The Most Reverend Frank Griswold said he had no knowledge of any relationship between the Episcopal Church of the USA and the Episcopal Church of Solomon Islands. “It (Episcopal Church of SI) is not connected in any way to the Episcopal Church, USA,” he said. “Our church in no way supports or endorses the defrocked cleric’s activities,” Rev Griswold said in a letter to the Church of Melanesia this week.
Rev Griswold made this statement in the light of the Church of Melanesia’s (COM) decision to defrock its former leader. According to COM, former bishop Legumana has hosted meetings at Honiara High School to raise funds for the establishment of an organisation calling itself the Episcopal Church of Solomon Islands.
The COM welcomed Bishop Griswold’s statement. It issued an official, but unsigned, statement on the row yesterday. In its statement, the COM said Bishop Griswold’s declaration showed that Mr Legumana’s group is in no way connected to the internationally recognised Episcopal Church. It was simply using the name of a respected church.
“A bishop is called to guard the ‘faith, unity and discipline of the church’ as no one can be loyal to two different ecclesiastical organisations. “If any ordained and consecrated person wants to lead people into schism, to accentuate division, then that person has broken his voice and the Archbishop has only done his duty in removing his licence to officiate in the Church of Melanesia,” the church said.