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DioFL: +Howard Deposes Six Priests

Friday, December 8, 2006 • 4:56 pm

Warning: Do not post a comment that includes the phrase “and so it begins.” It began long before this. It just continues, or perhaps accelerates.

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Well at least he has clearly chosen sides.  So many people could not understand why orthodox would depart from one who is sometimes referred to as moderately conservative.  I guess it is clear now, that he is not conservative, but institutionalist.  It accelerates indeed and it is only going to get worse, yet I see this as a good thing.  These priests will certainly still be priests in the Anglican Communion, just not in ECUSA.  If I were them, that would make me glad.  It is a badge of courage, or perhaps better said, a jewel in their crown of glory which they will cast at Jesus’ feet.  May it be so.  They will have fought the good fight and found to be true.  So may we all run the race with perseverance.

[1] Posted by Spencer on 12-08-2006 at 06:11 PM • top

You are right.  “And the beat goes on”  is a lot better than “and so it begins” LOL

[2] Posted by GB on 12-08-2006 at 06:37 PM • top

Hello,exercise in powerlessness 101

[3] Posted by paddy on 12-08-2006 at 06:57 PM • top

Let’s see. Priest Z is in communion with Archbishop A, a bishop of the Anglican Communion, of which “The Episcopal Church” is constitutionally a constituent member. Bishop B, a bishop of said “The Episcopal Church,” deposes Priest Z as having abandoned communion. Apparently this means that Bishop B has abandoned the Anglican Communion and has set up his own schismatic communion. It also apparently means that Bishop B is no longer a part of “The Episcopal Church” which is, constitutionally, a constituent member of the Anglican Communion.

Am I missing something?

[4] Posted by Ken Peck on 12-08-2006 at 08:55 PM • top

Every Priest but one that I know that left for GS supervision has been deposed, and the one that wasnt assumes the final paperwork was simply lost.

I don’t blame Howard++ for this particular act, it is perfectly consistent with his position and the position of almost all non-Network Bishops. You go under a non-TEC Bishop without their permission (which you will not get) and you get inhibited and deposed.  Fair enough. The Priests don’t care in any event, its a badge of honor.

[5] Posted by Going Home on 12-08-2006 at 09:22 PM • top

And So It Continues, in an Accelerated Fashion.

(sorry, Greg, but I couldn’t resist.  tongue rolleye )

Seriously, though - is anyone keeping a scoreboard of depositions since, say, Jane Dixon refused to accept Sam Edwards as pastor of Christ Church, Accokeek?

[6] Posted by DeeBee on 12-08-2006 at 10:25 PM • top

Through acts like this, one chooses sides in ways more profound than the current divisions of ECUSA and the Anglican Communion.

[7] Posted by Irenaeus on 12-09-2006 at 12:09 AM • top

Sorry, Timothy, but I can’t agree.  For example, if an Irish Catholic priest comes to the U.S. to serve in a parish, he is under the authority of his U.S. bishop.  However, he does not get deposed from the ministry back in Ireland.  In the TEC situation, it is the bishop who is in the wrong if he does not grant the priest permission to function under a different Anglican Communion bishop.  Being deposed means that the priest has abandoned the communion of the Church.  Priests who are serving under a different Anglican Communion bishop have not done that.  Unless, of course, you conclude that TEC is no longer part of the Anglican Communion.  And that is EXACTLY what those bishops are saying when they depose those priests.  I think we really must stand firm on these points.  If you give the revisionists an inch they will take a mile.  We all know that. angry

[8] Posted by GB on 12-09-2006 at 08:13 AM • top

There are several priests and deacons in the Diocese of Florida who are serving under GS bishops and have not been deposed yet.  Some of them have been operating under the GS longer than those who have received the letters.  I guess so many have left that the standing committee just can’t keep up with them all!

[9] Posted by julia on 12-09-2006 at 08:24 AM • top

Good point, julia.  What about the other 24, 25, 26, or however many there are now?

[10] Posted by James Manley on 12-09-2006 at 08:32 AM • top

Does “Deposition” require a “due process?”
Was the “deposed” given with an opportunity to challenge “findings” in a public unbiased ecclesiastical setting (“court”) where it can be shown that it was the “deposer” that has abandoned the “precepts” and “communion?”
Is there an “appeal” process?
Is there an “appeal” to that “appeal?”

[11] Posted by MasterServer on 12-09-2006 at 11:03 AM • top

After reading other posts elsewhere, it appears that when a priest is “deposed,” it is not such a negative word, it is merely an acknowledgement that the bishop no longer has any authority over the priest, because the priest has elected on his own to transfer outside of the bishop’s jurisdiction to another province, and the new province has accepted him. 
It appears to merely be a way of placing on the record that the priest is no longer in the diocese.  It just takes him “off the rolls” and the bishop is no longer obligated to send him diocesean information, and will not demand compliance with diocesean matters.
Would that be correct?

[12] Posted by MasterServer on 12-09-2006 at 11:44 AM • top

It would also be a way of declaring to the priest’s new diocese (or province and to the communion) that the bishop is not disputing any claim of jurisdiction over the priest, and has no objection to the new jurisdiction.

[13] Posted by MasterServer on 12-09-2006 at 11:59 AM • top

I’m sorry, but Canon IV 10 is not the way priests serving under other bishops of the Anglican Communion have been transferred in the past. We are seeing repeated abuse of Canon IV 10. The abuse (in this case of Canon IV 9) was even attempted against a sitting bishop. Of course, in that case the Panel of Review held that the bishop could not be deposed under that canon.

Either “The Episcopal Communion” is in communion with the Anglican Communion, in which case a priest serving under another Anglican bishop cannot have “abandoned communion” or else the deposing bishop has abandoned communion.

[14] Posted by Ken Peck on 12-09-2006 at 01:04 PM • top

You are right on the point of technicality.  In my mind, when Howard did this, he was declaring that he is no longer in the Anglican Communion.  These men are still priests in the Anglican Communion, but not in ECUSA which is (or will be shortly) not a member of the Anglican Communion.  Howard clearly chose sides when he did this.

[15] Posted by Spencer on 12-09-2006 at 02:13 PM • top

Big deal—before it’s all over with, the Liberals will have excommunicated all Orthodox clergy, the Orthodox will have excommunicated all Liberal clergy, and the laity on both sides will refuse to even say “hi” to one another.  Or to quote a song by Dire Straits, “two men claim they’re Jesus…one of them must be wrong.”  For those of us who have left Anglicanism behind us, the self-righteous posturing on BOTH sides is laughable at best.  It reminds me of Slim Pickens, riding that nuclear bomb in “Dr Strangelove.”  Never mind that both sides are now so desperate to be “right” that they’ll say/do whatever is necessary to win the most hollow victory attainable.  Because that is what it’s about now—being right, even when doing so is wrong.

[16] Posted by Puritan Souls on 12-09-2006 at 06:31 PM • top

You are right, Puritan Souls, it is about being right.  Why would anybody want to risk their immortal soul on something they think might be wrong.  You must have gone back to the Presbyterians.  Am I right? smile

[17] Posted by GB on 12-09-2006 at 07:40 PM • top

GB, how do you “stand firm” in opposition to being deposed?  Appeal to a standing committee, Diocisian Council or Bishop that you no longer recognize as having jurisdiction over you?  You can scream all you want, but you are still going to get the paper from the Bishop saying you are deposed.  Righting an angry letter may make you feel better, but will mean nothing.

But that doesnt mean you have abandoned communion. It just means that TEC says you have.  When you left TEC I suspect you immediately got a letter from a GS Bishop, or his designee, advising you you were under his jurisdiction.

There is a price for discipleship. In this case it is being recognized by TEC as a member of the ordained clergy.

[18] Posted by Going Home on 12-09-2006 at 07:47 PM • top

Timothy, the way that you stand firm in opposition to being deposed is that you never, never,never, acnowledge by word or deed that the deposition means anything to you AT ALL, or that you are aware that it ever even happened.  The truth is that it doesn’t mean anything when it is the bishop who is entering some kind of new communion—not the priest. excaim

[19] Posted by GB on 12-09-2006 at 08:19 PM • top

I don’t really understand the fuss other than that the process may have been an inappropriate/incorrect thing to do.  But what’s the beef?  This is the lastvestige of Episcopalianism these men (who have already left ECUSA) have. They are now Anglican priests in the Anglican communion, serving new Anglican congregations and under the jurisdiction of an Anglican Bishop.  It’s hard to imagine that, after all they have been through already, this would be unexpected to the six. So, is this really anything more than tidying up shop on the part of +Howard?  I think it does say a lot about Howard.  Maybe the orders from 815 are: “Nail your colours to the mast.  You are either for or against us.  Prove it. Clean house!”  And behold, his colours are revealed ... as if they hadn’t already been revealed.

[20] Posted by Bill C on 12-09-2006 at 08:22 PM • top

GB, I wasnt advocating doing anything. I thought it was you that was riled up about it.:>

Its a non-issue.  Not really newsworthy, other than to symbolize the fact that there is no turning back.

[21] Posted by Going Home on 12-09-2006 at 08:32 PM • top

I was a cradle, and lifelong, Episcopalian until just after General Convention.  We are now LCMS, which is the church my wife grew up in.  Neither of us was ever a Presbyterian…although my paternal grandparents attended a Presbyterian church for a while <smile>. 

[22] Posted by Puritan Souls on 12-09-2006 at 10:50 PM • top

Sorry, Jeff, my apologies to the Presbyterians.  I was wrong.  (Once a presbyterian, always a presbyterian, that’s what I say.) grin

[23] Posted by GB on 12-10-2006 at 02:02 AM • top

No apologies to the Presbyterians necessary—we have several friends in that denomination, and they seem nice enough.  I just hope your theory (“once a Presbyterian…”) doesn’t also hold true for Episcopalians.  Because, if it does, I won’t be able to burn the records of my baptism and confirmation in the Episcopal Church fast enough.  I know we are baptized and confirmed as Christians, not into a particular sect…but don’t even claim “former Episcopalian” status other than online.  It’s a part of my life I’d rather erase, given the way things have gone over the past few years.

[24] Posted by Puritan Souls on 12-10-2006 at 10:14 AM • top

Actually, I am sorry you feel that way, Jeff.  The church you were raised in is alive and well in the Continuing Churches.  I don’t regret my confirmation in the Diocese of West Texas at all.  I do regret that many of them have taken the wrong fork in the road, in recent years.  Perhaps the Lord will give us all better hearts and minds in the years to come.  oh oh

[25] Posted by GB on 12-10-2006 at 08:32 PM • top

Deposing SIX priests must be very demoralizing to the revisionists!  It is not just one or two mavericks - it is SIX - at the same time.
Wasn’t there a SEVENTH?  But would that be too symbolic of something to admit there are SEVEN that do not agree with what ECUSA has done and is doing?  And of course there are more.
Yep, that must be very demoralizing and embarassing to them.
What about Gene Robinson?  How does he “feel” about what he has done to the church, and to at least SIX good priests?  Is he STILL not remorseful?

[26] Posted by MasterServer on 12-11-2006 at 08:35 AM • top

As I understand it now, being “Deposed” by ECUSA or TEC is a mark of honor that can be worn within the Anglican Communion.

I suspect there will now be more willing to share this public honor.

[27] Posted by MasterServer on 12-11-2006 at 08:40 AM • top

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