Ackerman Receives Consent of Standing Committees to Be Bishop of Quincy

Episcopal News Service. May 18, 1994 [94103]

The standing committee of the Diocese of Quincy announced on May 7 that a majority of the standing committees of the Episcopal Church have consented to the election of the Rev. Keith Ackerman as the eighth bishop of Quincy (Illinois).

According to earlier reports in the Harvest Plain, newspaper in the Diocese of Quincy, the consent process was "in doubt" since a sizable number of dioceses refused consent "based on Ackerman's unwillingness to ordain women to the priesthood at this particular point in time." Some who opposed Ackerman's election apparently hoped that the election of Jack Iker as bishop coadjutor in Fort Worth would be the last election of a traditionalist.

Although he has said that he would not ordain or license women to the priesthood in the Diocese of Quincy without the consultation of its standing committee, Ackerman has said that he accepts "the validity of the ordination of women as priests and bishops."

Ackerman also contended that his election and consent would affirm the church's desire to "keep the conservative wing" in the Episcopal Church. "I believe that there is room for our three bishops who happen to be women. Is there room for me?" he asked in a letter to standing committees.

In addition to questions on the ordination of women, a group of parishioners of the diocese's cathedral in Peoria wrote to standing committees, challenging the nomination and election process that chose Ackerman. The standing committee and the nominating committee both denied those allegations, refuting them in a letter of their own to other standing committees throughout the church.

According to the diocese, 65 diocesan standing committees have given consent to Ackerman's election, including seven that reversed earlier votes to withhold consent.

Pending consent from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction, Ackerman, currently rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Arlington, Texas, will be consecrated bishop of Quincy on Wednesday, June 29.