27 April, 2009
The Standing Committee of the Diocese of South Carolina is unable to consent to the election of the Rev. Kevin Thew Forrester as Bishop of Northern Michigan for the following reasons:
1. Writings and sermons of Fr. Thew Forrester and liturgies composed by him call into serious question his understanding of and commitment to Nicene orthodoxy regarding the nature of the Trinity , the unique revelation of God in Christ , the nature and necessity of the Atonement, and the Virgin Birth.
2. An unauthorized Baptismal rite composed and used by Fr. Thew Forrester calls into serious question his sacramental understanding and judgment. Within the rite itself, the lack of the renunciations ”“ in any remotely recognizable Christian form- represent a cutting loose from the historic moorings of Anglicanism in the catholic Tradition of the Church. We see this as a grave error.
3. The Episcopal office is the teaching office of the Church, therefore the consecration of a bishop is, in effect, a public teaching on behalf of the whole church. Consenting to Fr. Thew Forrester’s election would then be an endorsement of heterodox views with regard to core elements of the Faith, causing confusion and scandal among the flock, and also exacerbating rather than healing divisions within and between the Anglican Communion and the wider Body of Christ.
We recognize the Fr. Thew Forrester is the choice of the people of the Diocese of Northern Michigan and appreciate the esteem in which he is held. His election is a testimony to this esteem and his character. Further, this Diocese is keenly aware of the pain and difficulty, to say nothing of the expense, incurred by a Diocese when a Bishop”“elect is denied consent. As a Standing Committee we pledge to hold Fr. Thew Forrester and Diocese of Northern Michigan in our prayers.
Unanimously Resolved ”“ April 21, 2009
1 Trinity Sunday Sermon ”“ 5/18/08-
2 “ Dar es Salaam – Already One in God” Episcopal Life: The Church in Hiawathaland Vol. 18, No. 7, September 2007
4 Easter Vigil Liturgy, p. 17 “The fire of your Spirit kindled a love between Mary and Joseph; a fire that became the roaring flame of eternal compassion ”“ the heart of Jesus.”
5 Easter Day Baptismal Liturgy, pgs. 3-4 Note, in particular, the changes in the language of the “Presentation and Examination of the Candidates” and “The Baptismal Covenant.” Cf. 1979 The Book of Common Prayer, pgs. 301-305. Compare the Renunciation and Confessions sections of Fr. Forrester’s liturgy with the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus (215 A.D.) Chpt. 21:9 “When the elder takes hold of each of them who are to receive baptism, he shall tell each of them to renounce, saying, “I renounce you Satan, all your servicea, and all your works.”