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Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164

 Canon Blasts Connecticut Bishop's Illegal Seizure of Dissenter Church


(AgapePress) - A conservative Anglican leader is expressing shock and dismay over the actions of a liberal bishop who forcibly seized an orthodox Episcopal church in Connecticut because of its leader's biblical opposition to same-sex "marriage" and the ordination of practicing homosexual clergy.

Connecticut's Bishop Andrew Smith recently made an unannounced visit to St. John's Episcopal Church in Bristol and temporarily suspended Rector Mark Hansen from all of his activities as a priest. With the help of 12 assistants, the bishop dismantled the church's website, hacked into its computers, and gained access to financial records. Smith then proceeded to install a homosexual-affirming female priest as pastor of the parish.

Canon David Anderson of the American Anglican Council says he has never seen anything like this in his 35 years of ministry. "It appears the bishop has broken perhaps federal law," he observes, and "certainly has gotten into very questionable area in state law. The congregation are what's called 'tenants in possession,' and it appears that the bishop had absolutely no legal right to come in and do what he did."

Anderson believes Smith has ignored or broken numerous church laws as well. The canon points out that the abrupt takeover of St. John's is already generating controversy within the already divided worldwide Anglican Communion. The incident seems to be inspiring outrage among many conservative Episcopal leaders and possibly cautious admiration among some radical liberals in the church.

"And I had hoped it wouldn't happen," Anderson says, "but I have to say that we've heard from liberal revisionist bishops that they're taking careful note of what Smith gets away with. And I think that if he gets away with [this illegal seizure of a dissenting church], it will be spreading all over the country very quickly."

That is why Canon Anderson is urging St. John's Church to take legal action against Bishop Smith. He maintains that some of the latest actions taken by the pro-homosexual bishop against the conservative Connecticut congregation were not only unprecedented but also violated criminal, civil, and canon laws.
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Josh Parsley

 2005/8/3 15:46Profile

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