Skip to comments.EPISCOPAL SCHISM
Posted on 09/05/2002 12:35:50 PM PDT by NYer
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ An Episcopal priest who says the church has become too liberal on issues such as the ordination of women and recognition of same-sex unions was defrocked Thursday by the bishop of Pennsylvania.
The Rev. David Moyer is a leader of Forward in Faith, a movement that sought to make him a bishop for more conservative congregations within the church.
Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. said it was not Moyer's beliefs but his rejection of the bishop's authority that prompted his dismissal from the ministry. ``I find it grievous for him, and for his family. I did everything I knew to make it otherwise,'' Bennison said.
Moyer, pastor of the Church of the Good Shepherd, had said recently that he expected to be removed. He did not immediately return a call Thursday. Bennison supports the ordination of women and of homosexuals who are in committed relationships.
Nationally, the Episcopal Church allows the ordination of women. It officially opposes same-sex relations, but in practice it brings no sanctions against those who ordain actively homosexual clergy or conduct same-sex unions.
We'll take him!
I hope that he finds a place to minister...He is a man of conviction...
Why wait? Let's give him a head start ... do you want to email him?
BTW, did you watch Fr. Mitch Pacwa's new series last night? He had on an Evangelical convert, a former minister, by the name of Alex Jones. He plans on evangelizing lapsed catholics. What a fabulous program!
And isn't this why we have some Episcopal priests becoming either Anglican or Roman Catholic priests?
As far as I can tell, this web site could be the best way to contact him. I'm sure firing off something to him as soon as I'm done here. I hope others do too.
I sent the story to Marcus Grodi. Hopefully he will invite him on to tell his story or, at least, call him in a show of support.
The term we use is Continuing Anglican. In fact, Forward in Faith North America is now in full communion with the Traditional Anglican Communion - a worldwide communion of Continuing Anglican churches.
Personally, I don't think Moyer will ge going to Rome.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has said he will not honor the deposition; and 23 active and retired bishops have signed a statement saying that they will not accept it.
And just to bring the warfare out into the open, Bishop Duncan of the neighboring Diocese of Pittsburgh has not only accepted Moyer as a priest in that diocese, but has also instructed another of his priests (the curate at Moyers' church) to remain at that church (which is in Bennison's diocese) and serve without license.
This could be an interesting ride.
Actually, he does have license, it's from Duncan, not Bennison. Anglican curates are under the direct authority of the bishop. Bennison had taken away the curate's license. Duncan now has a two priests under his authority serving a parish in Bennison's diocese. It will get interesting indeed.
Please keep me apprised of how this works out. I am not familiar with how the Episcopal church handles such arrangements; but it truly saddened me to hear that a priest who respects God's morality, should be defrocked for failing to follow a bishop's liberal call. My prayers go out to him and his family.
We catholics have just the opposite problem. Too many liberal thinking clergy who want to see these same issues embraced by the Catholic Church. It will be a very cold day in hades, when that happens.
Thanks for the update!
Statement of the Bishop of Pittsburgh relating to the acceptance of Fr. David Moyer as a priest of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh:
By the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan Bishop of Pittsburgh
I have today taken action to receive the Rev. David L. Moyer, SSC, as a priest in good standing of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. Fr. Moyer was received from the Diocese of the Upper Shire in the Province of Central Africa.
Fr. Moyer has been the Rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Rosemont, Pennsylvania. Fr. Moyer has been under a sentence of suspension (inhibition) for the last six months and was today "deposed" by the Bishop of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison. Many bishops throughout the world, including the Most Rev. George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, have refused to acknowledge the validity of either the inhibition or the deposition. In August the House of Bishops of the Province of Central Africa approved David L. Moyer as a priest in good standing there, in order that he might be transferred to Pittsburgh were I to request it. The request was made yesterday.
Many American bishops and many bishops world-wide have attempted to mediate the dispute between the Bishop of Pennsylvania and the Rector of Rosemont. All of this has been to no avail. I have repeatedly implored my brother bishop not to proceed to depose this priest. I have made it abundantly clear on several occasions, most recently in person in June, that, were Charles to proceed as he has now done, there would be no alternative to the kind of action I and others are now taking.
The Rev. Garrin Dickinson, curate of Good Shepherd, Rosemont, is also a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. I have been informed by him that his license to officiate in the Diocese of Pennsylvania has been withdrawn effective yesterday. I have instructed him to remain at his post, without a license. If the Bishop of Pennsylvania desires that this young priest be tried for "invasion" due to my pastoral directive, then it will be in the ecclesiastical court at Pittsburgh where he will have to be tried, as the canons direct.
Why have I intervened? Because I have long known Fr. Moyer as a good and godly priest, and he has appealed to me for protection. Because the canon under which the Bishop of Pennsylvania has acted is precedent- setting, opportunistic, and due-process denying. Because the soul of the Episcopal Church is at stake as innovation supplants received Faith and Order. Because traditionalist witness in the Episcopal Church will always have my active support and creative encouragement. Because the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church has failed to avert the deposition, nevertheless calling the course undertaken by the Bishop of Pennsylvania "utterly unacceptable." Because I believe there to be an inherent imbalance of power between a bishop and a priest, leading in such a dispute to an abuse of power. The dispute will now necessarily become a dispute between bishops, who are by definition power equals. Because recent actions both by Bp. Charles Bennison and by other bishops, each acting contrary to the expressed will of the House of Bishops or the Lambeth Conference, have been based on an assertion that the bishop is absolute in his own diocese, an assertion I desire hereby to put to the test.
It is in light of all these factors that I have received, from the Diocese of the Upper Shire, the Rev. David L. Moyer, SSC as a priest in good standing of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. It is also in light of all these factors that I assess the inhibition and deposition of the Rev. David L. Moyer by the Bishop of Pennsylvania to be utterly null and void, both legally and morally, and to have no bearing on the decision I have made.
It is anticipated that both Fr. Moyer and Fr. Dickinson will remain resident at Rosemont for the foreseeable future. This circumstance notwithstanding, Fr. Moyer has today been named Priest Associate of Grace Church, Mount Washington, an Anglo-Catholic parish in the City of Pittsburgh. Fr. Moyer's regular function in our diocese will be based there.
As a sign of our new relationship, Fr. Moyer will celebrate the 12:05 mass in Trinity Cathedral tomorrow. This site was chosen to recall to everyone the heritage of religious toleration of the founder of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, William Penn, on whose lands Trinity Cathedral (Pittsburgh) is built.
The Rt. Rev. Robert Wm. Duncan
Bishop of Pittsburgh
5th September, A.D. 2002
Because recent actions both by Bp. Charles Bennison and by other bishops, each acting contrary to the expressed will of the House of Bishops or the Lambeth Conference, have been based on an assertion that the bishop is absolute in his own diocese, an assertion I desire hereby to put to the test.
This assertion of absolute authority has been used by the Spongs, Weaklands, and every other innovator as an excuse to do whatever they want and that has to stop, whether Anglican or Roman. Bishop Duncan should be applauded for having the courage to face this most un-catholic assertion head-on.
God will prevail.
How very interesting. I never realized the Anglicans had so much in common with the Catholics. We have a forum member of a Catholic Anglican church that is in communion with the Vatican. One of their priests recently appeared on EWTN's Journey Home program. It was absolutely fascinating to learn about the Common Book of Prayer, which is used in their services.
Excuse my ignorance, but what is the difference between the link you posted and the following:
From its inception, the Anglican Church saw itself as the via media between Rome and Geneva.
These are other continuing Anglican churches. Unfortunately, the continuing Anglican movement, particularly in the U.S. has splintered over the years since the Affirmation of St. Louis. The churches that you listed are continuing Anglican churches that are (sadly) not a part of the Traditional Anglican Communion. We consider them our brothers and sisters nonetheless and continue to pray from our Book of Common Prayer:
O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Saviour, the Prince of Peace; Give us grace seriously to lay to heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions. Take away all hatred and prejudice, and whatsoever else may hinder us from godly union and concord: that as there is but one Body and one Spirit, and one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so we may be all of one heart and of one soul, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and charity, and may with one mind and one mouth glorify thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
I suppose "declaration of war" may be too strong a term. But, be it war or something else, Duncan has surely brought it out in the open.
It's difficult to see how this would be peacefully papered-over. Duncan has directly challenged the prevailing liberal opinion on the power of the diocesan bishop, and he's got allies.
If I had to guess, it's going to end up with some formal version of the "alternate episcopal oversight" (e.g., flying bishop) arrangement that the HOB informally accepted last spring, and which Bennison went out of his way to ignore.
FiFNA will get its two bishops (Moyers and Ilgenfritz); Bennison will get rid of Moyers (who obviously wouldn't have time to stay at Good Shepherd); and traditionalist parishes will have their alternative oversight.
What will happen after that is less rosy. First and foremost there's the money and property issue. Parishes would still have to pay their assessments to their geographical diocese, not to the flying bishop, and the diocesan bishop still presumably owns the church property.
There's also the likelihood of a de facto schism: if the traditionalist parishes go for flying bishops, it's only a matter of time before they begin to think and act like a separate province -- at which point the money/property issue becomes more important.
Interesting times.... On a more local level, I have to wonder how this will affect the selection of the next Bishop of Colorado. The process is on-going, and will be decided next June.
do you have a current link then of the Traditional Anglican Churches?
Here's a revelation. Do you also keep consecrated hosts in a Tabernacle?
23.How to say the Rosary (different methods)
Also interesting. So, the protestant posters on these threads limit their "Mary bashing" strictly for the Catholics.
I have known Father Moyer for quite a few years. I first met him at a Conference (he and a number of Episcopalians were there as I recall.) He has a deep devotion to Mother Mary under the title of Our Lady of Walsingham. He is a godly man of great virtue and charity, and he deserves the prayers of all of us.
A RESPONSE TO THE DEPOSITION OF THE REV. DAVID L. MOYER
"We, the undersigned bishops of the Episcopal Church, USA, reject as invalid -- spiritually, morally and canonically -- the deposition of the Rev. David L. Moyer by the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison, Bishop of Pennsylvania. In doing so, we are joining with the Most Rev. George L. Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, and many other bishops around the world who have refused to acknowledge the validity of the deposition. By Bishop Bennison's action, Fr. Moyer has been deprived of due process and any court of appeal. We believe no credible case has been made that Fr. Moyer has 'abandoned the communion' of this Church. Further, we support the Rt. Rev. Robert W. Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh, in his decision to receive Fr. Moyer as a priest in good standing, making him canonically resident in the Diocese of Pittsburgh."
Signatories as of September 5, 2002:
The Rt. Rev. Keith L. Ackerman, Bishop of Quincy;
The Rt. Rev. Peter H. Beckwith, Bishop of Springfield
The Rt. Rev. David Bena, Bishop Suffragan of Albany
The Rt. Rev. Andrew H. Fairfield, Bishop of North Dakota
The Rt. Rev. Daniel W. Herzog, Bishop of Albany
The Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, Bishop of Central Florida
The Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth
The Rt. Rev. Stephen H. Jecko, Bishop of Florida
The Rt. Rev. Terence Kelshaw, Bishop of Rio Grande
The Rt. Rev. Hugo L. Pina-Lopez, Assistant Bishop, Diocese of Central Florida
The Rt. Rev. Edward Salmon, Bishop of South Carolina
The Rt. Rev. William J. Skilton, Bishop Suffragan of South Carolina
The Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton, Bishop of Dallas
Retired Bishop signatories as of September 5, 2002:
The Rt. Rev. FitzSimons Allison, Bishop of South Carolina, Retired
The Rt. Rev. David S. Ball, Bishop of Albany, Retired
The Rt. Rev. Maurice M. Benitez, Bishop of Texas, Retired
The Rt. Rev. Gordan T. Charlton, Bishop Suffragan of Texas, Retired
The Rt. Rev. William J. Cox, Assistant Bishop of Oklahoma, Retired
The Rt. Rev. Alex D. Dickson, Jr., Bishop of West Tennessee, Retired
The Rt. Rev. William C. Frey, Bishop of Colorado, Retired
The Rt. Rev. G. Edward Haynsworth, Assistant Bishop of South Carolina, Retired
The Rt. Rev. John MacNaughton, Bishop of West Texas, Retired
The Rt. Rev. William C. Wantland, Bishop of Eau Claire, Retired
The traditional Anglican churches that are part of the Traditional Anglican Communion are listed here.
The best list that I know of all continuing Anglican churches is here.
Thank you ... I could not remember the proper terminology.
I am now more confused than ever. According to the Traditional Anglican Church
We express also our faith in Christ's Real Presence in the Eucharist.
The priest I saw on Journey Home, was from the Anglican Use Catholic Church. He spoke of his deep longing to receive the Holy Eucharist. He spoke of how the Anglican Church celebrates Corpus Christi, but does not believe in the Real Presence.
Again, excuse the great ignorance ... but would someone please explain all of this to me?
Do Anglican's believe in the Real Presence? Do Anglican's pray to Mary? Do Anglican's pray to the saints? What separates Roman Catholics from Anglicans?
I have known Anglicans whose devotion to St. Mary was greater than most Catholics I've known. I've also known some Anglicans who thought of praying with the saints as idolatry. An Episcopalian priest I know (who is about to be received into the Catholic Church) told me that it is impossible to know what the theology actually is in any given parish. The architecture may be medieval Catholic, but the priest may also be a New Ager, a Calvinist, or an Anglo-Catholic. Gee, it almost sounds like the Roman Catholic Church today....
< / sarcasm off >
Sorry, for that last bit. The bottom line is that a big chunk of Anglicans would make GREAT ROman Catholics. And a bunch of our liberal Catholics ought to go be Episcopalians. I've long advocated a sort of an "exchange of hostages" -- not everyone likes that idea, but when it is someone like Father Moyer I would move a mountain if we could see him become a Catholic priest.
Pride (on both sides).
Okay, okay..... the usual answer is papal infallibility, the validity/invalidity of Anglican holy orders, and the dogmatic declarations since the reign of Elizabeth II in England or from the Council of Trent....
We used to go visit friends in a small town in Scotland where there was no Catholic Church. So we would attend the Episcopalian church there (although we did not receive communion). I felt very much at home. The Church was named St. Anne's. There was a beautiful mosaic icon of St. Anne teaching the Virgin Mary to read. There was a statue of Our Lady of Walsingham with votive candles in front of it. There was the most remarkable stained glass window of the Flight into Egypt with Joseph pulling the donkey's rope with one hand while holding the Child Jesus in his arms. The mass started with the Asperges. There was the use of the most beautiful smelling incense (Jasmine from the Holy Land). I could go on and on about that little church., but they were quite opposed to the authority of the Pope, and I suppose that really is the rub, so to speak
There was a post on another thread yesterday that another diocese was trying to get him. Apparently he has a lot of support in the church. There are a lot of good men of God in the Episcopal church that do not accept or teach the liberal agenda. I predicted quite a few years ago that if the church followed other mainline denominations down the road of liberalism, that there would be problems in the church because there are a lot of priests who won't support these false doctrines. Maybe God is doing some purging, just not the way that liberals think.
Don't know about Catholic, but Anglican definitely. I had such a priest in Georgia who wouldn't go along with the status quo. Of course that is considered rebellious. He ended up leading an Anglican congregation.
Don't be overconfident and continue to pray for the church. We used to think the same thing. The Episcopal church was really the last mainline holdout against the rapidly spreading infection of liberalism in the church.
I hope so!
We do not believe in a transient real presence. While many Anglicans are uncomfortable with Transubstantiation, we believe that Jesus is truly present in the blessed sacrament.
and 23.How to say the Rosary (different methods) Also interesting. So, the protestant posters on these threads limit their "Mary bashing" strictly for the Catholics.
Anglicans do not consider the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception to be doctrinal. Many Anglicans observe these holy days and Marian devotions are quite common. You can see on ebay that Anglican rosaries are in common use, too, as there are always many for sale. We consider the Marian doctrines to be "pious beliefs." None are required to observe them (unless their religious order requires it) but all are free to and in may cases encouraged to.
As far as the "Mary bashing" goes, I don't think Anglicans in general go as far as Romans in Marian devotions. I am not aware of any talk of co-redemptrix among Anglicans.
There were other breaks as well. Sacramental confession for example, is available in the Episcopal church, but is not required as in the Catholic church, a general confession of the body of Christ being preferred. The tradition of purgatory was much maligned as well at the time of the Reformation because of the rampant abuses within the church, in such practices as the sale of indulgences, as if mere man could buy passage to heaven for a loved one gone before. This practice was rejected outright.
There are today wide variations in practice in the Episcopal church dealing with these ancient traditions. In many cases a local church may adopt practices that may be acceptable, but not a part of canon law. We have many things in common with the Catholic church because more than any other church to develop its own identity during the Reformation, the Anglican (I use the terms Anglican and Episcopal interchangably) church developed in more of a parallel way than others who openly rebeled against the Catholic church and in many cases threw the baby out with the bath water, so to speak. The Anglican church seems to be more of an evolution than a rebellion, rejecting those doctrines and practices that it deemed unscriptural while retaining that which it considered to be of proven and lasting value.
Please forgive me for responding to this without first reading other responses.
Anglicans believe in real presence but many reject the doctrine of Transubstantiation. I know this causes confusion for RC's because they don't separate the two, but Anglicans do. Generally the Anglican position is that Augustine was right about it, and that the medeival schoolmen took it too far.
Anglicans pray to Mary and the saints. Anglicans pray for the departed.
What separates Anglicans from Rome is foremost a disagreement on Papal authority. Secondary are the Marian doctrines of Assumption and Immaculate Conception. Anglicans don't object to them per se, only to their doctrinal status. Another thing that separates us is that Rome, officialy, considers Anglican orders to be "absolutely null and utterly void." There are other issues to be sure, but these are the biggies.
Right. I guess I thought of that as being so obvious that I didn't mention it. The pope is generally very highly respected in the Episcopal church, but no one is considered to be on equal par with Scripture, which is our sole authority.