ACNA head errs on Church Pension Plan

Foley Beach, the Primate of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) made statements about the Church Pension Fund and its treatment of ACNA clergy to the primates at their “gathering” #Primates2016. Beach reports what he said in a video interview with Anglican TV (the video is cued to start where he describes what he said what it would take in reconciliation and restitution).

Here’s the rough autotranscript of what Beach says he reported to the primates regarding pensions:

14:47 fourth I said restore to us our pensions and what most people don’t

14:53 realize is yes

14:55 IRS law in the United States this is United States issue Canada was able to

14:58 keep their pensions but if you retire as a priest there’s a formula that.s used and

15:05 you get a large amount to retire as a layperson it’s a small amount well we’ve

15:11 all been deposed and were considered as lay people so for many of our retired

15:15 people their pension now that they paid in two years and years and years is just

15:21 a minimal little things so I said to us our pensions in order to do that you

15:25 would have to rescind the depositions that you had against us and you could

15:32 feel silence in the room but people

15:34 then felt the gravity of what’s been done and where we are and I I mean them

15:41 no ill will you know I pray that God will lead them to a place of repentance

To clear up the errors in Beach’s understanding of the Pension Fund and payments to deposed or removed clergy, Curt Ritter, Head of Corporate Communications for the Fund writes in answer to questions by the Café team:

If a cleric is deposed or removed, he or she may no longer actively participate in the Clergy Pension Plan. However, any vested retirement benefits that have been earned by the cleric up to the date of deposition or removal will be available to the cleric when he or she retires. Their pension benefit will be based on the clergy benefit calculation. Once deposed they are ineligible to earn credited service.

Also as a side note, some of the confusion around this may be because when a cleric is deposed their title changes to secular titles, however their benefits do not.

All the clergy benefit formulas are listed on page 22 and 23 in the Guide which is on the website.

It is surprising that the Primate of ACNA and we assume other clergy in that church do not know how their pensions, that were earned before they voluntarily left the Episcopal Church, are being faithfully administered on their behalf. One of Beach’s demands for reconciliation to occur is “reparations for lost pensions.” But it seems nothing was lost after all. Nothing lost, but the primates were left misinformed.

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  1. Tom Downs

    The misstatement should be corrected. Will the CPG send a correct version to the Primates and press in England?

  2. Jay Croft

    A primate is supposed to be at least somewhat familiar with the provisions of his province’s retirement plan.

    Since Beach was, presumably, a cleric in good standing with the Episcopal Church until ACNA, his statement is inexcusable.

  3. A theory that seems as plausible as that Beach is ignorant is that he simply lied. Since Beach is the leader of a church whose assets were largely stolen, why is this not the first theory to be considered?

    • Joshua Castano

      Their assets were not stolen. They were not theirs to take — especially since these priests and congregations left TEC most often in disobedience and without authority so to do.

      • I believe that is Lionel’s point. Whatever assets congregations of the ACNA claim to have taken with them and may still hold were stolen from the Episcopal Church. (This does not, of course, include any assets accumulated after their departure.)

    • Melissa Holloway

      Because he’s ordained(or was at some point whenever however)

      Even though its ACNA and even though they’ve walked away with Episcopal stuff, there is a residual momentum of feeling, that priests don’t lie.

  4. Margaret Sjoholm-Franks

    So….they still want to profit from that sinful, deviant, and godless pension plan


    • Prof Christopher Seitz

      Did someone actually condemn the CPG? I didn’t hear that.

      CPG manages funds that are put into on behalf of clergy, including those who have left for ACNA and elsewhere. Money management is money management, not theological progressivism.

      • Ann Fontaine

        Watch the interview – Beach does not understand how the Church Pension Fund works and accuses them of short changing ACNA clergy. Starts at about 30:00 into the video.

      • Prof Christopher Seitz

        His complaint is not against the CPG as such.

        That is my (obvious) point.

        CPG does money management in accordance with civil statute.

        If I have ten years in CPG and I move to the SEC, CPG doesn’t penalize me. And it doesn’t penalize ACNA.

        The complaint was against a perceived policy imposition by TEC on CPG.

        In this, +Beach is apparently mistaken.

        And thank goodness for that!

  5. Michael Russell

    More interesting than his ignorance or duplicity would be to ask how their new pension system is working for them. Too, we might wonder how well they have managed the TEC assets they are squatting upon.

  6. Joan Gundersen

    Beach is worse than uninformed. He has taken the case of clergy in TEC too short a time to be vested and made it the case for all. As for those who are vested, well take Beach’s predecessor as ACNA archbishop — he claimed and collected a TEC pension while getting his ACNA salary. Those vested ACNA clergy in Pittsburgh who have retired are collecting TEC pensions based on pre-ACNA service credit and contributions. I even helped one prove she was eligible to buy service credit that upped her pension.

    • Prof Christopher Seitz

      This is confusing.

      It takes a minimal number of years to be vested.

      It takes ten years to receive medi-gap (supplemental to medicare at retirement).

      I’d say that from what +Beach has stated it is unclear what he is referring to.

      If he is referring to being deposed and removed from Orders, that ought to be his focus.

      One cannot make further contributions to an account in which one has assets if one no longer has a TEC Bishop to sign off. This is the protocol the CPG works with.

  7. Jim Pratt

    The Canadian church pension is the same. Any ACofC clergy who had at least 5 years of service when they left were fully vested, and entitled to take whatever pension they had earned at age 65 (or a reduced pension after 55). They are treated no differently than clergy who transfer to another Province in the Communion or leave the ministry for secular employment.

    Clearly he doesn’t understand how pensions work.

  8. William Moorhead

    Does anyone know whether ACNA has set up a pension fund similar to CPG? Are ACNA clergy earning pension benefits from anywhere? Or do they have only whatever CPF benefits they may have earned before they abandoned the communion of TEC? What about ACNA clergy who were Reformed EC or something else before they adhered to ACNA? TEC’s CPG does very well by us retired clergy (including deposed clergy and their surviving spouses; I have the paper on that for the Diocese of Iowa). Can ACNA say the same?

  9. Michael Russell

    This is a great thread, I sure hope someone is shipping it to our C of E actual friends to put under the nose of ++Welby. If he and the others are treating things that Beach says as truth, when they are not, whether out of his ignorance or duplicity, we should expose his errors.
    What we can seen, however, is that ++Welby has a serious attention deficit disorder…he pays attention to the GAFCON/ACNA primates whose biases disorder the truth.
    Just as the GAFCON folks should be held accountable or their abject failure to uphold the venerable Lambeth 98 I.10, so too should ++Welby for misrepresenting the authority and scope of the Primates’ actions.
    TEC has now been semi-battered for a week by news articles all based on an untruth and ++Welby is responsible for this. His “consequences not sanctions” comment alone is enough to suggest he either does not understand the shape of polity in the Communion, or has chosen to twist it.

    • William (Bill) Paul III

      Wow, the vitriol here (this post and many others) is amazing, utterly. Maybe he made a mistake. A mistake. Maybe it would be good to hear from an ACNA priest who came from TEC about what happened. It just seems to me that every “issue” or “wrinkle” ought not to be an occasion to bring every other “issue” or grievance into play. Haven’t you all read the New Testament on not magnifying sins and mistakes, counting others better, loving genuinely from the heart, not being jealous, let alone not actively maligning. Our commentary ought not to takes its cues from, nor mirror, the secular media at its worst. CPG made a correction.

      • Prof Christopher Seitz


        At this point ‘hair trigger’ is the default.

        CPG fortunately is a serious adult operation, with civil auditors, and a first rate Board.

        God bless them and their management.

      • John Chilton

        Explain reference: “At this point ‘hair trigger’ is the default.”

      • David Streever

        Actually, it brought to mind the image of Jesus chastising the Pharisees, for following the law to the exclusion of following the Holy Spirit, and the way He pointed out the hypocrisy and sinfulness of the Pharisees, who judged others while living in sin.

      • William (Bill) Paul III

        So David, ignoring how a mistake in facts–and a request to “restore”– translates into hypocrisy, are we to suspend the obvious ways the NT tells us to live and place ourselves in the place of Jesus, Son of God incarnate, the One without sin, frame situations as you suggest, and set aside, what comes to my mind, the counsel, if not commands, of 1 Peter, Romans, 1 Cor 13?

  10. Anglican Relief & Development, the “Anglican” alternative to Episcopal Relief & Development was created even before ACNA was. If my memory serves correctly, an “Anglican” pension system was also established early.

    The ACNA schism was not a spur-of-the-moment event; it was planned long in advance.

    • Jay Croft

      Is that the same as our Church Pension Fund? Episcopal Relief and Development is a humanitarian endeavor. CPG provides insurance and retirement benefits. Apples and oranges.

      • Jeremy Bates

        Read Lionel’s comment again. He’s not saying they are the same. Note the word “also.”

  11. Paul Powers

    Their website says they have a new retirement plan and more information will be available shortly. The old plan was a defined contribution plan, unlike TEC’s defined benefits plan.

  12. Ann Fontaine

    Editor correction: It is Curt Ritter not Ridder as originally posted. I am sorry for the error. Changed in item now.

  13. Doug Simpson

    More misinformation from Foley Beach? Can’t say I’m surprised.

  14. William Moorhead

    If it is the case that ACNA has an appropriate pension plan for their clergy, then I am glad for them. That’s as it should be. I was just asking. But let’s be clear that whatever credit their clergy earned while in TEC, they still have.

  15. Tracy Lawrence

    Yes. Too much pettiness and vitriol. I have only been a member of TEC for a few years. I love my local church; but the politics up at the top is vicious. Wow.

    • Jeremy Bates

      Yet here you are. Why?

  16. Rob Holman

    I think the confusion lies in one precise point — when pension benefits are calculated at retirement, the benefit is based on a formula calculated on the season of highest average pay (over a fairly brief set number of years – is it as low as 5 years?) by the total number of years of service as a cleric. From the point of view of a deposed Episcopal, now ACNA cleric, the accumulation of years of service was truncated by the deposition, even though the cleric continues to serve as a cleric in ACNA. This severely truncates the final benefit. It does not remove what was accumulated. But then the benefit isn’t really based on the total dollars paid into the system, but on years of service by the season of highest average pay. (This system by the way, greatly benefits bishops and deans over their peers and strikes me as rather unjust method of calculating retirement benefits.) I believe this rather severe penalty is what Foley was referring to in his interview. But then unlike many people here, I am giving him the benefit of the doubt based on the prejudice that he is an honest man.

    • Jon White

      CPG pension payouts are based on the highest seven continuous years of pay in a clerics career. This was chosen over using stipend at time of retirement as an inducement for experienced priests to be willing to take on smaller congregations who can’t pay handsomely, secure in the knowledge that their pension would not suffer.

    • John Chilton

      True, Beach could have just been confused. But it plays into the false narrative he was delivering to the primates — many who depend on these meetings to be brought up to date on communion matters, many who had never been to a primates meeting. He message was ACNA’s clergy have been ill-treated by TEC. Bunk. It was the clergys’ realize to realize how leaving TEC would affect their pensions — some let themselves be blindly led out of the church, and once they realized the effect blamed TEC rather than properly blaming themselves or their leadership.

      • William Moorhead

        John Chilton is right. Same rules for everyone. I was a parish priest for twenty-some years (acquiring CPF credit), and then, by my own choice, was in secular employment and non-stipendiary ministry for another twenty-some years. This means that when I retired, my Highest Average Compensation was fairly low. My own responsibility. I consider myself very well treated by the CPF. ACNA clergy have nothing to whine about.

      • Rob Holman

        False narrative? Hardly. Most ACNA clergy have been severely mistreated by TEC bishops. The stories are arresting. Thankfully, my bishops in the Diocese of Albany were all godly, god fearing men. So I escaped unscathed — overlooking the time I interviewed for a position in the Diocese of Massachusetts. “His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.” My interaction with the bishop taught me the meaning of these words. I shall never forget it. I thank the Lord he led me out.

    • Prof Christopher Seitz

      You have indeed likely put your finger on the issue.

      The seven year protocol will be affected by deposing clergy who have been receiving contributions and then are stopped from doing that.

      Also, if they are below ten years they do not get the retirement supplement to medicare, even if they put in 9.5 years of service.

      Given the advanced start-age of clergy in TEC these days, 9.5 years would almost be an average tenure.

  17. The bottom line is that my churches paid 18% into the Pension fund for 15 years early in my career from 1985-2000. I was, like others, kicked out or ECUSA with no due process, no canonical hearing or trial. Bogus reasons. The Pension Fund is retirement formula is arranged so that your prime earning years determine what you and your wife (widow) are left with. Those who are kicked out before their prime earning years actually made a bigger percentage sacrifice but are left with a paltry retirement; ending up with peanuts, lose at least 5 other important pension benefits and in my case will not get my retirement at 30 years but not until I have 40 years of service (age 65+). When I retire I will get $770 a month rather than $8500 (which was partially tax free) and I will have to work 10 years longer to get it

    • David Streever

      That sounds traumatic & I’m sorry about it! I’m married to a priest, and I’m curious how they kicked you out without due process, because I didn’t realize it was possible.

      It sounds like the Church you were working at left TEC. Were you willing to keep working for TEC, at a different church which didn’t leave, but were barred from doing so? By whom? Did your Bishop defrock you? I’m sorry for my questions… just trying to figure it out!

  18. Dave Thomas

    It hardly seems you were led very far, Rob, as you still feel the need to come to a TEC blog and post such things.

    • David Allen

      Brings to mind an old saying, “They can leave the church, but they can’t leave the church alone.”

  19. Edwin Cox

    ACNA has been proclaiming this lie since they were (surprise) deposed for abandoning the communion. The truth would be far too convenient for them. So they continue, even though they have been corrected time after time.

  20. Tracy Lawrence

    Rob Holman: In what way were those who were deposed “abandoning communion”? Whenever this comes up on these threads, people say the deposed clergy “walked away”. You are using the term “kicked out”. Why is there so much dissonance in describing what happened to the clergy who are no longer at TEC? This was such a contentious time in the Church, there must have been more going on than people “walking away”. I am interested in your perspective, because it is different than what is usually represented here. I am glad you post here, because it helps to have more than one side of the story.

  21. Tracy Lawrence

    Correction: My question and comment was directed to Quigg; not Rob.

    • David Streever

      I’ve met Bishop Powell on many occasions & had dinner with him. I admire and respect him. When reading two totally different accounts, without facts, I have to say, I am compelled to believe the person who I have met & spoken to at length. I’ve seen many, many examples of Bishop Powell demonstrating tact and civility towards people who had deep reservations over LGBTQ marriage rites; my wife even served as a Priest in his diocese, and I’ve heard his views on the issue directly from his own mouth.

      As late as the year he retired, Bishop Powell was open to churches *not* performing marriage for same-sex couples, and stated so in public. In fact, the majority of the churches in the diocese would not perform a marriage for a same-sex couple, and I knew several people who were denied marriage in churches in SW Virginia and had to church hop to find one to perform their ceremonies.

      So, I hope you can appreciate that I am skeptical that your church was kicked out over disagreement on marriage for same-sex couples. I suspect that your church was instead removed for keeping money outside of the church. Some well intentioned parishioners at our church had done the same thing. My wife learned that this was inappropriate early on. She told the Bishop she’d fix the financial issues. She did.

      I understand that you thought it was OK, but I feel that if your Bishop tells you it’s not ok and asks you if you’re doing it so you can exit TEC, the correct answer is “I’ll fix it. Can you work with me to get us on the straight and narrow?” not, “Let me decide if we’re going to exit.”

      I think future comments that suggest that Bishop Powell broke laws will need to be deleted. If Bishop Powell broke the law, there are appropriate avenues to pursue that; comments which allege misdoing (when appropriate avenues exist to correct the misdoing) are just gossip & hearsay, and absolutely not appropriate.

      We deleted several comments about Foley today, by liberals, that allege behavior which was not substantiated. Our policy on this is clear & we apply it perhaps more heavily when the gossip is about people we don’t know (like Foley); a comment like yours about Foley would be deleted.

  22. David, I did not say +Neff Powell had no good qualities or that my church and I was sinless in the matter; nor did I imply the issue was simple or singular. I would be happy to explain more to you if you wish. The fact remains, that +Powell told all the clergy of the diocese in a written memo that our church had chosen to leave and he would welcome us back like the prodigal son’s Father “and perhaps kill the fattened calf” if we came back when, in fact , he pronounced our church out of ECUSA me by letter. when we were kicked out they tried to get our building and property but could not. I personally lost a LOT of pension benefits and money as a result. God will provide. Peace. +Quigg

  23. Rob Holman

    David Streever, I appreciate your remarks to Quigg. Conflicting testimonies are just that. Just bear in mind that for a bishop to depose any priest for “Abandonment of Communion” is a simple process for a bishop of TEC. That canon requires no due process and no trial. And it has been used over and over again by TEC bishops in all of this mess to remove conservative clergy and bishops from TEC roles, rightly or wrongly. Yet others like myself were given letters dimissory as we transferred to the authority of other bishops. So there is no implication that Bishop Powell “broke laws” in Quigg’s testimony. When Archbishop Welby asked Archbishop Beach what would it take to bring about reconciliation, pensions was a reasonable item to list out, especially given examples like Quigg has given here. Peace to all.

    • William Moorhead

      “For a bishop to depose any priest for “Abandonment of Communion” is a simple process for a bishop of TEC. That canon requires no due process and no trial.” When this canon was originally written, long before all the current kerfuffles, instances were normally very simple. No due process or trial was required because the priest had “abandoned” — he was gone. He no longer had any interest in showing up; so why waste time and money? On the other hand, if a priest believed himself (in those days it was always “himself”!) unjustly accused of abandonment, all he had to do was show up and deny it with some degree of good faith. That’s still the case. (Canon IV.16.4.) What’s the problem here?

      “When Archbishop Welby asked Archbishop Beach what would it take to bring about reconciliation, pensions was a reasonable item to list out.” Why? There’s no issue here. Clergy who are vested in the CPF continue to be vested even if they have been deposed in TEC, although obviously they don’t receive further credit. Reconciliation with clergy and parishes who determined that they could not remain in TEC is certainly to be sought, but pensions simply aren’t on the table. I suspect the CofE has a very different system, and thus +Welby doesn’t understand that there’s no issue here, and it’s disingenuous for Beach to suggest that there is.

      • William Moorhead

        Sorry. Apparently IV.10.2 in the 2015 canons!

      • Prof Christopher Seitz

        Recourse to the abandonment canon became ‘necessary’ when it proved difficult to depose people by trial (the case of +Duncan where senior bishops did not concur).

        As noted, this is actually not the canon that is relevant. It asks the PB and Bishops to declare people ‘abandoned’ when they have not written and declared that themselves — which is what was envisaged by the canon, as noted herewith.

        One can pray that a new PB will not seek these kind of walk-arounds in his tenure.

        There has been enough conflict already.

        I think that was also the spirit of +Beach’s remarks.

        God bless.

    • David Streever

      The link Quigg supplies includes a phrase stating that Bishop Powell broke the law–that’s the objection. We typically don’t allow commentators to post content about individuals that alleges misdeeds without proof.

  24. Rob Holman

    Oh, and to Dave Thomas, I continue to get letters from the Church Pension Group as I am a vested member.

  25. Tom Rightmyer

    Archbishop Beach was ordained in the Diocese of Atlanta in 1992 and left the ministry of the Episcopal Church in 2004, so he should have 11 years of credited service and be vested, with a claim on the CPF of about $8K a year when he retires. Clergy ordained in the Episcopal Church for whom pension assessments were paid for less than the vesting period have no claim on CPF. CPF should know how many people are so situated. Many ACNA clergy were not ordained in TEC.
    If TEC and ACNA can come to agreement that should be part of it. The larger question is whether differences in marriage and ordination practices should be church-dividing. TEC is in full communion with the ELCA, the Moravian Church, the Old Catholics of Utrecht, the Mar Thoma church, other Anglican provinces whose doctrine and discipline differ from ours.
    But I see no desire in either church for reconciliation. That is a scandal. Archbishop Beach calls on TEC to repent. That is not going to happen. Other issues – property, “abandonment,” etc. are capable of compromise. Bur we all have to want to be in communion fellowship.

  26. Dirk Reinken

    Since the pension fund exists solely for TEC clergy and qualified lay employees, I don’t see why depositions matter. Can one leave TEC employment/residency and still be in the Fund? If I were to transfer to Canada and be fully received into the Canadian church as a priest, would I be eligible to use CPF in lieu of the Canadian system? It seems to me that if yuh leave TEC, you leave TEC. It’s illogical to disaffiliate from TEC’s jurisdiction and expect to stay in the CPF, unlike a cleric who lives parish ministry for lay employment yet still accepts TEC jurisdiction and authority.

    • John Chilton

      Once a vested member of Church Pension Fund defined benefit fund, always a member – regardless of whether you leave.

      That’s the same in the secular world. It’s called playing by the rules of the fund, and the CPF is playing by those rules. Contrary to the statement of the leader of ACNA.

      • Prof Christopher Seitz

        Unless I misunderstood the gist of +Beach’s comment, it had nothing to do with being vested (or not, if one was ‘abandoned’ prior to the minimal years).

        Yes, one is always vested.

        But one cannot continue to have contributions made because if one has been unilaterally declared ‘abandoned’ then no Bishop in TEC will give approval to this.

        If one moves to work in Canada, e.g., a Bishop can approve that via an extension of ministry and contributions can be made by the church or institution. But the Canadian contribution is less than TEC’s/CPG’s so one would have to make up the difference to get to the robust 18% being required for TEC clergy.

      • John Chilton

        Oh my, where to start? Having your cake and eatting it too might suffice.

        I didn’t say Beach referred to vesting – I was attempting to address a comment made here. So, a misdirection ploy from the start of your comment.

        Here’s a few points.

        1. Beach said the departing clergy were demoted to meager lay pensions. False. Absolute nonsense. How is it that the leader of the flock is so misinformed?
        2. Abandonment has nothing to do with being able to continue to make contributions. Not being employed (if you’ll allow me to use secular language) in TEC is why they can’t make contributions. That’s the way it is in any job (again, using secular language for clarity). Add to that how bizarre that would be if you left employment but occupied the building and kept your “customers.”
        3. Some ACNA clergy have reconciled with TEC and returned to TEC employment. Contributions resume on their behalf by their employer. Just as in the secular world.
        4. Regarding the example of ACoC and TEC, the example would only be germane if ACNA and TEC recognized each other in the same way. Red herring ploy.

        I’m sure you’ll let me know where there are holes in my logic.

      • Prof Christopher Seitz

        I fail to see any disagreement, Mr. Chilton.

        Clergy who were ‘abandoned’ are not longer employed.

        They cannot make contributions.

        They are vested. But they cannot accumulate their best seven years.

        If they were abandoned prior to vesting, they are not vested.

        If they were abandoned prior to ten years, they get no medicare supplement.

        I think we agree on the above so I don’t understand your comment.

        As this is my response having made other responses on moving across provinces (I have served in Canada, Europe and the SEC) I don’t know if this comment will appear.

        God bless.

    • Jeremy Bates

      “I did not choose to stop being a ECUSA (now TEC) priest. It was decided for me.”

      Question: Before this was “decided for [you],” as you put it, did your vestry in the year 2000 vote to leave The Episcopal Church?

    • Prof Christopher Seitz

      Ann/Mother Fontaine,

      Thank you for this update which I was unaware of, from GC 2015 (last summer).

      This appears to be a TEC resolution that contemplates a TEC Priest moving to another Province of the AC (without any negative intention or circumstances) and wishing a transfer out of TEC.

      Is this how you understand its intent?

      I would wonder whether this transfer out would not foreclose on ongoing CPG contributions. Perhaps not, as an ‘extension of ministry.’

      So long as TEC is not considered ‘walking apart’ (which the last Primates Meeting did not conclude) a Priest in TEC could leave TEC in good standing and also continue some form of vesting continuity in CPG.

      Please comment further as to what you regard as the intent and scope of this reference.

      God bless.

      • Ann Fontaine

        The Canon was changed to make a gray area more clear. Some clergy were being asked to renounce when moving to another Province of the Communion. This corrects the lack of clarity and misunderstandings. See for one story of the error that has now been corrected. I do not know about CPG but would assume you only receive it while working in TEC but might be able to continue to add to it. You can write to them for clarity – CPG is very helpful in these matters. It does not apply to those who have moved to places not in Communion (see list at Anglicans Online

      • Prof Christopher Seitz

        Dear Mother Fontaine

        I see the resolution makes the role of the CPG clear in the text.

        It is as one would expect.

        I know that some jurisdictions in the Communion have no view on the status of Priests in the provinces they have left. They simply care about their own rules and rostering and regard TEC’s polity and canons as irrelevant to that determination. Said Priest may do as she or he wishes on that score.

        So it may be that this is for someone who genuinely ‘wants out’ of TEC for some reason.

        I do note that what goes around comes around. It asks the TEC Bishop if the one wanting transfer out has been ‘justly liable to evil report for error in religion.’

        One may wonder what that now constitutes! If one opposed her/his Bishop on same-sex marriage, would the Bishop not need to regard this as an ‘error in religion’ and so not sign?

        Those nasty errors in religion don’t want to go away after all!

        Thanks again. I was unaware of this new GC development and find it very interesting for wider AC affairs.

        I have been licensed in SEC and in Canada so wonder if any of this will be put into action.

    • Jeremy Bates

      Here is the (much briefer) Episcopal News Service account of your departure:

      “Church of the Holy Spirit, Roanoke, Virginia, a parish of 700 in the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia. On March 2, the parish opted out of the Episcopal Church. ‘When they built their church building, they established an independent non-profit corporation to hold title to the property, allowing them to leave any time,’ wrote Bishop Neff Powell to the diocese. ‘Should they ask to return as an Episcopal Church, I will welcome them back with open arms, possibly killing the fatted calf.’ By May, Powell had inhibited Holy Spirit’s rector, the Rev. Quigg Lawrence, following an investigation in which the Standing Committee unanimously determined that Lawrence had ‘abandoned the Communion of this Church.’ Powell will depose Lawrence at the conclusion of the six-month period unless Lawrence makes a retraction or denial of the Standing Committee’s findings.”

      On the above facts, it sounds to me as though you or your vestry tried to violate the Dennis Canon (which requires that property be held in trust for the diocese) without suffering any consequences. Obviously you didn’t get away with it. Did you ever retract, as requested?

      You or the vestry had titled property outside the diocese, so the bishop thought, logically enough, that you were outside the diocese. It seems to me as though the bishop took you at your word.

    • JC Fisher

      “1. two of our bishop’s being on the board of Planned Parenthood, 2. One being the chairman of PP Board while Planned Parenthood referred and actually did 100’s of abortions in Roanoke and 3. bringing PP into Annual Council and 4. bringing a practicing homosexual [sic] priest to be the Keynote Speaker at Annual Council”

      TBTG! God bless and defend the Episcopal Church from those who are, as above, “teaching doctrines contrary to Scripture, The BCP and the Catechism.”

  27. Prof Christopher Seitz

    “If I were to transfer to Canada and be fully received into the Canadian church as a priest, would I be eligible to use CPF in lieu of the Canadian system?”

    Yes. But your ministry in Canada would need to be approved by a TEC Bishop as an “extension of ministry” and this paperwork submitted to CPG for approval.

    Oddly enough, there is no inter-provincial system for formally ‘leaving’ a province’ and ‘joining another.’

    TEC has no canon that speaks of clergy voluntarily leaving except one in which they renounce their vows made at ordination.

    What this means in effect is that one can be received as a Priest in a different Province, licensed and rostered, but one remains in the former TEC Diocese all the same in some ill-defined sense. Unless one resigns altogether, and then the CPG handles it accordingly.

  28. Prof Christopher Seitz

    PS Mother Fontaine

    “Some clergy were being asked to renounce when moving to another Province of the Communion.”

    I am curious to know why you say this.

    Given that other Provinces typically don’t care about the Province one is leaving and its polity — they have their own ways of determining fitness, ordination, etc — you must be referring to cases where the individual wants to sever relationship with TEC and TEC wants a way to regularize that.

    Again, this is of interest as it speaks to the character of cross-Province relationships within the AC, which as you note above has typically and intentionally been left undeveloped in this area.

  29. Prof Christopher Seitz

    OK, I have read AKMA’s testimony (from some years back) about his desire to leave TEC and transfer to the SEC.

    The comments at the thread are interesting. Some thought him very wrong to ‘renounce’ his orders on a wink-wink basis.

    I cannot tell from what he writes but it sounds like under those wink-wink conditions his CPF status was unaffected.

    Reading this new GC Canon III.9. Section 5 gives a different impression. It states, “…the sending Diocese shall notify the CPF and the Recorder of Ordinations of the priest’s departure from TEC.”

    I suppose a Bishop could agree to an extension of ministry for CPF purposes but less clear is whether CPF would OK it.

    So if this is clearing up a grey area, it may well be creating a different one.

    Of course AKMA’s situation involved the SEC which apparently couldn’t roster him as a Priest.

    I believe he is now in England so who knows what new wrinkle that may have introduced given his working premises.

  30. Quigg Lawrence

    Jeremy: You suggest strongly that Church of the Holy spirit and I violated the Dennis Canon . . . that our vestry “had titled property outside the diocese, so the bishop thought, logically enough, that you were outside the diocese. It seems to me as though the bishop took you at your word.” Very wrong assumption that must be corrected. FACT: When the diocese and national church had no money to help our parish buy land or start building we had a foundation of church and non-church members approach us and offer to raise the money for us and other churches. The Terumah Foundation was was not only IRS approved but also approved of by former Bishop Heath Light who said he saw it as no different than renting from the private school we were renting from in 1994. ECUSA chancellor/attorney David Booth Beers and 815 got very involved trying to take our property but were obviously unsuccessful. They could not take what we never owned. This chain reminds me of why rape victims hesitate to speak up. They are almost always painted as the one at fault. I am out of this discussion. God knows what happened and so do journalist Julia Duin and David Virtue.

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