Skip to comments.Statement on St. John's, Bristol [CT]
Posted on 07/19/2005 3:36:00 PM PDT by sionnsar
The Board of Stand Firm stands in solidarity with the persecuted church of St. Johns in Bristol, Connecticut, which has recently been seized apparently in violation of canonical procedures, by Bishop Andrew Smith. We stand with the clergy, vestry, wardens and membership. We are praying for your protection, that you may be protected by the full armor of God, that you may stand your ground and when you have done everything, that you may stand. Stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled around your waist with the breastplate of righteousness in place and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. (Eph. 6). Jesus promised that as His followers, we would have troubles, but that we are to take heart, for Jesus has overcome the world. (John 16:33).
We call upon the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Connecticut in Christian love, to follow the procedures of Scripture that are called upon in Matthew 18 when one Christian has been wronged by another. You are in the best position to protect this congregation from destruction, and from alienation from its Bishop.
We call upon the Panel of Reference to take action to protect this orthodox parish from its Bishop, with whom it is theologically at odds. This is the purpose for which you have been formed. The time for action is now, or your effectiveness will be in serious doubt, and your credibility will be dashed before you even have a chance to establish it.
We call upon all the Bishops of ECUSA, and of the Anglican Communion, to hold one another accountable to the principles of the Windsor Report, the Communique of the Primates and the actions of the ACC. The destruction of congregations with which one disagrees is not Christian behavior.
Letter to Bishop Andrew Smith of Connecticut
I am in receipt of your Notice of Inhibition of Fr. Mark Hansen, and am aware of your seizure of his parish. Needless to say, your actions are not only illicit and contrary to the canons of this Church, they are not worthy of anyone claiming the responsibility of the apostolic office. You have caused great harm to the Church here and abroad, and have, unfortunately, demonstrated a mind-set more in keeping with the Prince of this world than the Prince of Peace.
Any canonist worthy of the name knows that you have deliberately misused Canon IV.10 in order to attack someone who upholds the Catholic Faith in a manner deliberately designed to deny him any hearing or trial. You grieve the heart of Our Blessed Lord. However, I fear your own actions demonstrate any inability to see what you have done wrong, or to bring you to the repentance your soul so desperately needs to save you from spiritual death. I pray for you with great sadness.
--The Rt. Rev. William Wantland, Retired Bishop of Eau Claire
Just wanted to thank you again for the absolutely superb job of keeping all of us current on this rapidly breaking, and changing story..
Ouch! I think I speak for all of us when I say that I'd rather have had a whipping any day than to have my folks tell me how disappointed they were in something I'd done. Let's pray Bp. Smith isn't so far gone that he can't still feel shamed because Bp. Wantland has shamed him, and very well.
Thanks! Fortunately, this church camp has Internet access and an afternoon downtime that lets me keep up...
Enjoy your retreat..BTW..is there a lot of discussion/interest about what's happening in CT?
I had thought the group was largely ECUSA, but it seems it might not be. One of the three priests here is CEC. I think I'm holding down the, um, Anglo-Catholic wing...
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