Springfield diocese resolves impasse over bishop’s retirement



The Rt. Rev. Daniel H. Martins, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield and the Standing Committee of the Diocese have reached an agreement through a mediation process. The process was in response to a conflict arising from the Standing Committee’s perception of the viability of the Bishop’s episcopal oversight of the Diocese while living in Chicago.

The mediation process was overseen by the Presiding Bishop’s Office for Pastoral Development and the mediator was retired Northern Indiana Bishop Edward Little.

The terms of the agreement indicate that Bishop Martins will enter a transitional sabbatical beginning February 1, 2021. The sabbatical will end with his retirement on June 30th, or upon the consecration of the 12th Bishop of Springfield, whichever comes first.

During the transitional sabbatical, Bishop Martins will delegate ecclesiastical authority to the Standing Committee, with the exception of those matters that require the Bishop’s action, including those matters related to ordinations, deployment of clergy within the Diocese (in consultation with the Standing Committee), as well as clergy discipline.

The Bishop’s official visitation calendar will end on January 31, 2021, and Bishop Martins, in consultation with the Standing Committee and with the office of the Bishop for Pastoral Development, will designate a bishop to provide such assistance as may become necessary during his sabbatical. However, it should be noted that, during the sabbatical, Bishop Martins will welcome invitations to preside and preach, including administering baptism and confirmation.