Presiding Bishop responds to Trump’s decision to pull U.S. out of worldwide climate accord

[Episcopal News Service] President Donald Trump announced June 1 that he would pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, a 2015 pledge to limit climate change signed by 196 nations.

The agreement includes a plan to decrease carbon emissions and limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, and a commitment from wealthier nations to provide $100 billion in aid to developing countries. The agreement is the first-ever binding, international treaty in 20 years of United Nations climate talks.

(Click here for an Episcopal Public Policy Network alert on advocating for environmental appropriations.)

The presiding bishop’s statement follows.

With the announcement by President Donald Trump of his decision to withdraw the commitment made by the United States to the Paris Climate Accord, I am reminded of the words of the old spiritual which speaks of God and God’s creation in these words, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” The whole world belongs to God, as Psalm 24 teaches us. God’s eye is ever on even the tiny sparrow, as Jesus taught and the song says (Luke 12:6). And we human beings have been charged with being trustees, caretakers, stewards of God’s creation (Genesis 1:26-31).

The United States has been a global leader in caring for God’s creation through efforts over the years on climate change. President Trump’s announcement changes the U.S.’s leadership role in the international sphere. Despite this announcement, many U.S. businesses, states, cities, regions, nongovernmental organizations and faith bodies like the Episcopal Church can continue to take bold action to address the climate crisis.  The phrase, “Were still in,” became a statement of commitment for many of us who regardless of this decision by our President are still committed to the principles of the Paris Agreement.

Faith bodies like the Episcopal Church occupy a unique space in the worldwide climate movement. In the context of the United Nations, the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, we are an international body representing 17 countries in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia and the Pacific. We also are an admitted observer organization to the UNFCCC process, empowered to bring accredited observers to the UN climate change meetings. Furthermore, the Episcopal Church is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the third-largest Christian tradition, and we remain committed to ensuring that Anglicans everywhere are empowered to undertake bold action on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

We know that caring for God’s creation by engaging climate change is not only good for the environment, but also good for the health and welfare of our people. The U.S. is currently creating more clean jobs faster than job creation in nearly every other sector of the economy, and unprecedented acceleration in the clean energy sector is also evident in many other major economies.

My prayer is that we in the Episcopal Church will, in this and all things, follow the way, the teachings and the Spirit of Jesus by cultivating a loving, liberating and life-giving relationship with God, all others in the human family, and with all of God’s good creation.

In spite of hardships and setbacks, the work goes on. This is God’s world.  And we are all his children. And, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.”

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church


  1. Pjcabbiness says:

    I am thankful for the strength and wisdom shown by our President in this matter and saddened by the position that the church has taken in regard to environmental issues.

    • BP. Raymond Decelles Sawyer, ICAB says:

      I am saddened by anyone who supports President Donald John Trump, where his social justice decisions and climate change issues are concerned. THe wisdom expressed by my Anglican brother in the Catholic episcopate reflects my own. I pray that he and anyone else who puts job over environment is engaging in a deceptive choice.

    • Tonya Riley says:

      I don’t understand how someone could be sad at trying to take care of our planet. Or, be proud of POTUS trying to further injure it. I just don’t understand that stand.

    • Carolyn G. Valentine says:

      U are entitled to your opinion. This is still a free country and your freedom to express your opinion is upheld.

    • Jon Spangler says:

      What about President Trump’s decision makes you thankful?

    • Robert Biermann says:

      I agree with what you have stated. It seems the The Episcopal Church has ceased worshiping the creator, and rather, worships the creation. Scrpiture is replaced by feelings, or quoted out of context. Every year the Episcopal church descends into obscurity and irreverence. Go ahead, Episcopal Church, continue to worship the planet, celebrate sin and mock God. Why does it matter? Your lampsyand left decades ago, you’re nothing but dead bones in fine vestments.

  2. Julie Kaufman says:

    I’m so happy to see this. Thank you!

  3. Roger Hamilton says:

    Good for Trump … my father was an astronomer who said a few years ago, “The Ice Caps on Mars are melting, so it’s obviously our faults.”

    • What a sadly ignorant comment in this day and age.

      • Stephen Schaeffer says:

        Yes, I agree and we know there are many more ignorant people who follow this state of mind!

      • Lynda Strecker says:

        AMEN !

        • mike geibel says:

          I think we should lower the temperature of some of our comments. Name calling is a sign of intolerance and disrespect.

          Scientists have in fact reported that the southern polar cap on Mars has receded due to “global warming” and we know there are no cars on Mars. However, the rise in temperature is now believed to be attributed to the less stable orbit of Mars.

          I am no scientist, but like the Secretary of Defense, I believe that global warming is real. This is despite the false threat of an impending ice age reported by scientists in the 1970’s, and the Climate-gate scandal that revealed some scientists were “cooking their data” to support the global warming theory.

          I’m just not sure the details of the Paris accord are fair or will work. The issue of how to address the problem is more complex and profound than simplistic “reduce carbon emissions by 26%” and for U.S. taxpayers to pay a wealthy country fine of $100 billion every year, and give billions to China and India. I also find it rather presumptuous that former President Obama would commit to it without vetting and approval by Congress–that is our democratic process.

          Some sources say the accord would result in loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs in the U.S., and that cost of gas will increase by 50 cents to a dollar per gallon. Some scientist admit that even if strictly adhered to, the measures will not stop global warming for the decades to come, if at all.

          In 2009, the TEC adopted the “Genesis Covenant,” an admirable and progressive promise to reduce the carbon footprint of all Church facilities by 50% by the next 10 years. Money was made available via “grants” to install solar and other eco-friendly measures. Members were asked to sign on to a similar personal commitment to reduce their personal carbon footprint by 50%.

          I have not seen ENS or the Leadership issue a report card on the success of the Genesis Covenant with the deadline only 2 years away. Me thinks the economic realities are daunting. But I do agree with Bishop Curry’s message that individually, we should continue to take action to address global warming. I was taught that Jesus told us it is better to lead by example.

          • Sue Jones says:


          • Tonya Riley says:


          • Carolyn G. Valentine says:

            I fully support Presiding Bishop Curry. As Americans, we are still entitled to free speech expressing our individual opinions. In that spirit, I will uphold the right of free speech , freedom of religion and my choice to follow Jesus’s teachings and my right to assemble. I would appreciate all in this body to reaffirm those freedoms for all, for the beauty of the Earth and to the Glory of God.

          • Dale Schreck says:

            I totally agree with you, Mike. Even during the last 4000 years the earth has warmed and cooled. Man probably didn’t cause those changes.

    • Jan Nunley+ says:

      This time, look through the right end of the telescope.

  4. Lots of words. I am saddened and not at all impressed that the PB publishes his thoughts on “climate change” so quickly after President Trump’s announcement. Teach the Faith. Every day and in every opportunity. By word and deed, show love to God and neighbour. That’s more than a “full plate” for all clergy. Climate change will show itself in the future to be the “biggest nothingburger ever.” Too many clergy are fixated on it to the detriment of teaching the Faith to their people. And as the years go by, the church slowly shrinks. Pray. Teach. Exhort. Encourage and pray some more.

    “We are the hollow men/We are the stuffed men/Leaning together/Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!”

    • The Rev Dr Mark Barwick says:

      This IS the faith. Not a religiosphere where we can hide. This is our planet home. We ignore it to our peril.

    • MR Scullary says:

      Since you’re in Arizona, I’m sure you will have no problem helping your neighbors from the coastal areas when they are affected even more from stable climatologist predictions. Perhaps reflecting on the signs and symptoms of God reminding us of our responsibilities to this planet will turn out to be more than a “nothingburger” as you immaturely and arrogantly proclaimed. Nice work practicing what you preach, bishop.

    • Jan Nunley+ says:

      Biblical illiteracy in Episcopalians is a terrible thing.
      “The nations raged,
      but your wrath has come,
      and the time for judging the dead,
      for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints and all who fear your name, both small and great,
      —Revelation 11.18-19

    • Jon Spangler says:

      Bishop McMannes,

      You wrote: “Pray. Teach. Exhort. Encourage and pray some more.”

      That is precisely what I believe we should do as a church to fulfill our God-given stewardship for God’s creation, as Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is reminding us. After all, “The earth is the Lord’s and all the fullness thereof…” (PS 24)

      The overwhelming scientific evidence from all sectors shows us that human industrial activity has caused global climate destabilization. It is our responsibility to discern the truth about our world and act upon it. President Trump has–once again–distorted the truth to fit his personal goals to the detriment of the world community, the poor and disenfranchised, and the entire planet. (“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness…” ISA 5:20)

      As Christians who believe in Christ’s reign and His grace, we must “walk while you have the Light,” for “the one who walks in darkness does not know where he is going” (John 12:35-36).

      We cannot afford to walk in the darkness of ignorance or misinformation regarding the fate of our planet and its peoples, either.

  5. Richard Basta says:

    The presiding bishop did not mention that the president was open to renogtiating the terms of the accord as it appliies to the United states. So he is misrepresenting the truth. my knowledge the EPA has not been the vast majority of existing polution controls and thousands of environmental regulations put on place since 1970 or so are still in place. It only changes our leadership role in this one area. I thought that leading from behind sometimes was a good thing. Maybe it is in this case. Why not wait to see how China and India’s economies are impacted by voluntary reductions in carbon emissions first and then readjust our thinking later once we have real world impacts built into our economic models. Making decisions based on observable data in this regard might yield better decisions in the long term.

    • Dick Garber says:

      God’s creation is not a “let’s see what happens” thing for me when I think of my grandchildren and their children and grandchildren.

      • Tonya Riley says:

        I totally agree, we can’t wait to see what happens. We KNOW that our emissions are damaging the global temps. It’s a “now or never”, not a “wait & see”.

    • Jerry Cohen says:

      Although the EPA has not been dismantled but it has a secretary now that doesn’t believe in EPA , climate change or the environment. Also EPA has beed de funded, I know they haven’t shut it down but they are sure trying to make impossible to function.

      Another thing is I like to know what improving the environment the air-quality and the water quality has a downside anywhere. What’s the worst that could happen we live better and live longer and healthier.

    • BP. Raymond Decelles Sawyer, ICAB says:

      I am saddened by anyone who supports President Donald John Trump, where his social justice decisions and climate change issues are concerned. THe wisdom expressed by my Anglican brother in the Catholic episcopate reflects my own. I pray that he and anyone else who puts job over environment is engaging in a deceptive choice.

    • Tonya Riley says:

      The Board of the Paris Agreement has already made it clear that it WILL NOT renegotiate the plan.

    • Carolyn G. Valentine says:

      Wait and see doesn’t work, especially when Pruitt was asked if the President believed in global warming and he could give no answer.
      This is the Church’s posting and as such, respect it.

    • Jon Spangler says:

      Richard Basta asks, “Why not wait to see how China and India’s economies are impacted by voluntary reductions in carbon emissions first and then readjust our thinking later once we have real world impacts built into our economic models. Making decisions based on observable data in this regard might yield better decisions in the long term.”

      First, withdrawing from the community of nations and the diplomatic process is not any form of “leadership” at all.

      Second, the super-abundant and overwhelming “observable data” on the pace and effects of global climate change (= global climate destabilization) brought on by human industrial activity and the combustion of carbon fuels) tells us that we do NOT have time to sit around for 10-50 years to “wait to see” whether current and future actions to pull the global climate back across the “tipping point” might work. We must continue to pursue far more active policies NOW to implement a sustainable world economy, lest we as a species be responsible for destroying God’s amazing creation–and our civilization as well as our brothers and sisters along with it…

    • Max Higgs says:

      Basta, enough, Richard.

  6. Kathleen Le Blanc says:

    I am pleased we are participating in Thy Kingdom Come prayer movement. It could not have come at a better time. There is the separation of church and state so I appreciate this statement from our Presiding Bishop. Statements are pouring in from around the US and the world from Governors /Mayors/Presidents/Kings/Queens and even me as just a peasant but follower of Jesus. I posted my personal remarks on my FaceBook page and still have my prayer beads in my hand.

    • Tonya Riley says:

      Amen! I agree that our PB is made the best statement for TEC & probably for all Christians world wide.

  7. Bill Hoelzel says:

    In these sad days of divisive dialogue, I applaud Michael Curry in taking the high road in his comments regarding Mr. Trump’s stated position. No confrontation. No castigation. Just preaching the pure Scriptural truth.

  8. Mark Harvey says:

    Saying that the EPA has not been disbanded ignores how much Trump is working hard to disband it. He proposes cuts of 30% to its budget and if enacted they will eviscerate the agency. Scott Pruitt, chief of the EPA, denies climate science and is a puppet of the fossil fuel industry as is Trump. To assert that Trump’s decision today “only changes our leadership role in this one area” ignores the overwhelming assault this administration is making on the public lands and environment in this country and now on the planet.

  9. Mel Jenkins says:

    Science is a product of human understanding of natural events. As such, in the tradition of the Anglican/Episcopalian relationships with the world, the presiding bishop’s statement fits well into an informed and well foundationed approach to humanity and all living creation.

    We only have history of society going back a few thousand years. We have history of the planet going back billions of years. Both those histories validate the presiding bishop.

    Our ethical understandings can be surmised far back. Our stated ethics are recent. Still, both compel us to realize that, with Anglican priest and poet, John Donne, and with Jesus, none of us , as individuals or communities or business people, exists independent of each other.

  10. Ernie Bennett says:

    Thank you to our Presiding for speaking so clearly and hopefully. I am grateful for his biblical witness and his charity.

  11. Gregory Willmore says:

    Bishop Curry speaks for me and my church. For we are the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement. Thank you Bishop for reminding us that God has the whole world in His hands. I wish other faith leaders would have the same conviction and witness to speak the truth that God loves us and His creation. God bless you Bishop.

  12. William Deitenbeck says:

    You know,Bishop, you’re not always right.

    • John Miller says:

      But in this case, he is…along with 90%plus of scientists.

      • Gary mayer says:

        Science is not a consensus at one time the science cummunity an church believed the earth was the center of the universe an the world was flat

        • Jon Spangler says:

          Gary Mayer–Do you honestly believe it is still “true” that the earth is flat and that the sun revolves around the earth or do you know better than that? (“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I set aside childish ways.” I COR 13:11)

          We must act wisely and decisively based on the best information available to us. And the preponderance of truth directs us to move swiftly–while we still can–to reverse the damage we have caused by burning fossil fuels and destabilizing the earth’s climate.

  13. Nancy West says:

    Roger, I agree. Richard, You speak with clarity. Too many people think with their emotions in condescending attitudes as though those of us who disagree hate the planet. And Dick, God bless all of our children and grandchildren, even those whose children and grandchildren have been aborted as abortion is something that the Episcopal Church supports. Each day this cradle Episcopalian becomes more of an American Anglican. And Diane, “ignorant” has many definitions. Please use the word sparingly and with respect.

    • Jon Spangler says:

      Nancy West,

      I recommend this definition of “ignorant,” from the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
      Definition of ignorant
      a : destitute of knowledge or education an ignorant society; also : lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified parents ignorant of modern mathematics
      b : resulting from or showing lack of knowledge or intelligence ignorant errors
      : unaware, uninformed

      This dictionary definition does not seem to support leaders or commenters who remain ill-informed, willfully ignorant, or otherwise not aware of the truth. It would also seem to support acting in accord with the overwhelming preponderance of scientific evidence across multiple disciplines that:
      a) global climate change is real,
      b) our global climate is destabilizing faster than anticipated,
      c) global climate change is human-caused,
      d) climate change has greatly accelerated since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution
      e) specifically, humans have disrupted the intricate balance of our planet’s climate by burning fossil fuels and creating greenhouse gases, and
      f) that the planet is near, at, or past the “tipping point” at which the earth’s climate may become increasingly unstable and dangerous.

  14. Sandy Weis says:

    Whether one believes in climate change or not, we, as Christians, have a duty to care for this earth and the world. God created the heavens and the earth, and created humankind, and gave them dominion over it.

  15. Helen Bell says:

    Thank you, Bishop Curry. My environmentalist father was a scientist, working in chemistry and quantum mechanics. He was talking about climate change before it was being discussed in the popular media. And regardless of how much climate change is human-caused, it is always our respnsibility to care for this marvelous planet God gave us to live on rather than exploiting and destroying it.

  16. Karin Green says:

    I’m still in. You?

  17. Gene Walker says:

    It may be already to late to turn global warming around, but denieing it or ignoring it will not work. We can, with Gods help, make a difference .

  18. Kay Laughton says:

    We are all responsible for taking care of our world. The Paris Accord makes this clear so there is nothing to negotiate. We must lead so shame on us for this stand. Thank you Bishop Curry for your stand.

  19. Thank you, Bishop Curry for this courageous and clear witness. I agree with you that our Church’s response to the President’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord need not disempwer us from “taking bold action on climate change mitigation and adaptation.” I would like to see a Church-wide programmatic initiative that encourages and offers concrete spiritual, liturgical and practical approaches through which our dioceses, congregations , educational and other entities may acknowledge, celebrate and exercise our stewardship of creation, and demonstrate our commitment to “staying in” with the Principles of the Parish Agreement.

  20. Melissa Ridlon says:

    I am so grateful for Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Bishop Marc Andrus, and the myriad of faithful people, lay and ordained, who lead us by word and example in understanding that we are not just called, but commanded, to love one another, to love our neighbors as ourselves. Surely, that involves each of us committing to work for healthy air, healthy water, healthy environments and healthy opportunity for all of God’s children and the places where they live. If we believe our Baptismal covenant, we know that “With God’s help”, we can.

  21. Gary mayer says:

    God created all that is with a purpose. God flooded the world to rid it of man. We are foolish to believe we can destroy that which God has made. The bishop should deal with healing the episcopal church an less trying to be a part politician. Just my opinion

  22. Hugh Hansen, Ph.D. says:

    I like the simple truth expressed by Sandy Weis. I also feel that PB Curry was quite articulate in expressing the scriptural nature of taking care of this planet. It is Gods, every single Atom, every single process, and every single law. God “love the world so much he gave his only son.” And the son asked us to pray, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We cannot avoid a responsibility as citizens of this world.

  23. Karin Green says:

    I’m still in. You?

  24. Good words and encouragement from our Presiding Bishop. This God’s good world- may we esteem and nurture our beloved planet- she’s the only one we have.

  25. Rev. Dr. Heather A. Warren says:

    Thank you, Presiding Bishop Curry. We will persist.

  26. Doug Desper says:

    The Paris Climate Accord was an action undertaken by President Obama and was never ratified by the Senate of the United States – a pesky Constitutional requirement of all treaties. To oppose the Agreement is not to hate creation, speed to ruin the environment, nor to find the closest river to change into an oil slick. The fact is that the Paris Accord has many, many flaws. The impact on United States industry and labor (meaning actual working people) was never properly vetted. The rush to try to make a 0.5% temperature difference over several years has little evidence-based support from scientists. The theories are wonderful, but not soundly conceived. The need to be good stewards of the creation is still present, and the current government believes that responsible stewardship can happen without symbolic and vacuous agreements.

    • Nancy West says:

      These people want our money and our destruction as a capitalistic nation without any input of their own. I don’t understand how anyone who has actually read the Paris Accord could support it.

      • Jon Spangler says:

        Nancy West,

        Jesus and His early followers were NOT corporate capitalists. In fact, their “economic model” does not support “a capitalist nation” in the least:

        “All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they shared with anyone who was in need. With one accord they continued to meet daily in the temple courts and to break bread from house to house, sharing their meals with gladness and sincerity of heart,…” (Acts 2: 44-46) See also Acts 4:34…

        “Jesus told him, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.’ ” (MATT 19:21)

        Our nation and the world possess far more than enough wealth to feed, clothe, and educate everyone but our nation’s wealth is extremely maldistributed: far too much is in the hands of the 1% and the 0.01% of the population and far too little is in the hands of the poor and those in the middle class. The injustice of our un-Biblical concentration of extreme wealth in the hands of the very few cannot be supported by sound Biblical reasoning or theology.

  27. Karin Green says:

    I’m still in. You, too?

  28. Sarah Rachel says:

    Thank you President Trump for this very wise decision. So sorry to see that PB Curry must follow the p.c. agenda and does so without researching each issue. Most of the countries listed that participate do not follow the rules. The Paris climate accord is a sham that just wants the US $$. The Bishop is alienating 50% of the USA and the flock with his opinion the POTUS before he was even elected. I will continue to go the the Episcopal Church, but I am also a voting American with my own mind.

  29. Michael Scullary says:

    Ms. Rachel: interesting how being “p.c.” is wrong….except, of course, when it’s YOUR version of being politically correct, right?

    And for the other bishop that posted: it’s an arrogant shame that you refer to science — a reflection of God — and the PB’s reminder that we are stewards of the Earth as “words” and a “nothingburger”. Very mature and enlightened wisdom from a bishop….

  30. I appreciate Presiding Bishop Curry reminding us as a religious body that we have power to help this world no matter what the politicians are up to.

  31. RoseMarie Urban says:

    The Bishop did not in any way demean or attack the President. It is evident in some of the commentts here that there are so many who do not allow anyone to disagree with the President. I have voted all my life and did not agree with every decision made by those I voted for. The Book of Common Prayer clearly has prayers that express our love for the earth …check them out in the prayers section.

  32. Rick Ben says:

    I suppose this is the same McMannes commenting above and when Googled is an Anglican bishop in Sedona.

    “A Yavapai County jury found the Rt. Rev. David Gregory McMannes guilty of four felony counts related to his handling of a deceased parishioner’s estate.
    But the jury acquitted him on a possession of stolen property charge and was deadlocked on one of two perjury charges he was facing.
    Jurors delivered the verdict Thursday afternoon after approximately 12 hours of deliberation over two days.
    Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, who prosecuted the case, declined to comment on any specifics but said the verdict was a ratification of the criminal justice system.
    “The jury system works,” she said.
    Many of McMannes supporters, who have stood by him since county began its investigation of the Sedona bishop two and half years ago, could be seen weeping after the verdict was delivered. McMannes and his defense attorney, Thomas Kelly, declined to comment.
    McMannes was found guilty on single counts of fraud of less than $100,000, theft between $25,000 and $100,000, money laundering and perjury.
    He was accused of funneling funds from the estate of Charles William Shipley through church accounts for his own benefit and later perjuring himself about his handling of the estate in a related probate case. A large portion of the estate was left to the church.
    The possession of stolen property charge was related to an antique funeral vestment McMannes was accused of stealing from a San Francisco church he served in 1998 and 1999.
    McMannes’ sentencing hearing has been set for 1:30 p.m. March 17 at Superior Court in Camp Verde. He remains free on bond.”

    • Martha Steward says:

      I appreciate this elucidation.

      • Lee Worthen says:

        To further clarify, plus affirm Rick’s supposition… Yes, it is. I believe the quoted material he provided was originally published by the Camp Verde Bugle on February 17, 2003. The following item regarding McMannes’ sentence may be found online at; it was originally published in the Camp Verde Bugle, April 30, 2003.

        “DAVID McMannes consults with his attorney Tom Kelly during the sentencing phase of his 7-year long trial. McMannes was found guilty of fraud, money laundering, theft and perjury and was sentenced to five years in the Arizona Department of Corrections and seven months probation.
        Superior Court Judge Howard D. Hinson Jr. sentenced McMannes to five years in the Arizona Department of Corrections for theft, fraudulent schemes and money laundering and seven years probation for perjury.
        McMannes is also ordered to pay restitution of more than $130,000 he embezzled in the amount of $300 per month after the completion of his sentence.
        Further, he is to return property to Dorothy Wilcox Smith, conservator of the William Shipley estate, who left assets to the St. Luke’s On the Hill Episcopal Church in Sedona.
        An automobile, personal property, furnishings and books are among the articles he is to return to the owners that he acquired after the demise of William Shipley.
        McMannes was found guilty in Yavapai County Superior court of embezzling assets left to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
        Supporters of McMannes wept as Hinson read his sentence to a standing-room-only court. McMannes, in full religious regalia, stood stoically and accepted the verdict. He made no statements.
        Yavapai County Attorney Sheila S. Polk said she is pleased with the verdict, but was seeking more time for McMannes’ incarceration.
        “It was a fair sentence,” she said. “But it’s not as much as I asked for.”
        Polk was initially seeking a 10-year sentence, restitution and probation for McMannes.
        “Our primary concern,” she added, “was the return of assets and property to [Smith] the rightful owner.”
        Judge Hinson said that McMannes was in a position of trust and one that carried a high level of responsibility. The judge said McMannes violated that trust when he entered into a transaction with Smith.
        “Ms. Smith was not adequately represented with the legalities of the transaction and the defendant took advantage by obtaining property and funds for himself and his family,” said Hinson.
        He continued, “Mr. McMannes drew documents naming himself executor of the Shipley estate and took possession of these assets for his own benefit. The jury found him guilty of crimes in handling this estate.”
        Hinson said that there are many victims in this case, both financial and emotional, and McMannus disappointed those who trusted him and looked to him for spiritual guidance.
        During the case, defense attorney Tom Kelly urged the judge to sentence probation on behalf of his client and said, “If Mr. McMannes were to return to his parish, he would suffer humiliation for being the priest found guilty of a felony. This would have a more rehabilitative affect than if he were sentenced to prison.”
        Kelly said he believes McMannes learned a great deal during this case and, “He has suffered emotionally and financially in this matter and the most effective sentence would be to force him to return to his parish and take responsibility for his actions.”
        He added that McMannes should be forced to serve community service and make public his apologies for his crimes.
        Members of the audience spoke on behalf of those supporters of McMannes, and those who supported the guilty verdict against him. One argued for a dismissal of criminal charges and the other for the maximum sentence available under the law.
        “There have been numerous letters written to me,” Hinson said. “Some show strong support and some ask for the maximum sentence affordable under the law. This is a very complex case involving the emotions of many victims.”
        Hinson said that McMannes sought to take advantage of his parishioners, preying on those 65 or older and those who were wealthy. He reiterated that the parishioners of St. Luke’s have been harmed by the deeds of McMannes, and they have been harmed by the lack of faith and trust empowered upon a spiritual leader.
        Polk said, “McMannes has aggressively sought to cast blame on everyone else in this matter. He has attacked everyone involved in this case and has shown little remorse. He has acknowledged no responsibility for his actions and clearly has not apologized to anyone for what he did. He created a smoke screen over the court and the public, but Mr. McMannes is not the victim.”
        Polk said that the federal charged filed against her personally by McMannes is being considered by the state authorities, but, “There is no standing for the allegations and it will probably be dismissed.”
        The suit alleges that Polk’s office violated the constitutionality of the separation of church and state when a search warrant was executed.
        McMannes was led out of the courtroom, his demeanor flat and unemotional. The courtroom quickly emptied some wept quietly, some cried as they left.
        Judge Hinson said, “The defendant violated a position of trust and responsibility. He caused suffering to both his victims and those who followed him who looked to him for spiritual guidance.”

        From McMannes’ current Author Page posted at, this biographic information is provided:

        “Bishop David McMannes resides in Sedona, Arizona. He was ordained Deacon in 1976 and Priest in 1977, both by the Ordinary of the Diocese of Los Angeles, The Right Reverend Robert Claflin Rusack. He served various parishes in the Dioceses of Los Angeles, Montana, and Arizona.
        In 1987 he and a handful of faithful Episcopalians withdrew from ECUSA, and founded the parish of Saint Luke’s Church in Sedona, Arizona. Associating with the Anglican Province of Christ the King, he was consecrated Bishop on June 10, 1995, by the Right Reverend Robert Sherwood Morse of the Anglican Province of Christ the King (A.P.C.K.), who was assisted by Bishops James Clark and Edward LaCour, both of the Diocese of the Southern States of the A.P.C.K. While affiliated with the A.P.C.K. McMannes served as Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of the West and was also the organizing and first Ordinary of the Diocese of the Southwestern States, A.P.C.K. He is now the Ordinary of the Anglican Diocese of Arizona, and in communion with various continuing church jurisdictions.”

        McMannes presents his comment as if his BP is the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and thus says, “We are the hollow men/We are the stuffed men/Leaning together/Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!”?

  33. Father Mike Waverly-Shank says:

    I am glad the PB made this statement. Does anyone other than me remember that Rite 1 Prayer for the Whole State of Christ’s Church has a Paragraph about the environment?

  34. Mary Coogan says:

    When we seek the face of God, we bring with us in prayer not only all of humanity, but all of creation, for redemption:

    The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it;
    for he founded it on the seas
    and established it on the waters.

    Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
    Who may stand in his holy place?
    The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not trust in an idol
    or swear by a false god.

    They will receive a blessing from the Lord,
    a vindication from God their Savior.
    Such is the generation of those who seek him,
    who seek your face, God of Jacob.
    –from Psalm 24, not a political statement but a prayer that we will clean our hands, purify our hearts, value conservation above money, and get to work on keeping our God-given home in the cosmos habitable.

  35. Jawaharlal Prasad says:

    The controversy over President Trump’s action of pulling out of the Paris climate deal may have lot more to do with the leadership that US is portraying. There was a time when many countries including South East Asia looked towards US for leadership and its role as the moral leader of the free world (even though at times flawed). International institutions under US leadership were set up to bring financial & social prosperity, human values, religious freedom etc. and many benefitted.
    Now with President Trump wanting to build the Mexican Wall, impose travel ban, undo environmental regulations, NAFTA, etc. many nations are questioning US leadership. Perhaps, US is no longer interested in being a part of the global community.
    I applaud PB Curry for his statement. We can’t be blind to the glaciers shrinking, coastal sea level rising, changing weather pattern. Politicians and governments at times need to be reminded that we are a global community and there is a need for policies that benefit global community as a whole.
    It won’t surprise me if countries begin to look towards China for world leadership.

  36. Pam McDonald says:

    Thank you Bishop Curry for your passionate comments, imbued as they are with a respect for the dignity of every human being.

    We in the United States, have learned from bitter historical experience the cost of silencing voices that insisted that God wants us to respect the dignity of every human being. We may need to learn this lesson again as we shoulder our God-given responsibility for God’s creation. (see Genesis, Chapter 1)


    Thank you Mike Geibel, for taking the time to write a detail-rich and very informative piece that let’s me see inside a point of view that is unfamiliar to me. You set a beautiful example of how we might fruitfully engage with one another as we work out our differences.

    Here is a brief article from Forbes Magazine. There are many more.

    And here is a project that I am supporting

  37. Elizabeth Barratt says:

    No one has yet suggested that Mr. Trump may have a better idea for our nation in this area, one that will not drain our taxes to support other nations in lieu of our own. I wish the Presiding Bishop would stop trying to play politics.

  38. Ronald Davin says:

    In order to reduce the Churches environmental impact, why not reduce the amount of travel the Bishops do, and forgo any travel reimbursements. The last 2 head bishops have been quite the world travelers, even as they asked us to conserve.

    • Doug Desper says:

      World stages are not the main place to make a difference for being good stewards. We can focus on the machinations of governments and who benefits more, who pays more and less, etc., or we can look at the plank in our own eye. Here’s hot idea Number One: at the next General Convention change the canons for General Convention to meet every 4 or 5 years instead of 3. We live in the 21st century and the necessity to get out the big tents for meetings should not exist as it did by necessity 100 years ago. If people really lament resource squandering, want to lessen a carbon footprint, and actually want to have something to measure, then this change to the canons should be foremost. The vast sums and the waste of resources and carbon to get together as though it was still 1890 can no longer be justified….or we can beat Mr. Trump up some more. One is easy to do and the other likely won’t ever happen.
      Didn’t General Convention 2012 vote to jettison 815 in Manhattan and replace it with a new concept because of costs? Imagine if our fingerprints were not on so many wasteful endeavors. Then, after that plank is extracted we can lecture others about the nuances of a treaty that was never brought before the Senate to consider — which oddly was at a time when Mr. Obama’s own party controlled that majority. Could it be that it was just that flawed?

  39. Peter M Zakrewski says:

    If what President Trump was true I would support him. Maybe he is right that the US is being penalized unfaiirly and the agreement should be re-negotiated. But I just don’t trust him. As a grandson of a coal miner I still believe we should put the environment and health first and phase out coal use.

  40. John P. Rouse says:

    I find great difficulty in dealing with parishioners who continue to support Trump, not only on this environmental issue, but others in human rights, refugees and immigration, eliminating the basic healthcare provided by the last administration etc. The cognitive dissonance of following what the Gospel teaches us and what these individuals support is disconcerting to me, partiicullary when they are parish leaders. This has been discussed with my Priest at length. How can one claim to be a Christian and support the policies promulgated by this administration.

  41. James Oppenheimer says:

    I am saddened by the number of people who do not appreciate how much science is behind the case of global climate destabilization, as well as our own role in it, and I am terrified that otherwise apparently intelligent and sensible human beings obviously do not have the slightest inkling of the enormity of what is at stake here. One says, “Why can’t we just wait and see …?” And the real possibility is that we are approaching a tipping point beyond which it may well be impossible to return to anything nearly like what was. The risk isn’t trivial. The danger is profound. Action is actually way overdue. Counseling “let’s just wait” is a prescription for disaster.
    I suppose those who espouse this view are my age, so what do they care? When the world is in the midst of ecological disaster, we’ll all be dead. The gross ignorance is infuriating. And inexcusable.

  42. Pjcabbiness says:

    The arrogance of the left is immeasurable. The Paris agreement was a means for other, less powerful, countries to injure the economic prosperity of our great nation by fraud. Marxist politics combined with ecofascist, leftist theology and politically motivated, dubious “science” only benefit a small number of global elites and power hungry demagogues. I hope that sound theology and scientific integrity will ultimately prevail.

  43. Dianne Aid says:

    I am proud of our PB and grateful for his statement Our public policy as a church has come from a lot of hard work and deliberation on the part of bishops and deputies to General Convention, and backing them, church members of networks, parishes, dioceses, etc. We have arrived at our public policy through community efforts.

    Dianne Aid
    The Episcopal Network for Economic Justice

  44. mike geibel says:

    Let me go out on a limb here–you can cut it off later.

    I think we all need to take a deep breath. Neither the former or present Congress would ever have ratified the Paris Accord. Our time is better spent by focusing on the task at hand. Rather than demonize or ridicule those that doubt global warming or those who fear an impending Armageddon, what do both sides have in common? I think most of us, liberal and conservative, agree that clean, renewable energy sources improve air and water quality, reduce pollution, and promote our national security by reducing dependence upon foreign oil and unregulated power sources that had to be built on the other side of our borders. Even if global warming did not exist, I would support the technological march towards clean, renewable energy, and would support saving our strategic national oil reserves (much in So. Cal.) for times of emergency.

    There is a saying, probably inaccurately attributed to Winston Churchill: “He who is 25 and is not liberal, hath not heart; he who is 35 and is not conservative, has no brains.” I believe God gave us both, and we should use our passions to stoke the fires for converting to renewable energy, but use our brains on finding ways to do it without a media civil war that polarizes rather than unites our county.

    Use the $100 billion “fine” assessed on the U.S. under the Paris Accord to focus on what is proven to work right here in our own country: solar, wind and hydroelectric power. I am sorry, but the “inconvenient truth” for the Sierra Club and environmentalists is that hydroelectric power, although admittedly damaging to nature in the area where a dam is constructed, is a clean, renewable, dependable and efficient source of electrical power when compared to the alternatives of nuclear power generators and fossil fuel power plants. Electric cars are only low-carbon if the electricity sources that charge them are also low carbon. Mass transit works only if you don’t mind being treated like cattle. We should use the $100 billion per year saved from the Paris Accord to build clean, renewable energy power plants, covert homes and buildings to solar where feasible, and subsidize the mass construction of electrical charging stations to compensate for the limited range radius of battery powered cars. We’ve started this work—let’s finish it.

    I also believe we should use “going green” to create jobs and not to destroy them. We need infrastructure renovation and construction, but we should require all public works projects to use union workers, U.S. contractors, U.S. made construction equipment, U.S. citizens, and U.S. products and materials regardless of whether foreign products or labor are cheaper. How better to help those in poverty than to create jobs right here in the USA so they can live happy, productive, and dignified lives? We don’t need more taxes—we need more taxpayers.

    I think we should incentivize rather than penalize. Unfunded mandates can depress the economy and cost jobs. Provide land grants and tax waivers to companies who manufacture “green” products when they locate in the cities within the “rust belt” or other depressed areas. Rather than demonize banks, corporations and the wealthy, remember that they have the financial means to make a difference and they should be encouraged to do so with tax credits that are not means tested and tax shelters for investments in renewal power. The “take it from those who make it” myopic mentality is a product of jealousy, not fairness. I do care when 80% of income taxes are paid by 5% of the population, where 34% of the nation’s total welfare recipients live in California, when Los Angeles has seen a 23 % increase in the homeless (58,790 and counting), but I don’t really care if some rich person has too much money as long as he/she obtained it legally.

    Let capitalization work. For more than a decade we’ve seen a search for the iconic vehicle engine technology which is sustainable, but which will also satisfy our desire for mobility, speed, comfort and status. Nothing has matched the power to weight ratio of the internal combustion engine. Electric seems to be the front-runner for a replacement option, and if some smart engineering student invents a better one, I would hope our Nation’s gratitude will make her/him very rich.

    Take the polarizing politics and religion out of the climate change debate. We need to stop paying attention to the hypocritical politicians, media hacks and rich celebrities who are self-styled climate experts yet fly around in private jets, ride in limos, and live in estates with carbon footprints as large as the whole state of Rhode Island. Addressing climate change should not be a political or even a religious debate—it is a national security and quality of life issue. For me, political-speak slogans like “environmental justice” is religio-politico babble used to label capitalism as evil and has polarized congregations between the “no budget” liberals whose compassion for the poor is admirable, and the “no free lunch” conservatives who believe that ambition, hard work and financial success are not immoral or un-Christian.

    America is the most generous of the mega-Nations the world has ever seen. It was the brave, freedom-loving democracies and their industrialization and their hardworking citizens who buried Hitler and kept Stalin from taking over Europe. It is technology, encouraged by entrepreneurism, which has opened our eyes to break down stereotypes and racism, and which has shown that, as the commercial says, the diverse peoples and cultures of the world are “more alike, than unalike.” God is in control of the world—not Trump and not Putin. I think “she” wants us to use our brains and our free will to lead by example rather than vitriolic protests, riots and name-calling diatribes.

    • Dale Schreck says:

      Mike, thanks for the information. I agree totally with what you said. My degree is in geology and I have studied global warming before man had any influence.

  45. Terry Francis says:

    John P. Rouse, how can YOU claim to be a Christian when you self-rightously question the faith of others who voted for someone whose polices you happen to despise? I don’t care if Trump is the worse president in the history of this country, you are in no position to sit in judgement of others as to whether or not they are true Christians in regards to this matter. You said you find it difficult to deal with parishioners who support Trump? I suggest you try a little harder.

  46. Ken Robinson says:

    Questioning science is not a bad thing. Disputing consensus science with false information is not helpful. Some claim that global warming may be just a natural cycle and not really caused by humans. It may be a cycle but it is one that takes millions of years to complete. As for our human impact in this cycle, consider the past 125 years.
    We have mined and pumped carbon laden fossil fuels which have been interred deep in the earth for eons. We have spewed all of that into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is an excellent insulator that allows light to penetrate and create heat but prevents the heat from escaping. Oh! We need not worry because there is a natural process that captures the CO2, returns the carbon to the earth and returns fresh oxygen to the atmosphere: Photosynthesis. Great, almost.
    The first problem we have is that this process takes way too long to keep up with our rate of creating CO2. The other problem—again man made—is that we are cutting down and destroying thousands of acres of trees and plants that once kept this recycling process active. Humans have destroyed the cycle.
    As far as wait and see, I ask you: If you see a child thrashing around in a swimming pool, do you wait to see if he actually sinks? Do you wait to see if his mother helps him? Do you chat with your own children to ask if they see him? I would hope not. I would hope you would jump in and pull him to safety. Waiting until he has drowned to know with 100% certainty he needed help is not a good response.
    The complaint about Americans having to pay to help others meet their goals is troublesome. If we who have wealth do not help those who cannot afford it, who will? If they cannot reduce their carbon footprint, it is still our atmosphere, our world that suffers. Did I miss the bible verse that says “He who dies with the most money wins”?
    I do remember the one about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven.

  47. Pjcabbiness says:

    Why can’t we have these discussions/debates openly at the parish, diocesan and national level? Our denomination is being led and controlled by a small, select group of lay people and an unaccountable clergy that has gone off the rails.

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