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I am Bob Duncan, the Bishop of Pittsburgh. I wish to speak against the confirmation of Canon Robinson.
I want to speak to you about unconstitutional actions and their consequences, consequences among which are NULLITY, CHAOS and INTERVENTION.
The first sentence of our Constitution reads (in part) as follows:
The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America. is a constituent member of the Anglican Communion, a Fellowship within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, . upholding and propagating the historic Faith and Order as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer.
Three phrases I call your attention to:
1. A constituent member of the Anglican Communion;
2. Within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church; and
3. Upholding and propagating the historic Faith and Order. Confirmation of Canon Robinson will be broadly (sweepingly) unconstitutional on these three grounds:
1. Lambeth (1998) and the Primates (2003) have spoken decisively about homosexual behavior as inconsistent with Holy Scripture.
2. Confirmation will be a rejection of the moral and ministry consensus of the universal Church consistent throughout the ages.
3. The action will deny the historic Faith (as to the doctrine of marriage) and Order (as to the doctrine of Apostolicity). This clearly unconstitutional action will be knowing and intentional. Therefore, it will reap at least these three consequences:
1. NULLITY -- From the Arian controversy of the 4th century a principle was established -- a principle never superseded -- that a convention (council, synod) which acts unconstitutionally (beyond its competence or authority, and in error) may expect all of its actions to be rendered null and void.
2. CHAOS -- That such nullity will free many within the Episcopal Church to disregard all actions of this Convention, its resolutions, canons and its budget.
3. INTERVENTION -- It is precisely an unconstitutional action -- a council acting beyond its competence or authority and in error -- that invites, even demands, intervention from the wider Church, an experience already a part of the life of the Diocese of New Westminster in Canada, and about to befall the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, should this Convention confirm this election.
I thank the Committee for its consideration of these matters.