Friday, August 05, 2005

Priest Sort of Deposed

A priest was deposed in Eastern Michigan. It seems quite clear that the bishop gave this priest every chance he could. The priest led his congregation out of the Episcopal Church 5 years ago. He refused to be under the authority of his bishop, refused to share communion with the bishop, participated in none of the diocesan events, and continued to function as the pastoral leader of the breakaway church. Canon 10, which was the specific canon cited for the priest's inhibition and deposition, specifically identifies the behavior that will lead to deposition; "...the Priest or Deacon abandoned the Communion of this Church by an open renunciation of the Doctrine, Discipline, or Worship of this Church." Seems like a fairly open and shut case, doesn't it?

Not according to 7 diocesan bishops and another 6 retired or assisting bishops. Not only do they voice their outrage, they also include this rather curious statement;

As a witness to our solidarity with Father Geromel, and in keeping with the spirit of the Windsor Report, and as witnesses against this injustice which compromises the bonds of affection as of August 4, 2005, the Reverend Gene Geromel is granted license to function in each of our dioceses as a priest in good standing, and we welcome him to continue his service as a brother priest of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Why is this curious? Because the man is no longer a priest. He has been deposed by his bishop. On what authority do these bishops claim they can license him?

We saw this with David Moyer, who was deposed by his bishop for refusing the bishop's visitations for 10 years. He was then immediately licensed to serve by Bishop Duncan. He was then quickly moved under the authority of an African bishop. Moyer now claims to be a bishop himself, which is rather bizarre, since he was deposed as a priest.

It seems that in today's world, you can ignore any bishop with whom you disagree. The end result is that this man will now be treated as a priest in some dioceses, and a layman in others.

Note the names of the 7 diocesan bishops who are playing the victim card in this case and the one in Connecticut. If they license this man, they will have revealed themselves for what they are; renegade bishops who have no respect for canon law or any ecclesiastical authority except their own and that of the members of their exclusive club.

I suppose I'd better make up a wallet size, laminated copy of my ordination certificate and notification of canonical residence. If things keep going like this, I'll have to show them every time I step up to the altar.

Thinking Anglicans has more on this bizarre situation.

TA also has a link to the "official" statement by the Pretend Pope of All Things Anglican (or is it Alexandrian? I can't keep up anymore) Peter Akinola. It may be of interest to those who have been following our previous discussion.


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