Polity & Structure
House of Deputies
House of Bishops
Provinces and dioceses of the Anglican Communion
Data & Analysis
Reports & Events
Tools & Services
News flashes, Announcements
software for writers
377 S. Harrison Street, 12D
East Orange, NJ 07018
Phone: 973-395-1068 h
Married February 2, 1974
Don't repeat the mistake on page 847 of The Prayer Book . Here is what God really requires from the chosen people:
A series of essays in the Episcopal Church
THE RIGHT REVEREND DOUGLAS EDWIN THEUNER
5 Wildemere Terrace Concord, New Hampshire 03301
12 March 2007
Gregory the Great
The Most Reverend and Right Honorable Rowan Williams
Archbishop of Canterbury
London SE1 7JU United Kingdom
Most Reverend and Dear Archbishop Williams:
The following letter concerns the presence of the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson at the Lambeth Conference of 2008. It anticipates no response, although I do presume to conclude it with a suggestion for your consideration.
In not inviting a duly and canonically elected and consecrated diocesan bishop to the Lambeth Conference you have disenfranchised the Diocese of New Hampshire, of which I am a member, and the entire House of Bishops and House of Deputies of the American Episcopal Church. Perhaps that would better be expressed as having disinherited us; a term with closer scriptural and theological nuance. In refusing to invite our bishop to Lambeth you have dismissed and demeaned the integrity of our canonical process which is perhaps not your intention but is, nevertheless, clearly the effect. We feel abandoned. Bishop Robinson has appropriately refused the mess of pottage in “the marketplace” that he was offered in exchange for his birthright.
You no doubt surmise, even more than I, that there will be among those invited to Lambeth gay men in relationships, adulterers, and no doubt a few embezzlers, as well, and perhaps several pedophiles and others who “hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may be exposed”. We sinners still prefer to try to do our sinning in the dark. But Bishop Robinson has not done evil in the matter of his lifestyle, he has merely done what he has in the light. And for this you would cast him into utter darkness – which is what you by your refusal to invite him to Lambeth have done to him – and to those of us who in good faith elected and affirmed him?
Although I have not kept count, as I worship around this diocese and beyond, it seems that less and less is your office named in the eucharistic Prayers of the People. I know of no movement or even any intentionality to account for this. I assume it’s simply a result of a feeling that we have been spiritually dismissed. As far as we know, you’re no longer there. The Archbishop of Canterbury has increasingly become a historical artifact with no current interest in or responsibility for the American church in the 21st century. It’s that which saddens me the most because it’s not the understanding that I have learned or taught in 45 years as an Episcopal priest. Here we are back to Samuel Seabury after a quarter of a millennium!
Finally, my suggestion is that you use whatever influence you may have with the powers that be in the Anglican Communion to embrace a new reality in which the Archbishop of Canterbury turns over his role as primus inter pares to a new position elected by Lambeth, the ACC or whomever, who will assume leadership of the communion while leaving Canterbury free to care for his own diocese, the Province of Canterbury and the Church of England. Perhaps this new “Archmetropolitan” “Patriarch”, “Vicar General” or whatever term works, could be someone from outside the Commonwealth and free of all British baggage, thereby helping the Communion to realize whatever global potential it may yet have while leaving Canterbury with a much more manageable job description.
These are my thoughts alone and I have shared them with no one but will do so by copies of this letter to those named below to whom I am ecclesiastically accountable. Hoping that you may read his letter personally, and thanking you for doing so, I remain,
Your brother in Christ,
Douglas E. Theuner
The Right Reverend, the VIIIth Bishop of New Hampshire, Reitired
cc: The Most Reverend Katharine Jeffers Schori. Presiding Bishop, TEC
The Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire, TEC