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Dissenting Episcopal Bishop Robert Duncan on CNN

Dissenting Episcopal Bishop

Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan on CNN

BY Soledad O'Brien

Duncan explains why he and his group are challenging the Episcopal
Church leadership over the ordaining of the first gay bishop. He says
they are basing their challenge on the scripture, not opposition to
homosexuality.

Dissenting Episcopal Bishop

Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan on CNN

BY Soledad O'Brien

Duncan explains why he and his group are challenging the Episcopal
Church leadership over the ordaining of the first gay bishop. He says
they are basing their challenge on the scripture, not opposition to
homosexuality.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: One of the dissenting Episcopal bishops
joins us this morning from Pittsburgh.

The Right Reverend Robert Duncan, who's been named moderator of the
rival network, is with us.

First, give me a sense of how much support do you have for your
organization?

RT. REV. ROBERT DUNCAN, BISHOP OF PITTSBURGH, NETWORK OF ANGLICAN
COMMUNION DIOCESES & PARISHES: Well, there are 13 bishops who came
together to make a commitment to form this network and those 13 bishops
represent 13 dioceses, which are dioceses from coast to coast and from
the Canadian to the Mexican border. We estimate that about a third of
the members of the Episcopal Church across the country stand in clear
opposition to what the Episcopal Church did this summer.

O'BRIEN: You're challenging the church leadership. We heard from Susan
Candiotti a list of some of the issues. What specifically do you think
is the main issue that your rival group has problems with?

DUNCAN: Well, the main issue actually is the authority of scripture and
the person and work of Jesus Christ. While the outward symptom or sign
is the consecration of a man who's in a same sex partnership and the
blessing of same sex unions, what this really is symptomatic of is a
disregard and even an abandonment of fundamental clarity in scripture.

And it's a movement for the whole...

O'BRIEN: So you -- so forgive me for interrupting you.

DUNCAN: Yes?

O'BRIEN: I'm just trying to clarify here.

DUNCAN: Sure.

O'BRIEN: You're saying it's not that you have a problem that the bishop
is openly gay, you feel the scripture does not support it?

DUNCAN: Yes, that's exactly right.

O'BRIEN: Does the scripture support open gay members?

DUNCAN: The -- again, what scripture does is to call people to a life of
holiness and self-sacrifice and taking up the cross. So what scriptures
do is saying that god's love is for absolutely everybody. So, of course,
god's love is for gay people, as it is for folks with any kind of
falling or failing or sin.

O'BRIEN: So you wouldn't oust your gay members but you would like to
oust your gay bishop?

DUNCAN: Well, no, let's be clear. What we're asking of our gay members,
like we're asking of our straight members, like we're asking of those
who are tempted to adultery within a marriage and those who are tempted
to steal or cheat or lie, any of that list of moral failures, what we're
asking of them is to turn and live a new life.

O'BRIEN: So you're saying that the bishop who's been consecrated is
living a life of moral failing and all your homosexual members are moral
failures?

DUNCAN: Well, I'm saying that I'm a moral failure, that we're, you know,
Christianity has a view of human beings that says we don't do what god
wills for us to do. And this is why what's happening in the Episcopal
Church is so off track, because the Episcopal Church is saying that you
don't have to change, you don't have to be transformed. Just as you are
is just fine.

And you're just as you are, sort of in god's love, is one thing. But
once you receive god's love, god asks you to live a new way, to live for
him, to mirror him, to live in a kind of holiness that's so different
from the way things are in the world.

O'BRIEN: There's been a proposal -- and we only have a few seconds --
that would, under the conservative parishes, those who are uncomfortable
with the authority of the liberal bishops would be allowed to sort of
have a different leadership.

Would you agree with that kind of proposal? Would that be something
that would work toward solving the dispute between the two sides?

DUNCAN: Well, absolutely. That's one of our, one of the main things we
are working for. And it's one of the things that the international
leaders of our Anglican Communion called for. Very important for people
who are, who are actually, in some cases, being persecuted, being told
they have to change.. What it is Christians have understood in every
age, in every place, and that the Episcopal Church has moved in a way
that's just totally innovative and unconnected.

O'BRIEN: The Right Reverend Robert Duncan joining us this morning.

Thank you.

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