Friday, September 14, 2007

Words from Bishop Keith Ackerman of the Diocese of Quincy

Ruth Gledhill of the (London) Times speaks to Bishop Keith Ackerman:

I was blessed to have the chance this week to speak to Bishop Keith Ackerman of the Quincy diocese. He says his diocese, on the Anglican-Catholic wing, has been 'reserved' in its response to the crisis and has not been aggressive in its pursuit of a solution. Nevertheless, the diocese has begun setting out plans that could see it leave TEC. 'We are throwing ourselves on Rowan Williams' mercy,' Bishop Keith told me. 'We want to persuade him to stop the haemorrhage that is taking place in The Episcopal Church. The haemorrhage is being grossly understated. There are now 53 denominations of continuing churches in the US. There are numerous parishes that are no longer under US jurisdiction. I'm led to believe there may be as many as 200 of these.

One of the things that Lambeth 98 was terribly specific about was that the US needed to come up with a plan for them to re-enter the family. At Lambeth we said we would reach out to those who consider themselves of Anglican tradition. But there has been very, very little effort. More effort has been put into ecumenism with the Lutherans and United Methodists than with the various bodies of Anglican tradition. Frankly, I have much more in common with them than I do with Lutherans or Methodists.

'We need to find a way to bring the family back together again.'

One peculiarity he pointed to was the lack of a legal entity called TEC. 'What there is, is the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the USA. That is our name. That is how we are incorporated. So we were in effect supposed to be a missionary society. We did not have SPCK, we did not have CMS. We were to be the missionaries, particularly in unsettled parts of the US.'. . .

Read it all, and here's an interview I did with Bishop Ackerman for AnglicanTV in March. Ruth is correct when she says she "was blessed to have the chance this week to speak to Bishop Keith Ackerman" - it truly is a blessing to talk with him.

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