Tuesday, March 27, 2018

New Non-TEC Ordinations

My regular correspondent reports,
Two current military chaplains, Joseph Reffner and Matthew Whitehead, will be ordained to the priesthood at the end of May. The latter was REC and the former ACA ("Two Regent Graduates Complete Army Chaplain Basic Course"). Their ordinations to the diaconate were completely under the radar. There are two priestly ordination services this year: "A" List on June 29, which was established by Bp Lopes as the official annual date, "B" list (Bayles, these two men, Ed Wills) on May 31.
Both men are married. If they're chaplains, we must assume that the two will continue as chaplains until they're eligible for military retirement, at which point they could be deployed to positions in the OCSP where their military pensions would supplement whatever the OCSP communities could pay.

This seems to indicate that the OCSP is continuing to recruit men under a very loose interpretation of the former model -- they aren't coming in with parishes, they aren't members of an existing OCSP group, but they were in fact ordained in an "Anglican" denomination.

The Reformed Episcopal Church, Whitehead's former denomination, broke from TEC in 1873 in reaction to the increasingly Romanizing trends there. According to Wikipedia,

They emphasized the Protestant, Reformed, Evangelical and Reformational aspects in the history of the Church of England, making frequent allusions to Archbishop Cranmer, Bishop Ridley, Bishop Hugh Latimer, Bishop John Hooper, Archbishop Matthew Parker, Bishop John Jewel, Archbishop Edmund Grindal and other Reformers in the Church of England. Early leaders of the Church, in lectures and sermons, warned against Ritualism as a denominational proclivity in the Episcopal Church.
My regular correspondent adds,
Former clergy do not generally attend seminary, although they may do some make up classes, on-line or locally, and they now have week-long intensive sessions in Houston a few times a year.
How does this make up for what's pretty clearly down-the-line Protestant formation? One question I have is whether OCSP clergy in fact ever do interact much with diocesan clergy.

I also question why these ordinations have been kept secret.