House of Bishops Listserv: Schori vs. Ackerman
Regarding Katharine Schori’s recent acceptance of Keith Ackerman’s non-renunciation, for some reason the presiding bishop decided to post to the House of Bishops listserv:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
There have been several questions asked regarding Keith Ackerman and acceptance of his renunciation of orders in the Episcopal Church.
Acceptance of Keith Ackerman’s renunciation of orders in The Episcopal Church was the result of consultation with my Council of Advice, and based on his written submission to me describing his intention to function as a bishop in the Diocese of Bolivia, in the Province of the Southern Cone and requesting that he be “transferred” to that church and thus out of the Episcopal Church. It is also based on his public participation in, and signature on a document affirming, the election of Robert Duncan as “archbishop” of ACNA.
Acceptance of his renunciation says nothing about the indelibility of his orders. It does clarify the reality that he is no longer permitted to function as a bishop in The Episcopal Church.
We have been and will be consistent regarding our canons, which clearly state that The Episcopal Church can accept the ministry of a bishop of The Episcopal Church functioning temporarily in another province of the Anglican Communion, when it is clear that that province does not seek to undermine or replace the ministry of this Church. Such temporary duty requires the full and informed consent of the respective ecclesiastical authorities. The ministry of Mark McDonald is an example, but as his position becomes permanent, his loyalty will have to be to the Anglican Church of Canada, rather than The Episcopal Church, and a recognition of his renunciation of orders in this Church will be necessary.
Yours in Christ,
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
Bishop Ackerman sent this reply to a number of Anglican leaders via email:
There are several errors here:
- I indicated my desire to transfer to the Diocese of Bolivia and she indicated that she would send the appropriate documentation.
- I intentionally did not use the term “renunciation.” In fact I said that my request could not be interpreted as either “renunciation” or “abandonment.”
I have no real interest in responding to her, but am responding to you.
Some of you may see the negative implications of having someone interpret requests without being given an opportunity to provide any additional input. A priest who would run his parish this way – by not contacting a parishioner for clarification regarding a request can soon reduce his parish to the appropriate level of his competence.
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