From the Hartford Courant:
“We firmly believe that our church was built by and given to the Anglican communion there, known as the Trinity Church Society,” Helmandollar said, adding that the church’s construction in 1746 preceded the formation of the Episcopal Diocese. “Our own constitution says we will remain.”
Smith broke the news about stripping Helmandollar of his clerical status during an afternoon press conference Friday with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, in town for the ordination today of Connecticut’s first female Episcopal bishop, the Rev. Laura J. Ahrens.
Smith said Helmandollar voluntarily renounced his orders with the Episcopal Church, but Helmandollar said that isn’t what actually happened. After he wrote to Smith informing him of the church’s decision to join the North American Anglican group, Helmandollar said, “he suggested that I renounce my orders, and I said I can’t do that.”
A few weeks later, he said, Smith wrote him a letter, dated June 20, that he had taken Helmandollar’s letter to the standing committee.
“Since you have joined another church and have renounced your ministry in the Episcopal Church,” Smith wrote, “I have laid the matter before the clerical members of the standing committee of the Diocese of Connecticut … A majority of the clerical members of the standing committee meeting on June 13, 2007, have agreed that you have renounced your ministry.”
Helmandollar was not surprised.
“I was expecting it,” he said, “but the slant of me having renounced is not sitting well with me.”