The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina has elected a new bishop but needs the approval of other jurisdictions. The problem with the prospective bishop is that he has orthodox views, which do not conform to the revisionist majority. Sadly, Arkansas' Bishop Larry Benfield has come out on the wrong side. Happily for those of us who admire truth and virtue, there is one brave churchman to call him on it.
The Right Rev. Larry R. Benfield, Bishop of Arkansas
The Members of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Arkansas
C/O The Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas
Post Office Box 164668
Little Rock, Arkansas 72216-4668
And Via Electronic Mail
March 7, 2007
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Please accept this note as an expression of my shock and dismay in learning that our our diocesan standing committee has voted not to give consent for the consecration of Fr. Lawrence, Bishop-elect of South Carolina. Given the reasoning in support of the gay bishop of New Hampshire's consent, the Rt. Rev. Vicki Gene Robinson, that he had the clear support of the people of his diocese, then I would think, given the overwhelming support of Fr. Lawrence in his diocese, your consent would be immediate--- and with your best wishes---I am deeply offended. The hypocrisy of this action is a sickening display of the continued petty, vengeful, politics of the institutional Church's leadership in some places. Shame on you for punishing the people of South Carolina in such a manner (and to what end), it is beneath your high office as members of an esteemed, and representative, body. Your actions fall short of the stellar example set by the Presiding Bishop in recent weeks, and I pray you will change your minds and grant consent before Friday. I also ask that you make public your decisions, while at the same time seeking out the wisdom of the Diocese of Arkansas as a whole...not a selective few, or those whose views you've vetted.
The Rev. Dr. Walter Van Zandt Windsor,
Rector of Trinity Church, Pine Bluff