Skip to comments.The Day - "Group: Bishop Broke Church Law"
Posted on 08/25/2005 7:51:46 AM PDT by sionnsar
Groton The Rev. Ronald A. Gauss of Bishop Seabury Church is among those who have formally begun a process to take the state's Episcopal diocesan bishop to church court over their objection to same-sex unions and ordaining gay clergy.
Formal charges by 19 Episcopal lay leaders and priests in Connecticut against the Rt. Rev. Andrew D. Smith, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, were sent Monday to the Rt. Rev. Frank Griswold, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church U.S.A. (ECUSA).
The announcement came Wednesday via the Atlanta, Ga.-based American Anglican Council, an association of conservative clergy unhappy with the direction of ECUSA and working to transfer church leadership to those with more traditional views.
The complaint states in part that Smith has long stood firmly in opposition to accepted Anglican theological belief and teaching regarding human sexuality, and has long refused to consider the need to repent of his actions.
It accuses Smith of violating canon (church) law by adopting a liturgical form for celebrating same-sex unions, advocating their blessing, and ordaining gays to the diaconate.
Gauss said Wednesday night that on advice of attorneys, he couldn't comment on the formal charges filed. Hopefully, it will go to trial, he said.
Griswold is required by canon law to forward the charge to a review committee within 90 days, after which the committee and an attorney for ECUSA will decide whether it should proceed to a church trial.
Gauss and five other state priests filing charges, dubbed the Connecticut Six, have collected the support of conservative Episcopalians across the nation as well as many in the worldwide Anglican Union, to which the ECUSA and the Canadian Episcopal Church belong. Some fear that the more liberal American and Canadian churches may ultimately be forced to split from their peers worldwide.
Bishop Seabury is the only parish in southeastern Connecticut to formally reject Smith's leadership.
Dissatisfaction with Smith among some became public after his 2003 vote to approve a decision by the Diocese of New Hampshire naming V. Gene Robinson, a homosexual man living openly with his lover, as diocesan bishop. It intensified this spring when Smith replaced one of the dissenting Connecticut parish priests, the Rev. Mark Hansen of St. John's Church in Bristol, charging him with taking an unauthorized sabbatical.
The complaint filed this week claims Smith froze bank accounts, custodial funds and securities of four churches, including Bishop Seabury and St. John's. The churches had withheld their dues to the diocese, demanding to be led by a bishop other than Smith unless he recanted his positions.
The complaint can be read in full at www.AmericanAnglican.org.
Fr. Ron Gauss on Connecticut Assessments
Brad one thing that never seems be reported correctly. Connecticut in 1985 went to a voluntary giving program. There is no assessment. The Diocese asks for 12.5% of our operating budget. of 177 parishes 91 do not meet that asking, 31 give Zero and the average is 9.5%. Even members of the standing committee give less that 8% of the asking.
Bishop Seabury Church gives what by law they can give. 98% of income is designated giving. Mission/outreach is 29% of the operating budget. Last month we gave the Diocese $47.00. The reason that bishop Smith couldnt use that Diocesan Canon is that in order to get a committee of peers, he would have to find those who were giving at the Diocesan Asking, and what is the requirement. There is none.
Isn't this like complaining to Satan about the actions of one of his lesser demons?
Yes, but maybe it's a necessary step.
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