Last July, I notified the Bishop of my Diocese that, since I had not succeeded in planting the church in the vicinity of OSU, which he had commissioned me to plant when he ordained me in May 2011, I believed it was incumbent upon me to resign my Orders as an Anglican priest. I genuinely believed, at the time, that my action was the better part of wisdom and integrity and the right thing to do. After a long conversation with the Diocesan Canon to the Ordinary, I was persuaded to reconsider my request. It was withdrawn.
On September 26, in a moment of deep personal frustration, I posted a status update on Facebook in which I made reference to the Episcopal Church in a way that apparently embarrassed the Bishop and my Diocese in the Anglican Church in North America. It was completely inadvertent. I meant no disrespect. Still, I was suspended from my “priestly faculties” as a result.
I immediately deleted the post and sent a letter of contrition and apology to the Bishop, asking his forgiveness for any embarrassment I may have caused him or the diocese. At the same time, I renewed my request to be released from my ordination vows. In the Anglican Church, this action is known as “laicization” of a priest and is usually taken as part of a disciplinary process. That was not the case in my situation.
Today I received an official communication from the Bishop. My request for laicization was granted. I have been released from “the obligations of the Ministerial Office,” and I am “hereby deprived of the right to exercise the gifts, duties, and spiritual authority as a Priest of God’s Word and Sacraments conferred to (me) in the Ordination as a Priest.” The formal statement, which the Bishop signed, made it clear that “this laicization is voluntary and for reasons not in violation of moral integrity or canon law.”
Even though I requested this action, it is still a sad day. I feel adrift and homeless. Thanks for your prayers.