A letter from Bishop Ian T. Douglas to the Diocese of Connecticut

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it carefully and read it all.

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21 Comments
Posted June 28, 2010 at 10:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. David Wilson wrote:

Kendall:
The link within the letter to Geoff and Bp Ian’s joint statement is not working.  Could you fix the link or post the joint statement?  Ditto your remarks about Geoff in your previous post

June 29, 12:35 am | [comment link]
2. Dorpsgek wrote:

It wasn’t easy to get there (wow, scribd is a crummy website), but the letter is at:
http://www.ctdiocese.org/News/newsView.asp?NewsId=4096857&NewsCategoryID=2

June 29, 7:37 am | [comment link]
3. Creighton+ wrote:

OK, in all that I have read, I never understood Geoff to have renounced his Holy Orders.

Is the bishop deposing or is Geoff renouncing?  What are the facts?

June 29, 8:19 am | [comment link]
4. Ian+ wrote:

+Connecticut is apparently taking his cues from Dr Jefferts Schori, re “resigned his orders.” It’s the height of arrogance among the TEC elite to think that resignation from TEC automatically includes resignation of orders. Thus I question whether that joint statement was co-authored by Fr Geoff.

June 29, 9:06 am | [comment link]
5. Cennydd wrote:

Evidently, in this bishop’s mind (really Mrs Schori’s), he equates resigning TEC orders as amounting to resigning one’s orders in all of the Church Catholic, only we all know that this isn’t true.  The good bishop moves in lockstep with Mrs Schori; when she moves, he moves, and when she jerks the strings, he dances.

June 29, 9:37 am | [comment link]
6. Ian Montgomery wrote:

#3 and #4 For clarification - the letter and news article is very clear that Geoff has “renounced his orders in the Episcopal Church.”  This is NOT renouncing his priesthood.  I believe that it was in Pittsburgh that the TEC diocese “released” those who went “Anglican” from their vows to the Episcopal Church and I remember the same was done a few years ago for a priest in Wisconsin.  It is a way of acknowledging a transfer of canonical authority when letters dimissory are not possible.  It is much kinder than that done by KJS who does indeed seek to deprive clergy or their orders by deposition with words that amount to “defrocking.”

I am begging the question of letters dimissory which could be used if the HOB of TEC had not agreed not to use these where there is no geographical move to another province of the AC.  Until recently the latter have been given when clergy move to another country - except in the notorious case of +Henry Scriven.  In the early days of the Anglican diaspora such letters were in fact granted as in the situation of +Colorado back after AMIA was formed.  Sadly the more recent bishop of CO rescinded his predecessors letters and then deposed such as +Sandy Greene in a silly and IMHO vengeful manner.

So I am grateful for +Ian’s way of handling this.  It is more graceful than KJS would have been and sadly some other bishops have been equally vengeful.  Geoff+ is a dedicated and worthy priest and I wish him and Blanca well and God speed in his new venture. 

BTW nice to come across another Ian+ - we are few in a country that cannot pronounce our names for the most part.
Ian Montgomery+

June 29, 9:45 am | [comment link]
7. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

No. 6,

Completely off topic, but how else would you pronounce the name “Ian”?

June 29, 9:52 am | [comment link]
8. Ian Montgomery wrote:

You would be surprised #7.  I - an with a long I, E -on and the like.  Yes off topic but we Ian’s have a strange bond in the US.  When I first arrived the nasal New England pronunciation of the name Ann made me think that I was being addressed!  Thanks for being mystified by its mispronunciation.  Maybe this is why I have some hope for +Ian of CT though I am made sad by most of his actions to date.  This one with Geoff Little shows him in a better light - IMHO.

June 29, 9:59 am | [comment link]
9. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

No 8,

Ah, I see. You can tell I’m not from New England. The nasal (mis)pronunciations never occurred to me.

June 29, 10:18 am | [comment link]
10. Paula Loughlin wrote:

My son’s name is Ian.  My favorite hashing of his name was done by a bus driver who insisted on calling him “Evan”.  I frequently get calls for Eon Lowlyn but since I know no one by that name I just hang up before the message finishes.

To the subject at hand.  In the Episcopal Church is the renouncing of orders regarded as a prelude (voluntary or not) to being defrocked?  Is your defrocking more properly termed laicization (sp)?  and does the sacramental imprint of ordination still remain?  Does only the Bishop of the diocese where the priest holds duties have the authority to laicize him or her?

June 29, 11:32 am | [comment link]
11. evan miller wrote:

Paula,
I got a kick out of your Ian’s having been called “Evan.”  My name has been most often garbled as “Even,”  but I’ve gotten “Evans” and “Evelyn” as well.  The “Evelyn” was from a tenant farmer on our place and I just let him go on calling me that for as long as his family lived there.  Some folks are just incapable of hearing names correctly and once it’s set in their minds, that’s the way it’s going to be.  A dear friend of mine still thinks Dr. Huxtable on “The Cosby Show) was played by Bill Crosby.  Another love watching Bill “Huckleby” on Fox’s “Huckabee”.

June 29, 1:28 pm | [comment link]
12. Statmann wrote:

Plate & Pledge for Ascension was alreadt ZERO in 2008. And if a high percentage leaves St. James, that will end that parish.  Statmann

June 29, 1:43 pm | [comment link]
13. AnglicanFirst wrote:

With regard to variations in name pronunciation, my Canadian grandmother to the her dying day called Lawrence Welk, Lawrence Welch.

June 29, 4:51 pm | [comment link]
14. Thrice Blessed wrote:

I sincerely doubt that Little would have allowed Ian to say that the statement was not co-authored if, in fact, he disagreed with any of what was written.  The bishop of CT is, I’m sure, very capable of writing his own statements.  This letter strikes me as being very generous when compared to how other priests have been treated by their bishops.

June 29, 4:58 pm | [comment link]
15. jamesw wrote:

I would remind folks that Ian Douglas is trying to get the ACC to bend its rules to let him retain his membership on both the ACC and the AC’s Standing Committee.  It seems to me that Ian Douglas has a very powerful motivation to sound “reasonable” in this situation.  It would be very easy to rally international Anglicans against yet another TEC bully.  On the other hand, it is a lot easier to say “come on, this is a nice guy, let’s bend the rules for him.”

I’m not suggesting that Douglas’s motivation isn’t honorable - just that he has a very strong motive to sound more “reasonable” then he otherwise might have.

June 29, 5:41 pm | [comment link]
16. Ian+ wrote:

It’s interesting that in Gaelic the correct pronunciation is “Yon”, as in Ben Eoin in Nova Scotia, the Scottish variations being Ian, Iain and Eoin, though all pronounced the same. Evan isn’t far off the mark, since it’s Welch for Ian/John/Sean. Growing up in KY, I got Ivan, Ine, Een, Erin/Aaron, Urn—just about everything but EE-an.

June 30, 7:27 am | [comment link]
17. Ian Montgomery wrote:

Thanks folk for the name thread - we seem to have hijacked the thread and for that I repent as I started this name thing.  Menwhile please pray for huge blessings upon Geoff and Blanca.  I saw them a couple of more weeks ago and they were so excited.
Ian, Yon, Iain, Eon, Jan, Evan, Ivan and would you believe Hans!

June 30, 8:03 am | [comment link]
18. Paula Loughlin wrote:

Prayers for them and to all servants of the Gospel.

June 30, 9:17 am | [comment link]
19. Cennydd wrote:

And in Cymraeg, Ian is called “Ieuan.”

June 30, 2:34 pm | [comment link]
20. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

jamesw (#15),

Good point.  Your astute observations are always welcome.  But somehow, I don’t think many folks overseas are going to be fooled by this partial semblance of reasonableness.  Because after all, +Douglas made no attempt whatsoever to acknowledge that Geoffrey Little intended to stay Anglican.

Rather, to use CIA language (maybe prompted by the thread above about all those Russian spies arrested today), +Douglas seems to be protecting his rear by creating the impression of “plausible deniability.”  Just how plausible it will seem around the world remains to be seen.

David Handy+

June 30, 4:50 pm | [comment link]
21. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Aye, mates, where are they rebuilding the Titanic?  The irony here is sufficient.  Flouter of rules in the ACC in bid for continued American imperialism in the ACC wiches to appear otherwise in local situation?
That’s only sufficient for a church that hasn’t violated moratoria via Glasspool and liturgical venues for blessing same-sex “unions”.  Only in TEC or the Supreme Soviet could this hope to pass and that under Schori and Stalin.

June 30, 6:00 pm | [comment link]
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