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1 posted on 08/07/2005 3:18:10 PM PDT by sionnsar
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To: sionnsar
[I do not know of this is the ENS story referred to, but it is frm the ENS website: --sionnsar]

EASTERN MICHIGAN: Priest deposed for abandonment of communion

[Source: Diocese of Eastern Michigan] The right to function as a priest in the Episcopal Church was formally removed from the Rev. Gene Geromel of Swartz Creek, Michigan on August 4, 2005.

The Rt. Rev. Edwin M. Leidel, responding to a formal determination of the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan that Geromel had "abandoned the Communion of this Church," pronounce the deposition at 10:30 AM on Thursday, August 4, 2005.

"Nothing like this is ever done in haste or without much prayer," said Dean Bedford, the president of the Standing Committee. "Due process is provided by our national canon law and allows the accused at least six months to respond. During that time Geromel was given every opportunity to demonstrate that he had not in fact 'abandoned' the Episcopal Church." More than five years ago Geromel led his congregation out of the Episcopal Church. No action was taken at that time in the hope that reconciliation could one day be achieved or that Geromel might receive a call in another diocese of the Episcopal Church and could canonically be transferred there. After five years and when neither of these hopes was realized, the bishop had no alternative but to enforce the canons of the Church.

The Standing Committee's determination was based on the follow grounds:

1. Geromel had led his congregation out of the Diocese and the Episcopal Church.

2. He has acknowledged that he is out of communion with his bishop.

3. He has shown no sign of wanting to return to the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Eastern Michigan as a priest in good standing.

4. He has not participated in the Councils of the Church in the Diocese of Michigan for over five years. "I take no satisfaction in doing this," said Leidel. "It is a sad day for Gene, for me, for the Diocese of Eastern Michigan, and in fact for the whole Church. We exercised all avenues available to us in hopes of avoiding this conclusion."

August 4, 2005
Statement prior to reading the deposition of Gene Geromel as a priest in the Episcopal Church

On February 6, 2000, The Rev. Gene Geromel and the congregation of St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church voted with a vote exceeding two Thirds of their communicant population to leave the Episcopal Church. The occasion for the vote was preceded by a one-year dialogue between members of St. Bart's vestry and members of the Diocese's Standing Committee. The prearranged understanding was that if the adult members were to cast a vote in excess of two thirds of their communicant population, the Diocese would sell the Church buildings and Rectory to the congregation at market value.

A year prior to the vote, members of the congregation formed a legal entity, PECUSA, INC. without informing the diocese. In the year prior to the 2/6/00 vote, the congregation defaulted completely in giving their diocesan tithe, in violation of diocesan canons. The Rev. Geromel also publicly refused to receive the Bread and Wine of Holy Communion from the bishop of Eastern Michigan for more then a year up to the time of the vote stating that that he was not in communion with his bishop

The St. Bart's buildings, owned by the diocese, were sold to St. Bart's in due course, and St. Bart's became a church not recognized by the Episcopal Church.

In an act of generosity the bishop offered Gene the opportunity to remain a priest in the diocese as a licensed clergyman serving an ecumenical Church. In order for The Rev. Geromel to be licensed he had to agree to abide by the Constitution and Canons of the church and his ordination vows in which he pledged obedience to, and remain in communion with his bishop. The Rev. Geromel said he could not do this in due conscience: hence the license was never granted.

Consequently, in another act of generosity the bishop withheld a deposition process for a five year period with the clearly stated hope that the Rev. Geromel might someday "return" to the Episcopal Church, or to a day when there might be a canonically appropriate way for Geromel to transfer to another duly recognized Anglican jurisdiction that was recognized by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church has upheld a long standing principle that a priest can only be transferred to another Diocese if they are called to physically work and live in that Diocese. A Priest may not function in a diocese other than their own without the other diocese's bishop's permission.

During these past five years, Geromel has filed three annual reports to the bishop of Eastern Michigan where he has the fragile standing of a 'priest-not-in-good- standing' who may not function sacramentally in any Episcopal Church in Eastern Michigan. Also during this period of time the bishop has once given permission to the Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy, to visit St. Bartholomew's. Bishop Ackerman and the Bishop of Eastern Michigan have a standing agreement (which is know to Geromel) that he is welcome in Eastern Michigan as long as he sought prior permission and reported his activities to the bishop of Eastern Michigan.

In January 2005, five years after St. Bartholomew's separation from the Episcopal Church, the Standing Committee of the diocese has asked the bishop to finalize its relations with Geromel by issuing a six-month inhibition, during which time if Geromel did not reaffirm his communal status with the bishop, a letter of deposition would be served. The charge for the inhibition is that Geromel has abandoned the Communion of the Episcopal Church.

2 posted on 08/07/2005 3:25:42 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Trad-Ang Ping: I read the dreck so you don't have to || Iran Azadi)
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