One year ago I put up a posting titled, Has Something Changed Along the Way? which attempted to show that Dr. James Simons, onetime President of the TEC Diocese Standing Committee, had changed his position on property issues.Read it here
Apparently there have been changes in diocesan standards concerning the clergy as well. The policies of the TEC diocese, which considers itself to be the true continuing diocese, have apparently evolved in the area of church discipline. In March 2008 I was asked to take a three month leave of absence for using “inappropriate language” with a parishioner. Then diocesan spokesman Peter Frank was quoted as saying, “The diocese upholds a very high standard of behavior for its ministers. While the behavior involved inappropriate language, it technically falls within a policy that demands zero tolerance”. Read it here
Recently I was told that: “There are three openly partnered gay or lesbian priests licensed and functioning in the TEC Diocese, there is a priest licensed and functioning who has been divorced at least twice perhaps three times and married three times perhaps even four times and a heterosexual priest living with a woman to whom he is not married also licensed and functioning.Obviously the once “very high standard of behavior for its ministers” appears to have been relaxed.How could it happen, Virginia? -- especially with clergy who are committed to high moral standards and are committed to the reformation of the Episcopal Church! In January 2008 twelve priests, “including the president of the diocese's clergy association and its longest-tenured rector, mailed a signed, one-paragraph letter yesterday to the diocese's 66 churches saying that while they supported the "reformation of the Episcopal Church we have determined to remain within, and not realign out of" it.In addition, “the group does not support ordination of openly gay clergy or conducting same-sex blessings, the so-called "innovations" at the forefront of denominational disputes since 2003. However, members said they do not believe it is necessary to leave the Episcopal Church, the American arm of the worldwide Anglican Communion, to make that point”. Read it here
Given their stated and upfront convictions in 2008, there must be a mistake? Surely these folks will have opposed these so-called “innovations" that have allegedly crept in to the TEC Diocese. After all we aren’t talking about back benchers here. We are talking the Canon to the Ordinary, the Canon for Formation, the Secretary of Convention, the Priest Developer of Cranberry Township and two former, one current and one future President of the Standing Committee. Wowser! It doesn’t appear that way!