"Be on your guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be brave. Be strong.
Be loving in everything you do." - I Corinthians 16:13-14
 

+Herzog to +Sauls: 'So much for collegiality'

Earlier this week, Bishop Stacy Sauls of the Diocese of Lexington, who has been pursuing the inhibition of 4 priests, sent out the following email to his clergy:

Memo: Bishop Sauls to Clergy of Diocese of Lexington

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I want you to be aware that additional press coverage is likely over the weekend or next week. The likely subject is disciplinary steps involving Martin Gornick, Anna Gulick, Alice Linsley, and David Brannen. There has already been attention to this by David Virtue and the American Anglican Council weekly newsletter. For your informaiton, I did a little research and discovered that since General Convention, 27 other priests in 16 other dioceses have been inhibited for abandonment of the communion, the course of action I have followed here.

It is also possible that there will be coverage regarding Tory Baucum, a priest licensed in the Diocese of Lexington, who was transferred to the Diocese of London last year by his former bishop (West Missouri) but without consulting me. Believing this to be contrary to the intention of a Mind of the House Resolution of our House of Bishops forbidding transfers of American priests to foreign jurisdictions who do not actually intend to move to the foreign jurisdiciton (for example, as in David Brannen's case) passed last September (altholugh Tory's transfer was actually during the summer), I have declined to renew his license unless he transfers back to an American jurisdiciton that will cooperate with me in keeping Tory accountable to our church. I believe Tory's transfer, as well as David's, was exactly what the resoultuion was intended to prevent.

This action on my part was taken with the full knowledge of Bob Sessum, for whom Tory works at Good Shepherd. It is also the case that Tory was informed by me that I did not intend to renew his license in August of last year, although at his request, I agreed to take the matter under further consideration, and that on December 13 I informed Tory that I remained convinced that his license should not be renewed unless he transferred back to an American jurisdiction. I agreed to give him time to consider what he wished to do and that he could continue to function in the diocese in the meantime. On January 20, I informed Tory that eight weeks seemed an adequate time for him to decide what to do and therefore I would not continue to permit his functioning here beyond February 7. Finally, you should be aware that Tory has offered to transfer to the Diocese of Albany, which I have told him would require further conversation between Bob, the Bishop of Albany, Tory, and me. My reasons is that it has been reported to me that the Bishop of Albany has apparently been unwilling to cooperate in stopping priests of his diocese from functioning in other dioceses contrary to our canons. I do not know if these reports are accurate, but I know that licensing a priest from his diocese would require me to inquire further about that situation.

As always, please let me know if you need additional information.

Thank you. All of you are in my prayers, as I hope I am in yours.

Faithfully,

+Stacy


Upon hearing of this, the Bishop of Albany, The Right Rev. Daniel Herzog, responded directly to Bishop Sauls:

Dear Bishop Sauls,

I was surprised to read about myself in a memo you widely distributed this past week, especially since you never bothered to call me. All bishops have each other's office and home telephone numbers. So much for collegiality.

You took it upon yourself to describe me as "apparently been unwilling to cooperate in stopping priests of his Diocese from functioning in other dioceses contrary to our canons." Really?

How many dioceses? Please enumerate them. And your sources?

Leading a church on the basis of geography and canons instead of the gospel and mission has brought our beloved Church to further lows. The most recent interim report of our Standing Commission on Evangelism and Domestic Mission (January 2005) reports that our church is indeed doubling - but doubling in the rate of decline. Do you think we should drive out more people? Or just godly priests like Tory?

Behavior like this contributes to a climate fostering decline.

Father Baucum just complete three weekends of teaching and preaching in the Diocese of Albany. He was well received by laity and clergy of all viewpoints. He never uttered any criticism of you. In fact he praised the good will of his rector and his congregation. It must have been a cruel insult to this man of God who has spent his ministry building up the Church, its leaders and members.

Maybe you think that if you just knock off enough orthodox clergy that you will triumph. In the short run you probably will. In the long run what it will do is contribute to further decline and marginalization of what once was a great church.

The next time you choose to draw me into your media wars, give me a call. First.

+DWH


The previous messages have been edited for format only; spelling errors are in the original documents.

Posted by Greg Griffith at February 9, 2005 02:44 PM (GMT -6:00)
Comments

I find this desperate attempt to stifle the rapidly growing Anglican presence in Saul's rapidly declining diocese amusing.

Sauls stands as an example of how a revisionist or moderate bishop should not treat orthodox parishes, clergy, or laity -- if only for the practical ill effects such treatment has on membership, money, and media.

The message to all bishops as they gaze with horror upon the chaos and meltdown that is occurring and will continue to occur in this diocese should be . . .

Beware.

# Posted by: Beyond the Misty Mountains at February 9, 2005 03:17 PM

I find +Sauls' hiding behind a House Resolution in order to assert this predatory cause disturbing and yet so 'business as usual' like for a national church bent on self-destruction. Without a clear Gospel, and thus true catholic faith and order, such within ECUSA's hierarchy have been left to cannibalize the off-spring of the Faith as they attempt to replace them with cultural accomodationists and church corporatists.

# Posted by: The Rev. David Terwilliger at February 9, 2005 05:03 PM

Checking in from Kentucky. Thank you Greg for sending this to us. I have sent it out to the AAC-KY emailers.
You could not have said anything truer Fr. Terwilliger. The latest recipient of Sauls' wrath, Tory Baucum has given his life to advancing the Kingdom of God. He is a gentle-spirited man who has been very involved with Alpha at the local, national, and now international level. He is the perfect example of what a priest should be. He serves the Lord above all other things. He, David Brannen and Martin Gornik are all in their forties with bright futures ahead of them. Sauls' publicity stunt speaks loudly of everything that is wrong at the heart of our fallen denomination. Pray for all of these soldiers for Christ and their former lost bishop.

# Posted by: BettyLee Payne at February 9, 2005 05:53 PM

Bp. Saul's see is vacated.

# Posted by: Prophet Micaiah at February 9, 2005 06:16 PM

I wouldn't go that far, but +Stacy should have called first. I pray somebody is able to get these bishops in a room and straighten this out. +Gene never had any objection to alternate episcopal oversight through the Diocese of Albany, and if any bishop has a right to object, he does.


Cheers,

TH

# Posted by: TH at February 9, 2005 06:19 PM

TH, the bishop of albany does not have the same version of events as the current leader of the diocese of new hampshire. Have you talked to Bishop herzog about it?

# Posted by: tryon5 at February 9, 2005 06:43 PM

Hmmm. No, but it makes me wonder if the Bishop of Albany also offers a different version of events than the leader of the Diocese of Lexington. Maybe it would be wise to wait for +Stacy's response before passing judgment.


Cheers,

TH

# Posted by: TH at February 10, 2005 04:43 AM

The Bishop of Albany is one of those rare bishops
in ECUSA's House of Bishops who speaks the truth.

I hope the Primates very soon give him and others like him full and sufficient; clear and unambiguous authority to heal the Anglican
faith in ECUSA.

The differences in American versus British/Commonwealth uses of language should be kept in mind, since it is
Americans (including Candadian Americans) who
especially need to understand what the Anglican
Communion says to it.

# Posted by: Seen Too Much at February 10, 2005 10:28 AM

In any case, I bet the Lexington priests would appreciate our involvement through prayer.

# Posted by: Barbara+ at February 10, 2005 11:57 AM

Barb+ (appropriately I think) suggested
"In any case, I bet the Lexington priests would appreciate our involvement through prayer."

Spot on. And I would add the laity of Lexington to your prayer list. I was confirmed there and left a lot of family behind who are in some pain.

# Posted by: Gulfstream at February 11, 2005 07:09 PM

Is it not time for Episcopalians/Anglicans to interrogate the Scriptures for a more Biblical model of church government? Though there are heroic bishops throughout church history and to the present, the Bible knows nothing of individual or "monarchical" bishops. Present practice entrenches an incumbent once installed, barring almost anything in either his personal life or teaching. Biblically, bishop = elder, and the church is protected (as well as benefits in many other ways) by their plurality, because of the depth and danger of the remains of the sinful nature, even in believers.

- Rev. Paul Walker, Canberra, Australia

# Posted by: at February 13, 2005 06:36 PM

As a priest inhibited by Sauls (who can't handle gentle rebuke and accused me of insubordination when I asked him to repent in August 2002), all I can say about this man is "Beware! This one makes no pretense of lamb's clothing."

# Posted by: Alice C. Linsley, Priest at March 3, 2005 08:38 PM

You know, I respect what +Sauls has done on behalf of gay and lesbian Episcopalians--but even I have to say that the man is beginning to sound like a jerk. I'd be interested in hearing his side of these stories, though.


Cheers,

TH

# Posted by: TH at March 3, 2005 10:17 PM