Skip to comments.Bishop Lee Inhibits 21 Priests
Posted on 01/23/2007 6:58:11 PM PST by Huber
In a letter sent Jan. 22 to 21 priests under license in the Diocese of Virginia, the bishop and standing committee informed the group they had been inhibited for the next six months.
Your association with a group of people that has abandoned the Communion of the Episcopal Church and rejected its authority and the authority of the Diocese of Virginia constitute your abandonment of the Communion of the Episcopal Church, states a letter signed by Virginia Bishop Peter James Lee. If, in the next six months, you retract your actions of abandonment, this inhibition may be lifted. But at the end of six months, if you have not retracted your actions, you may be released from the obligations of priesthood in this church and removed from the ordained ministry.
Bishop Lee concluded the brief letter by noting how deeply saddened he was by this development. He said he believed the actions that the Standing Committee and I are taking are necessary for the discipline and unity of the church.
All of the clergy associated with the 11 Virginia congregations which recently voted to leave the diocese have affiliated with either the Church of Uganda or the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) and been inhibited with the exception of Bishop Martyn Minns, who serves as rector of Truro Church in Fairfax. Bishop Lee previously said that Bishop Minns was a validly consecrated Bishop of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, but he has refused to recognize either CANA, the Anglican District of Virginia, or other overseas Anglican partnerships that former Episcopal congregations have formed.
The list of inhibited clergy includes the Rev. John A.M. Guernsey, rector of All Saints Church in Woodbridge. In November, the diocese and All Saints reached an amicable settlement on the church property, but since then Fr. Guernsey and the other leadership at the parish have voted to affiliate with the Anglican Church of Uganda. Bishop Lee and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori have both said bishops with overlapping jurisdictions are antithetical to ancient church precedent.
The priests listed in the release:
The Rev. Robin T. Adams The Rev. Marshall Brown The Rev. E. Kathleen Christopher The Rev. Jack W. Grubbs The Rev. David N. Jones The Rev. Herbert J. McMullan The Rev. Valarie A. Whitcomb The Rev. George R. Beaven The Rev. Neal H. Brown The Rev. Richard C. Crocker The Rev. John A.M. Guernsey The Rev. Nicholas P.N. Lubelfeld The Rev. Elijah B. White The Rev. John W. Yates II The Rev. Mark W. Brown The Rev. Jeffrey O. Cerar The Rev. Ramsey D. Gilchrist The Rev. David R. Harper The Rev. Marion D. Lucas, III The Rev. Robin Rauh The Rev. Frederick M. Wright
I wonder how he reconciles this statement with the history of the Anglican Church.
When Henry the Eighth broke with the Roman Catholic Church he put England in the position of being a country in which every priest was in a state of overlapping jurisdiction.
On one hand the priest was bound by his vow before God to be obedient to his Pope and Bishop. On the other hand he had a King that was asserting that he was now the church primate.
I suspect that she will not find this overly troublesome. After all, the Pope was not as enlightened as she is.
What's surprising is that it took him this long.....
How quaint. This action means....zip, because we are in the Anglican District of Virginia now, not the Diocese of Virginia.
I think Bishop Lee may have missed the fact that the train has already left the station.
Ah, but what of King Henry?
What would he say of all of this?
"Off with their heads!"
Overlapping episcopates did not come to England until, I believe, the Acts of Toleration which allowed the Pope to send priests and bishops of his own to care for the Roman Catholics in the country (although the priests had been there in an underground fashion for quite awhile). The Act of Supremacy and the Elizabethan Settlements simply disconnected the existing episcopacy (which had been in place for many centuries) from the Papacy.
In Quebec, the Catholic Church operates and English diocese and a French diocese- overlapped.
I wish some Catholic Bishops would take similar action.
The Bishops are conservative enough and loyal to Rome, but some of the Priests under them are far afield.
(Church's without Tabernacles, or kneelers. Priests frequently expressing and promoting non-Catholic views, etc.)
Do you happen to know offhand whether the papacy formally dissolved and suspended the Catholic dioceses in the interim, or did the Vatican establish an episcopacy in exile of some sort?
Whoever occupied the throne filled episcopal vacancies with persons sympathetic to his/her convictions and policies much like the Supreme Court today (in a few cases, non conforming bishops were removed via the bonfire). Henry VIII appointed pre-Lateran minded Catholics, Edward VI appointed staunch Protestants, Mary I appointed Catholics and Elizabeth I appointed mild Protestants or "Anglicans". There never was a wholesale "cleaning out of the episcopacy" by any king or queen. Around 1582, the Pope excommunicated Elizabeth I and all who were loyal to her (to my knowledge, this, the final breach between the Anglicans and Catholics, still stands and that therefore, according to Roman Catholicism, all Anglicans are going to hell). I do not know if any of Mary I's bishops were still around at the time. If there were, they were eventually succeeded by Anglicans. The attempt by Spain (with Papal support) to solve the problem by force of arms failed.
To answer your question, because the dioceses in England were led by men loyal to Elizabeth I, they were tossed out of the Catholic Church. In recent centuries, the Catholic Church established new dioceses (new names, new cathedrals, new boundaries) for the loyal Catholics in England. Should a reconciliation ever be forged between England and Rome, it would be interesting to see how the historic dioceses and the new dioceses would be settled.
Whew, boy, THAT's a relief! /sarc
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