ONE BISHOP TO ANOTHER
By Fr. Wilson (articles ) | December 03, 2003 11:35 PM
Here's an example of Bishop Frank Griswold's mailbag. It's really a lovely, grace-filled and charitable letter, and I found its witness to the Lord Jesus quite moving, and reminding me of what I was privileged to see of Anglicanism at its best.
November 12, 2003-12-03
The Most Revd Frank T. Griswold Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church 815 Second Avenue New York, NY 10017
Mercy grace and peace be unto you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Please know that this comes with my prayers and deepest concern.
I cannot begin to tell you the depth of grief and of betrayal your actions have caused. All of us were conscious of a great movement of the Holy Spirit in the Primates meeting at Lambeth Palace. What seemed an impossible situation suddenly became filled with hope as all of us - including you - agreed on the Pastoral Letter.
It was unbelievable to me to receive reports that you walked out of the meeting and told people that you did not agree with the statement. There may b e some clever way of describing it in your mind so that you can live with it. We have ways of describing it as well. It was dishonest, false, and a great betrayal. How can there be any hope for a shared future when communications and commitments mean nothing?
In meeting after meeting, you have either stayed silent or have protested that ECUSA and your bishops are overwhelmingly orthodox, that you believe the Bible and the Creeds and the faith of the church. In fact, you leave me mystified. What could possibly be considered sin? What needs redemption? Where is judgment, atonement, and where is the cross of Christ?
Now, not only have you signaled your disapproval of what all the primates agreed to at Lambeth Palace, you proceeded to be the chief consecrator at the act which has devastated the Anglican Communion and disrupted centuries of common witness and ministry. Circumstances could not be more clear that it has happened.
The false "gospel" you are promoting by your actions is not saving anyone, but it is an illusion. Calling "sin" "righteousness" does not make it so. It is leading people away form Christ. I can think of no greater betrayal for a Bishop or an Archbishop. In charity and heartbreak, I call you to repent. Until that time, you have broken our fellowship. To sit with you and meet with you would be a lie. We are not one. We do not share the same faith or Gospel. You should resign and let someone else lead; someone who shares the faith of the Communion-the faith of the church catholic.
Despite this pain, the Bible is clear that there is welcome for the repentant. There is forgiveness for those who turn to the Lord. Nothing would give me greater joy than to see you restored. For now, you must know that that you have separated yourself from the great majority of Anglicans (and other Christians as well).
The Holy Spirit is not "doing different things in different parts of the world." He is doing the same thing everywhere: exalting Jesus Christ and bringing people to Him. Come to the Lord and bring your friends. You don't have to stay away, there is room in His arms for everyone who comes to Him.
Yours in Christ,
The Most Rev. Bernard Amos Malango Archbishop and Primate of Central Africa
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