Philly Anglo-Catholic News

Word on the street is that the diocese is beginning action against Good Shepherd, Rosemont.

Personally, I’m ambivalent about this. M began attending midnight mass there with her father when home from college and I begam making that pilgrimage too when I starting going home with her. Our last visit was shortly before Fr. Moyer’s consecration as a Continuum Bishop. It is what we look for in a church: Catholic in liturgy and practice, Evangelical in preaching. Clearly, we don’t agree with their stance on the ordination of women, though… I’m sorry it has come to this. But both Fr. Moyer and the vestry have been on thin ice for sometime and the fissures are now opening.

For those unfamiliar with the parish or just know about Fr. Moyer’s longstanding feud with his bishop, some may be interested to learn that Fr. Andrew Mead–now of St Thomas Fifth Ave–was rector there before Fr. Moyer’s tenure (and thus it helped form his son, now at Smokey Mary’s…).

There will be more about all this later, I’m sure, as things develop.


About Derek Olsen

I'm a layman within the Episcopal Church with a PhD in New Testament and an interest in most things medieval, monastic, and liturgical. My chief job is keeping up with my priestly wife and our two awesome kids. In addition to that, I earn a living, run the St Bede's Breviary, listen to loud goth/industrial music, and do some stuff for the church. I currently serve as Secretary to the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music where I'm also co-chair of the Calendar committee and chair of the Digital Publications committee.
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15 Responses to Philly Anglo-Catholic News

  1. Caelius says:

    Well, +Bennison’s foot was bound to come down some time. The legal bills on both sides are going to be horrendous. +Bennison would be better off asking for some pittance for transfer of title and using the money saved to found a new mission in the area.

  2. Derek the Ænglican says:

    Agree–But Good Shepherd will probably bet that they can out last +Bennison (since the Standing Committee has asked for his resignation…). I really hope this isn’t +Bennison’s eleventh-hour attempt “win” before the curtains close on him too…

  3. The young fogey says:

    Good points both. I forgot that Bennison might be gone soon. Regarding a mission in the area, caelius, do you mean one to the poor and/or unchurched in Greater Philadelphia (which would be a better use of the money) or a replacement for Good Shepherd? ISTM those at Rosemont who share Bennison’s beliefs on certain issues left some time ago for other Episcopal churches, both Main Line and other. Why waste money starting another one? (Now that most Main Line Episcopalians drive cars, unlike a century ago.) St Mary’s, Wayne, for example, is close enough in churchmanship and on board with Bennison.

  4. Derek the Ænglican says:

    Fogey is quite right–about St Mary’s and others. There has been an exodus over the years and the Mainline now tends to either be or wants to be high liturgically, partly because of former Rosemont folk.

  5. Caelius says:

    Wherever is best, frankly.

  6. LutherPunk says:

    So, how is one a priest in one jurisdiction and a bishop in another?

  7. The young fogey says:

    Sacramentally a man may be a bishop but serve simply as a priest, not as an ordinary, coadjutor or suffragan, in a diocese, rather like sometime ++Cantuar (Carey) and ++Ebor (Hope) are now.

    Bennison deposed Moyer some time ago but hasn’t done anything since hoping he’d come back to him. Some other Anglican dioceses licensed Moyer to show support but that wouldn’t mean anything in court because the court would fall back on Episcopal canon law, which says dioceses are independent of each other. Moyer is no longer a priest of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, which is all that would matter. (That he’s also a Continuing bishop doesn’t necessarily come into it.) So ISTM the court would say it’s OK for Bennison to evict him… if he can prove the buildings really belong to the diocese and not to the parish. (As happened recently at St James the Less.)

  8. LutherPunk says:

    Ah, see i didn’t know he was deposed…that answers my question. Thanks!

  9. James Day says:

    Ummm. I’m a little lost but living in NYC and being a parishioner at Smokey Mary’s, I’m curious. Who did what to whom?

  10. Derek the Ænglican says:

    Hey James,

    In a nutshell, Good Shepherd has historically been an anglo-catholic parish. As I said, Fr. Mead (and Matthew) were there before they headed off to other parts. The current rector is Fr. Moyer, former president of FiFNA and general thorn in the side of the very liberal Bishop Bennison whose idea of liturgical space and celebration can be seen by looking at their cathedral. That is, far more Spirit of Vatican II than Anglo-Catholic… In any case, Fr. Moyer was seen as one of the brightest and most articulate advocates for Anglo-Catholics in ECUSA despite his power struggles with his bishop. Regretably (to my mind), he accepted an invitation to become a Continuum Bishop. So, he is bishop of an Anglican body not in communion with Canterbury whose Archbishop is (I believe) in Uganda yet serves a parish in suburban Philly. +Bennison defrocked him. +Duncan and others immediately said that they would recognize his orders even if +Bennison didn’t. Things have been tense for a while with no real action on either side, but now it seems that the bishop is moving to act against the parish. If there are any things of importance missing, I’m sure fogey or others can fill them in.

  11. The young fogey says:

    Well put, Derek, and here are the details/corrections.

    Bennison deposed Moyer a few years before Moyer became a Continuing bishop because Rosemont stopped paying its assessment to the diocese and wouldn’t let Bennison make his official visits. Background: before Bennison became +Pennsylvania he said he’d continue to let Rosemont have its flying bishop from Quincy but he reneged – that’s what started it.

    The archbishop for the Traditional Anglican Communion, which the Anglican Church in America belongs to (Moyer is not a diocesan but their bishop for the US armed forces), is John Hepworth in Australia not Uganda.

  12. Annie says:

    What?!! Did the telephone ring? Did you have an appointment?

    Tell me more!

  13. Derek the Ænglican says:

    Thanks for the corrections and additions. I could have sworn there was a Uganda link in there somewhere…

    No, Annie, I’m just connected… 😉

  14. james day says:

    That’s great, thanks for the background info. Funny how the party that is always talking about toleration doesn’t like tolerating very much. What did Bennison not like about Moyer?

  15. bls says:

    And it’s funny, too, how the group that is always going on about obedience to ecclesial authority doesn’t like obeying ecclesial authority very much.

    Ah, well. I was just saying that I’ve gotten less and less attached to the Church as I’ve gotten more in touch with God. I think there’s a message there or something….

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