Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bishop Ackerman Retires This Week

News from the Diocese of Quincy came as a shock on Wednesday October 29th with the announcement of the apparently “sudden” retirement of Bishop Keith Ackerman effective as of November 1st. The fact is that Bishop Ackerman has been on Sabbatical ever since the Lambeth Conference and under the doctor’s care. Due to health concerns he has been advised by doctors and family to retire now. The Diocese of Quincy goes forward with its plans unabated to join us along with the Diocese of Pittsburgh as a part of the Southern Cone. Our prayers are offered for a speedy restoration to health for Bishop Keith as well as wisdom and strength for Quincy’s Standing Committee and its President who will be in charge of their upcoming Diocesan Convention November 7th and 8th.

- Bishop John-David Schofield

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Did you know . . . ?

These are the current (2006) canonical requirements that the clergy in The Episcopal Church are obligated to follow prior to celebrating a marriage:

Sec. 2. Before solemnizing a marriage the Member of the Clergy shall have ascertained:
(a) That both parties have the right to contract a marriage according to the laws of the State.
(b) That both parties understand that Holy Matrimony is a physical and spiritual union of a man and a woman, entered into within the community of faith, by mutual consent of heart, mind, and will, and with intent that it be lifelong.


[Sec. 3.]
(d) The Member of the Clergy shall have required that the parties sign the following declaration:
(e) "We, A.B. and C.D., desiring to receive the blessing of Holy Matrimony in the Church, do solemnly declare that we hold marriage to be a lifelong union of husband and wife as it is set forth in the Book of Common Prayer.
(f) "We believe that the union of husband and wife, in heart, body, and mind, is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God's will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord.
(g) "And we do engage ourselves, so far as in us lies, to make our utmost effort to establish this relationship and to seek God's help thereto."

Sec. 4. It shall be within the discretion of any Member of the Clergy of this Church to decline to solemnize any marriage.

[Excerpts: pages 56 & 57 of the Constitution and Canons of the 2006 General Convention]

It is my understanding that all of TEC's California diocesan bishops have publicly opposed Prop 8. Do you suppose they will be inhibited for abandoning the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Church?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Holy Orders are Valid in World Wide Communion

Diocese of San Joaquin (Anglican)

Fresno, California

October 17, 2008

Anglican Holy Orders Valid in California and World Wide

On December 8, 2007 an overwhelming majority of the priests and deacons serving in the Diocese of San Joaquin, representing over 40 churches, chose to remain with Bishop John-David Schofield and the Diocese of San Joaquin and were officially admitted, along with the diocese, into the Province of the Southern Cone.

The Holy Orders of those clergy are recognized across the world wide Anglican Communion. Any decision made by The Episcopal Church concerning the exercise of ministry by the Clergy in the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin is irrelevant and of no effect.

As Bishop Jerry Lamb noted in his October 10th Friday Reflection, the inhibition of Anglican Clergy in San Joaquin “implies no moral judgment of an individual clergy person. It speaks only about the person’s relationship to the Episcopal Church. The person can of course function in another church that may recognize their ordination.”

Thursday, October 9, 2008

California Property Dispute

Scroll down and read the Oral Argument briefs for the case of TEC and the California Faithful Remnant.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bishop Lawrence Reports on the House of Bishops' Meeting, September 17-19, 2008

The following is an excerpt from a report by Bp Mark Lawrence regarding the proceedings at the most recent H.O.B. meeting:

There are so many dubious dimensions to this current proceeding against Bishop Duncan that to continue on this path, trampling upon the plain reading and purpose of the Canon in the process, may well give pause to all and cause many of us to shudder.

• There is the torturous reading of the Canon in order to render moot the clear reference to the necessity of inhibition prior to deposition. The fact is that Bishop Duncan has not been inhibited. The fact is that the three Senior Bishops of this church have not consented.

• There is the disputed reading of that phrase in the Canon which reads “…a majority of the whole number of Bishops entitled to vote.” The Constitution and Canons interpret that phrase in Article I:3, and in Canon IV itself, under section 15, which defines the very terminology used in the title! Under the ruling by the Presiding Bishop and her Chancellor, it is possible for a smaller number of Bishops to consent to the deposition of a Bishop than the number required to consent to the resignation of a Bishop. It is respectfully submitted that such an interpretation makes no sense, and turns the Canon on its head.

• There are real questions regarding the adequacy of due process in this case—a sacred principle of judicial practice in our society.

• There are significant questions in this matter that may suggest to some minds a conflict of interest.

• Along with these above concerns, there are the pervasive moral and pastoral dimensions which cannot be so easily dismissed as some would like us to believe. The statement last evening regarding the case of All Saints’ Pawleys Island vs. Diocese of South Carolina may have been well intended, but the fact is that the lawsuit has brought financial cost (thereby diminishing the funds available for missions) and spiritual unrest within the Diocese of South Carolina. The suggestion that swift action averted discord and legal proceeding is just not accurate. The description last evening of the situation within the Diocese of San Joaquin, while it may be one person’s recent experience, bears little resemblance to what was my experience serving in that diocese for the last ten years and living there for the first 30 plus years of my life.

• Having served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Diocese of San Joaquin for almost all of my ordained ministry, I can tell you that the pastoral and theological matters that have precipitated the actions of their conventions will not be resolved by depositions or litigation, especially when the principles of due process and rule of law seem to be high-handedly ignored.

- The Rt Rev Mark Lawrence, Bishop of South Carolina

The full report is posted at the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina's website, HERE.

Anglican Communion Continues to Undergo a Seismic Shift with Pittsburgh Diocese Move

From The Institute of Religion and Democracy

Contact: Jeff Walton (202)682-4131

October 6, 2008

“The real issue here is not parishes or dioceses departing, rather it is that the Episcopal Church was hemorrhaging membership well before the controversial ordination of Gene Robinson. Individuals are realigning with their feet.”

— Faith J. H. McDonnell, Director of the IRD’s Religious Liberty Program


Washington, DC—The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh voted on Saturday to end its affiliation with the national denomination. The vote carried with support from 119 of the 191 lay delegates and 121 of the 160 clergy delegates. The diocese has aligned itself with another province in the Anglican Communion, the Argentina-based Province of the Southern Cone. The vote taken by the diocesan convention follows the removal of Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan on September 18th by the Episcopal House of Bishops over the charge of “abandonment of the communion”.

Pittsburgh follows the Fresno, California-based Diocese of San Joaquin, which voted to secede from the Episcopal Church in December 2007. Two other Dioceses, Fort Worth, Texas and Quincy, Illinois, are scheduled to vote in November on similar resolutions.

IRD Religious Liberty Director Faith J.H. McDonnell commented:

“We at the IRD support the faithful Anglicans in the Diocese of Pittsburgh who have now left The Episcopal Church. Their decisions were made soberly and only after much prayer and agonizing deliberation.

“We also recognize that, in responding to God's call, some faithful Anglicans will remain within The Episcopal Church. Their call is no less one from God, and we support them in their mission of renewing the denomination.

“The real issue here is not parishes or dioceses departing, rather it is that the Episcopal Church was hemorrhaging membership well before the controversial ordination of Gene Robinson. Individuals are realigning with their feet. Many of the most vibrant and evangelistic parishioners are leaving, and the remaining revisionists appear unable to offer a compelling draw to potential new members.

“While Gene Robinson’s consecration heightened the issues within The Episcopal Church, it is in no way the main issue for the churches that are leaving. It provides one example of how The Episcopal Church has drifted away from its Scriptural foundations, but only one. Beyond wanting to be faithful to Scripture, the churches felt that their mission work was impaired by remaining within The Episcopal Church.

“Faithful orthodox Episcopalians owe a debt of gratitude to Global South Anglicans, where the church continues its vibrant growth and ministry. Orthodox Anglicans from many different groups have shown support to the Pittsburgh Diocese, demonstrating a solidarity that could only have been dreamed of a few years ago."

And all I can say is beware of geeks, you know, bearing formulas.”

Warren Buffett explains the credit crisis to Charlie Rose
October 2nd, 2008

Read it all.