Lexington Episcopal Bishop Stacy Sauls has taken the first step toward defrocking three priests and one deacon.
All four have stepped away from the Episcopal Church USA because of theological differences that came to the surface after the consecration of openly gay bishop Gene Robinson in 2003.
The Rev. Martin Gornik, who recently left Lexington’s Church of the Apostles to form Apostles Anglican Church; the Rev. Anna Gulick, a deacon at the church; the Rev. David Brannen, pastor of St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Versailles; and the Rev. Alice Linsley, a former rector in Lexington who has been teaching adult Bible classes at St. Andrew’s, have all been “inhibited” – ordered by Sauls to stop ministering in the diocese.
This is the latest development in a tumultuous time for Lexington’s Episcopal Diocese, which in the past 13 months has seen members of two congregations leave the church and a separate case in which a priest was tried and defrocked for embezzlement.
Although a fellow bishop said Sauls is correct in ordering the clergy members to stop ministering, the leader of a conservative Anglican organization said the Lexington bishop is trying to “stamp out” opposition.