Dissident rector leaves ECUSA to start new congregation

Published June 1, 2002


The rector of the 500-member St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Tampa, Florida, involved in a bitter dispute with the diocese of Southwest Florida, is leaving the Episcopal church and starting a new congregation affiliated with the Anglican Mission in America.(AMiA).

The AMiA, formed in July of 2000, is a group of about 40 U.S. congregations that have broken away from the Episcopal Church over its perception that the church has strayed from traditional Anglican theology. The AMiA operates under the authority of the Anglican provinces of Rwanda and South East Asia.

The consecrations of two U.S. priests as bishops in the AMiA in January 2000 and four more in June 2001 were criticized by church leaders, including the Archbishop of Canterbury.

At least 200 members of St. Mary’s are expected to leave with Rev. Kevin F. Donlon, walking away from a recently-completed $10 million sanctuary and day school renovation.

Mr. Donlon renounced his ordination vows April 21. In a statement, Bishop John P. Lipscomb said procedures to remove Mr. Donlon from the Episcopal priesthood are underway. Bishop Lipscomb also said earlier disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Donlon have been halted.


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