The Episcopal 7

From Tom Ambrose’s column:

On Sunday, the Associated Press reported that six Episcopal priests in Connecticut may be removed as rectors of their parishes by their bishop because they have actively opposed the election of the first openly “gay” bishop, Vickie Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

Bishop Andrew D. Smith said in letters sent to the priests that they had “abandoned the communion of the church,” which would mean the priests would no longer lead their parishes. The priests could later be defrocked.

Apparently, the six churches had the audacity to try to “break away from Smith’s authority and be supervised by another bishop.” One of the priests being threatened, the Rev. Christopher Leighton, has referred to the threat as “spiritual gag orders.” He was further quoted as saying:

The real story is our freedom to speak and our freedom to practice our faith is what is being inhibited …

Why is this not surprising? The camel got his nose in the tent and is now trying to run everyone out who is not another camel. Maybe it’s time for those six to swim on home.

Maybe they will now have the courage to follow the example of John Henry Newman and cross the Tiber? :wink:

I pray for more Anglican Rite Catholic Churches.

I realize that this is a serious subject, but all I could think of when I saw the trhread title was Yul Brynner.

One wonders: what happens if, just for argument’s sake, these guys did swim the Tiber and even (just for argument’s sake), and become Catholic priests? And, after some time, what if they developed a strong disagreement with their (Catholic) bishop over his handling of some matter (say something severe, like the sexual abuse cases that have been in the news of late). Would they be allowed to refuse the bishop’s requests, deny him visitation of his parishes, etc.?


Your question is hypothetical. It is a different issue when it comes to the bishops of Catholic Church because they have valid authority unlike the Henriests bishops (Episcopalians).


Pio- yes, I meant for it to be hypothetical. That’s why I placed the “if’s” in there. Yet, something tells me that these guys aren’t leaving because they suddenly came to believe that their bishop’s (or their own) ordinations were invalid, so that argument won’t hold.

Anglicans/Episcopalians do teach that priests are supposed to obey their bishops. Sure, they can appeal if they feel that something is amiss, but even if they’re sure that they are right and the bishop is wrong they can’t just disobey without consequences. I didn’t realize Rome bestowed such leniency upon its priests.

Well there was the case of Henry VIII and the bishops who went one way and others another. And then of course there was the Arian heresy…

Yes, there was. But you can’t 1) disobey and break away from your bishop while 2) trying to keep the same property (which is generally regarded as the bishop’s), 3) align with another bishop- supposedly in the same (heretical) church, in essence having 2 bishops in one diocese, and 4) cry foul when the bishop doesn’t just sit by and watch. You can, of course, leave and submit to another bishop (if they’ll take you).

[quote=HagiaSophia]Well there was the case of Henry VIII and the bishops who went one way and others another. And then of course there was the Arian heresy…


It’s pretty simple. Once a priest disobeys a Catholic Bishop, then the Canon Law will be enforced on them. And that would mean that they can be excommunicated, depending on the gravity of their offense. Or propbably get some sort of disciplinary action.

But definitely, a priest who disobeys because he doesn’t agree with his bishop is likened to a rebel. He should always obey his bishop no matter what (as long as the bishop is not teaching heresy).


This is good news, until I pray for his conversion, is better that they want a christian moral than a pagan moral

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