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Bishop of Quincy to step down: CEN 11.07.08 p 7. November 7, 2008

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Quincy, Secession.

Anglo-Catholic leader, the Rt. Rev. Keith L. Ackerman, the Bishop of Quincy has announced his retirement due to ill health with effect on Nov 1. The announcement by the leader of Forward in Faith in the United States comes one week before his diocesan synod will vote on whether to secede from the Episcopal Church.

The Oct 30 statement said that after conferring with his family, the diocesan leaders and his physicians he would retire from “his administrative duties as executive officer of the Diocese.”
However, he stated he planned on remaining in the “Diocese for some time and will make himself available, under arrangement with the Standing Committee, to perform Episcopal acts and provide spiritual counsel to members of the Diocese.”

Bishop Ackerman has been plagued by ill health for several years, and was unable to preside at the 2007 session of diocesan synod that took the first steps towards secession from the Episcopal Church. A leading figure among the conservative bishops at Lambeth as well as the June Gafcon Conference in Jerusalem, the bishop’s decision to retire is not being seen by conservatives as a retreat from battle for the American church, but a withdrawal due to ill health.

In his statement announcing his retirement Bishop Ackerman noted he had “no intention of abandoning the diocese but will continue to provide spiritual and pastoral support as asked by the Standing Committee.”

Forward in Faith added that Bishop Ackerman would remain in office as President of the North American chapter, and that it was “his intention during his retirement to devote himself more fully than has been possible hitherto to this ministry.”

The American House of Bishops must vote to accept Bishop Ackerman’s resignation, before it takes official effect. Should his diocese vote to quit the Episcopal Church on Nov 8—as is expected—and Bishop Ackerman offer his pastoral services to the breakaway dioceses, given the current mood of the US House of Bishops in the wake of the deposition of Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan, it is likely that Bishop Ackerman’s resignation will be refused and he would be brought to trial for “abandonment of communion” and deposed, one serving American bishop told The Church of England Newspaper.

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