A correspondent who prefers to remain anonymous, but whose credentials are those of a canon lawyer, has sent me the following note concerning the Province of the Southern Cone and its reception of dioceses outside its territory. He refers to "Thomas" the correspondent in my prior post "Concerning the Province of the Southern Cone...."
"Thomas is spot on with respect to the duplicitous actions of the Southern Cone. They cannot, under their own rules, accept a diocese from outside the territory listed in their constitution. Nor can they do so within the norms of Anglican Canon Law.
On top of that, there is no way under generally accepted canonical principles that they can receive and license a bishop or other cleric who has been deposed, or who has voluntarily relinquished his or her orders in the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada (or
elsewhere, of course).
The Global South howl that Gene Robinson is not just a bishop in the Episcopal Church, but in the Anglican Communion, and they are correct to say that, though I don't personally understand why they are so distressed about it. But it equally holds that deposition or relinquishment of orders has effect throughout the Communion, and not simply locally within one Province. Ergo, Robert Duncan is simply not a bishop, and this is true not only in the Episcopal Church, but throughout the Communion. He cannot be licensed as a minister of word and sacrament in the Anglican Communion, and any Province that purports to do so has stepped completely outside the bounds of Anglican canonical norms."
So the deposed bishop of Pittsburgh, if he was true to his word about not contesting the matter of the deposition and about being obedient to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church ceased to be a bishop in practice whatever the sacramental character of the office. He is no longer an ordained person in this Church and if he presented himself or was accepted by the PSC as a bishop it is contrary to judgment rendered while he was still an ordained member of this Church.
This Anglican Canon Law correspondent has laid out the argument that leads to the conclusion that the PSC and Robert Duncan are both engaged in matters "completely outside the bounds of Anglican canonical norms."
The fact that the PSC has received him as a bishop in spite of his deposition says only that they and he do not believe that he ever ceased being a bishop in the Anglican Communion. It appears that they are wrong.
Well, there it is.