[Background: Msgr Jeffrey Steenson letter to the ACA parish of St Mary of the Angels in Hollywood is here.]
In via e-mail:
Open Response to Msgr Steenson’s Letter of May 3, 2012
By the Rector, Wardens, & Vestrymen
Of Saint Mary of the Angels, May 5, 2012
There have indeed been obstacles in our path, and these are being overcome.
1) Almost all Parishioners (and some desiring to become Parishioners) have been instructed in the Evangelium Catechism used by those entering the English Ordinariate. This was approved by Msgr. Stetson. Each person has been exhorted to examine his or her conscience in this matter. 65 have endorsed the Petition at this time.
2) The Corporation, underCalifornialaw, determines its affiliation. This has been tested in the past in court. Two votes of the Corporation members have already been taken in the affirmative, by over 80%. A third vote is scheduled for May / June, 2012.
3) St Mary’s website does not refer to any charges, nor have any disciplinary actions been undertaken by any recognized authority over St Mary’s Church. On the instruction of our Bishop, at the division of the House of Bishops of the ACA, our only connection to the ACA was the Patrimony of the Primate. When this structure closed, April 15, 2012, so too were our ties to the ACA. The Solemn Agreement adopted by all ACA bishops on April 26, 2011, at Tucson, guaranteed that any parish desiring to return to an ACA jurisdiction from the Patrimony had to formally request such a move. St Mary’s has not done so. Dissolving in reverse, ex post facto, has no legal effect in theUnited States of America. (See above, Point 2, and the U.S.Constitution.)
4) The statement that there are “charges” – and this is noted on the website – is contrafactual, to the best of our knowledge and a thorough web-search. No “charges” were ever brought against Fr Kelley, only allegations, and that without foundation in evidence.
5) As a matter of Californiacivil law, who has oversight is a matter determined by the Corporation.
6) The Vestry has been duly elected at an Annual Parish Meeting, according to the By-Laws. NO Vestry Member may be “appointed” in this Parish, under CA Law, not even by any Rector, Bishop, or presumptive Canon. State Law in CA specifies who are the legitimate authorities, past and present.
7) Only a single Draft of proposed Articles and By-Laws was ever offered by us, and that only for comment, before its submission to the Vestry, although up to five drafts were communicated from sources unknown, pretending to be on authority.
8) The actual tally of votes was provided electronically immediately after the vote, Sunday, January 22, 2012; this was acknowledged by both Msgr Wm. Stetson and Fr S. Hurd. The vote countof May 1, 2011, was also transmitted and acknowledged. All Vestry members signed the letter to Cardinal Wuerl on December 11, 2011, expressing the stated will of the Parish (by over 80%) to join the Ordinariate soon after its formal erection in 2012. This was also acknowledged by the Cardinal’s office.
9) At the January 2012 meeting, copies of Dr Chalmers’s statement on parish property was made available to all who wished to examine it; several expressed interest and took it for examination; it was discussed on the floor of the meeting. Fr Raymond Willy and Mr Charles Coulombe were Roman Catholic witnesses; Pastor Philip George was a Presbyterian witness.
10) The nine points in bishop Steve Strawn’s April 2 “Notice IF Inhibition” (sic) were all falsehoods. They rest only on slander, gossip, or speculation. Some of them are actually impossible, as does appear to any careful examiner. Bp Strawn has never had legitimate jurisdiction over St Mary of the Angels.