A Final Word In Defense of My Bishop, D. Bruce MacPherson

I’ve received blog comments, emails and not a few phone calls of dismay at the idea that +Bruce did not object or voice vote “no” to the resolution addressing the Primates Communique in New Orleans. Accusations have been that he has sold us out, betrayed the faith once delivered, and didn’t voice the opinions of those in the Diocese of Western Louisiana.

Let the record be clear on two points. He proposed a resolution that would have appropriately answered the Primates Communique. He didn’t negotiate on that resolution as Bishop Jenkins is rumored to have done on his. No other Windsor Bishop or Network Bishop did this. He wanted an up or down vote on the Communique, and did everything possible to make that happen. The House of Bishops effectively rejected his resolution.

I also want to remind people of what Bishop MacPherson said while in Tanzania to the Primates. He made his stand, when it counted, and he spoke for many of us in the Episcopal Church and certainly this Diocese. His remarks were more to the point and harsher than Bishop Duncan’s, and Bishop MacPherson is the President of the Presiding Bishop’s Council of Advice. Oh, and the Presiding Bishop was right there when said what he said about her.

So, folks, before you complain or make disparaging remarks about my bishop, you need to keep in mind the above facts as well as the fact that he is still recovering from complications due to his knee surgery which was made worse by attendance at this HOB meeting at the meeting in New Orleans right before that of the Louisiana Interchurch Council.

To all you Monday morning quarterbacks out there, I would also say to you that I’ve been where +Bruce has been when I was at General Convention last year. I’ve been to the den of where the revisionists run things and tried to make a stand for the Gospel and the Church. You frankly do the best you can do. It ain’t always pretty, it ain’t always perfect. But it is brave. +Bruce has consistently done this in every single council of the church, for the last four years. Yes, he wants to stay in the Episcopal Church and he wants the church to remain in the Anglican Communion and to be faithful to the Gospel. He doesn’t want a schism, and he is going to be dead sure he is on the side of the church catholic in any schism in Anglicanism. But, no one at this point really knows where that is. Everyone has opinions, but no one really knows for sure.

This is going to sound perhaps a little crass. Instead of attacking +Bruce for his actions at the 11th hour of the House of Bishops meeting for not standing up and screaming “NO!” as this resolution passed on a voice vote which means it would have passed no matter what +Bruce did, I just wish you would thank him for his leadership during the past four years.

Otherwise, shut up and go do something about this situation in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion yourselves. You take up the fight. Be prepared to count the cost – personally, physically and spiritually. Read over my blog for the last three years since I started it. What are you prepared to do?

Yes, I do need a nap, a glass of milk and a cookie. I’ve had a long day today, among this, court this morning, and five clients in crisis this afternoon.

UPDATE: Just as a reminder:

+Bruce is public enemy number one above Bishop Duncan in Jim Naughton’s eyes, and this is what he said in Tanzania.

7 Responses to “A Final Word In Defense of My Bishop, D. Bruce MacPherson”

  1. 1 nette September 27, 2007 at 1:07 am

    Thank you Brad! Though Bishop MacPherson is not my Bishop I agree with you entirely. You do not know how greatful I am to have your Bishop and your website. It reflects where I am perfectly and gives me something to trust, when there isn’t much to trust these days. So thanks to both you and your good Bishop MacPhereson. Now. if he could just give courage to his friend and fellow bishop to the west of you all. Keep the faith.


  2. 2 VaAnglican September 27, 2007 at 2:01 am

    We should give thanks for all those bishops who have fought the good fight, and most especially perhaps Bishop MacPherson. That does not mean, however, that he and they should not explain themselves when something like this vote occurs with nary a whimpering ‘no.’ In moments like this, sore knees or not, it is time for “Here I stand, I can do no other,” not “it was going to carry anyway,” or “you don’t understand how hard it is when the revisionists control the agenda” or even “it was the best that could have been expected.” The weakness of those once called Windsor bishops was evident for all to see, with devastating consequences. The Archbishop will have noted this as he fashions his endorsement of this resolution. Those hellbent on persecuting the orthodox in the law courts will have noted this flaccid response. Those looking finally to rout any vestige of orthodoxy at the next General Convention will have taken heart.

    Brad, the pain you plainly feel as you defend the good bishop itself suggests you well understand how bad this was. You are right indeed to call others to join the fight he has fought, and to make the sacrifices he has made. But the fact remains that we are an episcopal church, with bishops as leaders for a reason. And those bishops failed.

    So, yes, let us all praise famous men and the fathers that begat us. But let’s not delude ourselves about how truly awful this was.

  3. 3 Jill Woodliff September 27, 2007 at 2:21 am

    The parliamentary process and the money in TEC are now controlled by the revisionists. I don’t know of a time in history when several denominations have successfully become one, as Common Cause is attempting. Either way, to be orthodox and to remain Anglican in North America is daunting. I take heart in Wesley’s words, found at Lent & Beyond: http://lent.classicalanglican.net/?p=3376

  4. 4 VaAnglican September 27, 2007 at 2:53 am

    Jill, the Presbyterians have split and rejoined and split and rejoined again and again through the years, usually because of doctrinal differences that in today’s culture would appear non-essential, and in the context of the Episcopal Church, trivial. But though they are known for their splits, in fact they have proven pretty adept at unifying as well. Most of the Presbyterian groups today are amalgams of various groups that joined together. And today those leaving the mainline Presbyterian church (PCUSA) are finding a home in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church through a synod not wholly unlike some of the groups in our own Anglican Communion Network. So if somehow the issue of Women’s Ordination can be dealt with honestly, there is perhaps greater opportunity for Anglicans to unite, since we have a better history than our Presbyterian friends of tolerating diversity in non-essentials. The biggest difference is that, particularly in the Continuum, there are a plethora of bishops and even “archbishops” that spent a lot of money at Whipple or Almy buying fancy frocks that they don’t want to quit wearing. That ego issue is one the Presbyterians don’t seem to have, given their polity, but which we will have to contend with.

  5. 5 Sam September 27, 2007 at 3:07 am

    Hang in there, Brad. Thanks for setting the record straight. I’m very weary of and disappointed in all the bishop-bashing going on in blog-land today.

  6. 6 Joe Roberts September 27, 2007 at 3:23 am


    +Bruce is my bishop. As a LEM in my parish, I have stood with him at the Altar of God, most recently at the funeral of a priest of 45 years, and at a time when it was obvious that merely ascending the three steps of our high altar caused physical pain to this good and godly man. I confess that I am one of those “Monday morning quarterbacks” that, in part through frustration, in part because I genuinely wonder if it is not better to make even a meaningless no vote based upon principle, questioned this good bishop’s affirmative vote for the HoB response to the Primates. We have talked about this directly and I will not go there in this forum. Suffice it to say, bishops like +Bruce are a rare commodity indeed. Within five to ten years, if TEC still exists, if the present Anglican communion still exists, these good men will either have resigned and perhaps crossed the Tiber, retired or otherwise left the episcopacy. Who will take their place? Dare we consider that? God bless you, +Bruce! And thanks.

    Joe Roberts, Grace Church, Monroe

  7. 7 Stu Howe September 27, 2007 at 6:36 am


    I wanted to take a moment this evening, to express my thanks for the work that +Bruce has done in the past and in New Orleans. I regret the harsh words that the frustrations of the day have unleash against him. My hope this evening is that all of can recover in the next few days and again walk forward in understanding and love.

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