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NEWARK: Parish Applies for DEPO

DIOCESE OF NEWARK PARISH APPLIES FOR DEPO

By David W. Virtue

A traditionalist Forward in Faith parish in one of the most revisionist dioceses in the country – Newark – has applied for Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight.

The Church of St. Anthony of Padua, Hackensack NJ is the only FIFNA parish in the Diocese of Newark and one of three AAC parishes.

They sent the following letter to Bishop John P. Croneberger

Rt. Rev. John P. Croneberger
Bishop of Newark
Diocese of Newark
31 Mulberry St.
Newark, New Jersey 07102

Re: House of Bishop’s Plan for Episcopal Oversight

Dear Bishop Croneberger,

The unanimous Vestry of the Church of St. Anthony of Padua, Episcopal Diocese of Newark, proclaim Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior. We embrace the faith and practice of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and declare our loyalty to the Anglican Communion. We humbly place ourselves under the authority of Scripture.

We accept the recently adopted House of Bishop’s plan as an important opportunity to establish mutual understanding and reconciliation between ourselves and the Diocese of Newark.

We thank you for the cordiality with which you have approached us in the past, even though we have been treated with hostility by others in the Diocese of Newark.

Sadly, the Diocese of Newark has intentionally departed from Biblical norms and the teaching of the Anglican Communion on many issues, including the issue of human sexuality. Many homosexual clergy are living with their same sex partners on parish property. Blessing of same sex partners has been common for many years. This trend culminated in your consent to the election of V. Gene Robinson as ecclesiastical authority in the Diocese of New Hampshire.

Accordingly, we wish to discuss episcopal oversight, and we wish to proceed in the spirit of charity called for in the House of Bishop’s plan.

First, as a confidence building measure, we require the immediate visitation of a Forward in Faith Bishop to confirm and to celebrate Mass. We have over thirty five individuals awaiting confirmation/reception.

We respectfully request that you consent to have Bishop William Wantland make this visit. Bishop Wantland is experienced in pastoring in a multicultural setting and can confirm, preach, and celebrate in both Spanish and English. This is important because many awaiting confirmation are Hispanic. We believe Bishop Wantland’s visit can be arranged in a matter of days.

Furthermore, as good will is restored between us, the following concerns must be addressed:

1. A guarantee that we will be able to call a Forward in Faith rector upon retirement or transfer of the incumbent.

2. Access to the ordination process for our young men called to the priesthood.

3. The right to direct our Diocesan assessment to Diocesan missions of our choosing. This is crucial because “Oasis” and other revisionist and homosexual organizations are line items in the Diocesan budget.

4. Appointment by you of two liaison members (one a member of the American Anglican Council and one a member of Forward in Faith) to the following Diocesan committees: Standing Committee, Commission on Ministry, Convention Committee and Diocesan Newspaper (The Voice). This will ensure diversity and that orthodox viewpoints are heard.

5. We ask your commitment that you will work to rescind and repudiate resolutions enacted by past Diocesan Conventions condemning by name the Dioceses of Fort Worth, Quincy and San Joaquin. These resolutions are malicious and insulting to us. Bishop Iker of Fort Worth, Bishop Ackerman of Quincy and Bishop Schofield of San Joaquin have shown us every kindness and act as our true Fathers in God. The Diocese of Newark, on the other hand, has in the past treated us with contempt.

6. Oversight by a Forward in Faith Bishop, coupled with assurances by the Diocese of Newark that it will respect and encourage the Catholic faith and witness of this parish.

We see no reason why these issues cannot be resolved in meetings during the next 3-4 weeks. There is no complexity here. Our committee will meet with you and the Chancellor at any time.

The final agreement should be reduced to writing and provide for a neutral mechanism for dispute resolution, such as arbitration by the American Arbitration Association.

Our goal, as stated by the House of Bishops, is reconciliation and deepening relationship. We count upon your good will and sincerity to accomplish this.

Yours in Christ,
The Vestry of the Church of St Anthony of Padua

The Church of St. Anthony of Padua
72 Lodi Street
Hackensack, New Jersey 07601
A Forward in Faith North America Parish

END

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