10/30/2008

Bishop Ackerman retires, waits in wings.

Bishop Ackerman, diocesan of Quincy, has announced that he will retire November 1, 2008, just one week before the Diocesan Convention in Quincy where a vote will be taken by clergy and lay members of the convention to remove themselves from the Episcopal Church. Read the Living Church article on this HERE.

At the beginning of the year I predicted that

"Several bishops will be removed from the roll of the House of Bishops by deposition without their consent having declared that they are no longer under the authority of the Episcopal Church and its canons. Two will retire early, ask to be relieved of their inclusion in the House of Bishops (a la Bishop Steenson.) They will then declare they are part of some other Anglican agency (a la Bishop Bena) or going to Rome, or just bowing out."

The two I had in mine to retire early were Peter Beckwith of Springfield and Keith Ackerman of Quincy. Bishop Peter Beckwith is nearing mandatory retirement. Bishop Ackerman is 62.

Why did Bishop Ackerman decide to retire? The statement in The Living Church hints at health concerns. But it then quotes the statement from the Bishop to the Standing Committee:

“While Bishop Ackerman is retiring from his administrative duties as executive officer of the diocese, he plans to remain in the area of the diocese for some time and will make himself available, under arrangement with the standing committee, to perform episcopal acts and provide spiritual counsel to member of the diocese, as have Bishop Donald Parsons and Bishop Edward MacBurney [his two immediate predecessors.]"

Whatever the health problems they are not meant to interfere with Bishop Ackerman's continued engagement with the diocese.

One of the two resolutions being considered at this year's Diocesan Synod is this:

Resolution 2008-RM-1
Annulling Accession to the Constitution and Canons of
The Protestant Episcopal Church

WHEREAS, the General Convention and leaders of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the
United States (“The Episcopal Church”) have failed to uphold the teaching and authority of
Holy Scripture, have challenged or belittled core doctrines of the Christian faith, have refused to conform to the agreed teaching and discipline of the Anglican Communion, and have rejected the godly counsel of the leaders of our Communion; and

WHEREAS, the Diocese of Quincy desires to remain faithful to Holy Scripture and to the
historic faith and order of the Church as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer, and to
preserve its link to historic Anglicanism by considering affiliation with the Anglican Church of
the Southern Cone;

therefore be it

RESOLVED, under the authority and provisions Article II of the Constitution of this Diocese as
adopted in 1993, that this 131st Synod of the Diocese of Quincy, gathered the ____ day of
November, 2008, hereby annuls its accession to the Constitution and Canons of The
Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United
States of America, otherwise known as The Episcopal Church; and be it further

RESOLVED, that by this action the Diocese of Quincy is no longer subject to, nor bound by,
the authority of the Episcopal Church, its General Convention, its officers, councils or agents; and as of this date no actions or asserted claims of the Episcopal Church, or its General Convention, or its officers, councils, and agents, whether for acts or omissions alleged to have occurred before or after the date hereof, shall have any canonical or legal effect upon,or application to, this Diocese, its Bishop, any retired bishop, its clergy, its lay members, or its member churches."

Perhaps the writers of this legislation were simply covering all the bases, but it is mighty convenient that the reference to "any retired bishop" makes it into the resolution. Did they know something when they wrote this resolution?

I believe this retirement is as reported: the result of prayer and deep thought by Bishop Ackerman. I also believe it is deliberate and related to playing out realignment senarios.

Bishop Schofield got deposed months after the fact of the decisions made at the Diocesan Convention in San Joaquin. The situation was messy. Bishop Duncan was deposed prior to the DIocesan Convention in Pittsburgh and while the situation there is confused by the fact that there is an incorporated entity in the hands of the now deposed bishop, matters on the ground are clearer. Now Bishop Ackerman is retiring prior to the DIocesan Convention in Quincy, leaving him, as retired bishop in a somewhat less vulnerable position, or so it would seem. As I said of retired bishops, they can
"then declare they are part of some other Anglican agency (a la Bishop Bena) or going to Rome, or just bowing out." Bishop Ackerman can declare that he is part of another Anglican entity - the Diocese of the Southern Cone and by that agency "put in charge" of those who have left the Episcopal Church formerly part of the Diocese of Quincy.

I would guess that he will be accepted into the Province of the Southern Cone as soon as his retirement is effective. His resignation as bishop of Quincy may be effective November 1, 2008, but his resignation from the House of Bishops requires action by the House. So it is still possible for the HoB to depose him if he clearly has abandoned the communion of this Church, that is taken an ecclesiastical position with a Province not in communion with this Church and without the permission of the HoB.

So Bishop Ackerman may be playing out yet another route to realignment.

All of this is of course dependent on the actions of the Synod in Quincy. When they meet they have before them proposals to leave the Episcopal Church and to join with the Province of the Southern Cone. If those pass all the usual consequences will follow. If they do not, then the Bishop is retired and life goes on.

As to Bishop Peter Beckwith's future. Who knows? Some of us have been watching with interest the conversations between Springfield and Quincy, which seem pretty healthy and responsible to the mission of the church. Like Quincy, Springfield has been part of the Anglican Communion Network. But unlike Quincy, the Bishop of Springfield has been less vocal about realignment. I have thought that perhaps Bishop Beckwith would retire and make himself available to the Common Cause Partnership in some way without his diocese necessarily resolving for realignment. We shall see.

But for the moment we have Bishop Ackerman, who is retiring just at the right moment.

19 comments:

  1. So you see the scenario like this?

    1 Bishop resigns
    2 House of Bishops accepts the resignation.
    3 Southern Cone of Lies & Dishonesty admits diocese.
    4 SCoLD admits bishop.

    I am not sure how that helps? I suppose if Bp. Akerman wants to avoid deposition it makes some very limited sense. But even if he is the resigned bishop of Quincy, he can be deposed unless he formally renounces his membership or is released to SCoLD. The path seems the same to me.

    I told a delegate to our last diocian convention (I was an alternate) I thought we were electing a new bishop of Illinois. I think I shall prove correct -- alas. Quincy has an ASA of about 4,000. Given that some percentage is likely to be loyal to SCoLD, I expect there wont be enough left to be effective as a diocese. Springfield is a similar story.

    ;;sigh;;

    FWIW
    jimB

    FWIW
    jimB

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  2. Our leaders didn't hesitate to chase down an old man whose wife was teetering on death with Alzheimer's. His son was also a hurting memory...yet the will of TEC be done on earth. He was chased and dragged around for daring to be part of services not to the liking of a bishop.

    Ackerman's health probably isn't as sturdy.

    Aren't we just proud of how we keep up the franchise?

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  3. Allen, I believe that you are confusing Bp Cox whose wife has advanced Alzheimer's and Bp MacBurney whose son died the week the he was inhibited by 815.

    Thus, as Jim points out, retirement doesn't avoid deposition. Interesting that he is concerned about viability of the diocese. Also, the diocese of Quincy has an ASA of only 1,100 not 4,000. It's probably the same as the continuing diocese of San Joaquin which has less than 2000 members (but of course 815 is pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into that organization).

    One thing that I would consider if I were a Quicy-ite: The diocese of Fort Worth repealed the language of geographical boundaries. Thus, I would ask to join the diocese of Fort Worth.

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  4. robroy,

    YEP,

    I'm wrong on that. A lot of hurt was going on among the bishops who got deposed. That's what confused me. Seems that courtesy and humanity just evaporated to keep the kingdom gyrating (excuse the Pride Parade metaphor).

    Anyway, my guess remains. That Ackerman may not have the fortitude to endure the upcoming "reconciliation" after his diocese leaves TEC in the rearview mirror.

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  5. " Seems that courtesy and humanity just evaporated to keep the kingdom gyrating (excuse the Pride Parade metaphor)."

    No.

    Talk about gratuitous mudslinging! Geeze...

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  6. I do not know how many of you have met or had interaction with Bp. Ackerman. I had, marginally, I have to say.

    There may be health concerns. We do not know, and he doesn't need to tell us what he is going through, and in Christian charity one has to take the man's word for it. Also, as a good Catholic that he is, I do not believe that he could have faced with clear conscience the prospect of presiding over an schismatic Convention. Time will tell. For the time being, he needs our prayers.

    Thomas+

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  7. Thomas +... prayers yes. No matter the reasons, we should indeed pray for Bishop Ackerman. I too have met him and I have heard his ruminations at Lambeth (by Anglican TV) and yes he can be very likable.

    And, yes, we have to take his word for it.

    The release did not say that his resignation was for health reasons, but that he has had health problems.

    Now there is an ENS story with more detail and still some puzzlement. It does appear that he has had some problems.

    So we ought to pray for his good health. As for the rest, as you say, Time will tell.

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  8. billyd,

    Didn't you get the memo? It's actually fine, dandy, great, Gospel-like, clerically sensitive, liberally kind, and very progressive to by an Episcopal bishop riding in a Gay Pride Parade. The good bishops know that all around them are spanking, squatting, gyrating, thrusting, marchers.

    It's OK to gyrate one's way to the kingdom. Take a lesson from the California bishops. They joined in it.

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  9. "Didn't you get the memo? It's actually fine, dandy, great, Gospel-like, clerically sensitive, liberally kind, and very progressive to by an Episcopal bishop riding in a Gay Pride Parade. The good bishops know that all around them are spanking, squatting, gyrating, thrusting, marchers. "

    Amazing, You go in one post from "an Episcopal bishop" (+Andrus, for those of you keeping score at home) and transform him into "the good bishops." You then use this to back up a smear of the entire Episcopal Church as a whole. Truly amazing.

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  10. Yes, BillyD, it's a good thing that our Allen constantly announces that he is a Christian--otherwise no one would ever know.

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  11. Let's remember nlnh and billyd:

    The same bishops who take the high ground over which kind of bishop is "in" or out also have turned a convenient blind eye to the activities of California.

    Where's the outrage and disciplinary action for a bishop who rides in a Parade with the Man-Boy Love perverts within yards of him?

    Sorry, but if it is a smear it is because it is the dirty truth.

    Silence is decision.

    Funny how the California bishops will preach the safety of children in the Church, insist on background checks for those working with children, and yet they will not walk up to self-disclosing pedophiles at a Pride Parade and call them what they are.

    Phony! Andrus was all smiles while he rode in the Parade surrounded by Molech's abomination.

    ...and the HOB does N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

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  12. "Where's the outrage and disciplinary action for a bishop who rides in a Parade with the Man-Boy Love perverts within yards of him?"

    Really? NAMBLA had a contigent at the parade? That would be really odd, because the organizers of those events usually exclude NAMBLA. I took a look at the David Virtue "article" on Andrus being in the parade, and it didn't mention NAMBLA. I even looked at a video that showed Andrus in it; there were a lot of different contigents , but I didn't see NAMBLA...

    Oh, wait - are you using "Man-Boy Love perverts" to refer to all gay people? Nice.

    "...will not walk up to self-disclosing pedophiles at a Pride Parade ..."

    "... Molech's abomination."

    Excuse me, but I think you're mask is slipping.

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  13. Two things:
    One: Pretty soon they'll run out of ways for Bishops to "disaffiliate" and Bishops to try.
    The Other: Just before bad associations -- like what some would call +Andrus in the parade -- often comes generosity. Some folks are so afraid to put themselves at risk of being seen with "those types" they avoid generosity just as much. The thing is, sin doesn't wait on us to pick the right associations, but when we fail to be generous we double our sin.

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  14. pimf - your mask, not you're

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  15. Allen, are you the guy who posts as AT at MadPriest's site?

    You know, the guy we used to call The Buttsex Troll here, the reason Mark had to start moderating his comments, thanks to all the lunatic rants about "the delicate rectal lining" that started getting posted here all hours of the day and night.

    Is that you?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hardly.

    Hate my comments, but I don't have to sink that low to make them noticed. The Buttsex Troll is till on the loose for you to find elsewhere.

    BTW:
    Are you guys REALLY wanting to defend all of the lewdness that is seen on video from the SF Pride Parade? Leaving aside the Man-Boy crowd, are you REALLY defending men and women performing sex acts on the streets, and the other obscene plain truths of these "parades"?

    Why aren't you bothered about that?
    And about a bishop being a part of this obscenity?

    Have we gone so low?

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  17. "Are you guys REALLY wanting to defend all of the lewdness that is seen on video from the SF Pride Parade?"

    Well, that's quite a leap.

    "Leaving aside the Man-Boy crowd..."

    Who weren't there...

    "are you REALLY defending men and women performing sex acts on the streets, and the other obscene plain truths of these "parades"? "

    I think you're conflating "street fairs" like the Folsom Street Fair with Gay Pride Parades. I don't recall any reports of public sex during Pride Parades. Could you point me to such a report?

    "And about a bishop being a part of this obscenity? "

    There are lots of different contingents at Pride Parades. The media, of course, will focus on the most outrageous. Painting the entire Parade as one long obscenity is a stretch.

    That said, I don't like Gay Pride Parades, and do not go to them. They may be great for blowing off steam and "celebration", but I think they are unhelpful for the cause of gay rights in general.

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  18. Allen, I am greatly relieved to know that you are not BT.

    As for pride parades, I have only been to one, in Birmingham, Alabama. The march began with an invocation by a local MCC pastor. (Alabama is, after all, the Buckle on the Bible Belt.)

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  19. Bishop Ackerman is a true man of God. I feel the sorrow of God is working its way through and wearing him down. I pray he gets the rest he needs.

    ReplyDelete

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