Skip to comments.BENNISON WILL NOT INHIBIT WICCAN CLERGY
Posted on 11/10/2004 3:39:43 PM PST by hiho hiho
WEST CHESTER, PA (11/10/2004)--Blaming "right wing" groups out to destabilize the Episcopal Church, Pennsylvania Bishop Charles E. Bennison said he would not inhibit or depose two of his clergy involved in Druid practices and Wiccan worship.
Bennison told the Philadelphia INQUIRER newspaper that the Rev's William Melnyk (St. James) and his wife Glyn Ruppe-Melnyk (St. Francis in the Field's) dabbling with Druid circles and Wiccan spirituality was "exploratory thinking" and he would not depose them.
"They made a small error of judgment that has been very costly to their ministry and their church, and the church at large," Bennison said.
Bennison told the INQUIRER that the diocese was a "safe place for theological experimentation". So what will be the next "theological experimentation"-Mayan human sacrifice rites? But what about orthodox priests like Fr. David Moyer, Fr. David Ousley and Fr. Eddy Rix, it is clearly not a "safe place" for them. Bennison wants them gone and their properties in his control.
But William Melnyk resigned Saturday as rector after the parish vestry asked him to step down because of the scandal. VirtueOnline was told through a source that they did so because of the misuse of his personal discretionary funds in financing certain Druid operations.
But Melnyk vigorously denied that telling VirtueOnline, "this is not true. The Vestry can confirm there was no misuse of any funds, neither were there any donations received nor disbursements made in connection with the recent "charges" by several bloggers. This was laid to rest early, and was not part of any discussion with me."
Asked why Bennison would not inhibit him and yet his vestry asked him to step down, Melnyk said he could not explain that. "You'll need to ask the Vestry. I trust they were honestly making what the felt was the best decision they could with the information they had at the time. The decision they made was made prior to the conclusion by the Bishop. That letter did not specify any 'grounds' at all."
"It is very hard to serve on a vestry in the midst of such a situation. They have been under a great deal of stress from groups outside of the parish. My heart goes out to them. The people of Saint James are wonderful and loving servants of Jesus Christ," he said.
Asked about a rumor that was circulating that he had been contacted by a representative of l'Eglise Gnostique Apostolique about he and his wife's possible affiliation with the Gnostic Church if they left ECUSA, Melnyk responded, "No, that is not true. This is the first I have heard that rumor, and the first I have heard that name. I have no knowledge of such a church. We are not leaving the Episcopal Church, nor have we ever for an instant considered doing so."
Both rectors wrote letters of apology to the bishop and the diocese for their involvement with Wiccan worship, saying they "recanted and repudiated" their associations with those organizations following revelations of their activities by VirtueOnline and a Christianity Today blog site.
Glyn Ruppe-Melnyk AKA the "Raven" and "Glispa" is staying on at her parish with the full support of the vestry.
The Rev. William Melnyk went under the Wiccan names of "Bran" and "Oakwyse" had posted an Internet call to worship for those "who believe in the underlying unity of all faiths that follow the ideals of love for the Divine, love for sister and brother Human Beings, and doing harm to no one."
Bennison said the Ruppe-Melnyk's "God the Mother" service "is not a Christian rite as most people would understand Christianity." But the church has many alternative rites, he said.
Bennison said the couple would remain priests in good standing in the diocese, and that Melnyk was receiving financial support from both his old parish and the diocese's clergy emergency fund.
Bennison said that if he wants to go back to work, "I'll talk to him about that."
An Episcopal minister in my town just wrote an op-ed piece stating that "Jesus was crucified by mistake, he was supposed to live hear a time more to heal the world". I would advise all christians to flee the Episcopal church asap.
Bennison's just another nutty bishop. Episcopalians should have seen this coming. They probably did but, like most churches, have a culture of denial, don't rock the boat and so forth. Episcopalian parish life is essentially sedate and no one wants to be the one to speak out. The Vestry must have agonized quite a bit before trying to expel the tree-huggers.
This is so very sad, because the Anglican liturgy is so rich and sublimely beautiful, there is no need for "alternatives."
Who said that there are scismatic elements confusing Episcopal parisioners? I am a Lutheran, and if a Lutheran pastor were found to be "dabbling" in Aztec heart sacrifice, well... can we be so intolerant as to circumscribe his latitude in his personal spirtual exploration? ... er, yeah.
I am surprised that the Book of Common Prayer does not burn him when he holds it.
A doctrine of demons has made its way into this Church.
The road to hell is paved with "exploratory thinking"
and "theological experimentation".
Today it means anything goes. It has become a mixing bowl of ever belief from any religion. Let's put in a cup of Zen Buddhism, half a cup of Hinduism, a pound of Sufism, and a bunch of Wiccan coarsely chopped. Optional seasoning: a quarter teaspoon of Christianity.
Pull the plug on it, the body's just hanging around, like Arafat's.
Episcopalean, Anglican, English, Tudor, King Arthur,wiccan, druid (is there a direct line connection here, hmmmmmmmmmmmmm)
Another sign of the times. Quix, if we look carefully the signs appear everyday. :)
AMEN! From you keyboard to God's ear....
This Bishop Bennison is a complete loony. The only reason I don't call him a fool, is because of the Biblical injunction against that; so I am hoping that calling him a complete loony will pass muster with higher authority.
This sad excuse for a bishop thinks of himself as open-minded, and then denigrates those who object to pagans in the priesthood. He allows the sanctuary to be descecrated with pagan ceremonies, and belittles the sacrements by equating them with pagan "alternative liturgies."
I wonder who the people are who attend church and give offerings where Wiccans are in charge. People in that part of Pennsylvania should make sure that everyone in those churches knows what is going on. Members of those parishes should flee, and find a good Anglican church, even if they must travel 80 miles to get to services.
Another alternative is to talk to the nearest Roman Catholic priest, and ask if you can be accepted at communion there. Some (perhaps most) will allow you, because Anglican baptism and orders are considered "irregular." but not invalid in the RC Church. The services are essentially the same, and a good Anglican is at least as good a Catholic as some of these CINO politicians who support abortion. I have never found anything wrong with a RC service -- nothing contrary to my traditions and beliefs -- and have never been turned away.
My apologies for the delayed ping -- I have been traveling and only this morning got back to FR.
Regarding the posted article, David Virtue had this to say also:
Many of our regular readers know of the scandal, heresey and paganism that flows from the Diocesan office and revisionist parishes of the Diocese of Pennsylvania.
VirtueOnline has been at the leading edge of the charge in exposing these issues and telling the inside story on this extermely revisionist Diocese and it's [sic] leader Charles Bennison.
Use the following URL to see a comprehensive list of stories on this topic that are available on VirtueOnline.
Also included in this list of stories are tales of the orthodox remnant of believers in this Diocese and their struggle against their bishop.
Can. 844 §4. If the danger of death is present or if, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops, some other grave necessity urges it, Catholic ministers administer these same sacraments licitly also to other Christians not having full communion with the Catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and who seek such on their own accord, provided that they manifest Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments and are properly disposed.
We received on an emergency basis under this canon until we made our profession of faith and joined the Catholic Church.
"Anglican baptism and orders are considered "irregular." but not invalid in the RC Church..."
All Christian baptisms are considered valid by the Catholic Church, but Anglican orders are generally considered invalid by the Catholic Church.
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