Through the space-time continuum with Bishop Robert O'Neill

The usually excellent Jonathan Petre of the Telegraph reports today that four bishops of the Episcopal Church arrived in London on Tuesday to express their anger about possible discipline of their church for approving an openly gay bishop. Petre identifies the four bishops as Thomas Shaw of Massachusetts, Robert O'Neill of Colorado, J. Clark Grew [Petre spells it as Drew] of Ohio, who is now retired, and Don Johnson of Memphis, Tennessee.

The theological balance of that group -- three bishops who favor gay blessings and one sort-of conservative who has nevertheless excoriated the conservative American Anglican Council -- would reflect the pastoral sensitivity the Episcopal Church normally shows to the rest of the Anglican world.

There's one catch, though: Unless O'Neill has taken up time travel, it's unlikely that he could speak in Colorado on Tuesday night and still have arrived in London on the timetable reported by Petre.

Such a meeting as Petre reports may well be occurring. If it is, however, Petre's source apparently cannot tell one liberal bishop from another.

Update: Bishop Johnson weighed in again on the American Anglican Council, with less anger this time, in a pastoral letter (PDF) dated Aug. 23. In that letter, he refers to a pending meeting with Archbishop Rowan Williams:

God willing, I will meet with Archbishop Rowan Williams at Lambeth Palace in September to share with him what it has been like as your bishop in the midst of the challenges and opportunities presented to us this last year. A generous private donation has underwritten the trip. I am honored to join the long line of bishops from varying theological and ecclesiological perspectives who have had the opportunity to meet with Archbishop Williams in recent months.

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