12/12/2006

You've got to read the fine print

The AAC Blog has posted a letter from The Rev’d Dr. Sam C. Pascoe, Rector, Grace Church (Anglican), Jacksonville, Florida, responding to the notice of deposition he received.

It is an odd letter in which it becomes clear that Dr. Pascoe needs to read the fine print a bit more carefully.

He writes, “I have received a "Pronouncement of Release of Obligation of Priests and Deprivation of Right to Exercise the Gifts and Spiritual Authority Conferred in Ordination" signed by you and others and dated November 27, 2006. It seems this dismissive missive is intended to deprive me of my right to exercise ordained ministry. The ground of this proposed deprivation is my supposed "abandonment of the communion of this church." With all due respect, the grounds of my deposition are not valid.

I have neither abandoned the communion of this church nor have I renounced my orders as a priest in this church. I have continued to exercise ordained ministry within this communion and, by God’s grace and gifting, I will continue to do so.

I am an ordained member of the Anglican Communion. I exercise my ministry under the authority of Anglican Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini, Primate of L'Eglise Episcopal au Rwanda, a province of the Anglican Church in full communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury.”

The “abandonment of the communion of this church” in our canons precisely concerns The Episcopal Church, not some larger amorphous entity, such as, for example the Anglican Communion, or some fiction like, “the Anglican church.

Dr. Pascoe’s statement, “It seems this dismissive missive is intended to deprive me of my right to exercise ordained ministry” is correct regarding the Episcopal Church. He may not exercise an ordained ministry as a priest of this Church. In less heated days his deposition would mean that he would not be given license anywhere else in the Anglican Communion without the concurrence of the bishop who deposed him. But these are heated days indeed and the niceties of the past are seemingly of less value.

Archbishop Kolini ought to be forewarned, priests who flaunt such matters in one Church will do it in another.

No one, by the way is “an ordained member of the Anglican Communion.” Where does he get such nonsense?

None of us freely exercises our ministry as priests exclusive of license. We may be priests forever after the order, etc… but we exercise that ministry by license. Dr. Pascoe’s license has been taken away regarding the Episcopal Church, for he has abandoned the communion of this church and found his place in a church.

He argues that the “communion” being referred to in the canons is the Anglican Communion. It does not. It is the communion of people in the Episcopal Church. He has indeed abandoned communion with the Episcopal Church by becoming a clergy member of another church without the permission of his own bishop and as a result of his decision that he is not held to the vow taken regarding the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church.

This has nothing to do with his being a priest. It has nothing to do with the legitimacy of his new found church. It has everything to do his continued membership in the clergy of the Episcopal Church. He has abandoned the ministry of this church.

And speaking of fine print:

In the last paragraph of this letter he says, “Archbishop Kolini will be at Grace Church on January 21, 2007, to preach, baptize, confirm, and celebrate. I am sure he would be willing to affirm the validity of my status as an ordained person in the Anglican Communion with you at that time. Also, providentially, at least eight other archbishops of the Anglican Communion (all of whom recognize the validity of my orders) will be in Jacksonville about that same time.

Does anyone know why the Archbishops are meeting there?

16 comments:

  1. AMiA conference

    ReplyDelete
  2. I continue to wonder why they care; that is, why do those who leave communion with a bishop and diocese of The Episcopal Church care about actions of the bishop and diocese left?

    Some years ago in my city a congregation, founded by the North American Missionary Society, decided that instead of joining this diocese, as had been promised and planned, they would join the then new AMiA. The priest was deposed by The Episcopal Church in this diocese - and, as "deposed" means, literally lost his place in any Episcopal Church or at diocesan convention - but didn't bat an eye. He did understand the polity, and already considered himself accountable to a different bishop in a different province.

    Why do they care? To care suggests that they still acknowledge some authority in The Episcopal Church; yet, they have denied that.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I continue to wonder why they care; that is, why do those who leave communion with a bishop and diocese of The Episcopal Church care about actions of the bishop and diocese left?

    Some years ago in my city a congregation, founded by the North American Missionary Society, decided that instead of joining this diocese, as had been promised and planned, they would join the then new AMiA. The priest was deposed by The Episcopal Church in this diocese - and, as "deposed" means, literally lost his place in any Episcopal Church or at diocesan convention - but didn't bat an eye. He did understand the polity, and already considered himself accountable to a different bishop in a different province.

    Why do they care? To care suggests that they still acknowledge some authority in The Episcopal Church; yet, they have denied that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I continue to wonder why they care; that is, why do those who leave communion with a bishop and diocese of The Episcopal Church care about actions of the bishop and diocese left?

    Some years ago in my city a congregation, founded by the North American Missionary Society, decided that instead of joining this diocese, as had been promised and planned, they would join the then new AMiA. The priest was deposed by The Episcopal Church in this diocese - and, as "deposed" means, literally lost his place in any Episcopal Church or at diocesan convention - but didn't bat an eye. He did understand the polity, and already considered himself accountable to a different bishop in a different province.

    Why do they care? To care suggests that they still acknowledge some authority in The Episcopal Church; yet, they have denied that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I continue to wonder why they care; that is, why do those who leave communion with a bishop and diocese of The Episcopal Church care about actions of the bishop and diocese left?

    Some years ago in my city a congregation, founded by the North American Missionary Society, decided that instead of joining this diocese, as had been promised and planned, they would join the then new AMiA. The priest was deposed by The Episcopal Church in this diocese - and, as "deposed" means, literally lost his place in any Episcopal Church or at diocesan convention - but didn't bat an eye. He did understand the polity, and already considered himself accountable to a different bishop in a different province.

    Why do they care? To care suggests that they still acknowledge some authority in The Episcopal Church; yet, they have denied that.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Is it an "AMiA conference" or some ecclesial version of the recent baseball owners meeting in Orlando? Maybe they will be in town to build up their teams with clergy and parishes that have unilaterally declared themselves free-agents.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Why do they care or even bother to protest?

    They probably know the canons; but it is in their interest to be seen as "victims" of abusive bishops for whom TEC's canons trump Christ's Gospel of love. Their sole intention is to unite the reasserter base against 'apostate' TEC. After all, as presented in the Chapman Memo, their goal is to deceive and steal the franchise.

    John Henry

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  8. I don't think he has missed the fine print at all. He was received into another constituent member church of the Anglican Communion. As such, he is a priest whose ministry would normally be recognized by other members of the Communion, including TEC. By what logic does anyone conclude that because he was received into the Anglican Church of Rwanda, he has abandoned the communion of "the church?" I always understood that priests were ordained for "the church," not for TEC - that bishops were consecrated for "the church," not TEC. I understood that to mean the "one holy catholic and apostolic church," but if not the entire church catholic, then at least for those churches in communion with Canterbury. It is foolish to create martyrs. They become rallying points for those who already see TEC as apostate. Catering to revisionists by "getting tough" will simply make it easier to give TEC the heave ho from the AC.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hasta la vista...hasta la vista and unfortunately...vista mas!

    Simply more indignant/righteous blowhard GRANDSTANDERS who dress up and prance-around as actual, observant victim members of the TEC for publicity sake...they wallow in the sickness of justified behavior and unholy pretending!

    Still, we offer them a place at the communion rail with us even after as they dump the contents of the chalice into the dirt floor of their own twisted thinking.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Correct me if I'm wrong, but according to the canons, doesn't a priest have to ask for and be granted Letters Dimissory BEFORE transferring jurisdictions?

    This victim stuff gets old.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Siblings, I apologize for the apparent triple posting. I have no idea how it happened. Mark, feel free to delete two of those.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anon who is not John Henry: As has been said elsewhere, "the whole church" is an eschatological hope, not an institutional fact. The Anglican Communion is a network of autonomous provinces. While they may be related in communion, and may in some sense (as yet still in debate) be interdependent, ordination does not automatically allow transfer at the will of the cleric, independent of a bishop to send as well as a bishop to receive, as amys has noted.

    As for Fr. Pascoe: at his ordinations as deacon and as priest he signed a Declaration, there in the church, commiting himself to "the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church. It might have been designated the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, or as the Episcopal Church; but in either case it was quite specific.

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  13. You are no doubt correct Amy, but a violation of such a canon is not the equivalent of the abandonment of communion.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love the way these people go around jabbing their thumbs in everyone's eyes, but when someone objects, they put on their Poor Pitiful Pearl routine, loudly lamenting their victimization.

    They need to save it for someone who doesn't know what sort of people they really are.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I don't know what else he may or may not be guilty of but he should be roasted on a spit for using "gifting"!

    Sheesh!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Pascoe espouses his doctorate as a means of intimidation to his congregation. "If you don't agree with me wel then something must be wrong with you or you don't understand, because "I have a doctorate" to bad he has to brag about it. Believe me he may have been a priest, but he was never a minister.

    ReplyDelete

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