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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