The Anglican Church of Canada has deposed Rev. George Ferris for sexually molesting a number of teenage boys. As this article notes, deposition is “the most severe penalty for ecclesiastical offenses”.
As I recall, the last ecclesiastical offence that provoked sufficient wrath from the Anglican Church of Canada for it to invoke the most severe penalty at its disposal was when a number of priests – J. I. Packer among them – defied the ACoC to align themselves with another Anglican Province. It would appear that in the eyes of the Anglican Church of Canada, standing up for the Gospel and following one’s conscience is as reprehensible as paedophilia. What a thoroughly twisted denomination the ACoC has become.
The bishop of the Anglican diocese of Huron, Robert Bennett, has deposed the Rev. George Ferris, a retired Anglican priest who faces up to five-and-a-half years in prison for five counts of sexual offences dating back to the 1980s.
Deposition, which is the most severe penalty for ecclesiastical offenses as stated in the Anglican Church of Canada’s Handbook, means Ferris can no longer exercise ordained ministry. It has “the same effect as if the person had relinquished the exercise of the ordained ministry pursuant to Canon XIX,” said the handbook. Deposition also includes all the consequences of “deprivation,” including the severing of connections between the person deprived and his or her parish and diocese.
At his retirement, the diocesan paper published an article entitled: “A Fond Farewell for Father George!” Along with the article is this, in retrospect, ironic and frightening photograph, captioned:
Father George delights both adults and children in his “Children’s focus”.