Wardens Warned of "Tremendous Abuse of Power"

David Virtue DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Sat May 5 01:38:25 EDT 2001

Wardens Warned of "Tremendous Abuse of Power"

By Robert Stowe England

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The American Anglican Council of Washington, D.C.,
a traditionalist organization within the Diocese of Washington, has
sent a letter to all the Senior Wardens of the 96 parishes and
congregations in the diocese warning them of improper interference by
the diocese in the call of interims and rectors.

The letter is prompted by Suffragan Bishop Jane Dixon's rejection of
the call of Fr. Samuel Edwards to be rector of Christ Church, Accokeek,
Maryland. Dixon's action is called "a tremendous abuse of power" by the
author of the letter, AACW President Brad Hutt, the Junior Warden of
Christ Church, Clinton, Maryland.

The letter informs the wardens that six bishops and The Living Church
have criticized Dixon for her rejection of Fr. Edwards action. This may
be the first some of them have heard of these criticisms, since no
mention of them has appeared in any diocesan publication or statement.

The letter contains five letters from parishes where it is claimed the
diocese improperly interfered and Hutt notes that interference has
occurred at other parishes as well.

Hutt writes, "Because this is of immense consequence to all vestries
and parishes, we believe it is our Christian duty to share these
letters with you so that this totally unacceptable manipulation of a
vestry's power and authority to call a rector of their own choosing is
immediately stopped."

Although the AACW has known for some time about these practices, it had
not previously published such a strong condemnation. However, because
the situation seems to have dramatically worsened with the rejection of
a duly qualified priest for theological reasons, it was now necessary
to warn the wardens. Says Hutt, "[W]e cannot remain silent when a
vestry's basic canonical right to select a qualified rector of their
own choosing is being violated."

The letters from the five parishes sharply criticized the tactics of
Rev. Ted Karpf, the deployment officer of the diocese who is leaving by
the middle of this month for a sabbatical in South Africa. Presiding
Bishop Frank Griswold is sending him there to be, according to
Griswold, a "missionary." He is to be involved in an AIDS ministry.

The letter to the Senior Wardens parallels a similar letter sent to the
parishioners of Christ Church Accokeek last month, which also contained
letters from other parishes where improper interference was claimed.

Letters were supplied concerning All Faith, Charlotte Hall; St.
Barnabas, Temple Hill; St. Thomas, Croom; Christ Church Clinton; and
St. Phillips, Laurel.


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