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Eastern Michigan Bishop Deposes Orthodox Priest
David Virtue, 8/04/2005

SAGINAW, MI (8/4/2005)--The invitation of "sentence" arrived in the mail. Fr. Gene Geromel, 57, a priest in the Episcopal Church for 31 years, was told he was being deposed by the bishop of Eastern Michigan, Edwin Leidel at precisely 10.00am.

At 8.45am Fr. Geromel drove up to his parish, St. Bartholomew's in Swartz Creek where he met with 30 parishioners. With him was Fr. Bill Ilgenfritz, V-P of Forward in Faith, NA (who is based in the Diocese of Pittsburgh) and together they drove to diocesan headquarters in downtown Saginaw.

When he arrived he asked if he could take with him his senior and junior warden to see the bishop but was told he could not. The bishop and two presbyters then emerged from their officers and escorted Fr. Geromel and Fr. Ilgenfritz into the chapel where the Paschal Candle was burning brightly. "The lit candle was for my requiem," he told VirtueOnline. There was a brief pause and then Bishop Leidel solemnly read a statement of deposition talking up his generosity and then moved towards the altar where he formally signed it. He gave a copy to Fr. Geromel turned on his heels and left the chapel.

Fr. Ilgenfritz rose and made a statement in the presence of Fr. Geromel and the Rev. D.O. Smart Mid-Atlantic Dean of the Mid-Continental Convocation of the Anglican Communion Network then met in the hallway with the local press, TV and radio. The Rev. Smart, told reporters, “Bishop Leidel has asked Father Geromel to be disobedient to Holy Scripture and the Tradition of the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and to embrace a counterfeit Gospel.”

They then got into their car and headed back to meet three other former priests who have also been deposed by the revisionist bishop. "I celebrated a mass with everyone present," said Fr. Geromel to VirtueOnline.

Asked what it will do for his parish and property, Fr. Geromel said nothing. "We have been an independent parish under Forward in Faith NA. We bought our parish five years ago from the diocese. Bishop Leidel has no power over them [the parishioners] or me.

Asked why he did this now, at this time, Fr. Geromel said he didn't know why. "It was decided unilaterally by the bishop to give me 5 years to come back to the flock. I have publicly stated that under the Eames Commission that were we in impaired communion [error in original] With the bishop, and he was always welcome at the altar if he repented his positions. He has never done that.

Fr Ilgenfritz, who accompanied Fr. Geromel told VirtueOnline that the reading of the deposition in front of a lit Paschal Candle was disturbing and deeply symbolic. "I read a brief statement and listed 13 bishops signed with 7 diocesan bishops immediately licensing Fr. Geromel to serve in their dioceses.

"What we are seeing here is a pattern. What Bishop Charles Bennison do to Fr. David L. Moyer and what Bishop Andrew Smith has done to Fr. Mark Hansen reveal that the circumstances are so closely orchestrated it is a obviously a plan," said Ilgenfritz.

"I was invited to diocesan offices by my friend Fr. Geromel and I wanted to be there with him for the sentencing," he said.

Said Fr. Geromel, "I didn’t expect he would be deposing me. He inhibited me in January and it has been five years since my parish left the church. I asked him to transfer my Letters Dismissory to a FIFINA bishop several times and he repeatedly said no. So he finally came up with a canon to back it up and depose me.

2 posted on 08/04/2005 12:07:46 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Trad-Ang Ping: I read the dreck so you don't have to || Iran Azadi)
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To: ahadams2; Fractal Trader; Zero Sum; anselmcantuar; Agrarian; coffeecup; Paridel; keilimon; ...
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3 posted on 08/04/2005 12:08:52 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Trad-Ang Ping: I read the dreck so you don't have to || Iran Azadi)
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