The reasons for the breakup have been the subject of speculation and discussion. It has been attributed to growing theological differences among bishops, conflics arising from leadership style at the higher levels of the church, credible allegations of misconduct about the CEC's founding patriarch and issues of accountability.
With changes in the make up of the CEC's house of bishops and recent election of a new Patriarch, the question of reconciliation, communion, or even reunion among this once self proclaimed "band of brothers" was posed at a discussion forum about the CEC's situation. Here a response from Bishop Painter...
"...First, to answer Seraph's question...I would always welcome the restoration of friendships and even fellowship with my estranged Bishops...even those that called me unrepeatable names, told lies about me, and blamed me for things I could have in no way ever had the authority to make happen. However, to be a part of the CEC again I have no interest...just personal. I still pray for my brother Bishops and the CEC and pray for God's blessings on them, and all of the clergy and laity. Not endorsing any cover-ups, sloppy agape, or acting like "it does not matter". Rather, I must leave that between God and all those still involved.
As to +Bates, the new Patriarch. I am sorry the CEC retained that office and title. There are other, better in my viewpoint, options available to them and to choose one of these would have been fresh and demonstrated forward looking more than just words. I still believe +Bates will do a very good job in his new "official role". He is very gifted, has true administrative and organizational skills, is an outstanding preacher and teacher, loves people and souls and God's church (en toto), and is called and anointed by God.
Has he ever blown it? Yes. Have I ever blown it? YES! Is he human and even carnal at times? Yes. Am I human and even carnal at times? YESSSSS! Will he make mistakes in the future? Yes. Will I make mistakes in the future? YES! Are we clear, yet? All of us need all of the help, prayer, love, and forgivenes we can get. My friend, Craig, if you read this or someone shares this with you...I love you and am praying for you and all in the CEC...God's very best blessings on you and them!!!
Thank you patient people for hearing this old, a little tired, Bishop! You are all in my prayers, even though I do not know all of you personally...
Our prayers are with you as well bishop, thanks for all you do!