Comments: Rosemont in Wonderland

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.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Sunday, 19 December 2004 at 9:22pm GMT

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

Posted by Todd Granger at Monday, 20 December 2004 at 12:46am GMT

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.

Posted by Alan Harrison at Monday, 20 December 2004 at 12:10pm GMT

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 FIFNA Council. The Council will consider their response at their next meeting in February.

Finally - I do with that bloggers would base their comments on facts. Too much to hope, I guess.


Posted by Cris Fouse at Monday, 20 December 2004 at 6:16pm GMT

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 his parishioners, perhaps (considering his mission to the armed forces) he could base his operation in Baghdad? Where should we send contributions to purchase a burkha for Mrs Moyer?

Posted by Paul Goings at Monday, 20 December 2004 at 7:59pm GMT

"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 the name catholic.

I am heartened to see that the FIFNA bishops have spoken clearly about this issue.

Posted by jdtreat at Monday, 20 December 2004 at 10:24pm GMT

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 with ECUSA (or Canterbury).

In common with many English "spikes", I am mystified by the alphabet soup of American "continuers". The ratio of chiefs to what we must now call "native Americans" in these ecclesiastical institutions is alarming, with archbishops as common as kittens. I have known many fine priests who have felt obliged to leave the C of E over the ordination of women, but they have taken the line that "I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of ungodliness". Far from getting themselves consecrated as a bishop, distinguished priests and even bishops (including retired bishops of London and Leicester) have become simple assistant priests in the Holy Roman Church.

Posted by Alan Harrison at Tuesday, 21 December 2004 at 12:00am GMT

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. Moyer, this is a man who has been considered almost a bishop in waiting by FiFNA for years. Maybe the decision was ill times, perhaps it was poorly thought out, maybe it will have negative consequences. But it certainly did not result from a desire by the TAC to consecrate a bunch of bishops, or from any careerism on the part of Fr. Moyer. Knowing the life and travel schedule of a TAC bishop, my guess is that Fr. Moyer`s life is about to get a lot harder. Whatever happens, I don`t think he`s just doing this for fun.

Posted by Mike at Tuesday, 21 December 2004 at 5:18pm GMT

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, or Integrity, or Affirming Catholicism, or the Altar Guild of one's local parish, etc. etc., likewise empowered -- with as much authority as Mike implicitly claims for FiFNA -- to "consider" some individuals as shadow bishops, "bishops in waiting"? (At least Bp Robinson was elected by an actual, real-world diocese that is indisputably within the Anglican Communion.)

jdtreat was spot on when s/he wrote: "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 the name catholic." The implication that FiFNA is somehow entitled to deem someone "almost a bishop in waiting" -- and to have that actually mean something to the Church at large -- runs counter to the very notions of catholicity and communion, and paves the way to continuing "continuing church" fragmentation amongst Anglicans.

How richly ironic that the Windsor Report's very emphasis on the cross-Communion acceptability of bishops, which in the Report cut in favor of those opposed to Bp Robinson's consecration, is now apparently completely disregarded by Fr Moyer in favor of the continued balkanization of the episcopate when he concludes that it will advance the viewpoints to which he subscribes.

At least the bishops of FiFNA seem to understand this point, even if Fr Moyer does not. May Christ have mercy on His Church.

Posted by Nadine at Tuesday, 21 December 2004 at 9:49pm GMT

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 if this small body is even accredited by the DOD to commission military chaplains. The Continuing Churches have numerous superfluous bishops with meaningless titles. Truly sad that Fr Moyer, a man who has suffered and sacrified much should become another one. I pray that he will reconsider this step.

Posted by Laurence K. Wells+ at Wednesday, 22 December 2004 at 3:17am GMT

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 the answer to that is Moyer in purple, in addition to all of the other episcopal honchos running around loose. How many Anglican spin-off groups out of communion with Canterbury can we have dancing on the head of a pin?

Perhaps Bob Duncan, and all the rest of them who have sheltered David Moyer, will see where this nonsense leads by this Rosemont event and what is to follow. Look at History guys: From the non-Jurors, to the REC, to St. Louis, to AMIA, and all the rest of them out there bickering and jocking for power. They always go for orthodoxy and "validity" and wind up being fossilized, in-grown parodies of the church.

Come back in twenty years and see what this stuff has achieved for the Gospel imperitive. I have MY discontents with institutional religion, so maybe, as an answer to that, I'll just hit the streets tonight and find some wandering bishop to lay hands on me so that I can dress up and feel better. I'll order a couple of purple shirts from Almy's. Maybe they have a sale going on now.

Posted by Robert Zacher at Wednesday, 22 December 2004 at 4:03am GMT

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 be a church? Surely in the case of TAC and Moyer there is ample evidence of faith, energy, orthodoxy and a desire to be a missionary body? (Not much of this in evidence in the good ol' CofE mother church, which is dying on its sanctuary slippers).

Let TAC take the Gamaliel Test. In ten years we will see if ECUSA has grown, or if TAC has withered away to nothing. I venture to predict a TAC flourishing around the world, including USA and UK: but the original Anglicanism continuing on its downward spiral, although accelerating into oblivion by that time.

Posted by Vincent Coles at Thursday, 23 December 2004 at 12:32am GMT

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.

Posted by LaRue Withers at Wednesday, 5 January 2005 at 2:17am GMT

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


Posted by jdtreat at Saturday, 19 February 2005 at 3:23pm GMT

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 of faith in their life and worship, whereas the more extreme elements of liberal Anglicanism offer a comical self conception to the secular public. If mainstream Anglicanism were to promote with positivism the uniqueness of her faith over and above other methods then it too will grow, but at present often offers little to young secular people...

Posted by Jarrod Ryder at Sunday, 20 February 2005 at 2:30am GMT
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