By David W. Virtue
The Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church lifted the inhibition against retired Quincy Bishop Edward MacBurney saying the Anglo-Catholic bishop apologized for conducting confirmations in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego.
A news story put out by the Episcopal News Service said MacBurney had apologized to Bishop Mathes for going into his diocese and confirming a number of people at one of Mathes' parishes.
However, MacBurney told VOL by phone that he only apologized for upsetting Bishop Jim Mathes by intruding in his diocese but he did not regret confirming the 14 communicants at Holy Trinity Church.
"I apologized for upsetting him and that's all, MacBurney told VOL.
In a September 9 order, Jefferts Schori said that MacBurney had voluntarily submitted to discipline (Canon IV.2(9) and (10)) over a presentment which the Title IV Review Committee issued on Jan. 24, Bishop Mathes, who originally asked for MacBurney to be disciplined because he conducted unauthorized confirmations in San Diego, told ENS September 10 that the order and discipline of the church had been "maintained and in some way enhanced by this process."
"I wrote one line to Mathes apologizing for not respecting his authority as the Bishop of San Diego on the occasion of visiting Holy Trinity on June 3rd 2007. I did not regret what I did in confirming some 14 young people and adults at the church.
"I am not sorry at all. They lifted the inhibition. My attorney Wicks Stephens fought a long way in Philadelphia with the church attorney Lawrence Wright. He put up a good fight in how different canons were being used."
MacBurney said he thought they really wanted to get rid of this inhibition. "They didn't want a costly trial with mud all over their faces. Another reason is that The National Church has three dioceses ready to leave TEC. They have other things on their mind. I am a rather small fish. I was penalized and inhibited for 5 months; it was not without its cost. I am still an Episcopal bishop in good standing."
He said he got the news of his inhibition being lifted by fax from his attorney. "I have not heard personally from either Mrs. Jefferts Schori or Bishop Mathes."
MacBurney said he was relieved to have the inhibition lifted because he is now able to take services in a couple of churches in October. "It hasn't impressed me. The legal situation in TEC is very bumpy and uneven with some bishops being penalized and others not."