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Anglican Archbishop James Eugene Provence Resigns from APCK

Anglican Archbishop James Eugene Provence Resigns from APCK

By David W. Virtue DD
July 25, 2015

The Archbishop of the Anglican Province of Christ the King (APCK), a Continuing Anglican jurisdiction, has resigned his office, citing health concerns following revelations by a former parishioner, Kathy Webb, alleging sexual abuse.

In a letter to the Council of Bishops of the APCK, mediated through Bishop Frederick G. Morrison, Archbishop James Provence said that he had been advised "for reasons of my health and chronic medical condition to step down from my ecclesiastical duties. I am therefore submitting to you my resignation as archbishop. I am relinquishing my seat on the council of bishops, resigning as ordinary of the diocese of Western States and as rector of St. Thomas' Anglican Church, San Francisco. These resignations are effective upon your acknowledgment of this letter."

There is no indication of repentance in Provence's letter. Two other women contacted VOL following the story concerning his alleged sexual behavior with Kathy Webb. "These other women will have to consider their options. Shame is a big factor in preventing people from going public. As he has resigned based on Kathy Webb's complaint, it remains to be seen whether there is any reason for them to go public unless they are planning to sue him," said Webb attorney Canon Charles Nalls who is also an Anglican priest.

"Concerning the resignation of James Eugene Provence as archbishop of the Anglican Province of Christ the King (APCK) Webb's counsel wrote, "We submitted to the APCK Board of Inquiry, a formal complaint outlining violations APCK Canon 27.01, subparts (1)(3)(4)(6) and (8), as well as actions we believe constitute pastoral misconduct within a counseling relationship. This complaint was accompanied by detailed supporting documents and exhibits. We received notice of James Provence's resignation from all ecclesiastical offices and positions in the APCK "for health reasons" on July 20, 2015. On behalf of Ms. Webb, we are grateful for the alacrity and seriousness with which the APCK dealt with this very difficult matter and with the ultimate outcome. While we cannot speak for any others who may have been affected by the matters identified by Ms. Webb in her public letter or in the subsequent formal complaint, we regard the matter closed."

Bishop Frederick G. Morrison, Chairman, Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops of the APCK, wrote in a letter to the clergy of the APCK following the resignation of the Archbishop, "...the resignation has been accepted with immediate effect, and matters are concluded. The post of Archbishop is now 'Sede Vacante.'

"Until the new Archbishop is appointed -- the Executive Committee -- Council of Bishops -- is the current episcopal authority for our Province. I have this day written to James Provence thanking him for his years of service and wishing him better health and peace in retirement from his duties.

"In this time of transition the yoke has fallen on me-- simply because by virtue of years and experience I am currently the Senior Bishop in APCK. The Suffragan Bishops for the Dioceses of the Western, Atlantic and Southwestern States will continue their pastoral ministry to local clergy and faith communities. Together with the Chairmen of the appropriate Standing Committees they will continue with the routine administration and pastoral care of the people. For the time being all officers within the dioceses will remain in their appointments."


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