March 22, 2017

October 16, 2009


Copy of Schori’s “Renunciation” Letter to Bishop Ackerman

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50 comments

Wait a second,

So Schori wrote Ackerman’s renunciation of orders letter for him?

I guess this is not news for regular SF readers, but newbies might be interested in how this “process” works, and I know there are folks more qualified than I to comment on the violations of “process” evident here.

[1] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 10-16-2009 at 10:22 PM · [top]

She references a July renunciation, not the October letter she wrote.  She may have ‘over interpreted’ the July missive, but I’d not lay a claim of ‘having written the renunciation herself’ based on the two pages in the PDF.

[2] Posted by Bo on 10-16-2009 at 10:33 PM · [top]

Fifteen conservative voices lost from TEC HoB, 2007-2009:
Bena (retired suffragan of Albany)—-CANA
Cox (retired suffragan Maryland and assisting Oklahoma)—Southern Cone
Herzog (retired Albany)—-Roman Catholic
Fairfield (retired North Dakota)—-Uganda
Pope (retired Fort Worth)—Roman Catholic (?returns)
Steenson (Rio Grande)—-Roman Catholic
Lipscomb (retired Southwest Florida)—-Roman Catholic
Schofield (San Joaquin)—Southern Cone
Kelshaw (retired Rio Grande)—-Uganda
Duncan (Pittsburgh)—Southern Cone
Iker (Ft Worth)—Southern Cone
Wantland (retired Eau Claire, assisting Ft Worth)—Southern Cone
Bane (resigned Southern Virginia)—-ACNA
Scriven (assisting Pittsburgh)—UK
Ackerman (Quincy)—Southern Cone

Have I omitted anyone?

[3] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 10-16-2009 at 11:38 PM · [top]

Jill…under a few of those voices that are Bishops whose dioceses have left the priests under them are conservative voices no longer in TEc as well. So the number of lost conservative voices are a lot higher than 15.

[4] Posted by TLDillon on 10-17-2009 at 12:10 AM · [top]

I know from speaking with Bishop Ackerman that he sent the Presiding Bishop a handwritten letter merely asking to have his credentials transferred to the Diocese of Bolivia.  He said that he had no intention of renouncing his orders and that, while he intends to assist Bishop Lyons in work in Bolivia, he also wished to remain available to assist bishops in the United States, as requested. 

The Presiding Bishop says that “...there is no provision for transferring a bishop to another province.”  But that is not true.  Title III, Canon 10, Sec. 2, provides for the reception of “Clergy Ordained by Bishops of Churches in Communion with This Church” by means of Letters Dimissory and states:

(3) The provisions of this Section 1 shall be fully applicable to all Members of the Clergy (emphasis mine) ordained in any Church in the process of entering the historic episcopal succession with which The Episcopal Church is in full communion as specified in Canon I.20, subject to the covenant of the two Churches as adopted by the General Convention.

And a subsection states that the churches from which such a clergy may be received includes:

(i) those duly constituted Dioceses, Provinces, and regional Churches in communion with the See of Canterbury,

So if the Episcopal Church can receive clergy (and bishops are included when it says “all Members of the Clergy”) from other provinces of the Anglican Communion by means of Letters Dimmisory, then it can issue those same letters when a bishop or other member of the clergy transfers to another province of the Anglican Communion.

And, of course, the Episcopal Church has transferred clergy to other provinces of the Anglican Communion throughout its history.  If one reviews the clergy list in The Episcopal Church Annual in most years one will find a section listing “Clergy Transferred to Other Churches” with the country or province to which the clergy have transferred given in parentheses.  For instance, if you look in the 2003 Annual you find the name of the late Peter Toon followed by (England), because the Rev. Dr. Peter Toon, who continued to live and minister in the United States until his death earlier this year, transferred his canonical residence back to England in 2002.

Further, it is not even necessary for the Presiding Bishop to be involved in transferring a bishop to another province or diocese elsewhere in the Anglican Communion. 

CANON III.10.2(a)(2) provides only that Letters Dimissory be issued by “the hand and seal of the Bishop with whose Diocese the person has been last connected.”

That a resigned bishop (such as Bishop Ackerman) may transfer to another diocese is indicated in CANON III.12.8(i) which states:

A resigned Bishop may, at the discretion of the Bishop of the Diocese in which the resigned Bishop resides, and upon presentation of Letters Dimissory from the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in which the resigned Bishop has had canonical residence most recently, be enrolled among the Clergy of the new Diocese, and become subject to its Constitution and Canons including being given a seat and vote in the Diocesan Convention, in accordance with its canonical provisions for qualification of clergy members.

This Canon demonstrates that Bishops are considered to have canonical residence in a diocese and that this canonical residence can be transferred by means of Letters Dimissory.  Consequently, the “Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in which the resigned Bishop has had canonical residence most recently” (presumably the “Provisional Bishop” of Quincy) could have transferred Bishop Ackerman to Bishop Lyons in Bolivia by means of Letters Dimissory and his transfer have been recorded without any recourse to the Presiding Bishop or the purported “renunciation” which the PB is now asserting.

It will be remembered that the Presiding Bishop also erroneously asserted that Bishop Henry Scriven renounced his orders when he returned to England. (See 1, 2, and 3.)  If the Presiding Bishop would only have bothered to check for precedents in how such tranfers were handled, she could have avoided the scandal of, once again, misinterpreting the canons.

Robert S. Munday+

[5] Posted by ToAllTheWorld on 10-17-2009 at 12:13 AM · [top]

I’m sure that the rector of Incarnation Dallas, +Burton would be shocked to know that he is no longer a bishop.  He transferred from Canada.

[6] Posted by frreed on 10-17-2009 at 12:19 AM · [top]

So, what is Bishop Ackerman’s status now in the AC?  Is he still a bishop in the Southern Cone or will he have to be reconsecrated?  Is there such a thing?

It seems clear from the dismissive tone of the letter that ++KJS willfully intended to banish +Ackerman from the AC and cause him as much difficulty as possible.  Is this not misconduct on her part?

Thank you, #5-ToAllTheWorld, for clarifying the Canons on the matter.  So, in addition to turning his simple request for a transfer into an unnecessary and unwanted resignation, she lied about the contents of the Canons and rammed through damaging paperwork?  Surely this cannot stand.

[7] Posted by RicardoCR on 10-17-2009 at 12:34 AM · [top]

RicardoCR,

Of course it can stand.  TEC under Schori is a lawless wasteland where tyranny reigns, and the House of Bishops does not come close to having the necessary strength or resolve to reverse this trend.

[8] Posted by HLP on 10-17-2009 at 12:55 AM · [top]

So will all clergy who move from the Episcopal Church to another Anglican Province be interpreted as having renouncing their orders? (I think for instance of Marilyn McCord Adams currently canonically resident in the Church of England). Or does it just apply to bishops and provinces with whom the PB personally disagrees.

That is, is their any canonical principle here at all?

[9] Posted by driver8 on 10-17-2009 at 01:03 AM · [top]

de facto, there are two Anglican Communions. The ABp of Southern Cone should cite Schori’s letter in recognition that she has renounced her orders in the true AC. Then the small matter of her participation in the Instruments of Communion may be addressed.

[10] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 10-17-2009 at 01:11 AM · [top]

Or does it only apply to Provinces that have declared they are not in communion with the Episcopal Church? Has the Southern Cone stated that it’s not in Communion with the Episcopal Church?

[11] Posted by driver8 on 10-17-2009 at 01:18 AM · [top]

Hang on that can’t be true - she interpreted Bishop Scriven’s move to the Church of England as a renunciation of orders.

Clergy move every year to and fro in the Communion. Is every ordained person who moves from TEC seen as having renounced their orders? That surely can’t be true.

[12] Posted by driver8 on 10-17-2009 at 01:23 AM · [top]

At issue is whether they are “transferring” necessitated by a new job as a functioning bishop, and whether or not the bishop moving actually physically moves to that non-USA/TEC location.
I should say, at issue for the Presiding Bishop and whomever her advisers have been.
However, I do not see a problem with a bishop being licensed to minister in a different and non-TEC jurisdiction. 
Thus, spitefulness.

[13] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 10-17-2009 at 01:57 AM · [top]

But in Bishop Scriven’s case he did move to England and is recognized as an honorary bishop in the Diocese of Oxford.

[14] Posted by driver8 on 10-17-2009 at 02:32 AM · [top]

I should also add that TEC is well used to the concept of being canonically resident in one place and physically resident in another. As a relative outsider this legal fiction seems anomalous to me and seems to carry all sorts of pastoral disadvantages - nevertheless it is what it is. (Other than retired clergy who might have permission to officiate in several neighboring dioceses such a thing doesn’t occur in the COE. In general, if you are licensed in a particular diocese you will owe canonical obedience to the Bishop of that diocese).

[15] Posted by driver8 on 10-17-2009 at 02:42 AM · [top]

>It seems clear from the dismissive tone of the letter that ++KJS willfully intended to banish +Ackerman from the AC and cause him as much difficulty as possible.  Is this not misconduct on her part?

Not any more.

[16] Posted by jedinovice on 10-17-2009 at 03:19 AM · [top]

# 5 Dean Mundy+ - canons schmanons. Since when has TEC let those get in the way of the will of the presiding bishop?

[17] Posted by Festivus on 10-17-2009 at 05:58 AM · [top]

And the HOB chanted in unison, “Sieg Heil!”

[18] Posted by Festivus on 10-17-2009 at 06:00 AM · [top]

The Presiding Hiccup should take her show on the road… she could sing the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion’s songs from Wizard of Oz… If I only had a Heart, Brain, Courage…

[19] Posted by bdino on 10-17-2009 at 06:02 AM · [top]

Festivus… You do the Nazis a great disservice grin

[20] Posted by bdino on 10-17-2009 at 06:03 AM · [top]

Shori - “Canons?  CANONS?  We don’t need no stinking Canons!!”

[21] Posted by B. Hunter on 10-17-2009 at 07:50 AM · [top]

I guess “I dismiss you”, rather than “I transfer you” sounds better to her pbship.

[22] Posted by martin5 on 10-17-2009 at 08:50 AM · [top]

Thank you for your input, Robert S. Munday+.

Perhaps those that in a position to have the ear of orthodox bishops still within TEC should encourage them to publically challenge Schori on her lies and canonical abuses particularly within regard to Akerman and Schriven.

[23] Posted by AndrewA on 10-17-2009 at 10:27 AM · [top]

Not to worry.  The Lord Jesus Christ still reigns!  (...and membership in Schori’s sect is dropping like a stone)

[24] Posted by Nikolaus on 10-17-2009 at 10:39 AM · [top]

<u>Jill #3</u>:  You don’t list Bishop MacBurney.  Schori ignored Bishop Ackerman’s counsel to give the MacBurneys some time to deal with their dying son.  The heartless b&*%$ delivered her deposition only a few days before his step-son passed.

[25] Posted by Nikolaus on 10-17-2009 at 10:45 AM · [top]

The Episcopal Church regularly receives clergy from the Roman Catholic Church and, less frequently, clergy ordained by bishops of other churches without reordination.  I would expect the Province of the Southern Cone simply to receive Bishop Ackermann as an Assisting bishop in Bolivia as the Church of England received Bishop Skirvin.

[26] Posted by TomRightmyer on 10-17-2009 at 11:28 AM · [top]

#3 and #25-
As I recall, the PB some months ago also “accepted the renunciation” of Bishop Parsons, also retired of Quincy, when he agreed to take on some episcopal responsibilities in THE Diocese of Quincy (which, one notes, NEVER had the word “Episcopal” in its name- although the “Episcopal Diocese of Quincy”, which never existed before January 2009 is trying to present itself as the same organization).  I believe this cut off some FiF parishes outside Quincy that had been under his oversight in a DEPO type arrangement.

[27] Posted by tjmcmahon on 10-17-2009 at 12:15 PM · [top]

Forgive my naivety - but is the aim of this simply to prevent clergy functioning as ordained ministers both in Episcopal churches and non Episcopal Anglican churches? (Bishop Scriven still stands out as anomalous - perhaps she thought he might, down the line, be given some honorary episcopal role in the Southern Cone). The canons really don’t envisage such a situation but rather than bother to change the canons to address a novel situation the PB unilaterally interprets them to achieve what she believes they should say.

[28] Posted by driver8 on 10-17-2009 at 12:16 PM · [top]

I am left to wonder if there will not be considerable fallout (“unintended consequences”) from all the Quincy depositions and inhibitions (remember that a few weeks ago, the ersatz bishop of TEC-Quincy deposed or inhibited virtually every priest with canonical residence in the real Diocese of Quincy.  I suspect this will hit the Diocese of Chicago very hard, as a number of the deposed clergy are Chicagoans who fled in the years after +Montgomery’s retirement.  Even people who are liberal who have old Chicago ties recognize the names and remember fondly the men who were their rectors in the Anglo Catholic parishes of the 60s and 70s, which in those days flourished in Chicago.
  Imagine, even if you were a revisionist, what your reaction would be when PB deposed the man who baptized you or presided at your parents’ funerals.

[29] Posted by tjmcmahon on 10-17-2009 at 12:27 PM · [top]

Parsons too, TJ????

[30] Posted by Nikolaus on 10-17-2009 at 01:04 PM · [top]

The revisionists have already had a big belt of the koolaid, so doublethink is in effect.  If they complain a bit, they will be ejected…

George Orwell would be so proud…

[31] Posted by Doogal1234 on 10-17-2009 at 01:19 PM · [top]

TJ (#27), Bishop Parsons has not been deposed or considered to have renounced his orders.  He transferred to the Diocese of Springfield, using the canonical provisions I cited in my earlier comment (#5).  He is a prime example of how a bishop may be transferred to another diocese, whether in the US or anywhere else in the Anglican Communion, by means of Letters Dimissory.

Robert S. Munday+

[32] Posted by ToAllTheWorld on 10-17-2009 at 01:29 PM · [top]

Presumably the truth is that most of the HOB agree with the PB’s nifty footwork. In other words, they think the right result has been achieved without worrying too much about the actual wording of the canons.

FWIW this shows a significant failing in TEC’s polity. There is nothing that approaches a separation of powers. Who guards the guards? Who watches the watchmen? They do. It’s a recipe for the abuse of power.

[33] Posted by driver8 on 10-17-2009 at 01:33 PM · [top]

Thank you for the correction Dr. Munday, I apologize for any confusion I caused.  I had confused Bishop Parsons with Bishop Bane, who was deposed about the same time as Bishop McBurney.  I did not mean to raise anyone’s blood pressure.

[34] Posted by tjmcmahon on 10-17-2009 at 01:48 PM · [top]

RicardoCR asks,

So, what is Bishop Ackerman’s status now in the AC?  Is he still a bishop in the Southern Cone or will he have to be reconsecrated?  Is there such a thing?

He is a bishop of the Diocese of Bolivia of the Province of the Southern Cone and has been for some time. Venables’ position is and has been that Schori has no authority over the bishops and clergy of the Province of the Southern Cone and her presumption and rantings are simply to be ignored. He is correct and she, as always, is wrong.

[35] Posted by Ken Peck on 10-17-2009 at 06:35 PM · [top]

There was spontaneous applause at the Quincy Synod Friday when Bishop Ackerman phoned in to share the news. Being on the bad side of KBS is confirmation of orthodoxy.

[36] Posted by Romkey on 10-17-2009 at 06:49 PM · [top]

So when will the date be set for the ecclesiastical trial of the Presiding Bishop for breaching the Canons of the Episcopal Church?

What? You say there’s no provison for that?

[37] Posted by Anglicat on 10-17-2009 at 09:51 PM · [top]

Jill, #3 above.

Impressive—and very sad—list.  Thanks so much for keeping track.

What about that great hero of the faith, Bishop Edward MacBurney, retired bishop of Quincy, who was treated so badly by the PB in 2008?  He may now be associated with the ACNA.

[38] Posted by Dick Mitchell on 10-17-2009 at 09:54 PM · [top]

Anglicat,

No provision, no problem, just make it up! Tack it on to the supplemental litigation liturgies currently in development. Well, maybe not in development, but I did think about it, and the thought alone should qualify me for a Noble prize of some sort. The new Nobel prize for innovation in church litigation.

[39] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 10-17-2009 at 10:02 PM · [top]

#35-Ken Peck, Thank you, I assumed as much.  I had the privilege of meeting ++Venables in Ft. Worth and found him to be a most reasonable and courageous man.  He bore an uncanny resemblance to the actor Michael Caine and spoke rather like him as well.  We are indeed fortunate to have him in his position in the Southern Cone.  He actually gave me a hug.

[40] Posted by RicardoCR on 10-18-2009 at 12:48 AM · [top]

RicardoCR,
All orthodox need a hug these days for remaining faithful. If someone ever writes a book on the The Fall of the Episcopal Church it will be placed in the fiction section of the bookshelves. Unbelievable….....

[41] Posted by bradhutt on 10-18-2009 at 05:11 AM · [top]

#5 Dean Munday:

And a subsection states that the churches from which such a clergy may be received includes:

(i) those duly constituted Dioceses, Provinces, and regional Churches in communion with the See of Canterbury,

So if the Episcopal Church can receive clergy (and bishops are included when it says “all Members of the Clergy”) from other provinces of the Anglican Communion by means of Letters Dimmisory, then it can issue those same letters when a bishop or other member of the clergy transfers to another province of the Anglican Communion.

You have really clarified all this for me.  The flaw you exposed in Mrs Schori’s actions are her ambivalent reading of TEC’s position in the Communion.  Bolivia is part of the Province of the Southern Cone and so on a transfer of a bishop to that jurisdiction she has no option but to accept that Bishop Ackerman is transferring within the Communion, much as was the case when she purported to remove Bishop Henry Scriven, one of our bishops back to England, and you can’t get more “in communion with the See of Canterbury than that [no offence to York!].

Whatever you think of the rights and wrongs, the canons and status of Bolivia are clear while TEC remains, [however tentatively] a member of the Anglican Communion.

You have done us all a great service with your research and I thank you.

[42] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 10-18-2009 at 08:54 AM · [top]

Press conference of sorts found here including Bishop Ackerman, George Conger, Doug LeBlanc and others.

[43] Posted by Jill C. on 10-19-2009 at 08:01 PM · [top]

Thanks for that, Jill. +Ackerman sounds definitely betrayed and genuinely hurt.

[44] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 10-19-2009 at 09:03 PM · [top]

Presumably the truth is that most of the HOB agree with the PB’s nifty footwork.—#33

Probably so. But what ECUSA bishops think doesn’t matter: most of them are feckless invertebrates.

Even if they wanted to oppose KJS, they would have neither the courage to try nor the fortitude to persevere. She is a hawk ruling rabbits.

[45] Posted by Irenaeus on 10-19-2009 at 09:34 PM · [top]

The flaw you exposed in Mrs Schori’s actions are her ambivalent reading of TEC’s position in the Communion.—#42

“Ambivalent” may qualify as the understatement of the thread. We’re amply justified in calling her positions here “opportunistically inconsistent” or, more tersely, “hypocritical.”

[46] Posted by Irenaeus on 10-19-2009 at 09:41 PM · [top]

Probably so. But what ECUSA bishops think doesn’t matter

It does - if as some have suggested one might want to hold her accountable through the only means available within the canons - an ecclesiastical trial court.

[47] Posted by driver8 on 10-19-2009 at 09:43 PM · [top]

It does seem as this interpretation of the Canons implies that TEC is not in full communion (that is, allowing full exchange of ministries) with any Province in the Communion.

[48] Posted by driver8 on 10-19-2009 at 09:46 PM · [top]

So from TEC point of view, the Anglican Communion seems to have reduced to a tiny spot of light under a flickering lamppost. Namely the personal communion between the ABC and almost all Bishops of TEC.

Isn’t there an irony in this “go your own way” ecclesiology for a woman who warned about the dangers (heresy even) of thinking that one could be in right relationship with God as an individual. It apparently doesn’t apply to individual Provinces.

[49] Posted by driver8 on 10-19-2009 at 09:53 PM · [top]

Driver8, I beg to differ. Just watch how smoothly it would run if a California bishop wanted to transfer to Mexico for a while.

[50] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 10-19-2009 at 09:55 PM · [top]

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