Former Quincy Bishop Charged

Bishop Edward MacBurney, bishop retired of the Diocese of Quincy, has been formally charged with canonical violations by the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. These charges stem from events occurring in June, 2007 when Bishop MacBurney wa s invited to make a pastoral visit to a non-Episcopal chu rch in San Diego, California. MacBurney, 80 years old, retired from his position as a diocesan bishop in 1994, but as a bishop in good standing still actively ministers to churches throughout the country and also in other parts of the Anglican Communion..

The basis of the charges against MacBurney relate to the allegation that he did not receive permission to perform liturgical rites from the sitting Episcopal diocesan bishop in San Diego. Even though the church MacBurney visited had severed ties with the Episcopal Church in the United States and had re-affiliated with the Anglican Bishop of Argentina, a primate of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the charges allege that MacBurney impermissibly crossed Diocesan boundaries.

Although MacBurney is retired, he remains a member of the Episcopal House of Bishops with seat and voice. The essence of the charge is the claim that MacBurney is prohibited from ministering within the geographical territory of another Episcopal diocese even if the church to which he ministers is no longer affiliated with the Episcopal Church. Attorneys for MacBurney state that the charges raise the theoretical question as to whether an Episcopal bishop exercises total control over a certain geographical territory or whether a Bishop merely exerc ises control over the Episcopal churches within that territory. The Episcopal Church has suffered internal turmoil for a number of years and it has been common practice for certain retired bishops to minister to parishes experiencing ideological differences from their bishops.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

14 comments on “Former Quincy Bishop Charged

  1. CanaAnglican says:

    This just in from the “We have decided to shoot ourselves in the foot department.”

  2. Mike L says:

    As I posted over on Stand Firm…
    Bishop MacBurney’s crime? Daring to perform the confirmations of 9 (I said “6” over on SF but have since discovered the error) young people in our church, including my daughter. Almost everyday I am reminded of why we fled Bishop Mathes and the rest of TEC. Thanks be to God for our current Bishop Venables and the courage of Bishop MacBurney. What a kindly and godly servant of God. My prayers will be with him and his son.

  3. CanaAnglican says:

    Mike, I just rechecked my sources and this may have come from the “Let’s beat up an old man department.”

    Sue the one you can sue.

    Depose the ones you can depose.

    And if they are old and kindly, just beat them up and leave them for dead. (Maybe a Samaritan bishop will come along from South America and we can beat up on him too.)

  4. dwstroudmd+ says:

    First the unborn. NOW the geriatrics. Can the “moderates” and “Windsor bishops” be far behind?

  5. Ian Montgomery says:

    The tactic now seems to make kin to Polycarp out of first +Cox adn now +MacBurney. May God have mercy on their souls as I am not feeling that godly.

  6. Intercessor says:

    Good thing Father Flanagan has passed on…as for “Windsor Bishops”
    please remind yourself who was in the Camp Allen gulag swinging the ax yesterday. My dog could qualify as a Windsor Bishop with the right tithe.

  7. Robert Dedmon says:

    “From all blindness of heart; from pride, vainglory, and
    hypocrisy; from envy, hatred, and malice; and from all
    want of charity,

  8. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    I may not meet Bishop MacBurney myself but have read the tributes paid to him. He sounds a wonderful and Godly man.
    My prayers are with and for him at this time and I would like him to know if that is possible that he has our love and respect; that we remain in communion with him in the Church of our Lord and Saviour. May his ministry continue to be blest

  9. RMBruton says:

    Does anyone else see a pattern here? Bishop Cox, Dr. Packer, Bishop MacBurney, all men in their eighties. Canonical euthenasia on both sides of the 49th Parallel.

  10. w.w. says:

    Not being sufficiently plugged into the intricacies of TEC polity and policies, allow me to ask a dumb question:

    If +MacBurney had been invited to address an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship gathering at San Diego State, or for that matter, guest preach or pray God’s blessing on an ordination candidate at First Baptist, San Diego, would he be required to seek +Mathes’s “permission”?


  11. Nikolaus says:

    Given that this involves Bishop [i]MacBurney[/i] the appropriate petition is:
    [b]From Ghoulies and Ghosties and Long-Leggety Beasties, Good Lord Deliver Us![/b]

  12. Nikolaus says:

    Oh, I also meant to ask: does anyone know who acctually made the charges?

  13. Don Armstrong says:

    O’Neill of Colorado just sent a letter to an 89 year old priest with Parkinson’s disease telling him he was going to be defrocked for asking Archbishop Ping for help in 2001…Paula Nesbitt’s work on reconciliation at the HOB meeting must have been very moving…and how about those Windsor Bishops–our hope in ages past?

    [i] Slightly edited by elf. [/i]

  14. celtichorse says:

    #12. Bp Mathes of San Diego. What is monstrous in this presentment is that it was made at this time with the knowledge that Bishop MacBurney’s son lays dying in hospice.