Friday, October 30, 2009

Bishop Rocco Florenza received into the Anglican Catholic Church

Richmond, VA.

On Tuesday the bishops of the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC) voted unanimously to receive Bishop Rocco Florenza in his episcopal orders. He has been appointed the Episcopal Visitor for the New England Diocese. The vote was taken by the bishops assembled at the Provincial Synod meeting here this week. Bishop Forenza resigned from the Anglican Church in America (ACA) in order to request admission into the ACC in time for the bishops to decide the matter during the Synod.

Other highlights of the Provincial Synod include the establishment of a new diocese in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It is expected that in the two South African Dioceses bishops will be elected within the next few months, and consecrated early in 2010.

More details will be reported later today.


Anonymous said...

What lovely news of developments in Africa! Perhaps the African province comes closer to fruition.

I pray that this reception of Bp. Florenza turns out to be a wonderful thing. I certainly hold Abp. Haverland's judgment in high esteem. However, Bp. Florenza has demonstrated what might be reasonably called a propensity to unilaterally move.

More importantly, was the Province of Christ the King consulted in this? I would hate to see the ACC/ACPK/UECNA good works put off track by this.

Of course, if the Continuing Churches were to come together, there would be an awful lot of awkward synods at first. Heck, there probably already are.

- Southern Nonjuror

Anonymous said...

Well, by leaving the APCK with several parishes in tow, making a fly over of the ACA, and landing in the ACC, +Rocco has certainly made a positive contribution to greater traditional anglican unity, AS HE HIMSELF PUBLICLY said was the purpose and intent of his APCK defection. [Sarcasm intended.] Maybe his wanderlust will cease when some jurisdiction makes him Archbishop?

Is it just me, or is "Continuum" jurisdiction hopping unseemly. Wouldn't it be better for everyone who has broken from 815 and Cantuar [bravo!] to just sit still for a bit and work out any material differences between and twixt the "extramural" Anglican jurisdictions by and through vigorous debate and dialog in channels such as this Blog. Wouldn't that be a faster and more orderly way to achieve the original, continuing Anglican vision of the Affirmation of St. Louis?

Anonymous said...

I'm not clear on something; is Bp. Florenza also leading all of the parishes that he brought into the ACA, out, and into the ACC?

Just curious...

- Anthony

Canon Tallis said...

I suspect that Florenza jumped to the ACA precisely to prevent harming the future uniting of APCK, UECNA, and the ACC. That he untimately found being in ACA as untenable as remaining in APCK, is also more than understandable. The warp of personalities as well as a lack of understanding or knowledge of what classic orthodox Anglicanism is supposed to be has made every bit of the experience since the Denver consecrations more than torture for more than a few of us. Some of us have managed to persevere in one form or another, but I think there is a very strong probability than an ever greater number have opted out entirely. And that is a tragedy much larger than any of us are ever going to know.

Personally I am thankful that the bishop has made it home. The big question is just how quickly and completely that the ACC can make it universally recognizable as the center of the Continuum and a safe place for classical prayer book Anglicans who feel no need for the pretentions and perversions of 16th century papalism. It really is time for us be shed of the problems of Rome.


Anonymous said...

It looks like Rocco didn't take the parishes (except his own) with him this time which would indicate that he is a loose canon. Frs. Hart and Nalls were with the APCK, what do they think of all this waywardness?

palaeologos said...

DB & I have sniped at each other on here in the past, but here he's saying what needs to be said. I suspected something like this would happen (though I would have put my money on the APA instead of the ACC...).

Anonymous said...

"It looks like Rocco didn't take the parishes (except his own) with him this time which would indicate that he is a loose canon."

Bishop Florenza is neither a canon, nor a loose cannon. Please re-read Canon Tallis' post.

f/k/a acamusician

Anonymous said...


Please forgive my prior snippiness. Sometimes I just get carried away with the courage of my convictions and forget charity.

poetreader said...

'm going to avoid any specific comment here as long as I can. Some on this board, like Canon Tallis, will approve strongly of +Florenza's move, others, like myself, will distinctly not, others, like Southern Nonjuror may have questions about the matter.

Really, more important, are those who, like H1940 (one of his parishioners) see it through the lens of pastoral relationship.

Bishop Rocco is an honorable man and a fine pastor. One thing we need to do here is, whether we agree with him or not, to treat him and his decision with respect, and not to make it yet another occasion for the infighting we are noted for. Let's all give him the benefit of the doubt to the full extent we are able, and let us pray and hope that this be revealed to be among the "all things" that work together for the good to the faithful.


Deacon Down Under said...

Here in Australia the shifts if prelates and priests between the jurisdictions of the Continuum is somewhat academic,having here only a very small ACC and TAC.

It is my prayer that the UECNA and ACPK will have organic union within the ACC, so that their bishops and priests and parishes become part of what surely must be the Apostolic continuation of the fullness of the Anglican Catholic witness to orthodoxy.

I wish the ACC would actually make use of their website and update it regularly, and I look forward to reading about the deliberations of Synod, the ACC response to the overtures of the Holy Father, and hopefully of the ACC's resolute commitment to fight the good fight for the spread, the missiona nd the witness of Anglican Catholicism.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Bishop Florenza has never "taken" any parish anywhere. I am certain, however, that many will follow
him again.

Death Bredon: Are you saying that you would approve the inevitable Tiber Swim for all who remain in the ACA? At least, I see it as inevitable; others will, no doubt, disagree. And there is no point in debating, because we will see rather shortly if the ACA is really Anglican or Roman. But,I believe all the Anglicans among them will be forced to decide, which should produce a result toward more genuine unity.

Time will prove me right or wrong.

Anonymous said...

Many individuals and parishes in the TAC (not just the ACA) will have nothing to do with Rome's offer even though they still pray earnestly for unity with Rome and the Orthodox Churches.I think that unity amongst those who subscribe to the Affirmation Of St.Louis can and will be achieved. It looks like the TAC College Of Bishops' misadventure could be the catalyst.I don't blame Bishop Florenza for disassociating himself from those who wish to submit to Rome and I pray that more TAC Bishops will do the same.
A united Continuum will be attractive to a great many who,so far,don't know where to turn.

palaeologos said...


No harm done. I have done the same thing, and I hope you'll forgive as well.

Ed : your point's well taken. However, the move to the ACA was preceded by no small amount of fanfare (including the unilateral and, to my knowledge, unprecedented declaration that his diocese was in communion with the ACA). I am somewhat surprised that there is only this neutral, press-release-style announcement that +Florenza has changed jurisdictions; I would very much like to know what he has to say about the move, and hope that he supplies an explanation sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

I have a question in regards to the news concerning Bp. Florenza and hope some of you can help.
Were the Apb's of the UECNA and the APCK consulted regards to this move on the part of the ACC?
I was under the impression that this was to be the case of important matters of this type within the continuing 3 jurisdictions.
Thanks to you all

poetreader said...

I'm one of the hosts here, and I'm beginning to feel very uncomfortable. I'm sensing a desire to think the worst of ACA without having a little bit of patirnce to find out what is going on. It's not wrong to make guesses as to what that might be, but it is desperately wrong to make judgments based upon those guesses.

TAC has promised to study the Constitution when it comes out - no more. I suspect it will be seen to fall far short of what we have been seeking. I would hope that it would expose areas that need further discussion and further prayer, and a process that could still last decades. Nothing is going to happen all of a sudden. There is no emergency that requires a snap judgment. "The fruit of the spirit is ... longsuffering ..."

Bishop Rocco is, as I've said already, a good man. He has made every effort to leave us on good terms. I a letter I have, but don't yet have permission to release, he gives strong personal reasons that he felt it necessary to move on, without any criticism of ACA or of any individuals in ACA. That would be precisely why there was no fanfare. In his former move he sensed real grievances and made them known. He has aid that that is not the case now.

Please, guys, there are reasons behind some of our divisions, but there is no justification for the way they have been raised by all sides. When I mention "Continuing Anglicans" to anyone who has actually heard of us, the first thing I hear back is a comment on all our bickering. That is not how Christians are supposed to behave.


Anonymous said...

My Dear Brothers:

When I explained to you on that day in Illinois that I would be leaving the APCK - listing my reasons- and joining the ACA, many of you eventually came with me. Let me also say that if, given the same circumstances, I would not hesitate doing so again. You are in a safe place in communion with orthodox bishops, a number of whom are and remain my heroes.

However, events that no one could have predicted have placed a great strain on me as a bishop and as a man. When the economic crunch came about, many of my parishioners sustained financial duress. When I left the APCK two chuches that gave the bulk of our income as a diocese remained. These two situations, when placed together, required my taking on secular employment, working in the security field five and one half days per week. I have been a full time security officer during the week and a week end pastor, leaving very little time to work at my ministry, for almost a year now.

I don't want to do this any more than I have to.

Bishop Marsh has been a brother to me and has gone out of his way to make me as comfortable as possible. He is an ennormously generous man and more importantly, one of the finest Christians I know. But even my assisting him has been severely curtailed due to the reasons cited above.

In my heart I believe I am called to be a bishop and I want to minister to the church I love with all my being as a functioning bishop.

What none of you know is that shortly after my entering the ACA, a number of offers were presented to me from other "juristictions" to be their bishop, one, a national entity, as their AB. I politely refused, having made a home in the ACA.

However, I miss being a diocesan bishop; it is my vocation and it's where my heart is.

I have had offered to me the Missionary Diocese of New England, including the states of New Jersey and Delaware, and perhaps Pennsylvania in the ACC, and I have accepted. My decision did not happen overnight; it took a good deal of soul searching and prayer. And I want to make it very clear that this writing is not to be misconstrued as an invitation to join me. We've quite enough robber barons among us and it must stop.

Therefore, I have resigned this day from my affiliation with the ACA and I leave as a clergyman in good standing. Naturally it is my hope that we all may be one as Anglicans and I will continue to work most dilligently towards that end. Accordingly your tithes once sent to me, should now revert to your respective dioceses.

Please pray for me as I pray for you. My love to each and every one of you, to your families, and the good people in your charge.

Fraternally yours in our Lord Jesus Christ, I remain,

+ Rocco A. Florenza

poetreader said...

Thank you, Bishop Florenza.
I'm assuming you posted this yourself. It's the letter I was referring to.


Fr Richard Sutter SSM said...

A fine man, a fine priest, a fine bishop, and a fine letter. I wish him well and consider him one of the best priests & bishops I know. It is the scandal of continuing Anglicanism that we don't tithe, for if we did, men such as Bp Florenza would not have to have secular employment distracting him from his true vocation. Sadly, continuing Anglicans like to keep their clergy hungry, and their bishops more so.

Anonymous said...

Poetreader: you have a generosity of spirit which I admire.I know the ACA and the TAC have plenty of good and faithful people.I feel sad that what the TAC's leadership has attempted to do has caused such confusion and hurt but as I said in a previous post I suspect that these events will ultimately be a catalyst for unity in the Continuum.I pray that the ACC/OP will respond to this momentous occasion with love, compassion and the generosity it will take to move towards the other groups who subscribe to the Affirmation Of St.Louis.I would urge leaders visiting this site (whatever their jurisdiction) to think long and hard about what impact the scandal of disunity amongst American Continuers has had on the Church. Please do not take my comment to be anti-USA. I'm Canadian and Americans are our kith and kin. Like many Canadians and Americans; I have friends and family on both sides of the border.