Thursday, August 02, 2007

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Bishop Lee, who has no jurisdiction over clergy in another Anglican province, attempts to scare other clergy in his own diocese. "You'll be next!' He also apparently declares, by this action, that he is no longer in communion with the Anglican Church of Uganda and the Anglican Church of Nigeria.

August 2, 2007

Yesterday, in an official act observed by two presbyters of The Diocese of Virginia and with the advice and consent of the diocesan Standing Committee, the Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee took the required canonical action to remove from the priesthood clergy inhibited by him on January 22, 2007. Those clergy were inhibited following a determination by the diocesan Standing Committee January 18 that they had abandoned the Communion of The Episcopal Church. The possibility of such a determination was explained by the Bishop in a December 1, 2006 letter to the clergy and leadership of the now-former Episcopal congregations. By this action, the former Episcopal clergy are “released from the obligations of Priest or Deacon and … deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority conferred in Ordination.”

In addition to losing their capacity to officiate in Episcopal churches or in any manner as Episcopal priests, the former Episcopal clergy lose their capacity to contribute to pension plans begun during their time as Episcopal priests and any other benefits of service as Episcopal priests or employees of Episcopal churches or institutions. Pension benefits accrued to this point will remain payable.

Those removed from the ordained ministry of The Episcopal Church are:

The Rev. Robin Adams
The Rev. George Beaven
The Rev. Mark Brown
The Rev. Marshall Brown
The Rev. Neal Brown
The Rev. Jeffrey Cerar
The Rev. Kathleen Christopher
The Rev. Richard Crocker
The Rev. Ramsey Gilchrist
The Rev. Jack Grubbs
The Rev. John Guernsey
The Rev. David Harper
The Rev. David N. Jones
The Rev. Marion D. Lucas III
The Rev. Herbert McMullan
The Rec. Clancy Nixon
The Rev. Robin Rauh
The Rev. Valerie Whitcomb
The Rev. Elijah White
The Rev. Frederick M. Wright
The Rev. John W. Yates II

Of the 21 clergy determined to have abandoned the Communion of The Episcopal Church and subsequently inhibited by Bishop Lee in January, only one has made a good faith retraction and has had his inhibition lifted. The Rev. Nicholas Lubelfeld “has declared his loyalty to the doctrine, discipline and worship of The Episcopal Church” wrote Bishop Lee in the notice lifting Mr. Lubelfeld’s inhibition. Mr. Lubelfeld has accepted a call to serve as priest associate of Church of Our Redeemer in Aldie, Va., serving under the supervision of the Rev. John Sheehan, rector of that church.

In making his retraction, Mr. Lubelfeld sent a letter to Bishop Lee dated June 30 in which he states his “intention to remain a member of The Episcopal Church and of the clergy of The Diocese of Virginia.” In that letter he also states, “I did not and do not intend to renounce or be disloyal to the doctrine, discipline or worship of Christ as The Episcopal Church has received them.” He further states “I have not sought or received admission into any religious body not in communion with The Episcopal Church, or in any way severed my ties with The Episcopal Church.”

11 comments:

Kevin said...

"The Rec. Clancy Nixon"

What's a Rec.?

BabyBlue said...

Diocese of Virginia Press Release's typo.

bb

Kevin said...

Yes, unfortunately they don't have there press people file in court. The case against Christ the Redeemer would be easy to dismiss since DioVA can never seem to get that one right.

My podding is because DioVA seems to do a lot with haste, +Lee inhibited David Glade+ last January, conically resident under +Duncan, but left off others. Thus not real meticulous to see if where he has jurisdiction, even in the TEC way of thinking.

BabyBlue said...

Well Nicholas Lubelfeld is another example. Nicholas was clear that he was remaining in TEC. Bishop Lee learned very quickly (back in January) that Nicholas intended to remain in TEC. The press release does not mention that it was Bishop Lee's mistake, which he's known about for over six months. What is astonishing about this press release is that Bishop Lee never apologizes for screwing that up (and makes it sound like its Nicholas' fault he was inhibited in the first place, which is false). You do sort of wonder what is going on at Mayo House.

Notice also there is no mention that the Standing Committee was unanimous - may we assume, then, it was not? They were not unamimous on the inhibitions, may we assume that is also the case here as well?

bb

BabyBlue said...

Another problem with this press release is that it says that the clergy have "abandoned the Communion of The Episcopal Church." But the Episcopal Church is not a "Communion" (notice that the statement uses the capital letter - Mark H do you see?). The Episcopal Church is a province in Communion with other Anglican provinces, including the Church of England, the Church of Nigeria, and the Church of Uganda. That is the Anglican Communion. There is no Communion of the Episcopal Church. The statement is false.

The Episcopal Church can be in communion with other denominations, as it is with the Lutherans. But it cannot be in communion with itself.

bb

Kevin said...

TFC is loosing a wonderful human being and Aldie is gaining one.

Before readers speculate, there are very valid personal reason why Rev. Nicholas Lubelfeld has decided to stay, in fact several times Rev. John Yates as sought to work with the other TFC to take Nicholas on but things are complex now DioVA has filed. I'm very encourage reading Church of Our Redeemer website and statement of faith.

I'm less concern about the press release and blame as I am that DioVA makes things right with other things. First for charity sake but also for Nicholas' sake.

ccinnova said...

I expect +Lee to apologize for his treatment of Nicholas Lublefeld about the time I expect TEC to void +Johnston's consecration as Bishop Coadjutor of Virginia. In other words, I'm not holding my breath.

I too am saddened by Nicholas' departure from TFC. While TFC's healing ministry is in capable hands under Kathleen Christopher and Rick Wright, Nicholas' departure will still leave some big shoes to fill in more ways than one.

Godspeed, Nicholas. You will be missed.

BabyBlue said...

Redeemer in Aldie is excellent, led by a man after the Lord's own heart. Notice that Nicholas did not join the shadow diocesan-backed group, but joined friends at Redeemer. God bless him.

bb

Kevin said...

RE:Notice that Nicholas did not join the shadow diocesan-backed group

Nah, as I said, he tried, actually John tried for him! (I'd find the link, but it's the one where John forgot to blackout his cell #, so I'll leave it be).

So it speaks well for both Yates+ and Lubelfeld!

ccinnova said...

Mr. Lubelfeld has accepted a call to serve as priest associate of Church of Our Redeemer in Aldie, Va., serving under the supervision of the Rev. John Sheehan, rector of that church.

After reading the press release a second time, this caught my eye. Isn't this a bit insulting to Nicholas Lubelfeld to state that he is being placed "under the supervision of" another priest?

ccinnova said...

Nicholas Lubelfeld made a statement during TFC's services this morning clarifying his status. He said that he had not yet received Bishop Lee's letter, but his understanding of the arrangement is that he will continue serving on TFC's staff while serving at Church of the Redeemer two Sundays a month. However, he won't be allowed to celebrate the sacraments at TFC.

If this is the case, this is good news indeed. Too bad the Diocese of Virginia didn't clear up this matter in their news release, but then again obfuscation is one of the diocese's favorite tactics these days.