Have Loose Cannons Hepworth and Moyer Gone Overboard?

This, from David Virtue’s Online Digest, sure makes it look that way:

The saga of TAC Bishop David L. Moyer and his Newman fellowship continues. He announced to his small flock this week that he would not be accepting Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson’s offer of laicization in order to enter the Roman Catholic Church. Instead, he wrote, “I believe that to honor God in His calling, I need to remain in the priestly vocation.”

What a surprise. The resignation of his boss, Archbishop John Hepworth, was accepted by the Traditional Anglican Communion College of Bishops in Johannesburg this week. He, too, has indicated that he will not accept Rome’s offer of laicization. He says he plans to start all over again with whatever rump parishes and dioceses he can salvage from the TAC. Unless Moyer comes under Hepworth in his new makeshift TAC tent, Moyer has no ecclesiastical authority; thus is he part of any apostolic tradition? Based on all the available evidence VOL has received, the chance of Moyer ever getting Ordinariate approval from Steenson is zero to none.

“We continue on in our corporate trajectory of unity with the Catholic Church. Our journey is in God’s hands. In His Providence, you and I are faced with obstacles and concerns, and points that need resolution and clarification,” wrote Moyer.

Steenson has made it clear that Moyer will never be received into Rome as a priest with so much stuff hanging over him. If the congregation, sans Moyer, truly believes in the faith as Rome sees it, they are jeopardizing their souls not to join St. Michael’s under the Rev. Dr. David Ousley who will be given the nod to enter Rome through the Ordinariate some time down the road.

Is Moyer jeopardizing his own soul and those of his followers by not accepting laicization?

Both Hepworth and Moyer have compromised the #1 good reason for their (now aborted) trip to Rome: unity.  When one joins the RCC, one accepts the idea–usually embracing it–that one has joined the one true Catholic (universal) and Apostolic Church.  The fractured institutions of Protestantism and Evangelicalism are left behind, and most Catholic apologists use this as a strong point for Roman Catholicism.

What they have done is put their purely personal interests ahead of their purported convictions, which, as I have commented before, is a large reason why Rome has given them the laity route.

An alternate problem is that there is a significant gap between Roman Catholicism and Anglo-Catholicism, something I learned very quickly when I started my own Romeward journey.  For me, that was a plus.  But for those who fancy themselves as more Catholic than the pope, I guess the differences are a big deal.

I tell people that they should think before they convert.  Someone should have told these two: think before you even start thinking about converting…

One Reply to “Have Loose Cannons Hepworth and Moyer Gone Overboard?”

  1. It is ironic, isn’t it? Yet I can really see the (sad) logic of the Catholics in making these decisions. In many ways I respect the Catholics all the more for not overlooking the very substantial problems of both bishops. The fact that the bishops will not accept Rome’s sober and prudent judgment makes me think that Rome is right in this path forward.


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