George Conger, author of the Living Church article, also wrote another version for the Church of England newspaper. In it he writes,
"There is a prima facie case for bringing the US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to trial before a church tribunal for abuse of office, a legal memorandum commissioned by a group of concerned American bishops and church leaders has found. But whether the bishops have the political will to act is unclear, the paper concluded.
Prepared by an international lawyer in response to a request for an independent opinion as to the legality of Bishop Schori’s actions, and their implications for the polity of the Episcopal Church, the April 21 memorandum concludes the Presiding Bishop deliberately and with full knowledge and forethought “subverted” the “fundamental polity” of the Episcopal Church in her takeover of the Diocese of San Joaquin."
Now the lawyer author of the memorandum is identified as "an international lawyer" and the paper commissioned by "a group of concerned American bishops." Bishop John Howe of Central Florida is quoted as having seen the brief (memorandum) but that he does not know who is behind it. I suppose that means the memorandum came to him without names attached.
So we have a memorandum which is not offered for public scrutiny, authored by an unknown "international lawyer" for a group o f concerned bishops, whose concern does not extend to having us know who they are, circulated to bishops and certain well placed correspondents, and not otherwise made public by any bishop in the course of nine days. We might well ask, "What the hell is going on here?"
As to the particulars reported by The Living Church and the Church of England Newspaper, they are to some extent countered by the letter of the Presiding Bishop to the House of Bishops dated April 30th. Her letter did not remark directly on any aspect of the April 21st Memo, and The Church of England article, posted May 1st, observes, "Spokesmen for the Presiding Bishop and the Archbishop of Canterbury declined comment, telling The Church of England Newspaper they had not seen the document."
If the comment that they had not seen the document was made in the past few days, it would appear that the Presiding Bishop's letter was not in response to the April 21st memo. Perhaps the questions from a CEN or TLC reporter provoked a general response. It seems the two documents do not form a question and answer pair.
Much of the April 21st Memo, as reported, seems filled with a different "read" of the canons than what is presented in the Presiding Bishop's letter. One significant difference, however, is that the April 21st Memo impugns the political and ecclesiastical will of the Title IV Review Committee, the Bishops and the whole of the Episcopal Church. The authors "were not optimistic the current legal and political environment within the church would see justice done." That is, the authors were not confident that the Presiding Bishop would be held accountable and brought to trial, given their arguments that "prima facie" there was grounds for such a trial.
Perhaps their lack of confidence is actually in their arguments, since they seem unwilling to let the world see the, know who they are and who commissioned them to write.
We shall see.
Meanwhile the question remains, "Who the hell wrote the Undisclosed Memo?"