"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Pointless Exercise: The Rump Diocese of Fort Worth "Deposes" 57 Priests and Deacons

Not that it matters one little bit to me, but today I received my official letter of deposition from Bishop C. Wallis Ohl, the "provisional bishop" of the TEC-loyalist "Diocese of Fort Worth." You can read the letter by clicking the images above.

I fully expect to receive a letter from Gordon Brown any day revoking my British citizenship, despite the outcome of that little spat between 1775 and 1783. Some people just don't get the message that the ship has long ago already sailed. :-)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I count 57,not 47, in the listing. Also, it is interesting that at least an additional 39 clergy in good standing (mostly non-parochial and retired) are not on the list.

Pointless is correct.


7:09 PM  
Anonymous Pageantmaster said...

Now Ohl has to persuade the judge that he is a bishop presumably.

As we saw last week [with a few odd exceptions] no one in England or the Communion takes these actions by Ohl and Schori as anything but un-Christian abuse and false witness. It diminishes them and TEC.

Take courage and bear your cross with honour. Prayers and gratitude for you all.

8:40 PM  
Blogger aj said...

It's about time. Good for +Ohl.


8:40 PM  
Blogger Texanglican (R.W. Foster+) said...

Quite right, your grace. Math was never my strength. Correction has been made. I also note that, in addition to leaving off several priests in good standing of our diocese, at least one gentleman whom I believe has actually left Anglican ministry behind to enter into full communion with Rome is on their list. They are clearly using a very out-of-date source.

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Ann McCarthy said...

Lovely timing following on the heels of the Synod publicity. When our priest was deposed by the Diocese of Chicago, we framed a copy of the letter for him. That was a good day. Felt like the last traces of sand were shaken off of our sandals.

12:18 AM  
Anonymous wannabeanglican said...

Phony bishop issues silly letter.

I'm sure this has you shaking in your cassock.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Connie said...

Get a really nice frame and post this silly letter in a place of honor for all to see. Good work, dear Father.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous RR said...

aj...now Ohl just needs to sue them back to the stone age where they belong. Take their churches, their homes, their cars, make them really suffer! That's the Christian way.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Julian said...

Oh... I am awfully sorry to discover (it never really sank in until now) that this is the very same Bishop Ohl who generously hosted me when I was an intern in Northwest Texas. I broke a string on his kid's violin. I hate to see him mixed up in all this, especially since NWT was very good to me. Whatever his failings, he was, at least, a hospitable man to me personally. It's a shame.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that Bruce Coggin was listed as a priest in good standing on the document says a lot about the character of the “rump” diocese (every pun intended). The last some people heard of Bruce Coggin before he sneaked back into Fort Worth, he was teaching at a college in Mexico and living with one of his male grad students.

4:10 PM  
Blogger The young fogey said...

The more the Episcopalians complain, the more they sound like little girls.

You: I quit!
Them: You can't quit! You're fired! Take that!

I see their point - you did leave - but it's like being anathematised by some garage vagante.

Frame the thing and put it on your wall. Enjoy!

1:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would frame the letter, but I would not spend more than two dollars on the frame.


9:09 AM  
Blogger The young fogey said...

I would frame the letter, but I would not spend more than two dollars on the frame.

LOL! Spot-on.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Dean Reed said...

I'm just going to stick it on my wall with a .01 cent tack.

Dean Reed

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

saw a few women on that list. I guess they get to be disposed of twice.

9:08 PM  
Blogger Texanglican (R.W. Foster+) said...

Not quite sure what that comment means, anon. Those women are deacons serving the Lord in our diocese.

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must have misunderstood. I thought women were not allowed to serve as clergy. Was I misinformed?

5:52 PM  
Blogger Texanglican (R.W. Foster+) said...

In our diocese we do not have female presbyters. We do, however, have several female deacons who serve with distinction.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Viator Catholicus said...

So much for inclusivity and welcome!

1:54 PM  
Blogger George said...

During the sixties and seventies hippies would set fire to their Draft Cards and females to their bras. Hint, hint. lol BTW, is the bishop stating that these priests cannot celebrate the Sacraments because they are no longer a part of the Episcopal church where they received that right? I can understand not being able to do so in TEC but, no where else? Says who? Or did I misunderstand?

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not presbyters?

10:54 PM  
Blogger The young fogey said...

Women deacons seem an electric 'third rail' in the Anglo-Catholic movement. Apparently one can have them; the only Catholic church 'of the larger church' that does is the Greek Orthodox Church in Greece - only among nuns in convents!

Bishop Iker has taken the position of pre-retirement, pre-conversion Graham Leonard and has them. IIRC of the three Catholic dioceses formerly Episcopal now ACNA, one doesn't have them; again IIRC Quincy.

I imagine the Episcopalians hate these dioceses' women deacons even more than they do Bishop Iker, thinking they ought to be on their side by all rights. Rather like they don't like homosexuals who don't buy the Episcopal ideology (which describes lots of Anglo-Catholics).

Why not women priests? 1) The Catholic Church has never had them. 2) It doesn't claim the authority to change that ('I can't! I'm only the Pope!'). 3) Except for a small minority living in Protestant countries (old liberal American priests and nuns), most Catholics around the world just aren't interested in having them.

7:56 AM  
Blogger K. Töpfer (aka Martial Artist) said...

Young Fogey,

I think your list is somewhat incomplete. You have omitted the fact that, for at least a number of the women who successfully sought ordination to the presbytery over the past 3+ decades, an substantial quantity of gender-specific political baggage, not to mention polemics, accompanied the candidate. That was certainly enough to put me off the idea.

I am also aware of one male candidate from TEC whose ordained female mentor was heard by the candidate publicly making the comment that he was just what TEC needed "another straight male priest." This occurred within the past four years or so and the candidate was eventually ordained in the REC.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

12:28 PM  
Blogger William Tighe said...

The Greek Church's bishops voted, rather ambiguously, that the "deaconesses" of the early Church really were "female deacons" and that they would study "reviving" that "ministry," but in fact all that they have done is appoint some nuns in convents to be subdeacons to assist priests, particularly elderly ones, a the Liturgy -- which is precisely what St. Nektarios of Aegina did, once, in the early 1920s.

I read somewhere 2 or 3 years ago that one diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Armenia began to ordain women to the diaconate, and to allow them to fulfull the same liturgical roles as male deacons, but I have not been able to find ant confirmation of this.

5:00 PM  
Blogger The young fogey said...

Thanks for the info. It seems that WO in major orders is a no-go for Catholics.

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really wish I did not have to have a doctorate in theology to understand half of these posts. I just want to know, why can't a woman fill the same post as Iker or Foster? Dumb it down for me.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Chris Jones said...

why can't a woman fill the same post as Iker or Foster? Dumb it down for me.

It doesn't need to be "dumbed down" because it is already pretty simple. The Christian faith is not something we make up as we go along; it is something that is given to us. We don't get to change it the way we like it, and if we do change it, it's not really Christianity any more.

The Christianity that was actually handed down to us from the Apostles is a religion with an all-male clergy. That is just the way it is. A Christianity that has female clergy isn't the faith that was actually handed down to us; it's a made-up religion, tailor-made to fit modern liberal sensibilities.

If a bespoke religion is what you want, then go for it. But don't confuse it with the Catholic and Apostolic faith.

Is that dumb enough for you?

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dumb is exactly the word I would use. Thanks for the clarification.

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the apostles began to hand down the faith, there WERE NO clergy. That came later, as the apostles saw there was a need. Jesus never said clergy must be men. It is strange how the church HAS changed over the years, even though some cannot see that it has. How many women do you know who still wear a hat in church? 50 years ago, that was the norm, and it is Biblical. That and many other rules have gone by the wayside in favor of a less rigid approach to scripture. The times are changing. Even your church has changed, Texanglican. Maybe they are subtle changes, but they are there. Nothing stays the same, everything changes.

7:22 PM  
Blogger fabius said...


The changes you mention, while relevant, do not pertain to something as fundamentally important as a Sacrament. Women wearing hats in church is a bit like the Medieval argument between Western and Eastern Christians over whether clergy should have beards (it got heated sometimes).

But ordination is one of the Seven Sacraments of the Church, and not to be tampered with lightly. Just for the sake of argument, even if traditional theological arguments against women's ordination are somehow invalid (I don't believe they are, mind), we shouldn't run off to radically change a two-thousand year old practice simply on the temporary whim of the current "spirit of the age." It would be like letting the Pagan Roman Emperors tell the Church Fathers how they should've run things.

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