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BREAKING: +Lee Inhibits 21 Priests

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 • 3:44 pm

News is that Bishop Peter Lee of Virginia just inhibited 21 priests. More as details emerge.

UPDATE: TLC lists these priests:

• The Rev. Robin T. Adams
• The Rev. Marshall Brown
• The Rev. E. Kathleen Christopher
• The Rev. Jack W. Grubbs
• The Rev. David N. Jones
• The Rev. Herbert J. McMullan
• The Rev. Valarie A. Whitcomb
• The Rev. George R. Beaven
• The Rev. Neal H. Brown
• The Rev. Richard C. Crocker
• The Rev. John A.M. Guernsey
• The Rev. Nicholas P.N. Lebelfeld
• The Rev. Elijah B. White
• The Rev. John W. Yates II
• The Rev. Mark W. Brown
• The Rev. Jeffrey O. Cerar
• The Rev. Ramsey D. Gilchrist
• The Rev. David R. Harper
• The Rev. Marion D. Lucas, III
• The Rev. Robin Rauh
• The Rev. Frederick M. Wright

From the TLC article:

“Your association with a group of people that has abandoned the Communion of the Episcopal Church and rejected its authority and the authority of the Diocese of Virginia constitute your abandonment of the Communion of the Episcopal Church,” states a letter signed by Virginia Bishop Peter James Lee. “If, in the next six months, you retract your actions of abandonment, this inhibition may be lifted. But at the end of six months, if you have not retracted your actions, you may be released from the obligations of priesthood in this church and removed from the ordained ministry.”

Bishop Lee concluded the brief letter by noting how deeply saddened he was by this development. He said he believed “the actions that the Standing Committee and I are taking are necessary for the discipline and unity of the church.”

UPDATE: We’ve been informed that the number is actually 23, including The Rev. David Glade and The Rev. Robert Watkin.

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The last time I saw conciliation waged like this, it was in “Scarface.”

[1] Posted by Jeffersonian on 01-23-2007 at 04:50 PM • top

“You can’t quit!  I’m firing you!”

[2] Posted by Phil on 01-23-2007 at 04:53 PM • top

Le’see - 21 minus 11 equals “I wonder what other churches are getting whacked?”

Oh, that’s right - some of these places have more than one priest on staff, so they all might belong to the “Virginia 11” after all.

[3] Posted by DeeBee on 01-23-2007 at 05:00 PM • top

Seriously, though, now that I’ve stopped laughing at Jeffersonian’s comment.  These clergy have left ECUSA.  Aren’t Peter Lee’s actions kind of like me picking the name of some company out of the phone book and sending its CEO a letter telling her she’s fired?

Who cares what Peter Lee thinks?  Is he inhibiting any Roman Catholic priests tomorrow?  Is he deposing some Methodist ministers on Wednesday?

They are out of your control, Peter.  Deal with it, in the words of your Dear Leader.

[4] Posted by Phil on 01-23-2007 at 05:05 PM • top

I’m just so shock (*NOT*), I never dreamed +Lee would do such a thing after his “warm” letter to +Minns and just before DioVA where he’d only have one side show up.

I really thinkl ++Akinloa should fax a letter requesting transfer now if he had not after +Minns was turned down.

[5] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-23-2007 at 05:13 PM • top

Yessir, I do love it when Episcopalians wage reconciliation. You have been found guilty and sentenced to be reconciled.

the snarkster

[6] Posted by the snarkster on 01-23-2007 at 05:16 PM • top

A lot of this going around, though it is not so brutal, yet, in TN.  Fr. Kasch just got his second letter from the Standing Committee refusing his request for letters dimissory on grounds of being no longer in good standing.  Fr. Kasch and 86% of his old TEC parish voted to leave 3 months ago, and did.  One hopes that the new bishop will sort this all out in a more Christian fashion.

[7] Posted by APB on 01-23-2007 at 05:16 PM • top

Wait! Why only twenty one? 11 parishes leaving, TFC has a bunch, Truro has a bunch, I wonder who actually made the cut to be a trouble maker.

[8] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-23-2007 at 05:16 PM • top

That will be interesting, Hosea.  Wasn’t there one priest on the TFC staff who did not support leaving?  BTW, I respect that person’s point of view (if there is such a person), but it would be interesting if he escaped Lee’s temper tantrum.

[9] Posted by Phil on 01-23-2007 at 05:28 PM • top

There are at least 8 clergy at The Falls church, however not all of the are canonically resident in DioVa.  Not sure about the other congregations.

[10] Posted by seminarian on 01-23-2007 at 05:29 PM • top

From The Living Church:

• The Rev. Robin T. Adams
• The Rev. Marshall Brown
• The Rev. E. Kathleen Christopher
• The Rev. Jack W. Grubbs
• The Rev. David N. Jones
• The Rev. Herbert J. McMullan
• The Rev. Valarie A. Whitcomb
• The Rev. George R. Beaven
• The Rev. Neal H. Brown
• The Rev. Richard C. Crocker
• The Rev. John A.M. Guernsey
• The Nicholas P.N. Lebelfeld
• The Rev. Elijah B. White
• The Rev. John W. Yates II
• The Rev. Mark W. Brown
• The Rev. Jeffrey O. Cerar
• The Rev. Ramsey D. Gilchrist
• The Rev. David R. Harper
• The Rev. Marion D. Lucas, III
• The Rev. Robin Rauh
• The Rev. Frederick M. Wright

[11] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 01-23-2007 at 05:48 PM • top
[12] Posted by Harry Edmon on 01-23-2007 at 05:48 PM • top

Wow!  That’s a pretty impressive club.  I’d sit under any one of them in a heartbeat!

[13] Posted by Crabby in MD on 01-23-2007 at 05:53 PM • top

Bread and butter, Harry!

I still have to wonder what on earth 815 has threatened these moderate bishops with.  Clearly it’s something: +Loutit of GA and +O’Neil of CO (who inhibited Armstrong+, with the timing of the thing being very odd), +Minnesota (forbidding ++Kenya from speaking when they had earlier been on good terms), who knows what next?

It may also be that after Tanzania, some of the CA2 Windsor bishops will speak more freely about what’s actually going on.  But at the moment it simply looks like ECUSA’s House of Bishops just got an attack of rabies…

[14] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 01-23-2007 at 05:57 PM • top

Marshall Brown, Richard Crocker, Herb McMullen are all from Truro if that’s helpful.

Praying for you my brothers & friends—and for all on this list.

[15] Posted by Karen B. on 01-23-2007 at 05:57 PM • top

I wonder why on earth Guernsey+ is on this list?  Didn’t All Saints negotiate an amicable settlement with the diocese?  So now the diocese is going to reneg on that?!?  Wow!

[16] Posted by Karen B. on 01-23-2007 at 05:59 PM • top

From the Living Church article:

He said he believed “the actions that the Standing Committee and I are taking are necessary for the discipline and unity of the church.”

Interesting logic.  I wonder why similar actions were not taken when General Convention acted undisciplined and out of unity in 2003 and 2006?  Is it because General Convention is infallible?

[17] Posted by Randy Muller on 01-23-2007 at 06:00 PM • top

YIKES!  Sorry, just read the TLC article.

“Your association with a group of people that has abandoned the Communion of the Episcopal Church and rejected its authority and the authority of the Diocese of Virginia constitute your abandonment of the Communion of the Episcopal Church,”

Eh Gads!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So now it’s got nothing to do with actions, but merely with one’s ASSOCIATIONS?!?!?!  Oh my goodness.  We really have stepped through the looking glass to Orwell’s world.  What about the free association clause of the US Constitution.  Given how much ECUSA just LOVES to tout it’s democratic polity, I’m shocked, shocked I tell you that ECUSA would so trample on these VA priests democratic liberties.  Wow.  truly wow.

[18] Posted by Karen B. on 01-23-2007 at 06:03 PM • top

“Discipline” - this most undisciplined of churches needs discipline. He’s right about that. Would that the discipline would start in the House of Bishops.

[19] Posted by oscewicee on 01-23-2007 at 06:03 PM • top

So now it’s got nothing to do with actions, but merely with one’s ASSOCIATIONS?!?!?!  Oh my goodness.  We really have stepped through the looking glass to Orwell’s world.

How often have our revisionist friends declared, bursting with self righteousness, that Bishop Akinola is satan himself because he supports a law which, they say, would prohibit homosexuals from having coffee together. Welcome to Virginia and TEC. Let’s hear the outcry of the reappraisers now over this violation of our Constitutional rights.

[20] Posted by oscewicee on 01-23-2007 at 06:05 PM • top


The clergy person to which you refer is the list released by the Diocese today.

[21] Posted by seminarian on 01-23-2007 at 06:06 PM • top

Well goodness, what next?

“If, in the next six months, you retract your actions of abandonment, this inhibition may be lifted. But at the end of six months, if you have not retracted your actions, you may be released from the obligations of priesthood in this church, removed from the ordained ministry, and your birthday will be cancelled.”

; - )

[22] Posted by tired on 01-23-2007 at 06:12 PM • top

Two strange things: First, Martyn Minns is not on the list. One would think he’d be first. Second, John Guernsey is on the list. He cut a negotiated settlement with Bishop Lee.

I don’t get it…

[23] Posted by Publius on 01-23-2007 at 06:12 PM • top

I have heard that there is a “wall of honor” at AAC headquarters where these letters of inhibition and deposition are hung. They’re going to have to find a bigger wall, I think.  When you consider the freedom such a letter brings, it’s not surprising that my rector’s reaction to his was glee. “No more diocesan conventions!” he said. (Well, not exactly.
The next one he attended was in Africa.)

[24] Posted by Sue Martinez on 01-23-2007 at 06:17 PM • top

Martynn Minns isn’t on the list because they’re sending him to the Star Chamber. I apologize for every charitable hopeful thought I ever had about Bishop Lee.

[25] Posted by oscewicee on 01-23-2007 at 06:22 PM • top

Forgive this elfen interruption, but just FYI, we’ve got all of today’s T19 posts copied over to the T19 backup blog just in case CaNNet access proves difficult due to a traffic surge:

Lent & Beyond also has a (quite new) backup blog which is current with all of today’s posts:  Here’s the link:

Just thought y’all might want to know.  I’ll go back into hiding now.

[26] Posted by The_Elves on 01-23-2007 at 06:24 PM • top

If I pulled a tawdry stunt like this, I’d expect dream scenes like those in Shakespeare’s Richard III (on the eve of the climatic battle, each victim appears and tells Richard, “despair and die”), Julius Caesar (Caesar’s ghost haunts Brutus), and MacBeth (who hears a voice crying, “MacBeth doth murder sleep!).

I wonder how well Bp. Lee is sleeping these days.

[27] Posted by Irenaeus on 01-23-2007 at 06:28 PM • top

FWIW, I wonder if Martynn Minns was omitted from this list out of the DoV’s concern about the potential for an adverse interpretation of an inhibition (i.e., negative appearance during a subsequent lawsuit) in the context of his prior agreement with the DoV.

[28] Posted by tired on 01-23-2007 at 06:30 PM • top

The Rev. Ramsey D. Gilchrist was last seen in Mississippi doing Katrina clean up. Hey SF along the Gulf Coast, we need a little help, don’t hide Ramsey, we need video, I’m sure +Lee & Beers would just love to see that Seven on Your side piece.

[29] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-23-2007 at 06:31 PM • top

“No one expects the Spanish Inquistion!  Our chief weapon is Fear… and a radical devotion to the liberal agenda… no our TWO chief weapons are FEAR, A radical devotion to the liberal agenda and legal action to steal your church… NO, OUR THREE CHIEF WEAPONS ARE… fear, a radical devotion to liberal liberal agenda, and legal action to steal your church and threats to take away your ordination… “

Sounds vaguely familar…  the Episcopal church welcomes you????????

[30] Posted by Eclipse on 01-23-2007 at 06:32 PM • top

Sound and fury, signifying nothing.

All that it says, harshly, is “you are not longer part of us, so you are no longer part of us”.

[31] Posted by Peter on 01-23-2007 at 06:33 PM • top

Wasn’t Bp. Minns already officially out of TEC after his consecration?

[32] Posted by LBStringer on 01-23-2007 at 06:37 PM • top

Interesting canonical point—if inhibition amounts simply to lifting your license, and +Martyn has already licensed you in CANA, then in fact these inhibitions accomplish nothing—unless they affect pension availability or something similar.  Anybody know for sure?

[33] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 01-23-2007 at 06:38 PM • top

I wonder how well Bp. Lee is sleeping these days.

Well, Irenaeus, I suspect he is sleeping quite well. ++KJS and de Beers probably stop by around bedtime with milk and cookies, tuck him in and sing him a lullabye.

the snarkster

[34] Posted by the snarkster on 01-23-2007 at 06:38 PM • top

It looks like +Lee is playing catch-up with +Howard.

[35] Posted by James Manley on 01-23-2007 at 06:45 PM • top

Yes, +Minns & +Lee are technically equal (boy it’s that scary for +Lee).  The Priest-in-Charge is already expired, so +Lee does not need to remove anyone on that front, but while assoc. rectors serve at the pleasure of the rector, there may be cannons on why +Lee needs to inhibit them.

Hmmm, stunts for The 212th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia set this weekend. Love those eleventh hour resolutions, they were not posted the 9th. R-6 will be his mandate, ++KJS will be proud of R-3 but wow R-5 from Bishop of B033???? Oh that’s interesting!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[36] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-23-2007 at 06:45 PM • top

Martyn Minns was not inhibited probably because he was already consecrated as a bishop in another province and he and Lee had worked out an agreement that he was licensed as a priest in Virginia through the first of the year and would not perform episcopal acts in the territory of the Virginia Diocese during that time, but could serve in Truro (when it was still part of the diocese). That is now past, including Truro’s being part of the Virginia diocese.

[37] Posted by Bill Cool on 01-23-2007 at 06:55 PM • top

Much of the sound and fury can be attributed to the attitude towards itself that the DioVA shows in its web address: the diocese .  Not, you note, thedioceseofvirginia or thediocesevirginia, but simply thediocese.
One must keep appearances up at all costs.  And we are talking the initial successful colony and established CoE on American soil.  Many, many the ramifications if Virginia falls.  If the mother church on American soil has seen the light, and is not restrained, how shall the offspring fare?  Apparently, 815 thinks not well, not well, all manner of thing not well.  Recall that parishes came first, then states, then Diocese, then General Convention.  It’s not too far fetched to argue “as goes Virginia, so goes the ECUSA/TEC”.

[38] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 01-23-2007 at 06:58 PM • top

“Your birthday will be cancelled.”


[39] Posted by Helena on 01-23-2007 at 07:03 PM • top

Craig, I’m no canon lawyer, but your guess is right.  The inhibition is meaningless if a priest has already come under the jurisdiction of another Bishop of the Anglican Communion.  When our priest left Christ Episcopal Church in Elizabeth City, NC and accepted the call as Rector of a new Anglican plant—Church of the Redeemer in Camden, NC—she had already come under the Archbishop of Kenya, Benjamin Nzimbi.  So the letter of inhibition she received from Bishop Daniel of East Carolina is of no consequence—rather it is a badge of honor.  As to pension, there is nothing any bishop can do to interfere with whatever years of credit for pension have been earned up to the point of deposition.

[40] Posted by hanks on 01-23-2007 at 07:06 PM • top

If Bishop Lee is throwing around worthless paper, maybe this should be the way out.

Bishop Mimms signs a decree declaring all on this list as canonically qualified and accepted into the Anglican District of Virginia.  In that statement, he states that the “normal process” of transferring clergy is not possible due to the current situation - these clergy are accepted based on academic qualifications and experience.  He admonishes Lee in the statement for acting in a non-Christian manner.  Keep it on the positive, but stand firm on this one.  Answer each obscene gesture from the old dying Church with grace and peace.

[41] Posted by Tim McMichael on 01-23-2007 at 07:08 PM • top

If a priest is vested in the pension plan, this won’t take it away.

[42] Posted by murbles on 01-23-2007 at 07:09 PM • top

Martyn Minns was not inhibited probably because he was already consecrated as a bishop in another province and he and Lee had worked out an agreement

Um. The churches that underwent the 40 Days of Discernment had “worked out an agreement” with Lee. One of these priests had “worked out an agreement” with Lee. Agreements with Lee are worth NOTHING.

[43] Posted by oscewicee on 01-23-2007 at 07:17 PM • top

RE: Agreements with Lee are worth NOTHING

Now, now, we don’t know that. A judge might be VERY interested in agreements +Lee has made!

[44] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-23-2007 at 07:18 PM • top

Be prepared.  Our opinion is:  This is only the beginning.  Anyone want to bet that the APO dioceses are in the sights as well.  That these events are coming before Tanzania is no coincidence.  Muscles being flexed…TEC showing its teeth:  All about power, territory and property. 

Perhaps Tom Woodward+ could share with us how this strategy helps in TEC’s “openess” to negotiate.

[45] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 01-23-2007 at 07:20 PM • top

Why only 21 names?

This brings to mind the incident in which Henry David Thoreau went to jail for refusing to pay a tax for financing the Mexican War.  While incarcerated, he was visited by his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Emerson looked at him in his cell, and said, “Henry, what are you doing in there?”  Thoreau answered, “Ralph, what are you doing out there?”
Orthodox priests need to tell us why their names have not appeared on just such a list as this.  If your particular diocesan has not prepared such a list, then perhaps you should help him start one.

[46] Posted by Laurence K Wells on 01-23-2007 at 07:21 PM • top

Good point, Hosea6:6

[47] Posted by oscewicee on 01-23-2007 at 07:21 PM • top

Hello from Apostles!
I offer this as perhaps an explantion regarding the “inclusion” of both Rev. Guernsey and Rev. George Beaven on this list. Even though Rev. Guernsey and All Saints’ reached a settlement with The Diocese, and in Oct ‘06, Christ Our Lord dissolved their congregation (returning all property to The Diocese) and Rev. Beaven officially RETIRED from The Episcopal Church, both congregations VOTED overwhelmingly to dissociate from The Diocese and TEC. I believe it is for this that they are being punished with inhibition. Speculation is likely justified as to whether The Diocese will honor its settlement with All Saints.
Keep us in your prayers! Annie

[48] Posted by AnnieCOA on 01-23-2007 at 07:22 PM • top

In Virginia, this is deja vu - Bishop Lee used this strange technique with Phil Ashey and Clancy Nixon when they and their churches came under the authority of the Church of Uganda. It has been done similarly elsewhere. Archbishop Orombi said that he interpreted Lee’s refusal to grant letters dismissory as an acknowledgement that TEC had departed from the Anglican Communion, since Uganda was certainly part of the Anglican Communion.

[49] Posted by Bill Cool on 01-23-2007 at 07:26 PM • top


[50] Posted by this_day on 01-23-2007 at 07:33 PM • top

Perhaps there is some connection to the Annual Council meeting this weekend, though I wonder why—wouldn’t it have been better to talk about love and reconciliation there rather than “I just inhibited these folks”?  And this is happening pretty quickly after the “standstill” expired.  Forgive my unbelievable cynicism here, but there’s an old Washington slogan about getting news out on the Friday before a three-day weekend or on a snow day.  For these purposes, the State of the Union serves quite nicely to make sure this shows up in Metro rather than the A section.  I hope I’m wrong about that, but it did occur to me.

[51] Posted by Johng on 01-23-2007 at 07:35 PM • top


Re:  Thoreau

I dearly love Thoreau - but isn’t this story apocryphal?  Emerson did visit Thoreau, but the interchange wasn’t exactly that. 

I also don’t know if we can be the judges of that.  I know many in the priesthood who are still TEC for one reason or another - and while I’d love to have them delivered from the clutches of the Empire - I respect their decisions to stay - until February, anyway.  It’s really tough if you have a wife and family OR you love your people - but they don’t quite get it yet. 

One positive about B. Shori, however, she’s making it easier and easier.

[52] Posted by Eclipse on 01-23-2007 at 07:36 PM • top

It looks like TEC is saying to clergy “You’d better be careful of what you say or do, because if you do anything which displeases us, we will stomp on your neck and squash you like a bug!”  How’s THAT for for Christian charity?

[53] Posted by Cennydd on 01-23-2007 at 07:38 PM • top

Well, now, strategically speaking it makes sense to make this announcement just prior to Annual Council…especially when the intention is to lift up the “faithful remnant” and introduce the newly positioned vestries put in place by The Diocese. Don’t you see? It all makes for a much better show. Especially since none of us will be there this year to contradict them.

[54] Posted by AnnieCOA on 01-23-2007 at 07:41 PM • top

Seeing them together, its like an Anglican All Star Squad.

[55] Posted by Going Home on 01-23-2007 at 07:41 PM • top

Bill Cool:

I had forgotten that, thank you! I went back and found ++Orombi’s letter on the AAC website for reading enjoyment of SF, who may be more recent to this mess. East Africa is so different than West Africa culturally, I tend to be more like the West, may Lord Jesus show me how to write with such strength and grace I see come from Uganda.

Link to AAC Website of ++Orombi letter here

Not wanting to be accused of favoritism towards ++Orombi,
+Lee response is here.

[56] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-23-2007 at 07:43 PM • top

I’ll show favoritism towards Bishop Orombi!

Yay!  Thanks be to God for men who love God more than money, politics, or American cultural norms!

The Lord has surely not turned his back to us when we are blessed to be in the company of such men.

[57] Posted by Eclipse on 01-23-2007 at 07:46 PM • top

<quote>“the actions that the Standing Committee and I are taking are necessary for the discipline and unity of the church.”</quote>

This bit in his letter is legal posturing.  Lee is attemtpting to cast this in a purely ecclesiastical light to discourage the Courts from reaching on issues which are Constitutionally protected.

[58] Posted by this_day on 01-23-2007 at 07:49 PM • top

These courageous priests are being blessed. Thanks be to God. The prophets before them were treated in the same way.

[59] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 01-23-2007 at 07:52 PM • top

As long as depositions are being handed out, I propose that Bp. Lee be deposed as an Anglican priest and bishop by Bp. Minns and/or Ab. Akinola.

[60] Posted by DaveG on 01-23-2007 at 07:57 PM • top


Good point—but those must have been some mighty quick Vestry elections!  Boss Tweed would have been proud!

[61] Posted by Johng on 01-23-2007 at 07:58 PM • top

For clarity, Rev. John A.M. Guernsey, Rev. Valarie A. Whitcomb and Rev. Mark W. Brown are all from All Saints’ Church.  Rev. George Beavin is from Christ Our Lord.  Both of these churches are under Uganda.  I’m not sure, but I believe Rev. Adams and Rev. Harper’s churches left without property and are also under Uganda.

The net effect of inhibiting all of these may simply be to terminate their benefits under the pension and insurance plans sponsored by the Diocese.  Someone who’s a Virginia clergy person would need to confirm that speculation.  If it is true, it ties up administrative ends, but would appear to be very petty….

+Lee cannot renege on his agreement with All Saints’ Church (now incorporated) because the agreement is a contract, enforcable in law, executed under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  If he tries to break it or change it’s terms without negotiating a modification, he and the Diocese would be liable to be sued for breach of contract.

That’s a case they would have no hope of winning.

[62] Posted by Justin Martyr on 01-23-2007 at 08:11 PM • top

So what’s to prevent Bishop Minns from ordaining each of these Anglican heroes into CANA?

[63] Posted by sophy0075 on 01-23-2007 at 08:15 PM • top

They don’t have to be ordained again. 
They can be received as priests inot CANA, Uganda or wherever.

[64] Posted by DaveG on 01-23-2007 at 08:18 PM • top

“I wonder how well Bp. Lee is sleeping these days.” 
Like Lady Macbeth and Pilate, he is washing his hands.

[65] Posted by Bill C on 01-23-2007 at 08:29 PM • top

Fr. Kennedy:

The same applies to you.  Those of us who are ‘priestless’ at the moment are thankful for the Godly words and counsel you give courageously.  Even if, in the maze of Kantian philosophy at times we are at a loss to follow…

[66] Posted by Eclipse on 01-23-2007 at 08:31 PM • top

Bishop Lee and PB Scary are making the case for foreign intervention in TEC better than we could ever make it ourselves.  How in the world could Ab. Williams fail to see the needs that have to be met after these events?

[67] Posted by DaveG on 01-23-2007 at 08:41 PM • top

This list must mean that Rev. Nicholas LUBELFELD is safe, since the list names Rev. Nicholas LEBELFELD. (I double-checked at The Falls Church web site.)

Mr. Lee and friends cannot get the names of their churches straight (remember Church of the Redeemer instead of Christ the Redeemer?) so it is no surprise that they cannot get the clergy straight either.

I’ve listed the names and their parishes over at

Let me know if I made any errors.

[68] Posted by GrandpaDino on 01-23-2007 at 09:10 PM • top

Ah yes, Uncle Dino.  “They can’t get the clergy straight!”  Or is it straight clergy?

[69] Posted by DaveG on 01-23-2007 at 09:12 PM • top

This “list” reminds me of Nixon’s “enemies list”.  A friend’s father was on Nixon’s list and by the time the father died, it was included in his obituary how proud he was to have made Nixon’s enemies list.  I have a feeling that the folks on this list can wear it as a badge of courage and a demonstration of their allegiance to Jesus Christ.  What a list to be on!  If I send my name to +Peter, any chance I can get on the list???

[70] Posted by no longer NH Episcopalian on 01-23-2007 at 09:25 PM • top

These men are heroes of the “faith once delivered.”  They can join other servants of Christ in many other places and many other times.  Their witness reflects the light of faith burning brightly within them and brings glory to God.  They are standing firm today so that those tomorrow will have the faith. As the Archbishop of Kenya recently said in Massachusetts:
“Here we stand because if we who are about to hand over today, if we play about with the word of God, we may not hand over that word which is full of truth. We may hand over something which is doctored, which is modified, which is different. But, we want to hand over to those who are coming the word of God that way we received it. And then the name of the lord will be praised,” he said.
Thank you God for every single one of them (and those before them and those after them) who can do no other than what they have done.

[71] Posted by BettyLee Payne on 01-23-2007 at 09:26 PM • top

Dear Justin,
Another quick clarification: Church of the Apostles (Rev Harper) and Church of the Word (Rev. Adams) both voted to come under CANA, with their property.
Blessings, Annie
(Reverend Countess Annie the Radient of Divine Intervention)

[72] Posted by AnnieCOA on 01-23-2007 at 09:42 PM • top

Praise the Lord for men (and women) of courage, honor, and faith that moves mountains and withstands any storm.

Let the pagans have their stone palaces (empty but for the ghosts that haunt their conciences)—wouldn’t you rather sit under a tree and hear the truth, than relax in a castle and listen to soothing and poisonous deceptions?

[73] Posted by Marty the Baptist on 01-23-2007 at 09:56 PM • top

I left ECUSA (and announced my reasons, in Church) in ‘03, and they still think I’m a member.  If I wrote +Lee, do you think he could get my name off their membership list?

[74] Posted by hopefull on 01-23-2007 at 10:31 PM • top

I wonder if the vote on the Standing Committee was unanamous?  I know one of the clerical members of the SC (who BTW previously served as a priest in Pittsburgh) attended the Plano East gathering at Potomac Mills because I spoke to her there.  Although she may have caved as a result of being pressured by +Peter who in turn is being pressured by Dr Squiddy.

[75] Posted by David Wilson on 01-23-2007 at 10:32 PM • top

Good catch again Uncle Dino!

I do wonder if +Lee is going to try to lock the doors and shut out parishioners of Greenbriar EM school, then he thinks “Church of the Redeemer (sic)” is in Chantilly. (It’s just five miles south on route 28 in Centreville, VA and Christ the Redeemer).

{Grandpa (congrats) Dino, where were you when I needed help with those traffic violations in my life [*Sheepish Grin*]}.

[76] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-23-2007 at 10:42 PM • top

As I said a bit more than a week ago on another related thread -

“Orthodox Anglicans prayed for clarity for GC2006. Did we think that clarity would come only as words, resolutions, and more words after the final days of GC2006? We are now receiving the answer to that prayer in the actions of TEC. The actions of TEC are demonstrating with great clarity that those who have worked hard to gain the levers of power in TEC intend to rule with that power. They will not permit others of orthodox belief to get in their way.

.... TEC appears for this present time to be under judgment, with its own words and actions witnessing against it.”

We need to pray that this clarity is very obvious to the Primates at Tanzania, that they respond decisively and that God will be glorified among his saints during this time.

[77] Posted by Bill Cool on 01-23-2007 at 10:59 PM • top

“Marty the Baptist” says “Let the pagans have their [empty] stone palaces ...”
Here in Central New York one of the items of business at Diocesan Convention is announcements of closing parishes (and a few years ago the closing of a beautiful but decaying convention center.)  Last week’s news that 815 was going to join the fight in CNY and elsewhere, together with the stellar “growth” figures in TEC made it pretty clear that our new PB must be working for an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest and most beautiful collection of empty church buildings.
(s.) A Glib Norse

[78] Posted by Rich Gabrielson on 01-23-2007 at 11:25 PM • top

Hosea6:6—I made use of your links to the Phil Ashley+ affair above over on T19 but neglected to give you credit.  Apologies and many thanks for the links.

[79] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 01-24-2007 at 12:14 AM • top

The time seems to have come for the Church of England to reassert its ownership of these churches, which were never legally ceded to some upstart “General Convention”. Then the Diocese can be declared sede vacante  and the Queen can appoint a new bishop for these good people….

[80] Posted by dogmatix on 01-24-2007 at 04:10 AM • top

I suggest an appropiate response by those of us who remain in the episcopal unchurch would be filing a presentment against Lee and Schori and the like for abandoning the Faith itself.
A badge of honor belongs to these good priests.
Thank God for them.

[81] Posted by bradhutt on 01-24-2007 at 06:28 AM • top

Craig Goodrich:

No worries! In “normal” times I’d probably not say anything on the other thread, just it gave me an exuse to clown around a bit, which is what I do when stressed. The Lord still on the thrown, but I seem to forget that when the intial news hits.

[82] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-24-2007 at 06:59 AM • top

I am curious:
while we know the declining numbers of TEC (and the apparent present avalanche) - do anyone have any numbers as to how the Anglican church in the US has grown in the past several years?

[83] Posted by no longer NH Episcopalian on 01-24-2007 at 07:26 AM • top

Over on T19, it has this:

As of Monday, 21 clergy from the departed churches were barred for six months from performing any priestly duties in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia or participating in the councils of the church or diocese, according to a statement released yesterday by the diocese. The diocese’s annual council will meet Friday and Saturday in Richmond.

Just in time to keep them from being observers at the diocesan convention, giving the liberals the ability to do whatever without letting them have a chance to respond.

Uncle Dino said:

This list must mean that Rev. Nicholas LUBELFELD is safe, since the list names Rev. Nicholas LEBELFELD. (I double-checked at The Falls Church web site.)

Mr. Lee and friends cannot get the names of their churches straight (remember Church of the Redeemer instead of Christ the Redeemer?) so it is no surprise that they cannot get the clergy straight either.

I sent a letter to Bishop lee last week including this:
In your “letter” sent today, you paraphrase scripture, but not in context, and only in broad chapters.  Jeremiah 36 is the story of a king (perhaps we can use a Bishop as an analogy) that disregards the words of a prophet (and maybe an analogy is this group of churches).  The king burns the word of God as delivered through the Prophet.  The punishment of God is upon the king.  “I will punish him and his descendants and the officials who serve him for the wicked things they have done.”  I think you made an interesting selection given our current situation.

His reply:
Dear Mr. McMichael,

I appreciate the thoughtfulness of your email of Friday, January 19, 2007, in response to my letter to the people in the Diocese. Thank you for pointing out a typographical error in that Jeremiah 30 is a much more appropriate chapter than Jeremiah 36 in reference to the point I was making about the reliability of God’s promises.

While you and I disagree with one another, I do appreciate the thoughtfulness and care of your response.

Faithfully yours,

Peter James Lee

PJL: wlp

I think the “typo” was interesting…..

[84] Posted by Tim McMichael on 01-24-2007 at 07:39 AM • top

Sounds to me like TEC is in a melt-down so bad that it makes Chernobyl look like an outdoor BBQ.

[85] Posted by Bruce_Bremer on 01-24-2007 at 09:01 AM • top

In the Richmond Times-Dispatch article referenced/linked on T19, I found this paragraph to be of interest:

The clergy become ineligible to earn further credited service toward their pension from the Episcopal Church. At retirement age, they would receive a pension based on service before their removal from ministry.

And coupled with the Executive Council’s actions:

Lexington Bishop Stacy Sauls gave the council a written report about the work of the House of Bishops Task Force on Property Disputes, whose work began at the September 2005 House of Bishops meeting and was sanctioned by the council earlier this year.

At that time, the council appropriated $100,000 for the task force’s work. The group also has $25,000 available to it from the Church Pension Fund. The task force has not yet spent any of the money, according to the group’s written report.

The fact that funds from the Pension Fund have been allocated for anything other than pensions surprised me when I read this back in November.

I think this is another way to intimidate any priest who would dare to stand up, stand firm, or even disagree with those in power.  Miller+ in Petaluma, California is certainly experiencing that now.  Benefits today, gone tomorrow. 

Is this what Jesus would do?  Is this loving?  Is this even loving your enemies?  How does this show support of the MDG’s.

We really pray that the rest of the Anglican Communion is paying attention to these events.  What the TEC is doing is not what we L2 have taught God is about the last 40 some years.

[86] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 01-24-2007 at 09:15 AM • top

L2: The top block quote is merely stating federal law. However the use of funds as a savings account to fight legal battles is interesting. I guess the moral code they might be using can be found here.

[87] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-24-2007 at 09:29 AM • top

From the song “Be Not Afraid”

“and when wicked men insult and hate you, all because of me—Blessed - Blessed are you.  Be not afraid, I go before you always. Come, follow me.  And I will give you rest.”
Blessed are the 21 (and the rest) who have forsaken the church of Laodeceia and all creature comforts to follow our lord and thereby reaped the scorn, hatred and insults of the wicked.

[88] Posted by DaveG on 01-24-2007 at 10:08 AM • top

Hosea6, it is my understanding that the Church Pension Fund is not covered by ERISA but under New York law.  However, most of the learned comments on this site and others indicates that a departing Priest who has met the minimum vesting requirements will recieve benefits upon his eligible retirement date, although he or she will obviously not accrue further benefits after his departure.  Every departing Priest needs to communicate with the Fund and get his own independent legal advice and counsel on this issue.

The use of $25,000 from the Church Pension Fund is a real surprise.  Even though the Fund is connected to GC, it has taken pains to appear beyond the fray. If this is true, it has now contributed to a fund that is being used against our brethren in Virginia and elsewhere.

[89] Posted by Going Home on 01-24-2007 at 10:09 AM • top

Hosea6:6:  I can understand that if you don’t contribute, your benefits are calculated from the point the contributions are stopped.  (What I earned on my own for Social Security is rolling away while I have to be a full-time caregiver to my spouse…his earnings are “frozen” and not penalized, but mine are being penalized because I can’t work and contribute.)

However, what procedures go with “inhibition” are set by the church - probably one of the “constitutions and canons”.  But I’m not an expert in all of that, nor do I want to be.

+Lee’s inhibition of these priests is HIS choice.  The outcome is still the same…intimidation.  If the same standard being used now by the TEC had been applied years ago we wouldn’t be in this mess.

[90] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 01-24-2007 at 10:24 AM • top

An interesting twist in all this is that All Saints’ agreement with the Diocese included a provision—insisted upon by the Diocese—that if the agreement was ratified by both parties that All Saints’ must leave TEC.  Presumably they did not want the precedent of a DioVA church that unambiguously owned its property outright with no implied trust to the Diocese or 815.

That +Lee should inhibit Guernsey et al. after requiring that they leave is something of a mystery and a contradiction.  My sense is that the Diocese had not thought the process through very thoroughly when they made the agreement.

Annie:  Thank you for the correction.  As soon as I posted the item with the names of the two priests I knew I had mixed them up with two who left earlier.

[91] Posted by Justin Martyr on 01-24-2007 at 10:32 AM • top

And Roman Catholics thought Joseph Ratzinger was Torquemada revisited! Why, even he patched things up with Hans Kung, whom he never booted out of the priesthood. And look at how long it the Vatican to get around to booting that Moonie-married archbishop from central Africa.

On the other hand, do you really believe either Akinola or Minns will be as impatient as Lee when it comes to enforcing discipline?  Whether or not you agree or disagree (and it goes without saying most disagree with Lee) with the VA bishop, you’ve got to hand it to the man for taking quick action; unlike so many Catholic bishops when the moral stakes were even higher with actual proven cases of child abuse, of all things.

From all the complexities and legal questions about who owns what within the Episcopal system, Catholics at least have it easier just knowing their dioceses own the whole shebang (save for property owned by religious orders, or for example, the KofC.)
Sometimes ambiguity can be a big headache—except for the armies of lawyers and paralegals that’ll be cleaning up this mess for years to come. There’ll be no ambiguity to the legal fees they’ll be reaping in. Talk about shearing the sheep!

[92] Posted by Steven on 01-24-2007 at 10:35 AM • top

Timothy:  My quote about the $25,000 from the Pension Fund was taken from an ENS article “published” on 11/15/2006. The link (for however long they keep it up) is [url=]

(Karen B. provided the original link back in November on another thread)

[93] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 01-24-2007 at 10:53 AM • top

I don’t have to go to any Yoga meetings that the Diocese calls clericus anymore now that I am inhibited?  Bonus!  +Lee did all these guys a huge favor.

[94] Posted by Christoferos on 01-24-2007 at 11:05 AM • top

I agree it’s nasty, I still don’t it’s more than sight and sound signifying nothing unless there is a difference if these clergy transfered. I wonder if any who went to Uganda Christan University pre-GC03 had tranfered their residence. Then there would be a simple comparison with Rev. John Guernsey.

Sometimes I think 815 is so enamored with it’s canons that they might forget the civil law side of the coin. A civil judge will not care about much of this stuff and justice would be what happen in “X” should happen in “Y” (distributive justice). I’ve found that simple concept is actually lacking inside even some of these effected parishes, so no surpise lacking with DioVA or 815.

[95] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-24-2007 at 11:07 AM • top

<+Lee did all these guys a huge favor.>
Christoferos, that is exactly how we feel in East Carolina.  Being out from under an oppressive, heretical bishop is wonderful freedom.  Even better is discovering the joy of being under the care of a loving Christian shepherd like Abp Nzimbi.

[96] Posted by hanks on 01-24-2007 at 11:18 AM • top

The ACN established a pension fund last year. Note that contributions from other plans can be rolled over into it.  From here:

Network Announces Retirement Plan for Clergy

The Anglican Communion Network is pleased to announce the rollout, effective April 1, of its Qualified Retirement Plan for clergy. ACN-related clergy who are not in or otherwise eligible for the Church Pension Fund of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) are invited to enroll.

Contributions are vested when made, and the benefits, which are transportable, can also be augmented by rolling over into the Plan other portable retirement accounts. The plan was launched on April 1, but arrangements can be made to apply the plan retroactively to January 1, 2006.

[97] Posted by Sue Martinez on 01-24-2007 at 11:27 AM • top

But then I sigh; and, with a piece of scripture, Tell them that God bids us do good for evil:
And thus I clothe my nak*d villany With old odd ends stolen out of holy writ;
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.”
Richard, Duke of GLOUCESTER ( From Shakespeare’s Richard III)

[98] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 01-24-2007 at 12:57 PM • top

Lee and co. have truly lost their compass.  My prayers are with them, but also with those who are probably jumping up and down celebrating their freedom.  It’s best to do the real work of the Spirit without theological bankruptcy hanging over your head. 

Isn’t this all what truly matters?  “Local option” rules.  Who cares about the Christ, who cares about the Communion, and who cares about the Windsor Report. 

If that same-sex amendment passes through(among other things, if you get my drift) VA’s convention this week, of course, sans the traditionals, then I guess all the moderates will be left sitting around wondering how all of this happened. 

Not to mention, if I were in a bishop’s election I sure wouldn’t want to be the goober who inherits all of this mess. 

The lawyers wait while the demons laugh…

[99] Posted by Orthoducky on 01-24-2007 at 03:19 PM • top

Does anyone have the names of the six non-canonical clergy whose licenses were pulled by +Lee?

[100] Posted by David Wilson on 01-24-2007 at 03:55 PM • top

DDW is referring to the following statement in the DioVA press release: “In addition, he (+Lee) has rescinded the licenses granted six other clergy canonically resident in other Episcopal dioceses but functioning in The Diocese of Virginia.”

I’ve been searching around and cannot find the answer either. These are in addition to the inhibited clergy. Would love to hear from someone who knows for certain.


[101] Posted by AnnieCOA on 01-24-2007 at 04:14 PM • top

DDW and AnnieCOA:

I can only speculate but it could be a number of the clergy at The Falls Church who were not canonically resident in the DioVA.

[102] Posted by seminarian on 01-24-2007 at 09:57 PM • top

DDW & AnnieCOA

Truro has three “Clergy Associates” listed that do make the +Lee list here and TFC has two in the “Timothies” program (rector in training) that are not listed here, the sixth is probably an associate in one of the eleven parishes (recently called), though Truro would have had a fourth listed over a year ago and how up to date +Lee’s record have been, maybe it is that the sixth.  Pure speculation, but I know of five ordained that do not make this list.

[103] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 01-25-2007 at 07:29 AM • top

I believe one of the clergy at TFC is cannonically resident in Pittsburgh, two that were there are from England.  I think they had a licence from Bishop Lee to perform duties, but are treated in a similar way as military people on Temporary Assigned Duty (TAD).

Interesting that the Diocese updated the press release to correct Lubelfeld’s name….

[104] Posted by Tim McMichael on 01-25-2007 at 08:05 AM • top

I just wonder if Peter Lee did his best Donald Trump impression, and said “you’re inhibited!” as he wrote down each name.  Lee is to religion what Daniel Snyder is to pro football—clueless, tactless, and a LOSER.  Ironically, both men operate in the Virginia/Washington DC area…

[105] Posted by Puritan Souls on 01-27-2007 at 10:15 AM • top

Please forgive my ignorance of Episcopal canons but my perspective from this side of the Tiber has me a bit confused. Is ordination into the priesthood considered a sacrement? Is ordination considered a vow into perpetuity? If an Episcopal Bishop can “inhibit” an Episcopal priest can he also “inhibit” a couple married in the Episcopal church from their wedding vows? Not trying to stir the pot, just looking for some answers. Thank you and God bless you all.


[106] Posted by the roman on 01-28-2007 at 01:48 PM • top

I just noticed in my last posting that I meant to ask if Akinola would be as PATIENT not impatient. There’s no reason for me to think, based on what I’ve learned about this man that he be any different than Bp. Lee.

Too bad the Catholic Bishops, especially some well known Cardinals, weren’t as fast in disciplining their priests for far worse actions.
They’d have a lot more resources to keep their schools and more parishes open.
Live an learn. But let’s face it, sometimes a bishop has to act like a bishop to send out a strong message. If these priests want to be renegades, that’s the choice they’ve made and will have to live with.
Sorry I can’t be more empathetic.

[107] Posted by Steven on 01-28-2007 at 04:06 PM • top


I am not sure of what you are speaking.  I think you are going to be specific in what you are trying to say about B. Akinola - for dead honest - I see NOTHING similar between him and B. Lee.  B. Lee - and the many others like him - for the HOB seems to be working in unision to punish and try to destroy faithful congregations are consistently using double-speak, legal actions, and duplicity.  This is highly inconsistent with Scripture, mind you, “Be kind to everyone, ESPECIALLY those who are in the household of Believers” - so if we use this particular criterion - they aren’t doing so hot.

In contrast, B. Akinola supports 2000 years of Christian tradition, the Holy Scripture, and Jesus as the Way, Truth and the Life.  His involvement with the people of the US only extends in trying to save faithful congregations from persecution by ECUSA.  This seems rather consistent with that particular verse.  Not to mention with the gifts of the Spirit, treating others as you’d like to be treated - and on down the line.

I am not under B. Akinola - but I pray for him daily.  He has stood up in the face of false teaching, confronted it and stood for the Truth of the Gospel.  This is something 80% of the ECUSA bishops have chosen NOT to do. 

Thanks be to God for those few Episcopal bishops and priests who stand up for their faith.  Thanks be to God for the courage of these 21 men - who will not let apostacy, privilege, and money stand between themselves and God.

So, I don’t think I could disagree with you more completely. 

At least our Catholic brothers and sisters have a Faithful Pope who actually BELIEVES in Jesus as the Way, Truth, and Life.  That’s a great deal more than ECUSA has.

[108] Posted by Eclipse on 01-28-2007 at 04:28 PM • top

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