2006-08-28 14:59:00

Bishop of Episcopal Church in USA thanks Metropolitan Kirill for support in refusal to recognize election of woman bishop

Washington, August 28, Interfax - Bishop Robert William Duncan of Pittsburg has reaffirmed his refusal to recognize a woman as leader of the Episcopal Church in the USA and thanked the Moscow Patriarchate for support in this matter.

'Your fraternal care for us is a timely confirmation of our will to endure in the face of hardship and adversity. Lamentably, our trial is being brought on from within the Body of Christ rather than by forces outside', the bishop writes in his letter to Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, a copy of which has been communicated to Interfax.

Earlier, Metropolitan Kirill wrote to support Bishop Duncan and other bishops of the Episcopal Church in the USA, namely Bishop John-David Scofield of San Joaquin and Bishop Salmon of South Carolina, who decided to refrain from recognizing Catherine Jefferts-Shori as elect leader of this Church.

'Any attempt to adjust Christian morality and especially the church order to the political tastes of an external environment is dangerous as it threatens with a loss of Christian identity', Bishop Duncan has stressed.

The bishop regrets that among the dioceses led by Pittsburg there are those which do ordain women to priesthood.