A TRADITIONAL ANGLO-CATHOLIC PARISH

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September 2002

 

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PACKED PARISH GATHERS TO INTERCEDE FOR FR. DAVID MOYER

Tense final hours as parish waits for Bennison to announce priest's deposition

Special Report

 

By David W. Virtue

 

ROSEMONT, PA--A packed parish heard Fr. David L. Moyer read the

timeless story of David and Goliath at Church of the Good Shepherd last

night as he told how hard the last six months had been, and thanked his

parishioners for their prayers.

 

Billed as an ecumenical service of support for Fr. Moyer it became an

evening of battle hymns sung, and OT stories read of God defending his

people, and NT readings of standing firm in the face of oppression.

By midnight the six months of Moyer's inhibition are officially up and

Charles E. Bennison, Bishop of Pennsylvania is free to depose him and

toss him out of his parish and the Diocese of PA.

 

But this was Moyer's night. The parish with more than 300 present stood

and applauded Fr. Moyer, singing the ancient hymns of the church that

included A Mighty Fortress is our God, How Firm a Foundation and The

Church's One Foundation. The hymns captured the spirit of the occasion.

Scriptures stressing the need to stand firm in the midst of persecution

buoyed the parishioners as they waited in quiet, prayerful anticipation

for the ax to fall on their beloved rector.

 

"It is an excommunication of the people," said a visiting parish

priest, who spoke warmly of Moyer's ministry. "You are a priest forever

Fr. Moyer," he said, turning to Moyer and intoning in Latin the

sacredness and permanence of Moyer's priesthood.

 

No Episcopal priest has ever faced being thrown out of his parish and

the Diocese of Pennsylvania in its 200-year history because that cleric

affirmed the historic Faith while the bishop would not do the same.

Moyer, 52, the beleaguered, but clearly much loved parish priest

thanked the many parishioners and friends who came last night for their

prayers for he and his family and introduced the archbishop from

Central Africa, The Most Dr. Rev. Bernard Malango who came to support

Moyer in his hour of deposition.

 

The African Primate had previously been in New Westminster, British

Columbia, Canada supporting the "Vancouver 12" as they face similar

disciplinary actions by the ultra-liberal Bishop Michael Ingham.

Malango was tired but clearly happy to be here.

 

As the evening wore on, priest after priest from across the diocese and

the country stood up at the lectern to praise and support Moyer.

The Rev. William Ilgenfritz, St. Stephens, Whitehall, PA, a fellow

Forward in Faith priest and wannabee bishop said the struggle Moyer had

been in for so long was "not about this building, nor about these

stones or mortar. In the end if that is all we care about then we miss

the real issue. It is about the people perishing as our churches burn.

Your rector has been placed in a situation where he has risked

everything to try and save the people."

 

Ilgenfritz pleaded, "Allow him to do his ministry. Allow him to do what

God has called him to do. I am very proud to know David Moyer and to

call him my friend, and I am proud to stand for the faith once

delivered."

 

"If they take our buildings, pensions and salaries it doesn't make a bit of difference, they can't take Jesus from us."  Do not fear the consequences of being faithful, he said.  "There is part of me that is deeply sympathetic towards Bennison and people like him. He doesn't know who he is contending with and doesn't know who he should be contending for. He is gonna lose big time."

"Pray for him that God will open his eyes to the truth of the gospel and when to know your church is burning and make sure you can get all your brothers and sisters outside."

 

"He is not of my color but he is of my kind," said the Rev. Dr. Maurice Hughes, the Black pastor of Zion AME Church in Philadelphia, who stood up in support of Moyer. "Ephesians chapter 6 says to put on the whole armor of God. We are

contending not against flesh and blood but against wickedness in

heavenly places."

 

An Australian Anglo-Catholic priest, the Rev. David Chislett from a traditionalist parish in Queensland, Australia, said he and his people "have had the same sorts of things happen to them in Australia except in the Diocese of Sydney. One of the things that has happened to me is that I have gotten excited about OT stories. Over the last 15 years I have come to see the victory of the people of God over their enemies...the OT has come alive to me all over again."

Chislett said being a Christian is not an insurance policy against

Calvary. "When the train goes through the tunnel the safest place is to

stay on the train."

 

Archbishop Malango said how happy he was to be there with all those who

faithfully support Fr. Moyer. "David and Rita have known of my love and

care for them and I have written and sent a letter to them and to the

Primates in support of David. In seven days I will be in Hong Kong at

the Anglican Consultative Council meeting and I will be telling

stories, particularly this story to all the bishops."

 

By midnight Moyer could learn his fate, but the words of the hymn

lustily sung by 300 voices last night will carry him up and bear him

along...

"When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie

My grace all sufficient, shall be thy supply;

The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design

Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine."

The service closed with the singing of Onward Christian Soldiers. It

was fitting end.

 

**********

BISHOP BENNISON DEPOSES FATHER DAVID MOYER

Special Report

 

By David W. Virtue

 

PHILADELPHIA, PA-- (Sept. 5, 2002) The Bishop of Pennsylvania Charles E.

Bennison today deposed Fr. David L. Moyer rector of Church of the Good

Shepherd, Rosemont, saying that Moyer had "abandoned the Communion of the Church by openly renouncing the Discipline of the Church." The Rev. Dr. David L. Moyer was Inhibited for a period of six months commencing March 4, 2002 as mandated by Section 1 of Canon 10 of Title IV of the Canons of General

Convention, wrote Bennison.

Bennison writes: "The Rev. Dr. David L. Moyer did not deny the accuracy of

the Findings of the Standing Committee, did not submit any statement to the

Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania purporting to retract any of the actions underlying the Finding and Determination, and did not take any other action that would permit the Bishop to withdraw the notice and allow the Inhibition to expire as provided by Section 2 of the said Canon of Title IV.  Therefore in accordance with the provisions of the said Section 2 of Canon 10, of Title IV and Section 3 of Canon 12 of Title IV of the Canons of General Convention of the Episcopal Church, in the presence of two priests, I do hereby adjudge and pronounce a Sentence of Deposition within the meaning of Section 1 (d) of Canon 12 of Title IV of the said Canons upon DAVID LLOYD MOYER, who is accordingly, deposed from the ordained ministry.

 

The letter of sentence was signed by the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison and

witnessed by the Rev. Glenn M. Matis and the Rev. William H. Wood.  In a separate letter to Fr. Moyer, Bennison writes, "It grieves me deeply that you have no responded to my letters of yesterday ad August 7th, or to the statement ion the Standing Committee's Report of February 26, 2002 and that a renunciation grounded in action can be retracted by appropriate action."

 

As provided in Section 2 of Canon 10, if a Priest "does not make retraction or denial as provided above, then it shall be the duty of the Bishop" to pronounce sentence as provided therein. In accordance with my duty, and in the light of your defiance of the Discipline of the Church, I have pronounced a Sentence of Deposition upon you, a copy of which I enclose."

 

"I want to make certain that you are aware of, and give prayerful consideration to the provisions of Canon 13 of Title IV, regarding the Remission of Sentence, with the hope that if you truly wish to remain a Priest in the Episcopal Church you will follow the process and procedures enumerated there. If you do, I would be glad to welcome you back."

 

**********

 

MOYER RESPONDS TO BENNISON'S DEPOSITION

Traditionalist Priest Joyfully Received into Diocese of Pittsburgh

Special Report

 

By David W. Virtue

 

ROSEMONT, PA- (Sept. 5) The Evangelical Catholic priest at the Church of the

Good Shepherd today applauded the action of Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan in receiving him into his diocese. 

Tomorrow, Friday, the Rev. Dr. David L. Moyer will celebrate mass at Trinity

Cathedral in Pittsburgh where he will be received as a priest in good

standing in that diocese by Bishop Duncan.

 

"I cannot adequately express my thanks to Almighty God for raising up Bishop

Robert Duncan as a true Christian leader, a true successor of the Apostles,

and a godly man of deep prayer and joy in the Lord. I thank God that I have

been deemed worthy to receive a call from the Lord to defend the doctrine,

discipline and worship of Christ as the Church has received them, and to be

identified in so doing with the Passion of Jesus."

 

"The persecution of bishops, and priests by those within the Episcopal Church, especially from those in episcopal office is tragic and an offense to God. In my situation, Charles Bennison has refused to publicly affirm basic Christian teachings, and has removed himself from the Church through public pronouncements and teaching that are apostate and heretical. I have always (as a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church and a priest for 25 years) held bishops in high regard, but I cannot do this with a man who has failed his calling as a shepherd and bishop of the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, Jesus Christ. It is not too much to ask that a bishop be a Christian." 

 

"Secondarily, the Deposition is invalid, unjust, illegal, uncanonical, and unchristian. Never before in the history of the Episcopal Church has this particular canon been used to inhibit and depose a priest who seeks to remain

in the Episcopal Church as one who has not committed a moral offense. This

canon used against me has historically been reserved for a priest who has left the Episcopal Church for the Roman Catholic Church or one of the Protestant denominations. I had no appeal or trial."  "I have been improperly and illegally removed from the Diocese of Pennsylvania, and I do not recognize the validity of this action."

 

"A lawsuit has been filed on my behalf requesting an order setting aside the

Deposition, or in the alternative for damages. I am blessed with the legal

representation and expertise of Mr. John H. Lewis, Jr. of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker and Rhoads, along with the assistance of Mr. Robert Fitzgerald and Mr. Christopher Pushaw, attorneys."

 

"I remain a priest called by God, and I welcome the provision to be a priest in good standing in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and to be placed on the rolls for the clergy. I welcome the pastoral oversight of Bishop Duncan. I have a hunger and thirst for a strong and caring Father in God."

 

"I am also so grateful for the recent action by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion. The Most Rev. and Right Honorable Dr. George Carey has communicated to me in order to give me the right to say with confidence that, 'the Archbishop of Canterbury believes me to be in good standing with him and is prepared to offer me Permission to Officiate in the Diocese of Canterbury and a license in the Province of Canterbury'." 

 

"I also have been receiving licenses for priestly ministries and authority

conferred by ordination from an increasing number of bishops from throughout

the Episcopal Church."

 

"In addition, I am grateful for the prayers and support of local clergy from

other denominations, many of whom came to Good Shepherd on Sept. 4th for a

wonderful and rousing ecumenical praise and prayer service. Finally, the prayers and encouragement from people all over the world have been wonderful and a great blessing."

 

"How special it is at this time for my wife and me to have our lives graced with the presence of The Most Rev. Dr. Bernard Malango, Archbishop of Central

Africa, in our home. His Grace came specially to be with us as a source of

pastoral support and spiritual guidance."

 

"My concern has been and now is entirely focused on the spiritual welfare of the good people under my charge as their rector at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Rosemont, who have been served so well during this time by the

faithful and godly priests on my staff. You may remember that adding to his

unjust actions and showing no concern for souls of the people committed to my

charge, Charles Bennison inhibited me during Lent prior to Holy Week."

 

"My parishioners have been so steadfast, caring, and supportive of my wife, my family and me, throughout this difficult emotional ordeal. With joy, I have witnessed a deepening in their spiritual lives, and a renewed commitment to Christ Jesus and His Church Catholic and Apostolic. They are poised to move forward with our many ministries to God's glory and the benefit of others."

 

"Let me conclude with a prayer I have prayed daily for the past six months,

written by St. Ignatius of Loyola."

"Teach us, good Lord, to serve Thee as Thou deservest to give and not to

count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek

for rest; to labor and not to ask for any reward-Save that of knowing what we

do Thy Will."

 

**********

 

TWENTY-THREE ORTHODOX ECUSA BISHOPS REJECT MOYER DEPOSITION

Submitted by David W. Virtue

 

A RESPONSE TO THE DEPOSITION OF THE REV. DAVID L. MOYER

 

"We, the undersigned bishops of the Episcopal Church, USA, reject as invalid -- spiritually, morally and canonically -- the deposition of the Rev. David L. Moyer by the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison, Bishop of Pennsylvania. In doing so, we are joining with the Most Rev. George L. Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, and many other bishops around the world who have refused to acknowledge the validity of the deposition.

 

By Bishop Bennison's action, Fr. Moyer has been deprived of due process and any court of appeal. We believe no credible case has been made that Fr. Moyer has 'abandoned the communion' of this Church. Further, we support the Rt. Rev. Robert W. Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh, in his decision to receive Fr. Moyer as a priest in good standing, making him canonically resident in the Diocese of Pittsburgh."

 

Signatories as of September 5, 2002:

The Rt. Rev. Keith L. Ackerman, Bishop of Quincy;

The Rt. Rev. Peter H. Beckwith, Bishop of Springfield

The Rt. Rev. David Bena, Bishop Suffragan of Albany

The Rt. Rev. Andrew H. Fairfield, Bishop of North Dakota

The Rt. Rev. Daniel W. Herzog, Bishop of Albany

The Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, Bishop of Central Florida

The Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth

The Rt. Rev. Stephen H. Jecko, Bishop of Florida

The Rt. Rev. Terence Kelshaw, Bishop of Rio Grande

The Rt. Rev. Hugo L. Pina-Lopez, Assistant Bishop, Diocese of Central Florida

The Rt. Rev. Edward Salmon, Bishop of South Carolina

The Rt. Rev. William J. Skilton, Bishop Suffragan of South Carolina

The Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton, Bishop of Dallas

Retired Bishop signatories as of September 5, 2002:

The Rt. Rev. FitzSimons Allison, Bishop of South Carolina, Retired

The Rt. Rev. David S. Ball, Bishop of Albany,

Retired The Rt. Rev. Maurice M. Benitez, Bishop of Texas, Retired

The Rt. Rev. Gordan T. Charlton, Bishop Suffragan of Texas, Retired

The Rt. Rev. William J. Cox, Assistant Bishop of Oklahoma, Retired

The Rt. Rev. Alex D. Dickson, Jr., Bishop of West Tennessee, Retired

The Rt. Rev. William C. Frey, Bishop of Colorado, Retired

The Rt. Rev. G. Edward Haynsworth, Assistant Bishop of South Carolina,

Retired

The Rt. Rev. John MacNaughton, Bishop of West Texas, Retired

The Rt. Rev. William C. Wantland, Bishop of Eau Claire, Retired

 

**********

 

MOYER FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST BENNISON

Reversal of Deposition and Damages Sought

Special Report

 

By David W. Virtue

 

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Sept. 5, 2002) The rector of Church of the Good Shepherd, the Rev. Dr. David L. Moyer yesterday filed suit against the Bishop of Pennsylvania, Charles E. Bennison in Montgomery County Court, PA alleging that he committed fraud by saying that he promised Moyer a church trial and then reneged on that promise.

 

Bennison wrote a letter to Moyer making certain demands on the priest stating that if all those demands were not met, that the priest would become "liable to Presentment and Trial" and then backed down from that promise of a trial.  Such a trial would have vindicated Moyer, said the complaint. Bennison made Moyer promises that he promptly turned around and reneged on, said the complaint.

 

The complaint argues that Bennison had already determined the outcome and, contrary to the promise made, planned to depose Moyer without trial or appeal.

The complaint alleges that at the time secret documents were drawn up to deny Moyer a presentment and trial as promised in the bishop's letter. One document, prepared by Bennison stated that the Bennison sought "an alternative route [to Depose Moyer] without trial. The complaint charges that Episcopal Church canons demand a written statement of the charges, a right to counsel, the right to confront witnesses, a fair trial and right of appeal.

 

Contrary to his promise the Deposition was pronounced by Bennison without presentment, trial and appeal using Canon 10 which was designed to deal with those cases where priests of The Episcopal Church leave The Episcopal Church to become ministers or priests in other denominations, such as the Roman Catholic Church. Under such circumstances, there is normally no need for any trial since the priest is expected to voluntarily renounce his right as a priest of The Episcopal Church. Moyer has not left The Episcopal Church.

 

The complaint also charges that Bennison deprived Moyer, (a priest in good standing for over twenty-five years), of all of his rights of priesthood in the Diocese of Pennsylvania; The Episcopal Church and in the entire Anglican Communion. All of this has been accomplished without giving the traditionalist priest any opportunity for a trial to contest the "charges". The Deposition was fraudulently imposed and invalid, said the complaint. The complaint charges that the Inhibition and Deposition are part of a scheme by Bennison to gain control of the assets of The Church of the Good Shepherd.

 

The complaint also charges that the Bishop and the Diocesan Standing Committee, as two separate entities, colluded in writing "reports" and "findings". The Standing Committee did not initiate the process, Bennison did, and did so for the sole purpose of injuring Moyer. The complaint alleges that Bennison showed bad faith by a capricious rejection of the statement of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Frank Griswold who wrote saying the inhibition of Moyer was "utterly unacceptable". The Presiding Bishop wrote two letters, one in March and one in July, condemning Bennison's actions. Bennison has refused to release those letters to Moyer.

 

The complaint also charges that a priest in the Diocese of Bethlehem, who was accused of sexual abuse was granted a trial and will be granted the right to appeal while Moyer is denied due process. This is both unfair and contrary to canon law.

 

Bennison took the action knowing that there is no provision in the Canons to deal with a lawless and rogue bishop who deliberately violates and disregards the Canons. Bennison, however, is not above the law.  Moyer is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

 

**********

 

PENNSYLVANIA BISHOP CHARLES E. BENNISON MUST RESIGN

COMMENTARY

 

By David W. Virtue

 

He has inhibited and deposed a godly priest. He has lost the confidence of all the Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic priests in the Diocese of Pennsylvania and most of his liberal priests don't trust anything he says.

 

He has incurred the wrath of 23 orthodox ECUSA bishops because of the deposition of David Moyer and another bishop has claimed his priest from him. The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. George Carey will not recognize the inhibition and deposition of Fr. Moyer either. And even the Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold called his actions "utterly unacceptable." And a number of Primates have also said they would not honor the deposition.

 

Charles Bennison has few friends and virtually no support. The Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison, Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, should resign.

He has also lost the confidence of the majority of his 162 parishes. He has endorsed homosexual marriages and said he would perform a same-sex marriage in the cathedral if called upon to do so. He has also officiated at the ordination of a non-celibate homosexual to the priesthood. He has lied to Anglo-Catholic parishes on the subject of flying bishops. And at the last Diocesan Convention, his budget was roundly rejected by the vast majority of rectors-a clear vote of no

confidence in the bishop.

 

Bishop Bennison has defied the wider Anglican Communion by refusing to

submit to the Lambeth statements on human sexuality, which declared homosexuality incompatible with Scripture. He also has snubbed Lambeth's call to allow Episcopal visitors for traditionalist parishes who differ with him on matters of women's ordination. (This defiance met with a counter response by a group of international bishops visiting and confirming at an Evangelical Catholic parish November 26 in Rosemont, PA.)

 

He has alienated and bullied evangelical rectors by demanding more money from them without offering anything in return. He also despises their "biblical literalism" on issues of Christian conversion, evangelism and church growth, though his own ideas of church growth have met with strong resistance by liberal priests and have yet to prove successful. Those evangelical parishes are the largest and fastest growing in the Diocese.

 

He denied one evangelical parish legitimate monies for a youth outreach ministry that they subsequently obtained from Trinity, Wall Street. That program now has more than 200 youth in a New Chapel ministry that has no equal in the diocese and is, by itself, larger than 90 percent of all the parishes in the Diocese of PA. It is one of the most dynamic in the country.

 

He has said the "church wrote the bible and could therefore rewrite it" presumably to suit current mores and relativistic cultural values. No bishop in the worldwide Anglican Communion has ever made such a statement. 

 

He has promoted what he calls a "Holy Experiment" for church growth

that does not have the support of most clergy and does not contain a

core understanding of the gospel. He spent thousands of dollars renting the Mann Center in Philadelphia to promote it to the diocese. He was recently publicly excoriated by the outgoing President of the Diocesan Standing Committee, the Rev. Louis Temme,--himself a liberal-- on a wide range of issues at the recent Diocesan Convention. He likened Bennison's leadership of the Diocese to a "raft heading towards the rapids." Fr. Temme said: "We don't know where our guide's commands will lead us, and some are beginning to doubt his leadership." Temme said, after listening to the voices of the diocesan family, "it

is clear we are travelling on a very chaotic river. Complaints and anger are frequently heard, disappointments and disillusionment are often expressed, and morale is being jeopardized." The Standing Committee president accused the bishop of being "disconnected" and "dishonest" with people working at fundamental cross purposes.

 

At least one Deanery comprising more than 20 prominent rectors has accused him of being high-handed in dealing with diocesan matters, and he has been publicly rebuked for his spending money on high-priced consultants for the Diocese. He also cannot reach his budget goals because no one has confidence in how he will spend the money and a number of parishes are deliberately withholding their full pledges.

 

The rectors specifically cited eight areas in which the Bishop is deficient in his leadership style and content. They accuse him of implementing a "secular management strategy" which our vestries and ourselves do not "buy into," since "we are different from corporate culture." They condemned the process as neither "good" or "adequate" arguing that the "end result" was unrelated to the "input." It is an "experiment which has not seemed to work, designed only to give people the 'feeling' of involvement."

 

They cited the loss of committees that included Stewardship, DCEC, most of the liturgical commission, diaconate, mission strategy, pastoral care, spiritual growth, in favor of high-priced outside consultants.  They said Bennison's actions threatened the collegiality, the "glue" of the diocese. If it ain't broke don't fix it, they argue.

 

They criticized the bishop for his "multitude of strategic directives and compliance letters" arguing they were "detrimental to pastoral relationships."

They also excoriated him for revealing confidences and making comments to reporters that do not reflect the views of the vast majority of Pennsylvania Episcopalians. They particularly scored him for his "sin of heterosexism" statement with the priests, arguing that "all people gay and straight, are born of heterosexual unions." They specifically requested he not raise the issue as a resolution at the last General Convention, saying such actions did not reflect the

mind of the diocese and that he was "not authorized to speak his mind, but must uphold the teachings of the Church." Bennison went ahead and submitted a resolution on the "sin of heterosexism" at GC2000, infuriating the priests even further. The resolution was soundly defeated.

 

They also said his growth plan for the diocese was not owned by all parties, saying that the requirement for this plan was not in the canons or the diocesan convention or customary practice. As a result "parishes would go their own separate ways, becoming more parochial, ignoring diocesan communications."

 

They wrote: "There are other issues as well around financial matters: How much do the consultants cost? How are they paid? How much was the Mann Music center rental? How as it paid? Due to the endowment of the Diocese, we all feel somewhat in the dark about financial decisions because there seems to be a great deal of discretionary money."

 

On the threatened closure of urban parishes, the rectors argued that "we don't exist without them" and "we have enjoyed close relationships with the mission parishes". They say they are part of "our social transformation." They said the diocese does not express cogent commitment to them.

 

Bishop Bennison's theological views have been publicly deemed "apostate" and "heretical" by several rectors and bishops, and one Evangelical parish in the Diocese recently denied him Holy Communion. The chancellor of the national traditionalist organization, Forward in Faith, called the actions of Bennison towards Anglo-Catholics "betrayal" and "reprehensible." The Rev. Dr. David Moyer, Good Shepherd, Rosemont says Bennison is at odds with the vast majority of the worldwide Anglican Bishops and has "irreconcilable theological

differences."

One historic urban parish has left the diocese and The Episcopal Church

because of his views. Another rector resigned from the Diocese of PA and The Episcopal Church and took the vast majority of his parishioners into the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and three other parishes are suing him over

property issues.

 

At pre-consecration hearings he promised the traditionalist parishes flying bishops continuing a tradition begun by the former Bishop Allan Bartlett, but he later reneged on that promise once he became bishop. He then allowed Diocesan Convention to expel those parishes when they in protest began to withhold their episcopal assessment. In a pique of mean-spiritedness he went so far as to refuse their innocent curate's licenses.

 

In the two and a half years he has been bishop the "seven sisters" traditionalist parishes have publicly stated they are no longer in communion with Bishop Bennison and they have refused to allow him to confirm, preach or perform Eucharistic functions in their parishes. Several of the traditionalist parishes are attempting to negotiate their way out of the diocese, and Bennison has publicly said he would like to close down as many as 15 urban parishes that are financially non-viable, infuriating several African- American rectors.

 

He gave one parish the green light to marry two homosexuals but backed down when this writer exposed him for doing so. He said such an action would require the full consent of the vestry. That parish rector is presently manipulating the vestry, pushing aside upholders of traditional morality to allow gays on the vestry to fulfill that pledge.

 

Publicly charming and privately engaging, Bennison is nonetheless privately viewed as the "bishop with no [theological] clothes." There is even talk that the Standing Committee has met in closed session to discuss ways of getting Bennison out.

 

He recently came out supporting a Visigoth rite for same-sex marriages

and could not uphold some basic doctrines of the Christian Faith when

asked to do so. It is time for Bishop Bennison to take the honorable way out and

resign. He cannot effectively continue as bishop with his credibility

in shreds even among his most loyal supporters. His resignation, like that of Jo Mo Doss, former Bishop of NJ would pave the way for a genuinely orthodox bishop who would restore Biblical morality, faithfulness to the full integrity of Holy Scripture, and legitimate church growth based on a clear apostolic understanding of the gospel.

 

**********

 

BENNISON OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY SAYS RECTOR'S WARDEN

Special Report

 

By David W. Virtue

 

ROSEMONT, PA--The rector's warden of Church of the Good Shepherd said

the Bishop of Pennsylvania, Charles E. Bennison is "out of touch with reality, that he is lying to himself and lying to others."

 

In a phone call to Stanley Bright following the deposition of Fr. David

Moyer, the Good Shepherd rector, the bishop asked Bright if he intended

to allow Moyer to celebrate on Sunday.

 

"Yes," said Bright. "The vestry voted unanimously to re-affirm that

David has been and is the rector and he has been duly licensed by the

Bishop of Pittsburgh, Robert Duncan." 

 

"You need to get in touch with the truth Bishop Bennison. You need to get in touch with reality. You need to stop lying to others and to yourself. You need to face the reality of the situation and get honest with yourself. The Archbishop of Canterbury won't even recognize your action of deposition and inhibition against Fr. Moyer."

 

Bennison: "I had no idea you felt that way. It is important that I know how you feel."

 

Bright: "Bishop Duncan told you that you need to get in touch with the truth and with reality. Why don't you? What you did to Fr. Moyer by inhibiting and deposing him was uncanonical, illegal and invalid."

 

Bennison: "How could you let Moyer go back into the pulpit?"

 

Bright: "Because the vestry passed the resolution saying he is the rector. You want us to recognize you as the bishop then you need to go back to St. Paul's analogy. The role of priest is to be an icon of Christ to his people, and the role of the bishop is similar to the priest he is the icon of Christ to the whole family.  And when the father has betrayed the clan by trying to destroy one of his sons, the clan cannot move forward if the Patriarch does not admit what he has

done and repents."

 

The truth required facing reality, Bright told the bishop.  Bright said that if Bennison cannot admit to what he has done he should resign.  "The Standing Committee and the Diocesan Council should also resign.  The upcoming Diocesan Convention needs to put into place an interim bishop. We need a compromise slate to fill both groups that represent the entire diocese and not just a group that are liberal and revisionist like Bennison."

 

Bennison has written a letter to the members of Church of the Good Shepherd inviting them to meet with him and other diocesan leaders at two meetings he will hold on Sept. 12 at Christ Church, Ithan and on September 14th at Church of the Redeemer, Bryn Mawr.

 

In the letter Bennison writes, "The purpose of these meetings is to offer an opportunity for us to hear from you and for us to share our mutual views on how we can move forward together into a beneficent relationship between your parish and the diocese."

 

"My deepest desire is simply to create a process whereby we can gradually move to the restoration of a healthy relation ship between the Church of the Good Shepherd and the diocese."

 

The resolution stated that Fr. Moyer had been illegally inhibited, illegally deposed and illegally expelled from Diocese of Pennsylvania for the reasons stated in the complaint filed on Sept. 5th.  The resolution also said that the Bishop "cynically preferred the charge under Canon IV.10 to the Standing Committee in violation of Canon, 3.7 in order to deny Fr. Moyer his fair trial."

 

An additional lawsuit has been filed against Bishop Bennison in Montgomery County Court. As a result of documents released during the discovery process in the lawsuit concerning the inhibition, the inadvertent release of the "secret plan" to come after the property and additional letters sent to the bishop from Fr. Moyer, the Court is now being asked to set aside the deposition. The complaint claims that Bishop Bennison is guilty of fraud, misrepresentation, collusion,

denial of due process and acting in bad faith. It is felt that this additional lawsuit will be a vehicle to both vindicate Fr. Moyer's position and provide additional protection for the property.