I wanted to write to you in order to clarify a few things that you had written on 27 February regarding one of the APA Bishops. First, Bishop (then Fr.) was never disciplined or inhibited by the ACA in any way. Bishop Strawn released him as a priest in good standing to the APA, and any information to the contrary is simply not true. Secondly, the various mutations in the name of the parish in question, while true, are quite more complex that it might seem. Having known more than a few of the parishioners of this parish before and after these events, I feel it prudent to say that Fr. Giffin had a vestry at the time that insisted upon these changes in an attempt to "grow" in a time of flux in North American Anglicanism if I may use that term. What this lay leadership and the wider parish soon realized is that these changes did none of that. I tell you this so that you may see a different side to this story. Surely, in your experience at St. Mary's, you realize how vestries can get cross ways with their rectors and insist upon things that may not be in the parishes best interest. Also, I think that you know of the confusion that many have had in trying to navigate not only the waters of the ACNA, the Continuum, but also Rome. Some people want change, others do not. It leaves bitterness on both sides that seems to go on and on without relief. That being said, as Rector, Fr. Giffin certainly bears that burden as well and is not without blame. He has certainly expressed this to me. I guess if people want to continue to rake him over the coals for some name changes and liturgy changes that were not under his control, that is their prerogative. Lastly, even though I know many of the ACA Bishops are not in your favor or esteem, the participation of Bishop Marsh in a consecration of an APA Bishop is not irregular as we are in full communion and he is President of the House of Bishops of the ACA. Bishop Giffin is a 2002 Master of Divinity graduate of Nashotah House. Thank you for welcoming these clarifications.
I do hope the situation at St. Mary's gets better in the coming days. It is a beautiful parish with a wonderful history and much to offer. May you have a blessed Lent.
+Larry L. Shaver
Diocese of Mid-America, APA
Monday, March 4, 2013
I received the following e-mail, which I reproduce here in its entirety: