12/03/2008

Bishop Ackerman shifts venue.

When Bishop Ackerman resigned his see it was unclear just what he planned to do next. He offered his services to his former diocese, Quincy, in whatever way might be helpful.  The majority of the clergy and lay leaders, and probably lay persons, of that diocese have left and have become part of a new diocese within the Province of the Southern Cone. Apparently, Bishop Ackerman has not.

The Living Church reports today that Bishop Ackerman has been appointed assisting bishop in the Diocese of Springfield.  The Diocese of Springfield, and its Bishop, Rt. Rev. Peter H. Beckwith, are next door to the Diocese of Quincy. Both dioceses and bishops have been part of the Anglican Communion Network. Unlike Quincy, Springfield has not yet mounted the effort to leave The Episcopal Church.  Quincy has about 1900 members, Springfield about 5600, so Bishop Ackerman is going to a larger, but still quite small diocese. I am sure he will be a fine addition to the episcopal presence in Springfield.
This places Bishop Ackerman in an unique position: retired, in active service as an assisting bishop in a diocese part of The Episcopal Church, he can (and may very well) continue to serve within The Episcopal Church.  At the same time, anchored in a TEC diocese he may from time to time be called upon to minister to those who left the Diocese of Quincy to form a new diocese in the Southern Cone apparently with the same name.  If invited by the ecclesiastical authority of that church and game to do so, what would his status be vis-a-vis The Episcopal Church?  

A lot has to do with how we read the relationship between the Province of the Southern Cone and TEC.  TEC has not declared itself out of communion with the PSC, but it would seem from its actions that PSC does not believe it is in communion with TEC, or at least that it is in impaired communion with TEC. 
Furthermore, if Bishop Ackerman exercises episcopal ministry in the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Quincy he will be doing so without the permission of the ecclesiastical authority of the TEC Diocese and therefore contrary to the Constitution and Canons of TEC. So it would appear that if Bishop Ackerman has gone to Springfield to stay within TEC he will have to minister only there and where invited by the TEC jurisdiction throughout the province of TEC.

It may be a good beginning of a new good ministry. If so his new venue bodes well. If it becomes a stepping point for new activities in the Diocese of Quincy, we suggest he exercise some care.  These are not good times for new Anglican shell games.

7 comments:

  1. The Episcopal authority is the elected Standing Committee. There is no other and the Presding bishop has no canonical authority to change that.

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  2. Mark - would it not be reasonable to conclude that since ECUSA deposed Bp Schofield after he had moved to the Province of the Southern Cone (PSC), and no longer recognised him as a bishop, although he is still in the Anglican Communion, rather than simply rescinding his licence to officiate within the ECUSA, that it was effectively declaring itself to be out of communion with PSC? I think actions speak louder than words in this case.

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  3. "Shell game" is right, Mark.

    Regrettably, I think it may be time for the HofB (and if not them, then GC, w/ help from the HofD) to issue a loyalty oath: ARE YOU UNEQUIVOCALLY WITH TEC, or aren't you?

    Personally, I see no reason to not "spit out" (x)Ackerman, because (like the ancient church at Laodicea) he is "neither cold nor hot".

    Time to CLEAN HOUSE!

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  4. There simply couldn´t be a worse time, at least so far, for instigating more unhappy fellowship at Church, any Church or religious gathering spot. The World is pressed to come to terms with one another, to think of new ideas and ways to love one another by tolerating and understanding OUR differences and similarities better...yet, these mini destructionist crusades go on, and on...I´m especially unhappy with the ABC and the Pope, forget the scheming Networkers...EVERYONE ought be in the ¨fronts¨ finding ways to serve others TOGETHER at The Body of Christ and help HEAL THE WORLD...It´s clear, brilliant minds have little to do with it as one religious scholar wastes time on a Covenant that we don´t need and the other prepares special screening tests against honorable men, celibate (mostly), who would be priests!

    These men are blundering embarrassments!

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  5. Ackerman leads FiF which is a founding member of the new Province of Something. Are these sufficient grounds to inhibit him?

    It is self evident that he's done everything Iker has except to take responsibility for his own actions.

    He spoke to his physician. Perhaps he should widen his net of professional consultants.

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  6. David,

    The standing committee has no more authority to steal the property than a bishop would have. I suspect rather that the church will shortly prove that point.

    FWIW
    jimB

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  7. "...although he is still in the Anglican Communion." No, Brian F, he isn't. Check the status of Robinson Cavalcanti, deposed bishop of Recife, also "admitted to the province Southern Cone".

    There is a touching statement of support for Duncan from ex-bishop Cavalcanti at this site:

    http://support-duncan.blogspot.com/2008/09/statement-from-diocese-of-recife.html

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