By David W. Virtue
Snubbed for more than three years after resigning as Bishop of Southern Virginia, the Rt. Rev. David C. Bane has joined the Anglican Church of North America and has accepted an invitation to serve as Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
In a copy of a letter sent to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Bishop Bane told VOL he described his action "as one of the saddest and most unanticipated decisions in my life. On the other hand, I can no longer deceive myself that I can be fulfilled and happy without being engaged in Christian ordained episcopal ministry."
"We were assured by all parties that if I resigned, there would be many and varied ministry opportunities for me in the Episcopal Church. With that encouragement I resigned at the 2006 Annual Council and moved to Elizabeth City, North Carolina."
Then began the snubs. He wrote to the national office offering his assistance in any way he could. "I called Bishop (Clayton) Matthew two years ago to ask to be considered for ministry somewhere in TEC. I asked if I had any geographical restrictions and I said that I did not. Since that time I have watched as time after time retired bishops have been appointed to various ministries all over the Episcopal Church without any contact from Bishop Matthews about any of them."
Before he left Southern Virginia, he wrote and called the Rt. Rev. Clifton Daniel, Bishop of the Diocese of East Carolina, offering his services, but got no response. Bane learned that Daniel took his name out of an interim process at St. Andrew's, Nags Head, but did not tell him. Two years ago, he met with the Rev. Canon Win Lewis, his former Canon to the Ordinary, to ask him to submit his name and resume to the semi-annual meetings of the Deployment Officers. He said he would handle Bane's application personally and get back to him. He never did.
Last year. Bane wrote to thirty-five bishops whom he considered to be friends and colleagues offering to work in their dioceses. He received one response thanking him for the letter and wishing him well.
In a direct appeal to Jefferts Schori, Bane wrote, "Katharine, what would you conclude if this were your experience? I do not know what else I could have done since my retirement to try to find ministry in the Episcopal Church. My father died a priest in the Episcopal Church. I have spent my entire life in this Church and intended to do so for as long as I live. However, it is abundantly clear that, for whatever reasons, I am not welcome to serve as a bishop in the Episcopal Church. Alice and I have been completely baffled by the total lack of care or support of any kind from anyone in the Church we have served in for twenty-five years."
The failure of the church to offer Bane ecclesiastical work made him realize that his days in TEC were numbered. He would never hear from them, again. The gorilla grip of revisionism was now a stranglehold on the throat of the church. Bishop Bane decided to make his own move.
"For these reasons I have joyfully and gratefully accepted an invitation from Archbishop Gregory Venables to be received as a bishop in the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. I have also accepted an invitation to serve as Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and to minister in the Anglican Church in North America. On the one hand this is one of the saddest and most unanticipated decisions in my life. On the other hand, I can no longer deceive myself that I can be fulfilled and happy without being engaged in Christian ordained episcopal ministry."
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