Thursday, February 14, 2013

More Ecclesiastical Peculiars (or "Peculiers")

I learn via two clerical observers that there were more "peculiars" in the ACA and the TAC, which in the absence of a readily available definition on the web, I will speculate is a parish that is not part of a regular diocese, but is uniquely under the see of a primate or metropolitan. Clarifications from knowledgeable parties will be most welcome. One observer has suggested that Archbishop Hepworth's Patrimony of the Primate was nothing but a big peculiar. Among other things, I would assume that the advantage of being a peculiar is that it is not subject to diocesan canons, and it is not subject to supervision from a diocesan ordinary. We may assume that a primate or metropolitan would have less interest in supervising an individual parish, and being made a peculiar could amount to a kind of preferential treatment (i.e., an opportunity for corruption). One clerical source points out that being a peculiar amounts to an exemption from normal requirements for a financial audit.

I'm told that Archbishop Hepworth had at least two "peculiars": the parish at St Francis, Portland, OR, which was not in the ACA Diocese of the West, and Fr Anthony Chadwick, a non-parochial priest living in France, who runs a blog, and whose ecclesiastical status has been unclear since Hepworth retired. The parish St Francis Portland appears to be related to the unique status of ACA Bishop Robin Connors, who will be the subject of at least one post here as I develop more information. Connors had also been the rector of St Francis Spartanburg, SC, which was an American Episcopal Church parish from the founding of the AEC in 1970 and then moved into the pre-ACA Anglican Catholic Church. Connors and St Francis Spartanburg, unlike most of the ACC, moved into the ACA with Falk. St Francis Spartanburg was then made a peculiar under newly-minted Archbishop Louis Falk and was not a part of the ACA Diocese of the Eastern United States. As I noted the other day, St Mary of the Angels was a peculiar under Archbishop Falk from 1991 to 1994 or 1995.

As usual, I will greatly appreciate corrections, additions, and clarifications. However, in the context of what I believe I've learned about Bishop Connors, this strongly suggests preferential treatment, with the clear opportunity for corruption. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: I am grateful for corrections and clarifications as usual: a knowledgeable visitor points out that what I have spelled as "peculiar" is in fact "peculier" with two e's. Wikipedia notes, "A Royal Peculiar (also spelled "Peculier"), an area including one or more places of worship under the jurisdiction of the British monarchy." As I noted the other day, a fragmentary Parliamentary record suggests these were abolished around 1848 in the UK, but as with many other archaic corrupt practices, revived under the banner of adherence to the true and ancient faith by continuing Anglicans.