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DioQuincy: +Ackerman Retires

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 • 4:44 pm

The Right Reverend Keith L. Ackerman, VIIIth Bishop of Quincy, has announced to the Standing Committee his retirement as Diocesan Bishop effective November 1st, 2008.  Bishop Ackerman has reached this decision after much thought and prayer.  The Bishop and his wife Jo conferred with his physicians, many trusted friends, and the Standing Committee before making this decision.

While Bishop Ackerman is retiring from his administrative duties as executive officer of the Diocese, he plans to remain in the area of the Diocese for some time and will make himself available, under arrangement with the Standing Committee, to perform Episcopal acts and provide spiritual counsel to members of the Diocese, as have Bishop Donald Parsons and Bishop Edward MacBurney, the VIth and VIIth Bishops of Quincy.

Under diocesan canons, the Standing Committee will continue to act as the ecclesiastical authority of the diocese, as they have since the Bishop’s sabbatical began in late August.  Day to day operations of the diocese will continue to be handled by the various officers and department heads.

Bishop Ackerman wants to assure everyone that he has no intention of abandoning the diocese but will continue to provide spiritual and pastoral support as asked by the Standing Committee.

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[1] Posted by Branford on 10-29-2008 at 04:56 PM • top

May the Lord mightily bless His faithful servant +Kieth and may He raise up a powerful Joshua for the people of Quincy.

[2] Posted by HowardRGiles+ on 10-29-2008 at 04:57 PM • top


[3] Posted by hellcat on 10-29-2008 at 04:59 PM • top

I had heard that +Keith was contemplating retirement due to his health, but had no idea it would be before their Diocesan Convention.  My prayers go out to the good bishop and the Diocese, that they both may continue to stand strong in the faith!

[4] Posted by Henry on 10-29-2008 at 05:05 PM • top

I wonder if this will have any effect on Katherine’s plans to depose him.

[5] Posted by Ann Castro on 10-29-2008 at 05:09 PM • top

Sources tell me that Mr. Booth Beers has been making phone calls to clergy in that diocese hoping probably to recruit malcontents and promote opposition.  Was the writing on the wall?  I also heard that Mr. BB was given little or no encouragement. 
Bishop Ackerman is one of the most godly men in our Church.  I wish he was not retiring.  I suspect he will be even more effective in his new role.  He is such a wonderful faithful encourager of the “remnant.”

[6] Posted by Fr Ian on 10-29-2008 at 05:11 PM • top

Fr. Ackerman - I wish you the very best - thanks for all your leadership and Godly wisdom.

[7] Posted by B. Hunter on 10-29-2008 at 05:13 PM • top

Bishop Ackerman has been very careful to avoid placing himself in a position to be deposed.  He was at the last meeting of the Quincy synod, but was not present during the first vote in preparation for realignment.  He has not made public statements advocating the diocese depart from the TEC.  Thus, his personal situation is slightly different from Bishop Duncan who was very public in advocating for realignment.  He is very godly bishop and a real shepherd of his diocese.  He is fully committed to the Gospel of Christ and the heritage of the one holy catholic church.

[8] Posted by Tractarian on 10-29-2008 at 05:18 PM • top

The rejection of the pastoral scheme in March of 2007 foreshadowed exactly this sort of cleansing of the orthodox…no safe harbor, and no end to the persecution…Bishop Keith is right…get out with your life…this is not about a clear stand for faith, but about one’s own spiritual/physical health…if you stand for the faith in TEC there is no one standing behind you…

[9] Posted by Caleb on 10-29-2008 at 05:18 PM • top

I’m very confused, but I’ll trust he’s not leaving at a time when leadership is needed most rather on full council that this is the best course, but I’m still perplexed.

[10] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 10-29-2008 at 05:20 PM • top

So there will now be three retired Bishops of Quincy. They can consecrate their successor without any help from outside the diocese!

[11] Posted by Roland on 10-29-2008 at 05:20 PM • top

Excellent point, Roland!  They will never be able to get the needed consents for an orthodox bishop such as +Keith if they stay in TEc.

[12] Posted by Henry on 10-29-2008 at 05:23 PM • top

We can speculate about the timing and import of this all night and into tomorrow, but perhaps what we need to do first is to say a prayer for the good Bishop and the diocese.  And give thanks to God that even as we have turned away from Him, He has sent such a bishop.

[13] Posted by tjmcmahon on 10-29-2008 at 05:24 PM • top
[14] Posted by The Rasmussens on 10-29-2008 at 05:30 PM • top

I love my bishop with all my heart. I thank God that he is staying around.

[15] Posted by Matthew Moore on 10-29-2008 at 05:32 PM • top

Is there a time limit for Quincy to elect a new Bishop or do they even have to elect a new Bishop.  It seems to me the standing committee can run things and the three retired Bishops can perform the episcopal acts.  I see no reason to elect a new Bishop and try to get it approved by the TEC standing committees, I’d say wait until they re-align.

Here’s another idea why not never elect a new Bishop?  Just have a Bishop from another province come in and perform Episcopal acts.  Let the standing committee run things.  What could TEC do?  Until the next GC when they pass the rules allowing them to excommunicate anyone.

[16] Posted by JustOneVoice on 10-29-2008 at 05:35 PM • top

Historically speaking isn’t the basic unit of the Church the diocese and, practically, the parish?  Sure, this might be a hypothetical on the level of “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” but Roland & y’all, what if they did consecrate themselves a bishop without deference to the offices at 815?  It surely wouldn’t be as extreme a break in precedent as the precedent that our last PB set in ‘03, would it? 

More, or less, at Sanctifusion

[17] Posted by Robert Easter on 10-29-2008 at 05:38 PM • top

Thank you Bishop Akerman for your many faithful and Godly years of service to your diocese and the Body of Christ. I am deeply saddened to see you leave at this time but I am sure it was for the most important reason. You have been an inspiration for years to many of us in the Church outside your diocese. I always went to the FIFNA Eucharists at General Convention because I could feel the strong sense of community worship there.

You will be missed. But go with our prayers for your health and know that you have been a faithful servant that will be remembered by many of us for your faithful witness.

Canon Gary Cartwright
Diocese of SW FLA

[18] Posted by garyec on 10-29-2008 at 05:41 PM • top

JustOneVoice, do you remember what Schori tried to do here in San Joaquin?  She’ll try to do the same in Quincy.  Quincy will have their chance to re-align with us in November, and I hope they do it.  They should vote to re-align, and then pick a new bishop.  There’ll be no problem with getting consent from the Southern Cone, and if TEC doesn’t like that, there’s nothing they can do about it except to set up a “rump Episcopal Diocese of Quincy.”  And things will continue to get steadily worse for them.

[19] Posted by Cennydd on 10-29-2008 at 05:44 PM • top

Now let us hold Bishop Jack Iker up in our prayers.

[20] Posted by garyec on 10-29-2008 at 05:46 PM • top

I’m sure +Ackerman has considered this carefully. It means he cannot be deposed. It means the three bishops of Quincy can consecrate their successor if the diocese goes South to the Southern Cone. And +Ackerman is around to advise the Standing Committee, who will presumably do their duty by the faith in any event. And it gives +Ackerman some rest, which he abundantly deserves. Bless thy servant, O Lord!

[21] Posted by Andrewesman on 10-29-2008 at 05:49 PM • top

God Bless Bp. Ackermam - one of the most godly bishops of the church.

[22] Posted by Vicar of York on 10-29-2008 at 05:50 PM • top

Your right, since they are voting to re-align in November, my idea does not apply.  But hypothetically what if a diocese just quit interacting with TEC?  What if the Bishop retired, the Diocese did not try to consecrate a new Bishop, quit going to GC, and quit sending money?  What could TEC do according to the canons?  I think you are right that the PB would (un-conically) try to create a new standing committee, but without voting to leave I think it would be harder.

[23] Posted by JustOneVoice on 10-29-2008 at 05:50 PM • top

Bishop Ackerman may be physically small of stature, but he’s a spiritual giant.  Whereas there are some tall bishops in TEC (such as former PB Frank Griswold) who cast a long shadow institutionally, but are spiritual pygmies.  God bless him, and the faithful in Quincy.

David Handy+

[24] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 10-29-2008 at 05:50 PM • top

The timing could not be worse. God help us.

[25] Posted by Romkey on 10-29-2008 at 05:52 PM • top

I wonder if he will keep his position with FIF-NA?  There is a church in the TEC DioTN which considers itself under +Ackerman, even though they have not formally left.  They in fact pray for “our bishop Keith” even when +Bauerschmidt comes around.  Makes for an interesting working relationship.  wink  To date, they have mostly ignored each other, though there are rumors that the disagreement is about to get hot.

[26] Posted by APB on 10-29-2008 at 06:07 PM • top

What we hear in Chicago is that his health is ‘iffy.’  I am not sure what that means.  In the event, his abrupt retirement suggests a health issue as does his announcement.

I hope whatever problem he is facing is treatable and that he does well.

It seems to me that the speculation here is unseemly.  But I do want to correct one post.  As Bp. Cox’s experience shows, retired bishops can face deposition.  I am not prepared to speculate on any plans the bishop or the national church as like most here (including those who do speculate) I have no information.

I think we could all join in wishing the bishop and his family well, and praying for his health.  But then, what fun is that when we can blame the presiding bishop?



[27] Posted by jimB on 10-29-2008 at 06:16 PM • top

I meant that the deposition was unlikely to affect the diocese. You’re quite right, of course.

And I am certain that we all join in prayer for the Ackermans, and +Keith’s health.

[28] Posted by Andrewesman on 10-29-2008 at 06:26 PM • top

I encourage Andrewsman (21) to read the relevant sections of Title IV. Consecrating a bishop for another church is grounds for a charge of abandonment.  I am grateful for Bishop Ackerman’s continued witness to the Catholic Faith and for his service to our Blessed Lord.

[29] Posted by TomRightmyer on 10-29-2008 at 06:28 PM • top

#27 I agree with you that we should pray for Bp. Ackermann and also thank God for his leadership.  And, yes, it did occur to me that retirement provides no protection against deposition.  But I don’t think anyone has crossed any boundaries in wondering what effect this will have on the diocese and its plans for the future.  We are very concerned for all involved.

[30] Posted by Ann Castro on 10-29-2008 at 06:32 PM • top

Check Quincy’s website - They are on their way out as of their Diocesan Synod.

[31] Posted by Fr. Christopher Cantrell+ on 10-29-2008 at 06:40 PM • top

Hmmm…. the wording of the resolution as presented on the diocesan site assumes the presence and consent of the bishop of the diocese.

This will now be the case.

[32] Posted by Martin Reynolds on 10-29-2008 at 06:52 PM • top

This will NOT now be the case - sory

[33] Posted by Martin Reynolds on 10-29-2008 at 06:53 PM • top

How grateful I am to know Bishop Keith’s great, good, cheerful heart for Our Lord!!  He has been a faithful servant and a bishop “above reproach” for many years, standing firmly on the teaching of the apostles and the historic continuity of Christ’s church.  I pray that Our Lord gives this godly bishop and a sufficiency of healing graces and joys this day and in the next few months of transition and change.
-LeAnn Redford of Blessed Sacrament Church in Placentia, California

[34] Posted by bookmimi1 on 10-29-2008 at 06:59 PM • top

The problem with this discussion is that it focuses on Bishop Ackerman’s spiritual and personal qualities, and what this all means in the looking glass war between the Orthodox Anglicans and the make-it-up-as-they-go TEC faction.

There is a practical side to this that is apparent to anybody serving on a vestry. A church is not a business, but if it were, I doubt many of the stockholders would be very pleased with the CEO and his board today. We shall have to rely upon God to close the gap between what human beings have been able to accomplish and what needs to be done.

Whatever the outcome of the synod, it is certainly more in doubt today than it was before this announcement.  For those of us actively trying to keep a parish going, it is increasingly a bottom-up effort.

[35] Posted by Boswell on 10-29-2008 at 08:43 PM • top

Our bishop was charged with “Abandonment of Communion” and “deposed,” and our clergy have been inhibited.  So what?  They’re all in the Province of the Southern Cone, so who cares about what Schori and Company do?  THEY don’t….and neither do I!  Do you really think +Keith Ackerman will care, either?  I seriously doubt it!  Will the Diocese of Quincy leave?  Probably, and they’ll be welcome with open arms, I’m sure!

[36] Posted by Cennydd on 10-29-2008 at 08:43 PM • top

I’m new to all this polity stuff, but when the PB tries to create these shadow standing committes, isn’t that border crossing?

[37] Posted by john_nelson on 10-29-2008 at 09:03 PM • top

The resignation of a sitting Diocesan bishop has to be accepted by TEC to be effective under the canons.  Watch whether that happens here.  For example, in +Schofield’s case, they preferred deposition to accepting his resignation.

[38] Posted by DavidH on 10-29-2008 at 09:08 PM • top

#38 David - In this case I think he is retiring.  It seems very harsh not to let someone retire.

[39] Posted by john_nelson on 10-29-2008 at 09:23 PM • top

Some might say, “there goes a great man.”  The Bishop Ackerman I know would say, “here goes a man who serves a great God.”

Dave W
in San Antonio

[40] Posted by DaveW on 10-29-2008 at 09:45 PM • top

I want to thank Bishop Ackerman for another very important ministry that he took on, that of picking up refugee seminarians whose bishops would not allow them to go to orthodox seminaries.  He is a wonderful leader, my ordaining bishop, and he will always be someone who has shaped me and molded me for ministry.  He is great with people on a one-to-one basis, and I know that God has wonderful plans for him.  Praise God for men like Bishop Ackerman.

[41] Posted by Townsend Waddill+ on 10-29-2008 at 10:01 PM • top

He confirmed me.  I just love him.  So full of the Holy Spirit!  I will be praying hard for him.

[42] Posted by Carol R on 10-29-2008 at 10:10 PM • top

We give thanks for humble Bishop Ackerman’s salvation and his service, and his love for Holy Scripture.  He has, and will continue to have, a great impact on many peoples lives, including my own, all to the honor of God.  Bishop Ackerman is one of my heros.
Shalom you all,

[43] Posted by Truthseeker on 10-29-2008 at 10:40 PM • top

#38 You Episcopalians do seem to love your canons over Charity, that’s not ad hominem but you are proving what I was saying in the other thread here.

[44] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 10-29-2008 at 10:42 PM • top

DavidH, they can say what they want to about +Schofield’s so-called “deposition,” but there are a lot of us who think it was done for pure spite.  Those bishops know very well what kind of bishop he is, compared to them, and that’s why he was “deposed.”  There isn’t a single one of them who’s fit to polish his shoes!  He could have retired, but they turned him down just so that Mrs Schori could have her revenge on him and depose him.  I think she and her cronies will try to do the same thing to +Ackerman.

[45] Posted by Cennydd on 10-29-2008 at 10:52 PM • top

I should state for the record, that “you Episcopalians” refers to the power structure that’s leading and not so much as those filling the pews, just as CEO’s set the tone for an organization and the average employee does not really have the means to change corporate policy.

DavidH, a stalwart apologist and his constant cheerleader, EmilyH, have been ever-faithful in their allegiance to 815.

[46] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 10-29-2008 at 11:00 PM • top

#35 We have been praying for our dear Bishop forever and will forever.  You don’t need to worry one bit about how we feel about our “CEO” whatever he does.  We know he would not make any decision without guidance from Our Lord.  To paraphrase a well-known scripture, “As for our Diocese, we will serve the Lord,” and our Shepherd has tended his flock.  We know where we are headed and it is not abandoning the faith.

[47] Posted by Gigs Girl on 10-29-2008 at 11:12 PM • top

Nana1938, Bishop Ackerman has a whole lot of friends here in the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin, and you can rest assured that he and the people of the Diocese of Quincy are in our prayers.

[48] Posted by Cennydd on 10-29-2008 at 11:16 PM • top

#9 & #44 You apparently know neither our Bishop nor his flock.  There is nothing, no not one thing, that comes from our Bishop that does not originate in Charity.  It is too bad that too often that love is not returned or is rejected whole-heartedly.  I expect that it is they who have contributed to his ill health.  We need him retired not gone from this earth.

[49] Posted by Gigs Girl on 10-29-2008 at 11:19 PM • top

Before I turn in I have just a question…..if Schori & Beers try and depose Bishop Ackerman on what grounds would they use? They can’t charge him with abandonment he is retiring…he’s going no where! He hasn’t gone into another Anglican Church or another denomination and performed any sacraments or blessings…so on what charge would Schori & Co. have to depose him?

[50] Posted by TLDillon on 10-29-2008 at 11:23 PM • top

#49 - My apologies for any tarnish to your bishop, my comment was to DavidH, whose comment in #38 does reflect the current Episcopal power structure (HoB/D and 815), but not meant about +Ackerman, who has shown great charity.

[51] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 10-29-2008 at 11:24 PM • top

# 47 We are praying for our bishop, too. We’re also praying that we’ll be able to keep our church open. We are stalwart Anglicans and have no truck with TEC. But these inscrutable maneuverings have us all wondering what the future holds. Now it’s on to the Synod and beyond without a bishop. I hope we don’t travel to Quincy without some of our Deputies, too. We can be right all the way to extinction as a diocese.

[52] Posted by Boswell on 10-29-2008 at 11:31 PM • top

[37] Hey John,

Yes, that can be border crossing, depending on how it’s done. If like in the case of San Joaquin, she decides she will appoint a bishop to serve a diocese before the diocesan bishop is deposed, then yes. Both on her part, and Bishop Lamb.

However, if like in Pittsburgh, everything happens through the mock standing committee, perhaps not. She hasn’t actually done anything in the diocese, so she hasn’t crossed any borders. Now, if she decides to visit the Diocese at the invitation of the mock standing committee, it must first be decided who the “true” standing committee is to see if she crossed any lines or not.

I want to say “welcome to the polity discussion”, but it’s not an enjoyable discussion.

Yours in Christ,

[53] Posted by Jacobsladder on 10-29-2008 at 11:34 PM • top

#52 We are ONLY right when we hold on to the faith delivered to us by the saints.  There is NO other way.  I would rather have morning prayer in my cellar (and it IS a cellar) than consort with heretics and those who are apostate.  I can only imagine standing before God on the day of judgment and trying to explain that my church building was more important than being faithful to my God.

[54] Posted by Gigs Girl on 10-29-2008 at 11:39 PM • top

44-46, again, try reading my comments without assuming that they’re posted by Satan.  In this case, I was merely commenting on the fact that, like in San Joaquin, 815 might still attempt to go the deposition route, as opposed to merely accepting the retirement, and I said that TEC’s reaction to his retirement would be something to watch. 

(50, ODC, makes an interesting comment in asking what the grounds would be.  I don’t know, but then I know pretty little about +Ackerman.)

I said nothing negative about +Ackerman, nor would I.  I wish him well in his health and otherwise and congratulate him for years of service as a Christian and a Bishop.  I also hope that his retirement is accepted.

[55] Posted by DavidH on 10-30-2008 at 04:29 AM • top

#55 Then please explain your #38, what canon did he violate, why would you turn down a retirement and suggest 815 might depose him?

In the light of all your other posts (and often legal citation) I do read #38 VERY suspiciously.

[56] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 10-30-2008 at 06:40 AM • top

Hosea, I agree with DavidH.  People are dreaming if they think Schori is going to let him retire.

I think there is little question that he will be deposed.  And you should know as well as any of the rest of us . . . “canons, schmanons!”

[57] Posted by Sarah on 10-30-2008 at 06:46 AM • top

I would like to, if I may, thank several bishops for something we rarely see these days, in our present unpleasantness; their sense of humour!

+Keith, +Bob, +Henry, +Jack and +Bill have all contributed to my zeal to carry on in our church.  Not simply because they are great leaders, but because they have the humility to laugh at themselves.

I can recall - not that long ago - writing a piece about +Jack…it was satire.  In that piece I wrote that Bishop Schori had forced +Jack to shout ‘I’m a pretty little girl’ at their diocesan convention.

Try that with a revisionist.  I’d have a lawsuit on my hands.

What does +Jack do?  He calls up Griffith and asks him who wrote that hilarious bit of nonsense?

While this is a very serious time, we must not take our *selves* too seriously, lest we become guilty of the very accusation which we are hurling back to the revisionist leadership on a daily basis.

The times are hard for us right now, yes.  But it seems clear to me that it’s time to laugh and carry on with the Gospel of Christ.  Only then will we deal with our enemies with charity.  Only then will we experience the ‘Divine Comedy.’

That’s my 2p worth.

Warm greetings to all the saints, from Quebec City, on the eve of the vigil of All Saints.

Take a look at who came before us and their sufferings, too, at this time.  I, for one, find it very encouraging - though sad.  My dear friend Peter Ould posted this video a couple of years back.  It’s excellent.

Blessings in Christ,
Michael Daley

[58] Posted by Michael Daley on 10-30-2008 at 06:52 AM • top

Looks like the link to that video is busted…sorry…it really is a good video.

Try looking around on YouTube.


[59] Posted by Michael Daley on 10-30-2008 at 06:55 AM • top

I predict that Dorsey Henderson will not participate in a crucifixion of Keith Ackerman. Bishop Henderson is head of the bunch that certify abandonment. He signed off on Duncan’s deposition, but I bet he won’t do it on Bishop Ackerman. His lawyerly mind will whisper, “No certifiable evidence.” He will not want to soil his conscience with such a travesty.

[60] Posted by Bull Street on 10-30-2008 at 07:22 AM • top

Hosea6…If you think that DavidH is 815’s Episcopal drone, you haven’t been keeping up. He is a theological conservative.  BUT, he is an attorney.  I have never heard him advocate for the resolution of difficulties in civil court, but, if that is the venue where the debate is headed, he has shared his expertise on the legal questions to be raised, the arguments made, the precedents cited etc.  He and I would likely disagree on many things, but were I Matt+ or +Schofield etc., and the venue where all this was likely to play out, a US court, I would seek, not the opinion of a theolgian, but an attorney.

For those like Matt+ whose futures are directly impacted by the courts, hearing a lawyer’s “Come to Jesus” speech versus a theolgian’s must be very painful.  But to shoot the mesenger does make the message go away.

For Matt+, if the property really was the issue, in NY anyway, it’s kiss it goodbye.  If I were in Matt’s shoes, I’d want someone, not to tell me what’s right or wrong, but what’s likely to happen GIVEN the playing field.

[61] Posted by EmilyH on 10-30-2008 at 07:36 AM • top

“People are dreaming if they think Schori is going to let him retire.” Sarah Hey

No, we are not dreaming but praying.  He has a better chance than any not to be deposed.  Let’s wait and see.

[62] Posted by Dallas Priest on 10-30-2008 at 07:36 AM • top

#56 You are making to much out of #38.  David is commenting on reality.  In that context I agree with some of your sentiments because those in control of TEC do have a fixation with canons.  Unfortunately the ones they are using don’t exist yet, but that will not deter them. What constitutes abandonment of communion to them is something that is made up to suit the present circumstances. However I do not think they will take +Ackerman on.  A martyr they do not want to make and Bishop Keith is nothing if not a faithful unselfish servant to God and His Church, even the apostate portions thereof.  Schori and Beers will need to proceed with extreme caution.

[63] Posted by aacswfl1 on 10-30-2008 at 07:46 AM • top

“Schori and Beers will need to proceed with extreme caution.”  Somehow, I can’t imagine either of them saying “Hmm, do I really want to do this?  Is this the smart thing to do?”

[64] Posted by Cennydd on 10-30-2008 at 08:56 AM • top

Abandonment of communion is doing something the PB doesn’t like.  How hard is that to understand?

[65] Posted by JustOneVoice on 10-30-2008 at 08:59 AM • top

Hey y’all…
Bp. Ackerman seems to be a good and faithful bishop, and probably wouldn’t let his office go at this juncture for any small reason. Maybe he’s getting out of the way of the standing committee, for whatever reason…if that even makes any sense at all. Other than ill health, it’s the only thing I can think of. I guess it will all come clear with time. Whatever the case, the last thing 815 needs is a martyr in Quincy. They may be a ham-fisted bunch, but they aren’t necessarily stupid.

[66] Posted by Shumanbean on 10-30-2008 at 09:30 AM • top

cennydd and Andrewesman,

You are right on track with the future of Quincy…we pray!

May God’s richest blessings be yours as you continue to stand for Anglican and Franciscan religious freedom.
BrChip+, CoJ

[67] Posted by Fr. Chip, SF on 10-30-2008 at 09:42 AM • top

JustOneVoice, let’s talk about “Abandonment of Communion:” 

Just who has abandoned WHAT “communion” here?  Have Bishops Ackerman, Cox, and Schofield abandoned any communion?  The so-called communion with The Episcopal Church, or the Anglican Communion?  We hold that The Episcopal Church has, for all intents and purposes, left the Anglican Communion….even though they claim otherwise.  Their actions have put the lie to that claim.

Have these faithful bishops left TEC?  Not by choice!  TEC left THEM….and US!  They, and we, are simply defending the faith in which we were baptised and reared, and NOT the one we are being asked to support now.  They, and we, have made it abundantly clear that we do NOT and WILL not support the departure from the faith of Christ crucified, as exemplified by the leadership of TEC.

When the new Anglican province is up and running, it will be because of the actions of those who have chosen to follow the world instead of Christ.  A new day is dawning in the history of Christianity. 

Get used to it!

[68] Posted by Cennydd on 10-30-2008 at 09:50 AM • top

Ooops, I left out Bishop Duncan!  My bad!

[69] Posted by Cennydd on 10-30-2008 at 09:53 AM • top

And I’m not coming down on you personally.  Also my bad!

[70] Posted by Cennydd on 10-30-2008 at 09:57 AM • top

Bishop Ackerman has my deepest respect and he will be in my prayers, as will the people of the Diocese of Quincy. As a traditional Anglo-Catholic and a member of Forward in Faith, it has been an honor to have this man as a leader and spokesman for our/my perspective in TEC and in the larger Anglican world.

[71] Posted by Anglo-Catholic-Jihadi on 10-30-2008 at 10:10 AM • top


Sorry, I guess sarcasm does not come across well, especially without the smileys.  I’ll try to be clear this time and less clever.  I fully support Bishops Iker, Duncan, Ackerman, Cox, and Schofield.  I am full against what the PB and powers that be in TEC are doing.  With my earlier statement I was trying to show the ridiculous way the PB and Co. interpret the canons to mean what they want and their heavy-handed wielding of power.  For example, the PB in her arrogance considers that when anybody does anything that she doesn’t like it is abandonment of communion.  When it fact, as you stated, she and the TEC are abandoning Christianity.  It is even more amazing that she gets away with it.

I am proud and humbled by the Bishops and their diocese that have voted (or will soon vote) to remove their association from TEC and create a new province.  Not only will I get used to it, I welcome it!  Sorry for the confusion.

[72] Posted by JustOneVoice on 10-30-2008 at 10:11 AM • top

I believe the negative response from the institutional liberals to the +Duncan depo helps defend +Ackerman here.  If I were +Ackerman I would have cleared this retirement with 815 because if I was going to be deposed anyway, I might as well go down fighting. 

It will be interesting to see what happens after the departure of the diocese.  If the good bishop does any Episcopal acts in his departed diocese, then the arguments like those against +Cox arise. One might argue that if departures are void, then no deposable act would have occurred.  But, I think in the current climate that is a bridge too far. 

Certainly no inside info here, but if I were the good bishop, after a short but reasonable time after the departure of my former diocese, as a good ‘ComCon’ bishop I’d request leave from the HoB to go into full retirement (put proper canonical terminology here).  After official acceptance by the HoB, I’d be on the phone to SouthernCone the next day.

Prayers for Bishop Ackerman and all who love & admire him,

[73] Posted by miserable sinner on 10-30-2008 at 10:28 AM • top

Boswell [34] said, “A church is not a business.”

Have you told that to Mad Kate and the little BB?

[74] Posted by Paterricardus on 10-30-2008 at 10:30 AM • top

I know what I’m about to paste and blockquote below is in regards to Ft. Worth but it is important for all to see and read! Since I see my diocese, San Joaquin, and the other three, Pittsburgh, Ft. Worth, and Quincy in the same boat traveling in uncharted and rocky turbulent waters with Jesus Christ telling us all “Be Still”, I thought this was a bit interesting that the other side is so worried that they will try to discredit a knowledgeable and forth-right lawyer that we have in Chancellor who posts here on Stand Firm!

The Stand Firm blog has this posting

about advise from the Chancellor of the Diocese of Fort Worth.  The
Chancellor who is unnamed in the post concludes that there is no violation
of a fiduciary duty to any entity by voting to take a church or diocese out
of the Episcopal Church.  I have written often over the last few years that
this is in fact not true.  The Chancellor uses some neat statements of the
law and some assumptions that most do not agree with and comes to the
conclusion his Bishop wants.  There are many problems with this conclusion.

Read my thoughts at:

Bill Fleener, Jr.

Does anyone know this man, Bill Fleener, Jr? Is he an attorney? Is he an authority on Canon & Constitutional law? This inquiring mind would like to know.

[75] Posted by TLDillon on 10-30-2008 at 10:32 AM • top

ODC, Probably a consequence of not enough coffee, but I can’t find that comment at the link you post.

[76] Posted by JackieB on 10-30-2008 at 10:39 AM • top

#74: Everybody is ignoring or missing the point. A church is not a business, but it is an organization that needs to be lead and actively managed. This was not the ideal time to retire. Indeed, why now? As is entirely typical with this whole debate—and I’m an orthodox Anglican and 100 percent in favor of severing ties to TEC—the focus is on TEC, cannons, politics, personalities. A little more attention to holding the diocese together and keeping parishes viable would be in order.

[77] Posted by Boswell on 10-30-2008 at 10:57 AM • top

Duh, just followed the link you provided to this guy’s site.  Sorry for the inconvenience, ODC.

[78] Posted by JackieB on 10-30-2008 at 10:57 AM • top

I believe you know well that 815s read is ‘abandonment of communion of THIS church’. (read ECUSA)  While the FedCon read is ‘abandonment of the COMMUNION of this church’. (read the entire AC).

I, for one, am now of the ‘horse is out of the barn’ view. With GAFCON’s success, a new proto-Communion (denomination?) has been born that is independent of the classical structures of the Anglican Communion polity. (the so-called instruments of unity).  This new proto-Communion has and will more and more be widely recognized by and be in communion with conservative provinces of the AC. And ECUSA writ large (the place of conservative dioceses notwithstanding) will be/has been ‘replaced’ by a new North American FedCon entity, likely the CCP, in the view these conservative provinces. 

With this fundamental realignment of the Anglican Communion, little of its historic structure may matter soon enough.  I also believe the next Primate’s Meeting will show where all this is going.  It may well be the case that leadership of this ‘instrument’ may move/morph into another form.

How very very sad that it has come to this. But, good Christian folk are on both sides of this divide.  For them we should give thanks and pray for the Lord’s care.


[79] Posted by miserable sinner on 10-30-2008 at 11:06 AM • top

And let me add this: The viability of our parish is in doubt, and there are people in authority in Quincy who question the diocese’s viability (all people who support leaving TEC, or officially recognizing that TEC has left us).

We will meet for Mass in a storefront or somebody’s house if it comes to that. However, that certainly isn’t the goal, and the people responsible for running the diocese—starting with our now-retiring bishop—have an obligation to try to manage the situation so it doesn’t come to that, God willing.

Lastly, I recently spoke with a priest who assured me the bishop—who has been unavailable to talk to most parishes for months—said he did NOT plan to retire after working for 15 years to get us to a point where we could free ourselves from TEC.

None of this is good in any way.

Now, let’s get back to throwing barbs at the presiding bishop.

[80] Posted by Boswell on 10-30-2008 at 11:07 AM • top

I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that all of this points to the fact that any decisions made about the Dennis Canon lead towards support of TEC’s views on the subject.  That is not meant to infer that the Supreme Court of California will agree, and they may not.  I’d like to hear from attorneys who do not support the validity of the Dennis Canon, and I’d like to know their reasons for not supporting it.

[81] Posted by Cennydd on 10-30-2008 at 11:10 AM • top

Mr. Fleener Jr. is (I believe still is, I’ve been out of W. Mich for a while), if I recall correctly, the Chancellor of W. Mich.  His dad is an Episcopal priest.  Both liberal.  The younger Mr. Fleener’s rhetoric can be quite, errrr…impolite toward orthodox Anglicans, as witnessed by his posts on the HoBD listserve, or as witnessed by many of us who are or were in that diocese.  His dad, while of the same bent theologically, is a much more charitable person, at least in my encounters with him.  Bill, Sr. gave one of the best sermons I ever heard, followed a week later by one of the worst.

[82] Posted by tjmcmahon on 10-30-2008 at 11:18 AM • top

Reasons Dennis canon invalid (by way of argument) are:
1.  Reasons of equitable enrichment (or lack thereof).  Orthodox laity bought and paid for property- TEC did not pay a cent- therefore it would be unjust enrichment for property to go to TEC.
2.  Property owned prior to Dennis Canon could not be affected- as it predated the passage of this outlandish canon.
3.  Some Dioceses- like Fort Worth- specifically recanted the Dennis Canon- in fact for over 25 years their own Constitution and Canons have recanted it- and local Diocesan rule is the epicenter of the Anglican Communion- even ABC has stated that.
4.  Matt McCall’s excellent piece on hierarchical nature (or not) of TEC.  There is no national church- and the pb tries to extend her powers well beyond that which she is entitled to under the existing Constitution and Canons of TEC, anyway.

Not an attorney- but well versed on the issue and this is after speaking with many attorneys on the matter.  I hope this helps.  TEC is buoyed by some recent cases- but those were different than a Diocese- they were based on parishes trying to take property- when the Diocese owned it.

[83] Posted by cbates on 10-30-2008 at 01:07 PM • top

I have heard all of the arguments as to why TEC claims ownership of property that they never paid for.  My answer is this:

If you didn’t buy the land, if you don’t have the registered deed in your possession, if the county clerk’s office records don’t show that you own the property, if you didn’t pay for the construction of the buildings, if you didn’t pay for their upkeep, if you didn’t pay for the insurance on the property, then YOU DON’T OWN IT!  PERIOD!!

I am sick and tired of TEC’s claim that since they’re a hierarchical Church, they own the properties!  I don’t CARE that they’re hierarchical!  If my wife and I joined a neighborhood association which claims hierarchy, does that mean that THEY own our home, and we DON’T?  NO, it doesn’t! 

I would like some smart lawyers to tell me how TEC hoodwinked its own people when their General Convention supposedly “passed” the Dennis Canon.  And please don’t sugar-coat it.

[84] Posted by Cennydd on 10-30-2008 at 02:27 PM • top

Word is now that TEC is going to try and force all parishes and Dioceses to deed over their property at next GC.  With TEC it is clear- it is all about the assets and nothing to do with the historic Christian faith.

[85] Posted by cbates on 10-30-2008 at 02:38 PM • top

And if these parishes and dioceses refuse?  THEN what?  Is Schori going to sue them all (and spend billions in the process), or is she going to fire all of the bishops, priests, deacons, vestries, and standing committees, and replace them with people whom she can trust to remain personally faithful to her?

[86] Posted by Cennydd on 10-30-2008 at 02:47 PM • top

Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons
Mr. William Fleener, Jr., Secretary, Western Michigan, V, 2006 ..... (c) Court proceedings at which the Respondent and Church Attorney are to appear shall ... - 51k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons

Mr. Duncan A. Bayne, Chair   Olympia, VIII, 2006
Mr. Matthew Livingood, Vice-Chair   Oklahoma, VII, 2009
Mr. William Fleener, Jr., Secretary   Western Michigan, V, 2006
Ms. Rosalie Simmonds Ballentine   Virgin Islands, II, 2006
The Rt Rev. Dorsey F. Henderson, Jr.    Upper South Carolina, IV, 2009
Mr. Lawrence R. Hitt II   Colorado, VI, 2009
The Rev. Gregory A. Jacobs   Ohio, V, 2006
The Rt. Rev. Charles E. Jenkins   Louisiana, IV, 2006
Mr. Thomas A. Little   Vermont, I, 2009
The Rev. Stan Runnels   Mississippi, IV, 2006
The Rt. Rev. Stacy F. Sauls   Lexington, IV, 2006, member as well as EC liaison
The Rev. Ward H. Simpson   Eau Claire, V, 2009

[87] Posted by Gigs Girl on 10-30-2008 at 02:48 PM • top

#74 Anyone who has been active and knows well the Bishop of the Diocese of Quincy understands why the Bishop is retiring.  Just being at last year’s Synod would be enough.
“Don’t judge anyone unless you’ve walked in their moccasins one moon. - Native American Pro” 
The Standing Committee will do very well for the time being.

[88] Posted by Gigs Girl on 10-30-2008 at 02:59 PM • top

#79 - That’s exactly right - Bp. Ackerman did NOT plan to retire.  That should give you a clue, don’t you think!

[89] Posted by Gigs Girl on 10-30-2008 at 03:03 PM • top

“The Rev. Stan Runnels Mississippi, IV, 2006”
He is now in Missouri, I think…

[90] Posted by FrVan on 10-30-2008 at 03:42 PM • top

1) Plenty of hoodwinking on the passage of WO.  Little was required for the Dennis Canon.  All who wanted to follow the Affirmation of St. Louis left.  ‘Permanent’ accomodations were made for the the ‘then ComCons’ wo opposed WO.  Since everyone who was left behind agreed on the importance of the adiaphoric-on-WO ECUSA to continue on without some of the ‘troubles’ by a small minority of those who left, the Dennis Canon was passed.  The current issue was but a twinkle in the eye of a few ultra-liberals. 

2) As for your read on ‘ownership’, of course many here agree with you.  But, to 815, also of course, the issue is more like, ‘I don’t care how long you’ve paid rent, we still own the place.’  As the recent NY decision indicates, the Dennis Canon goes a long way for them to sustain that argument.  As I’ve said before, Virginia notwithstanding, this IMHO will be the view of most States highest courts.  And, as I’ve argued elsewhere, I don’t see the Fed Supremes doing anything about it. 

Honestly, beyond the special case in Virginia, I believe the ‘leave as a diocese’ folks, have a strong argument.  I don’t know if its ultimately a winner, but again in my opinion its much stronger than the leave parish by parish folks will likely see. 

We can all wish what we want, but that will not make a court decide in our favor.

Peace to you and your So Cone brothers and sisters,

[91] Posted by miserable sinner on 10-30-2008 at 05:33 PM • top

In re #87, I believe that the Mr Fleener mentioned is actually the Rev William Fleener.  He is the “acting pastor” at Holy Trinity in Manistee while they look for their next rector.  All under the “guidance” of the Bishop and his mob.  They will no doubt have some very liberal person as their next rector.

[92] Posted by catwrangler on 10-31-2008 at 09:28 AM • top

Regarding the Mr. Fleener listed in Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons (post #87) and in response to your post #92, catwrangler, you will note that this is Mr. Wm. Fleener, Jr. He is, in fact, the son of the interim rector at Holy Trinity, Manistee. William, Jr. is a lawyer and has served the diocese of WMI as such in official capacity.
I know him somewhat from the days in the late 70’s and early 80’s when I, along with our daughter, was active in the youth work of the diocese. Fr. Fleener and wife, Judy, were clergy back then. They and all of their sons were active in the monthly youth events and we spent a weekend together for at least two years.
Other than that POF, I totally concur with your observations about what is happening!

[93] Posted by merlenacushing on 10-31-2008 at 09:55 AM • top

A small addition to this discussion, yesterday it was announced that Bishop Ackerman will continue to serve as president of Forward in Faith, NA.  This may be a signal to Bishop Ackerman’s future ministry.

[94] Posted by Tractarian on 10-31-2008 at 10:10 AM • top

I’m glad to hear he is still well enough to lead Forward in Faith even if he can’t help guide the diocese during the synod when it meets in a week to decide whether to sever its ties with TEC. Hopefully his health will allow him to continue to lead tours to the Holy Land.

[95] Posted by Boswell on 10-31-2008 at 10:17 AM • top

Would being President of FIF, NA be less stressing that being the Bishop in Quincy during the exodus time? I only ask because I have no idea of the criteria for FIF, NA and am just curious if it may not be just as taxing as his episcopate in Quincy during the upcoming exodus period.
I do pray that Bishop Ackerman’s health will be restored and that he ay with time come to live out his retirement years happily and doing only those things that God deems for him to do.

[96] Posted by TLDillon on 10-31-2008 at 10:38 AM • top

My apologies #87 & #93.  I guess I did not pay attention to the Jr - Sr thing.  But he is still one of “them”.

[97] Posted by catwrangler on 10-31-2008 at 11:45 AM • top

#94.  Being facetious I presume.  Tours of the Holy Land are a pleasure, not a pressure, and more of them would be quite suitable for him and for any who have shared these trips.  I do not think that TEC or the liberal in TEC would be able to cause the stress, intimidation and every other ugly thing they do as far as FiF is concerned.  Members of Forward in Faith are of one mind and heart.  Bishop Ackerman has not only suffered abuse, but been spat upon and screamed at by these ????? whatever! He leaves his diocese in better-than-excellent hands.

[98] Posted by Gigs Girl on 10-31-2008 at 08:27 PM • top

# 98: Better facetious than clueless. I’m a lay leader in Quincy. In searching the web I’ve gotten more comprehensive information regarding Bishop Ackerman’s retirement from the Episcopal News Service than I have from the Diocese of Quincy, which has not even mentioned the retirement on its website. Check it out. The standing committee spokesmen—Father Spencer and Father Marshall, two men I respect and love—sound as surprised and confused by the announcement as most of the people I’ve talked to. He leaves is diocese in “better-than-excellent hands”? Yes, I imagine he does, you blockhead!

[99] Posted by Boswell on 10-31-2008 at 09:51 PM • top

All shall be well,

and all shall be well,

and all manner of things shall be well. - Dame Julian

[100] Posted by Dallas Priest on 10-31-2008 at 10:27 PM • top

`When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.’

`The question is,’ said Alice, `whether you CAN make words mean so many different things.’

`The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master - - that’s all.’

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. `They’ve a temper, some of them—particularly verbs, they’re the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—however,  I can manage the whole of them! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!’

`Would you tell me, please,’ said Alice `what that means?`

`Now you talk like a reasonable child,’ said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. `I meant by “impenetrability” that we’ve had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you’d mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don’t mean to stop here all the rest of your life.’

`That’s a great deal to make one word mean,’ Alice said in a thoughtful tone.

`When I make a word do a lot of work like that,’ said Humpty Dumpty, `I always pay it extra.’

`Oh!’ said Alice. She was too much puzzled to make any other remark.

`Ah, you should see `em come round me of a Saturday night,’ Humpty Dumpty went on, wagging his head gravely from side to side: `for to get their wages, you know.’

(Alice didn’t venture to ask what he paid them with; and so you see I can’t tell YOU.)

`You seem very clever at explaining words, Sir,’ said Alice.

[101] Posted by Boswell on 10-31-2008 at 10:46 PM • top

As far as other sources, they have the same information and everyone in the Diocese got the information at the same time, you included.  It is apparent that the person who operates the web site did not yet have time to change it. 
I don’t know why anyone would be shocked.  I certainly wasn’t - a little surprised at the timing, but after thinking about the timing not surprised at all.  It is probably very good timing, simply not what you would choose.  I am sure that you feel the way you do because you love him so much and are so disheartened that he will not be “in charge,” but when it comes right down to it, you should know that his role at the Synod is to be the moderator.  I am certain that after prayer and reflection and advice from his physician that he made the right decision, perhaps not one that would please you, but one that I am sure has pleased our Lord.  It is unwise to criticize others when you don’t know all the facts, and it can be quite embarrassing when one jumps to conclusions and then discovers the facts.  You might feel better to know that no one knew before you did. It is good that you know Fr. Spencer and Fr. Marshall, because you then know that the Diocese is in good hands.  Amazing as it may be to you there are others who know them, too.  I pray that your hurt will go away; but you really should not take our Bishop’s decision personally.  I am sure that he would not do so if the circumstances were reversed.

[102] Posted by Gigs Girl on 10-31-2008 at 11:36 PM • top

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