Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Fr. Marcus Kaiser: An Open letter to the Board of Trustees of Nashotah House

Fr. Marcus Kaiser has written a courageous letter that is very helpful in understanding what has happened at Nashotah House in recent weeks.  Stand Firm has posted it in its entirety.  Anyone concerned about Nashotah House should read it.

I hesitate to comment further because I view the Nashotah House situation from a distance.  And Kaiser’s thoughts obviously are of far more import than mine.  But with those caveats . . .

I think the change of Schori itinerary is a good one and acceptable.  Visiting the campus, engaging in “academic” discussion, and giving a eulogy do not present her as a teacher of The Faith the way preaching at a Eucharist would have.  At the same time, her status as the head of a denomination that has students at Nashotah is respected.

Nevertheless, the Dean, Bishop Salmon, still has a lot to answer for.  The letter indicates he went beyond the board’s consent in his original invitation to Schori to preach at chapel.  He greatly damaged trust and Nashotah’s standing with the orthodox.  Yet he has not yet issued an apology.

An apology is called for.  And trust must be restored even if that may require his resignation or dismissal. 

But that leads to another problem.  Fr. Kaiser’s letter reveals the Board of Trustees has serious issues, perhaps to the point of being dysfunctional.  Kaiser writes that Board dysfunction endangers both Nashotah’s accreditation and standing with ACNA.  And he is concerned Nashotah may be on the road to becoming a “TEC-only” seminary which would be disastrous.  Both the seminary and opportunities for orthodox candidates for Holy Orders would be greatly diminished.

The letter makes clear that the commendable change in Schori’s visit has not pulled Nashotah House out of its crisis.  As Fr. Kaiser concludes, prayer is indeed called for.

1 comment:

CS said...

The letter indicates he went beyond the board’s consent in his original invitation to Schori to preach at chapel.

The dean has sole authority to decide whom to invite, and is neither required nor expected to seek or obtain the approval of even one member of the board, let alone the consent of the board as a whole. It's up to the dean. Period. Knowing that this move would be upsetting to some people, the dean discussed it with the board, but their consent was in no way required.

The idea Fr. Kaiser floated of inviting the PB and Abp. Duncan to appear on a panel moderated by the ABC is a nice one, but c'mon, we all know that's not going to happen. Duncan is retiring in June, and frankly, the chances that such a panel could have been arranged in the 7 months between the October board meeting and Duncan's retirement are somewhat lower than the chances of having a snowball fight in hell.