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COLUMBUS, OH: Divorced Bishop-Elect Beisner Approved, BUT...

Divorced Bishop-Elect Beisner Approved, BUT...

By Hans Zeiger
Virtueonline Correspondent

COLUMBUS, OHIO (6/16/06)-After three days of closed sessions by the House of Deputies Committee on the Consecration of Bishops, the divided committee has recommended the consecration of the Rev. Barry Beisner as Bishop of Northern California. A minority of the committee rejected the Rev. Beisner's consecration and will submit a minority report to the House of Deputies, presumably because Beisner is on his third marriage.

There is a chance that the House of Deputies will choose to reject Beisner as Bishop of Northern California, based on the minority report, but based on the liberal bent of the HofD that seems most unlikely. It could meet with some resistance in the House of Bishops.

Immediately following the decision, Committee Chair Matthew Chew, a layman from the Diocese of Arizona, told VirtueOnline, "The House of Deputies Committee voted to consent with a minority report." At the morning press conference it was announced that the minority report will be released on Saturday.

Asked whether the minority report concerns Beisner's two divorces and three marriages, Chew replied, "I think that's all I care to say."

When VirtueOnline asked committee member Daniel Dice Esq. of the Diocese of Southern Ohio to comment on the prolongation of committee deliberations, he replied, "The committee until this morning did not finish deliberations." Why? "It just took that long. The committee's deliberations are confidential."

But when the Rev. Paul R. Abernathy, committee secretary from the Diocese of Washington, was asked the reason for the length of the committee's discussions, he replied, "Members of the committee had questions to which we wanted to have answers in the spirit of Christian charity and community. And it was more than worth having the conversation."

When Abernathy was asked whether divorce was at issue in the deliberations, he replied, "Yes."

It is clear that anyone and anything can be approved as a successor to the apostles in The Episcopal Church.

When the Minority Report is issued, VirtueOnline will post it immediately to www.virtueonline.org


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