Skip to comments.Visitation Modified for One of 'Connecticut Six' Parishes
Posted on 07/20/2005 9:27:27 PM PDT by sionnsar
The Rt. Rev. Andrew D. Smith, Bishop of Connecticut, has amended a Sunday visitation schedule which originally called for him or one of the bishops suffragan to preach and preside during the Eucharist within the next four months at all six parishes that had previously requested alternative episcopal oversight from him after the 2003 General Convention. The first visitation is July 24 at Christ and the Epiphany, East Haven.
Bishop Smith called last night and indicated that he is not going to come to services, the Rev. Gilbert Wilkes, rector at Christ and the Epiphany said. He has graciously agreed not to force the issue, but he said he wanted to meet with the parish. We were preparing for the worst. Im glad it seems as though that wont be necessary.
In a response to the visitation schedule sent to Bishop Smith on July 15, the six rectors said A visit by you, or one of the suffragan bishops, is welcome at any time, but officiating at worship services would be inconsistent with the atmosphere of hostility and mistrust that exists between us.
The change of heart comes six days after Bishop Smith inhibited the rector of St. Johns, Bristol, seized control of the parish checking account, and changed the church locks. Bishop Smith inhibited the Rev. Mark Hansen, on July 13 for allegedly violating the dioceses sabbatical guidelines, and pastorally neglecting his congregation, charges Fr. Hansen denies. Bishop Smith appointed a priest-in-charge, the Rev. Susan J. McCone, to supersede the Rev. Clayton Knapp, a supply priest licensed by the diocese in June to officiate at St Johns.
Approximately 50 people attended worship services at St. Johns July 17, the first Sunday after the inhibition. One member of the congregation who attended the service told The Living Church he recognized only 15 people as active parishioners at the morning Eucharist celebrated by Ms. McCone.
Later that evening during a private parish meeting convened by Bishop Smith, he reportedly told members that their congregation remains a parish in good standing, but he will not allow the vestry to call a priest-in-charge or possess a set of keys to their building until further notice.
Vestry member William Witt told TLC the mood at the start of the evening meeting was hostile and divisive. While approximately two dozen people indicated approval of the bishops actions, five times their number voiced strong dissent to the removal of Fr. Hansen and the seizure of the parish, he said.
A spokesman for Bishop Smith began the meeting by explaining its purpose was therapeutic. The meeting was not a business session or forum, he said, but an opportunity to allow the members of the congregation to express their feelings and to begin the healing process.
Several parishioners disregarded the parameters set by the diocese and peppered the bishop with sharp questions as to his motives and actions. Bishop Smith, participants said, would not be drawn into discussion and did not respond to most direct questions. Appointed as spokesman for the vestry, Mr. Witt was rebuffed at first in his attempts to read a prepared statement. Bishop Smith eventually relented and the vestrys case was laid before the meeting.
The vestry disputed the charges proffered by Bishop Smith against Fr. Hansen, objected to his having acted without consultation with the vestry or in conformance to canon law, and questioned the propriety of appointing Ms. McCone.
Ms. McCone, they argued, holds views diametrically opposed to those of the congregation, citing her roll as executive director of Affirming Anglican Catholicism, and advocacy work within the Church. The vestry, Mr. Witt said, objected to her use of the term religious right to characterize traditionalist views and was disturbed by her published remarks that the Episcopal Church should leave the Anglican Communion rather than conform to wider Churchs teachings on human sexuality. Ms. McCone declined to speak with TLC when contacted at St. Johns on July 18.
Asked if he would allow Fr. Knapp to return to St. Johns, Bishop Smith said no. In response to the concerns raised over the choice of Ms. McCone, Bishop Smith said she was a fine pastor and the parish would grow to like her.
Asked if he would return possession of the parish buildings, records and funds to the vestry, he told the meeting that trust must first be established before he would cede control of the assets. He did affirm, however, the congregation remained a parish and had not been reduced to mission status.
At the close of the two-hour meeting, many of the congregation proceeded to Trinity Church, Bristol, a fellow member of the Ct Six, to participate in a prayer and praise service held in solidarity with the disposed parish.
Mr. Witt told TLC St. Johns vestry was heartened by the support it had received. He said no decision had been made as to how best to proceed or whether the vestry would pursue civil law or canonical remedies against Bishop Smith.
"He said no decision had been made as to how best to proceed or whether the vestry would pursue civil law or canonical remedies against Bishop Smith."
The frogs done boiled.
The frogs done boiled."
We'll see. It's still just talk.
How did the Bishop seize control of the checking account? How did he convince the bank to give him control of the money?
That says it all. Fifteen regular parishoners and 35 shills and plants!!!! The shills will get tired of shilling, and won't show up this Sunday. Then I hope that only one or two parishoners show up, or better yet, no one at all!!!
Susan J McCone is nothing but hypocritical feminazi trash!!!! There's no such thing as "catholic feminism", unless it means the cracked "theology" of the handfull of Roman Catholic feminazi "theologians". And using the "patristic" model of the church to justify "Selfish Gene" Robinson as a "bishop" is equally cockeyed. The closest thing to the patristic model is the Orthodox Church, which has NO feminazi theologians and NO agitation for gaysbian "bishops" or "unions". And imposing the feminazi McCone on this orthodox congregation, as well as taking the keys away, is a truly FASCIST tactic, which should be resisted with every remedy, including the civil courts!!!!
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