Disappointing comments

I was disappointed to read of the alleged dissing of the leadership of the Diocese of Quincy by the dean of its cathedral church, St. Paul’s, and another of its priests.

[Father John] Blossom said that members of the diocese have been “fed a diet of misleading information” about the Episcopal Church for as many as ten years.  He said the result of that effort has been that some people actually believe there are no Christians left in the Episcopal Church.

On a website set up to aid communication between persons wanting to help reorganize the diocese, Blossom quotes the Very Rev. Robert Dedmon, dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, who said the cathedral vote “demonstrates that when people have an opportunity to study the facts they realize that the information disseminated by the ultra-conservative leadership of the diocese was misleading.”

I’m not sure exactly what kind of “misleading information” now-retired Bishop Keith Ackerman and others have been “feeding” the diocese. Has The Episcopal Church turned away from clear biblical teaching on various issues of morality? Yes. In doing so, did it break earlier promises? Yes.

From what I could see as Peoria Journal Star religion reporter, who covered many of these Quincy-related issues over the years, Ackerman did his best to listen to everyone and get accurate information out to his people. He bent over backwards to let the process take its proper time and direction. Blossom and Dedmon are saying, in essence (and if Episcopal Life Online is reporting accurately), that Ackerman and all of the other leaders lied to their people. I simply don’t see any evidence for that. If that is so, then they remained silent and are themselves culpable. On the other hand, ELO is a branch of TEC and could easily be twisting what Blossom and Dedmon said. I also am acquainted with Dean Dedmon and am very surprised that he would say something so unkind about Ackerman. I hope the quotes were taken out of context. In fact, I looked for the quotes attributed to Blossom on the reorganizing diocese’s Web site and couldn’t find them. I’m not sure where ELO got its information.

Diocese of Quincy, where art thou?

This from the presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church in response to the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy’s decision to realign with the Anglican Southern Cone province:

From the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, on the vote at the Quincy convention:

We lament the departure from The Episcopal Church of some individuals in southern Illinois.  The Episcopal Diocese of Quincy remains, albeit with fewer members, and we are working to assist in the reorganization of diocesan affairs.  We assure all, both Episcopalians and former Episcopalians, and members of their surrounding communities, of our prayers for clarity and charity in their spiritual journeys.  May all be reminded that the gospel work of healing this world will take the best efforts of every person of faith.

Southern Illinois? Going to be hard to find those “fewer members” if TEC doesn’t even know where to look. Oh, wait, Quincy is outside of Chicago and therefore in “southern Illinois.” The Diocese of Quincy stretches from Geneseo, Kewanee and Princeton in the north to Quincy and Griggsville in the south. Only the last comes close to being in “southern Illinois.”

At stake in the split are churches, diocesan property, bank accounts and other financial assets. So far, TEC hasn’t been faring well in courts trying to get property back from departed congregations, at least in Virginia.

Some churches are in good shape. St. Francis in Dunlap is leasing space and Bread of Life Anglican Fellowship in Peoria also is either renting or meeting in space owned by an individual.

The most interesting case probably will involve St. Paul’s Cathedral in Peoria, as well as the diocesan office building nearby.