Clergy and lay delegates from Quincy vote to leave.

As expected the large majority of clergy and lay delegates from the Diocese of Quincy voted tonight to leave the Episcopal Church, leaving a minscule remnant of a very small diocese. The claim that the Diocese of Quincy has left is inaccurate, but in the mess of things people will continue to claim that the Diocese has left, just as the claim is made that the Dioceses of San Joaquin and Pittsburgh have left. In those cases, however, there is a clearly sizable minority able to carry on and be the Episcopal Church's presence in those areas. In Quincy it is not at all clear that this will be the case.

The bishop of San Joaquin was deposed following the attempted two step out the door. In Pittsburgh the bishop was deposed before the attempt. In Quincy there was no bishop supposedly in place, and ecclesiastical authority supposedly rests with the Standing Committee, and so canonical charges will fall on the clergy leadership and the diocesan standing committee will be desolved in full or in part.

And what will become of the now retired bishop of Quincy? Well, assuming all the consents to his retirement came in from the House of Bishops (and I gather they can be tendered by electronic means), he is no longer the eccleastical authority in Quincy. In retirement he has no jurisdiction in the Episcopal Church.

If he were to take a position with the clergy and people who have left for the Southern Cone he would be exercising an episcopal office in a jurisdiction other than his own (namely in the US Diocese of Quincy) and would be subject to removal by deposition. Bishop Ackerman says he will continue with Forward in Faith North America and stands ready to be of service. Most like that service would be with the Common Cause Partnership and the folk who have left for the Southern Cone.

So far the Southern Cone has acquired two amazingly difficult bishops. If Bishop Iker goes south that will make three unlikely comrades in the South. I don't see Bishop Ackerman as being of their caliber of difficulty. Still perhaps the Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone ought to be warned: Two of this gang of four is plenty enough. Just wait until Bishop Iker joins them!

1 comment:

  1. Three dioceses (San Joaquin, Pitts, and Quincy, and may be, Fort Worth) + one proto-diocese (CANA) = One Province. It will be recognized by the usual suspects, and will seek same from the ACC in 2009. Will not get it, but, nevertheless, in fact it will be acknowledged by half of the Anglican world.

    Cantuar will not acknowledge and will not dis-acknowledge the new province, trying to keep the doors open.
    The AC (As we knew it) will continue as a sort of Brigadoon-esque virtual reality.
    The Southern Cone will go back to their business as usual.
    The Covenant and the Windsor Process will cease to be relevant.
    And several million dollars that could be quite useful to feed the hungry, to heal the sick, and to achieve the MDG will be used, instead, to pay lawyers sine die.

    And that's that. A Pyrrhic victory for all concerned.

    It is time to mourn, to pray, and to adjust to a new reality. Nevertheless, it is sad, very sad.



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