considered Episcopal Church bishops in good standing. Either publicly available information is out-of-date, or The Episcopal Church is asleep at the switch. Consider three examples.

David C. Bane

David C. Bane. joined the Anglican Church in North America after retiring as the Bishop of Southern Virginia. After informing Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of his having jumped ship, his renunciation was accepted. Episcopal News Service reported this June 15, 2009. ECDPlus, admittedly not the definitive source for information about Episcopal clergy, shows Bane as a bishop canonically resident in the Diocese of Southern Virginia. (ECDPlus pages here and below are shown as PDF pages, since the pages may change in the future.) This seems to be an out-of-date problem. Bane is no longer a bishop of The Episcopal Church, and both official and unofficial church records should reflect the fact.

Alden M. Hathaway

I have a special interest in Alden Hathaway, as he was bishop when I first came to live in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. It was Alden Hathaway who brought Robert Duncan into the diocese as canon to the ordinary. ECDPlus shows Hathaway as a bishop canonically resident in South Carolina. He is further identified as holding a position in the Parish Church of St. Helena in Beaufort, South Carolina. The problem here is that Hathaway is in the breakaway “diocese” headed by former Episcopal bishop Mark Lawrence, not the true Episcopal diocese, currently known as the Episcopal Church in South Carolina. (See list of churches here.) Hathaway is clearly violating his ordination vows and should be deposed. Is ECDPlus wrong—I suspect not—or has Hathaway somehow slipped through the cracks? I could find no mention of Hathaway’s being removed from The Episcopal Church in the Episcopal News Service archive. If he is still considered an Episcopal Church bishop, that needs to be changed. Is there a volunteer who would like to bring charges against the former Bishop of Pittsburgh?

Peter H. Beckwith

Peter Beckwith was Bishop of Springfield from 1992 to 2010. Beckwith has been an officer of the American Anglican Council and had charges brought against him for intervening in the Quincy property case in favor of the schismatics and against The Episcopal Church. Beckwith had long been working with people who set up the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). According to ACNA, he was officially welcomed into its College of Bishops on October 10, 2014. A month later, The Rev. Mark Harris reviewed Beckwith’s activities subverting The Episcopal Church over the years. Noting the official move to ACNA, Harris declared that Beckwith finally “has left the house.” He also observed that there seems to have been no move to remove him officially from the church he has left. Is there a volunteer who would like to bring charges against the former Bishop of Springfield?


Are there other bishops who should not be allowed to represent themselves as Episcopal Church bishops? (I do not pretend to have done an exhaustive search.) Possibly so. It is important to know who is in and who is out of our church. Those who have used their positions to undermine the church should not be allowed to remain in it. If they want to destroy The Episcopal Church, let them pursue their program from the outside. It is time for all Episcopalians to ask that schismatic bishops be removed from the church.


  1. Regarding Bishop Bane, see http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2015/04/28/presiding-bishop-restores-david-bane-to-ordained-ministry/

    1. Thanks, Andy. I had not sought recent information about Bane. The link above is to a press release from the Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs dated today. The title is “Presiding Bishop restores David Bane to ordained ministry.” Apparently, Bane decided to return to the fold, something that was effected, according to the press release, on April 8. My post, which I began yesterday, is ironic. I had no idea that Bane had rejoined The Episcopal Church. I hope that he will be a positive influence in the church. We shall see.


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