Thinking Anglicans

Rosemont in Wonderland

Los Angeles is not the only diocese of ECUSA that has experienced the intervention of African bishops. In 2002, there was an intervention in the Diocese of Pennsylvania at The Church of the Good Shepherd, Rosemont (whose parish website appears to be inactive). A full archive of documents relating to that intervention can be found at Forward in Faith. The upshot of it all was that David Moyer was:

  • deposed from the ministry of the Episcopal Church by Bishop Charles Bennison of Pennsylvania (his name does not appear in the ECUSA directory of clergy)
  • accepted as a priest in the Diocese of the Upper Shire in Malawi, in the Province of Central Africa by Archbishop Bernard Malango (who is also bishop of that diocese, and
  • supported at the time by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey and the then Archbishop of Wales, Rowan Williams, see correspondence here and also here, not to mention here.

Nevertheless, Dr Moyer, who is president of Forward in Faith North America has remained in office as Rector of the ECUSA parish for two years without further legal action by the diocese being taken against him or the vestry of that parish.

This seems unlikely to continue. This weekend, it was announced that:

The Rev. David Moyer, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, Pa., has been elected a bishop in the Anglican Church in America (ACA), a breakaway Episcopal group including 8,000 U.S. members and 500,000 members worldwide.
Mr. Moyer will be consecrated Feb. 16 at Good Shepherd by three bishops of the ACA. He said he will continue pastoring the church as well as overseeing ACA military chaplaincies.
The priest is currently serving under the auspices of the Anglican Province of Central Africa. Archbishop Louis Falk, head of the ACA, said Mr. Moyer has the permission of Central African Archbishop Bernard Malango to remain at Good Shepherd. The actual election, he said, occurred in late November, but the result was only announced yesterday.

The official news release about this is here:
The Rev. Dr. David L. Moyer Elected Bishop by the Anglican Church in America and a detailed news report is here:
MOYER TO BE CONSECRATED BISHOP Timing Gets Mixed Reactions Among Conservative Leaders

titusonenine has published A Statement from the Executive Committee of Forward in Faith, North America regarding the election of Fr. David Moyer as a bishop in the Anglican Church in America although at this writing nothing has appeared on the FiF website itself [FiF site now updated] although other comments from FiF members appear here and here and here.

This development is bound to be of concern to other American conservatives outside FiFNA, because FiFNA is a major constituent member of the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes.

The Anglican Church in America is itself a constituent part of The Traditional Anglican Communion. This body is active in various parts of the world but in particular with FiF in Australia, where as mentioned in the Christian Challenge story linked above, reports suggest that another consecration by the TAC archbishop John Hepworth, of an Australian FiF leader, David Chislett, is likely soon.

Despite these close links with FiF, ACA was not a party to the agreement announced last July between NACDAP and other groups.

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Jarrod RyderjdtreatLaRue WithersVincent ColesRobert Zacher Recent comment authors
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Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

Thank you Simon. It is becoming harder to stay in touch with the increasingly complex list of Anglican “spin offs” and their inter-relationship. Somehow I don’t think these are destined to get any easier.

Todd Granger
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Thank you, Simon. Most helpful collection of links to this fascinating – and troubling – story.

Alan Harrison
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Alan Harrison

Oh, dear!!! I must admit that I’m surprised. Dr Moyer had seemed a very level-headed bloke. Reading between the lines, his decision seems to have caused consternation in FiF.

Cris Fouse
Guest

Three: 1. FIFNA sent our response to the web site on Friday. The webmaster, who is in Scotland, did not post it until today. 2. FIFNA is in full communion with the TAC/ACA. Their members have seat and voice and vote in our Annual Assembly. Being a part of the TAC/ACA does NOT remove one from FIFNA. It has been a gift of FIFNA that we are able to draw together the “extra-mural” Anglicans who share our commitment to the Faith AND Order of the Church. 3. Father Moyer stated last week (Tuesday)that he is submitting his resignation to the… Read more »

Paul Goings
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Paul Goings

Ms Fouse (Alice?) overstates the reality of the situation when she says, “FIFNA is in full communion with the TAC/ACA.” There are no examples (to the best of my knowledge) of a FiF/NA parish (in ECUSA) that has called a TAC clergyman as rector. Their agreement with TAC is essentially worthless, save as a declaration of common principles. The one thing that does seem to be likely in the aftermath of next February 16th is that Msgr Moyer will have to find a new place to set up his ministry. If the Holiday Inn is a little too down-market for… Read more »

jdtreat
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“2. FIFNA is in full communion with the TAC/ACA.” How and by what authority does an organization that is not a church enter into communion with a church? If one can believe that a body that is not a church is competent to enter into communion with other churches, I suppose it is easy to swallow that David Moyer can be at once an ECUSA rector, a Central African priest, and a TAC bishop. If FIFNA does not repudiate the Moyer consecration it can still claim to be a Christian traditionalist organization, but it will have lost all claim to… Read more »

Alan Harrison
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Alan Harrison

I don’t think that Mrs Crouse has quite realised the gravity of Fr Moyer’s decision for those of us who have wished him well on this side of the pond. FiF UK’s robust support for Fr Moyer against the bully-boy tactics of Bishop Bennison, as well as the more nuanced but genuine support from Archbishops Carey and Williams, has been posited on the premise that Bishop Bennison’s claim that Fr Moyer had “abandoned the communion of ECUSA” is nonsense. It no longer appears so nonsensical when Fr Moyer accepts nomination for episcopal election by an ecclesial body not in communion… Read more »

Mike
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Mike

The TAC is different from many of the smaller continuing bodies in that we have avoided consecrating a lot of bishops. Our churches in the UK, for example, do not have a bishop. The retiring bishop of Canada is moving to England in January, but not to become their diocesan. Several TAC provinces are served by episcopal visitors, while their internal affairs are handled by a vicar general. The Canadian province of the TAC is considering splitting into two dioceses, but this process might take years. There is no rush to order more purple shirts. In the case of Fr.… Read more »

Nadine
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Nadine

Writes Mike: “In the case of Fr Moyer, this is a man who has been considered almost a bishop in waiting by FiFNA for years.” I was not aware that FiFNA is canonically empowered in the first place to select bishops or even “almost bishops in waiting”; what precisely does it mean for a group of Anglicans other than the duly constituted synod or convention of a duly recognized diocese to “consider someone almost a bishop” for a period of time, and whence comes this “authority’ to “consider” clergy as “almost a bishop in waiting”? Is the Every Voice Network,… Read more »

Laurence K. Wells+
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Laurence K. Wells+

The membership statistics for ACA/TAC have no documentation and seem greatly exaggerated. Like many others, I wonder how a Church can be in full communion with an a mere alliance of like-minded folk in another Church. Until FIF becomes independent of ECUSA, it has no authority to enter into inter-communion arrangements. This makes no more sense than the governemnt of the USA giving diplomatic recognition to the Tory Party in the UK. As for Fr Moyer becoming Bishop for the Armed Forces in ACA, this should be an easy job, as ACA has few, if any, military chaplains. I wonder… Read more »

Robert Zacher
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Robert Zacher

Well, here we go again! The answer to all our problems: Another spin-off bishop about to be launched. You’d think Moyer would have had more sense, being so holy and humble and all that, as reported. But oh no, another Champion of Orthodoxy is going to hit the saddle. This one trying to keep a firm grasp on: 1. His new magic status and purity. 2. The goods and chattels of Good Shepherd, Rosemont, and 3. His poster boy status for the discontented and oh so orthodox Episcopalian right wing. They don’t like Gene Robinson, and all the rest, so… Read more »

Vincent Coles
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Vincent Coles

It is quite remarkable to see the jealousies which this announcement has stirred from under their stones! It’s worth remembering that FIFNA solemnly announced some time ago that it had elected Moyer as a bishop, but now can not cope with him when he is to become one. ECUSA is historically no more than an offshoot of the Scottish Episcopal Church, itself of questionable legality (for those who want to play legal games), and certainly very much smaller and parochial in comparison to TAC, with 500,000 members worldwide. Outside the Roman magisterium, what validates an ecclesial body which claims to… Read more »

LaRue Withers
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LaRue Withers

Does anyone in this group not understand that FiF,NA does not claim to be a church (continuing or other)? Between the obvious mixup in peoples’ names, what different organizations represent themselves to be, cynical, and partially accurate statements, I wonder where y’all are coming from or if any bother to get the “whole” story before entering into discussion. I must say that I am dreadfully disappointed in the comments of some people whose name(s) I recognize for not only partially correct, but sometimes incorrect comments.

jdtreat
Guest

A friend shared a copy of the Moyer Consecration Service sheet with me, which I have posted as a PDF on my site at

http://directoriumanglicanum.org

-Treat

Jarrod Ryder
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Jarrod Ryder

If it wasnt for the groundswell of opposition to FIF aligned parishes and their connections with the TAC then their existence and strength would be somewhat less abrupt. If Diocesans would allow these groups to exist without opposition then the Anglican Church would still be able to celebrate diversity and point internally to the preservation of a unique and historical Church movement born in Oxford. Interestingly the evangelicals with similar conservative tendency don’t seem to have any involvement with all of this. The reason that it may just be that TAC FiF will prosper is because of their concrete affirmation… Read more »