Father Kevin Donlon and Plagiarism I

Last year during the heat of the AMiA meltdown, I was reading through a paper by AMiA Canonist Kevin Donlon entitled “Catechisms: More than Remembering.” You can find the paper here. Another paper I referred to was pulled from the site, this one wasn’t. I had occasion to re-read the paper last night, and I was quickly able to find some glaring cases of borrowing in it.

The first few paragraphs of the paper are lifted wholesale from a Vatican document called “Informative Dossier” by the Editorial Commission of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Some of the phrases are cobbled together in different places, but they are still there. Judge for yourself:

Donlon Informative Dossier
a word which the ancient Greeks used in reference to the theatre and which means “to make resound like an echo”. This word, which does not appear in the Old Testament a word which the ancient Greeks used in reference to the theatre and which means “to make resound like an echo”(1). This word, which does not appear neither in the Old Testament
as there is some usage of the Greek word “didaché” which is given the meaning of “transmitting the Word of God as a teaching of life”. In the Old Testament the word “didaché” – teaching – is found. It is given the meaning of transmission of the Word of God as a teaching of life.
Thus, in Deuteronomy 4:10 (“Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children so” and in Deuteronomy 11:19-20: “And you shell teach them to your children, talking of them… And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house”.) Thus, in Deut 4:10 we read: “Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children so”. And in Deut 11:19-20: “And you shall teach them to your children, talking of them… And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house”.
In the New Testament Gospels one could argue that the Gospels are the first great “Catechism” which was transmitted orally and eventually put to writing containing the essentials of all that Jesus “teaches” and “preaches” (Matthew 9:35; Mark 1:21; Luke 21:37). In the New Testament, the Gospels are the first great “Catechism” which was transmitted orally and then put to writing. Jesus “teaches” and “preaches” (Matt 9:35; Mark 1:21; Luke 21:37). The Sermon of the Mount (Matt 5,2) speaks of the “teaching to the disciples”.
taken up by the nascent Church to indicate the primordial duty to make disciples (cf. Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline Letters). taken up by the nascent Church to indicate the primordial duty to make disciples (cf. Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline Letters).
The proclamation of salvation was to be consolidated into the words and deeds of Christ, so as to provoke an “echo” in the mind and in the heart of the listeners, and transform their lives. The proclamation of salvation was to be consolidated, the deeds and the work had to provoke an “echo” in the mind and in the heart of the listeners, to transform all their life.
by the end of the first century, the “Didaché” or “Doctrine of the Apostles” was compiled. It was a guide to instruct those who were preparing to be baptized as well as to inform about the nature of the life in the community. In Syria, at the end of the first century, the “Didaché” or “Doctrine of the Apostles” was compiled. It was a guide to instruct those who were preparing to be baptised as well as to dispose all the life of the community…
fundamental Christian truths, formulated in a clear way so that understanding, apprehension and application could be appropriated. fundamental Christian truths, formulated in a clear way so that their understanding, apprehension and lively reception are made easier.
As time went by, became the normal aid for this duty was called Catechism. as time went by, became the normal aid for this duty was called Catechism.
This failure of attribution is noticeable in Donlon’s footnotes, which make no mention of the Vatican document, but say:

1 Stuart G. Hall., Doctrine and Practice in the Early Church.,(Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmanns Publishing Co.,1991)p.29-31
2 William Harmless., Augustine and the Catechumenate., (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press/Pueblo Books,1995) p.24-25
3 Joseph Christopher., (trans,) St. Augustine The First Catechetical Instruction., (New York :Newman Press, 1966)
4 T.F. Simmons and H.E. Nolloth (ed) The Lay Folks Catechism or The English anl Latin Versions of Archbistop Thoresby’s Instruction for the People, (London : The Early English Texts Society, 1901) Series N. No. 118
5 B.Lohse.,, Martin Luther: An Introduction to His Life and Writings., (Philadelphia: Fortress Books, 1986)
6 Ian Green., The Christian’s ABC., p.93-94
7 Ibid., p.66
8 Alexander Nowell, A Catechism ( Cambridge: The Parker Society Series, 1840) p.143
9 Edward Cardwell., Canons of 1604 (London : Synodalia, 1842) vol. 1, p.281

This is a serious breach of academic integrity and bears further investigation.
UPDATE: The original post mentioned a paper pulled from the Global South website. That is a different paper, and I will look into it as time allows.

HONA merges with ADGL

How’s that for acronyms? The Heart of North America (HONA) Network was part of the AMiA under the leadership of Bishop Doc Loomis. HONA is now merging into the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes (ADGL) under Bishop Roger Ames. Salient portions of the letter announcing this change include:

The ADGL is receptive to the ordination of women in Holy Orders serving as Deacons and Presbyters. We want to be perfectly upfront about our desire to honor the “duel integrity” in regarding the ordination of women to Holy Orders in our shared life together.

Bishop Loomis will continue to serve on the AM Council of Bishops canonically resident in the Anglican Province of Congo and will return to full-time church planting with a focus on building Missional Communities. He intends to begin a new church near his Ohio home and will continue to provide coaching and counsel for the churches in the region. The ADGL fully supports Bishop Loomis in his work and looks forward to continuing in partnership with him and with the AM.

Clergy desiring to remain in the AM are free to request transfer to the Anglican Province of Congo. (Parishes are currently affiliated in the AM and would not have to move). Parishes remaining in the AM may choose to ask Bishop Loomis or any other AM Bishop to be their overseer. This letter is an invitation; any clergyperson or parish is free to choose another option and will be released to go and love and serve the Lord as they feel led.

One wonders how many churches are actually left inside AMiA? You can also see from this that the Wave only talks about good news.

All Apologies

This week, the AM embraced Kevin Donlon’s Constitution, which is based on the charters of a hodgepodge of Roman religious orders. The three streams mantra was repeated and a lot of cool things were said about being ‘Celtic.” For example, Apostolic Vicar Murphy issued a document that says things like:

While these qualities have created a very distinct and very effective culture for mission and church planting in the life of the Anglican Mission, this culture is not always appreciated or valued by those firmly committed to the more  jurisdictional  model  for  structuring  church  life.    There  is  an  anxiety  about  the  very  “cultural  distinctives”  that  we  identified and listed above in describing our life together in the Anglican Mission. There is a strong bias against this vocational model and structure for ordering church life that can be traced back to the period of the Celtic tradition. The same tensions and struggles that  we  find  recorded  in  church  history  between  the  “Roman”  and  the   “Celtic”  models  for  ordering  and  structuring  the  church  that  more  or  less  culminated  in  the  Synod  of  Whitby  in  664   A.D., remain very much with us to this day.

Essentially, last year’s flight from Rwandan church discipline was akin to the struggles that led to the Synod of Whitby! Ignoring for a moment the false nature of the Vicar’s claims that this was about culture and not simple disobedience, I would like to focus on the new “Celtic” angle that theAM is pushing. It is even used in the blurbs from the paper’s intro where both Bishop Fitz Allison and Bishop Rodgers mention “our Celtic heritage” and “the older Celtic pattern.” Concerning the supposed “Celtic” model that has now been transplanted to South Carolina, historian Richard Fletcher says:

The argument is further advanced that branches of the Christian church in close proximity to Ireland, such as Wales, developed in the same manner; and that this distinctive model was exported to further neighboring areas – from Wales to Brittany, from Ireland to western Scotland. Thus, the argument concludes, there came into existence a Celtic church which differed in its organization and customs from the Roman church.

It is now recognized that this is misleading…There never was a ‘Celtic church.’ Irish churchmen repeatedly and sincerely professed their Roman allegiances and if there were divergent practices between Rome and Ireland, well, so there were between Rome and Constantinople or Milan or Toledo. The terms ‘Roman’ and ‘Celtic’ are too monolithic.

The Barbarian Conversion, p. 92

Rather than admitting that last year’s defiance of Episcopal authority has caused a collapse of what was the AMiA (in addition to a drift towards Tridentine theology under Kevin Donlon), the Apostolic Vicar is now talking up the supposed Celtic model, which seems to believe that doctrine doesn’t much matter (the Roman Catholic church is just ‘another net’ used to catch fish) and the main thing is the ability to maintain command and control with no meaningful oversight from above. All the rest is window dressing to backfill a theology over this command and control ecclesiology.

We don’t read of anyone from the Congo being at this session, but another website tells us: “However there was no official word as to whether the Anglican Province of the Congo would receive them now that they are no longer under the Anglican Province of Rwanda. VOL has been told the letter to Bishop Murphy from Archbishop Henri Isingoma is on its way. It remains an open question if the AMIA has a solid link with an Anglican province (apart from three retired archbishops) and if so, whether they can be called Anglican at this time. Canonist Kevin Donlon told VOL that the last communication with the Archbishop of the Congo confirms that the missionary vicariate, as established, continues as agreed through the 180 days (till October 3). Additionally, 4 dioceses are committed to being partners through Concordat.”

The ACNA has a lot of faults: women’s ordination, horrible three streams theology and bad ideas like working with idolaters such as Metropolitan Jonah. But one key differentiator between ACNA and whatever theAM is called now is that ACNA isn’t a one man show. Archbishop Duncan will move on and someone will take his place, while Apostolic Vicar Murphy will move into the College of Consultors and probably still be a major (if not the decisive) influence on affairs. You can see now that the strategy is for him to officially take a different role and plead “why can’t we be part of ACNA” when there is new leadership. “Why stay divided over old conflicts?”

Episcopalians in the Congo

Ed Jones from the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia writes about a recent trip to the Congo that he and some others from the Diocese made:

At the service at the cathedral in Bukavu, Carey Chirico of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Fredericksburg offered a sermon that captured the spirit of Pentecost. Her words were translated into Swahili.

Indeed, the basic structure of the service, from the sermon to the prayers to the creeds, was similar to what Episcopalians in the U.S. would know.

What was different were the long stretches of singing and dancing from the seven choirs of the church. During some of those extended musical offerings, the whole congregation seemed to find a spiritual rhythm, swaying as one.

Note that St. George’s is a thoroughly apostate parish that has things like an “Integrity Circle for LGBT persons.” What is Integrity?

Integrity is an officially recognized organization within the Episcopal Church which serves as the leading grassroots voice for full inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons.

So why is the Congo receiving apostates like this? Perhaps Anglicans in the Congo aren’t aware of the beliefs of these folks, but I’m not so sure. It makes the Congo look more and more mercenary, when you couple it with the support of the AMiA.

From Chairman to Sage

Bishop Chuck Murphy (Congo) has offered some answers to the folks at All Saints, Pawleys Island concerning the future of the The Anglican Mission Society for Mission and Apostolic Works. Here are some highlights from what he said and an occasional comment from me:

…my hope and my prayer is that we continue to resist the urge to engage in the fray, gossip, slander, and party spirit.

You mean like this?

A Missionary Society is what we feel called to be for 50 or more years; my retirement would have me seated on the College of Consultors, to provide insight and allow me to move into the role of sage rather than remaining in the role of chairman. It may evolve into something different… taking a step and taking a step.

We cannot ignore the fact that November and December involved an onslaught of events that hit us, and me, particularly, like an unforeseen hurricane, and information couldn’t be distributed because everything was changing by the hour… all in conjunction with the online “blogospere” that you may know about.

This confirms the Anglican Autumn thesis – these structures have trouble in the marketplace of ideas when their PR doesn’t work.

Question: How permanent is the relationship with the Congo?

What we asked for from Archbishop Isingoma was for him a temporary vicariate. Why did we use the word “temporary”? Because we felt like in the next 180 days, we will have a permanent mission society established.

So, what I asked for is as a temporary move to get us to that point, “would you establish a temporary vicariate for us” which is a fancy word for let us function as we did under Archbishop Kolini until we can get the Missionary Society up and running.

What’s intended for the Missionary Society – we adopted its constitution last week – is that it becomes permanent. And Archbishop Isingoma has never indicated to me that this was a temporary arrangement. He has written to me saying this is a long-term partnership working together.

Question: Why the Congo?

I want to be under Godly leadership, not just who is the head of the zip code……I want to know are you Godly…has God raised you up for this. The only advantage to me going to the Congo was that it is an authentic province of the Anglican Communion and it was important for those clergy for whom that still matters.

“For whom that still matters,” indicates that for many clergy it doesn’t. In other words, being a Continuing Church is just fine. Also, since you failed to submit to the last Godly leadership you were under, why will it be any different this time, unless the understanding is that this ‘leadership’ will never discipline you?

Question: Is the Congo Anglican Church a member of GAFCON? If not, why not?

Yes, Congo is going through the process of becoming a member of GAFCON. However, the importance and definition of this varies from individual to individual and congregation to congregation. There is a range of opinion.

1. This is news. While it has been suspected, I don’t think anyone has seen confirmation that Congo was turning its back on Archbishop Rowan and embracing GAFCON.

2. How can “the definition” of becoming a member of GAFCON vary “from individual to individual”? What does that mean?

Question: What is the importance of AMIA being affiliated with an Anglican Province that is a member of the Anglican Communion (Canterbury)?

The AMiA finds no importance in being affiliated with just any Anglican Province, which is why we are not affiliated with the Anglican Province in America known now as The Episcopal Church. The AMiA does, however, find importance in being "Anglican" and that requires being "under authority".

I would add: being under authority that does not ask questions about your finances or threaten to discipline you. Essentially, the kind of authority that rubber-stamps what you want.

Constitution of the Anglican Mission in the Americas VI

Update: As a commenter points out, “borrowing” legal texts is accepted and is not considered plagiarism. This means that the sources of these passages are what matters, not the fact that they are included in the AMiA Constitution.

The mélange of undocumented borrowing from other (mainly Roman) sources continues as we read Articles 15 and 16. Beginning with the AMiA document:

Section 1: Members of the Society seek to live in life-giving reciprocal communion with all the members of the Anglican Family. They shall endeavor to promote common initiatives or participate in them through local collaboration, ministry partnerships and concordats with other Anglican ecclesiastical entities that acknowledge and affirm the vocational missional model in order to collaborate in spreading the Gospel, through evangelism and church planting and serving the cause of ecclesial unity.

Compared with Title VIII In Communion With The Franciscan Family And The Church Article 98 (Rule 1):

Secular Franciscans should seek to live in life-giving reciprocal communion with all the members of the Franciscan Family. They should be ready to promote common initiatives or participate in them with the religious of the First, Second and Third Orders, with Secular Institutes, and with other lay ecclesial groups that recognize St. Francis as a model and inspiration in order to collaborate in spreading the Gospel, removing the causes of marginalization, and serving the cause of peace.

The AMiA:

Section 2: The Members of the Society should fulfill with dedication the Mission duties with which they are called, always mindful of their relations to the local Church. They should lend their help to activities of their apostolic industries as well as to the activities existing in the jurisdictions they are in relation to. In the spirit of service, they should make themselves present, as a sodality within the life of the local church where invited. They should be ready to collaborate with other ecclesial groups in those places and participate in the common life where possible.

Ibid, Article 100

The Secular Franciscans should fulfill with dedication the duties with which they are occupied in their relations to the local Church. They should lend their help to activities of the apostolate as well as to the social activities existing in the diocese.*) In the spirit of service, they should make themselves present, as the fraternity of the SFO, within the life of the diocese. They should be ready to collaborate with other ecclesial groups and to participate in pastoral councils.

The AMiA:

Section1: As the Church of Christ has for a long time past been distressed by separations and schisms among Christians, so that the unity for which our Lord prayed is impaired and the witness to his gospel is grievously hindered, it is the duty of clergy and people of this society to do their utmost not only to avoid occasions of strife but also to seek in penitence and brotherly charity to heal such divisions.

And the Canons of the Church of England, Section A, 8 Of schisms:

Forasmuch as the Church of Christ has for a long time past been distressed by separations and schisms among Christian men, so that the unity for which our Lord prayed is impaired and the witness to his gospel is grievously hindered, it is the duty of clergy and people to do their utmost not only to avoid occasions of strife but also to seek in penitence and brotherly charity to heal such divisions.

It should be obvious that the AMiA document is a mish-mash of different sources, thrown together, essentially plagiarized, and thoroughly Roman Catholic in character. There is precious little of the Reformation in this document, and the trajectory of this document is away from the Articles of Religion and towards the Tractarians, which is to say, towards Rome. The only obstacle in that path is women’s ordination and Papal obedience. So in order to have your cake and eat it too, you reject the doctrines of the Anglican Reformation, but maintain your independence from Roman authority.

Constitution of the Anglican Mission in the Americas V

Reading on through the document, I have found some more “borrowings”, such as:

Article 12: Missional Spirituality

Section 1: The spirituality of the Society is a plan of life centered on the person and on the following of Christ and the practical application of the Great Commission rather than a detailed program to be put into practice.

Compared with The General Constitutions of the Secular Franciscan Order, Chapter II, Title I, Article 9, Rule 5:

The spirituality of the Secular Franciscan is a plan of life centered on the person and on the following of Christ, rather than a detailed program to be put into practice.

Back to the AMiA:

Section 2: The members of the Society are committed to following the example and the teachings of Christ and advancing those teaching through evangelism, church planting, formation and outreach.  The Society endeavors to foster love for the Word of the Lord through a commitment to Word, Sacrament and Spirit as they have been received and proclaimed by the Church.

Lifted from the Franciscans Rule 4 par. 3:

The Secular Franciscan, committed to following the example and the teachings of Christ, must personally and assiduously study the Gospel and Sacred Scripture. The fraternity and its leaders should foster love for the word of the Gospel and help the brothers and sisters to know and understand it as it is proclaimed by the Church with the assistance of the Spirit.

The AMiA:

Section 5: The Act of Commitment and the Solemn Declarations

The clergy and laity do not take vows but instead express “the bond of charity” by making an “Act of Commitment.” The “bond of charity” is best described as the expression of a voluntary desire on the part of the member of the Society to be a member of the Society.

Comparted with The Oratory of St John Vianney, FAQs:

The Oratorians of St John Vianney do not take vows but instead express “the bond of charity” by making an “Act of Committment”. The “bond of charity” is best described as the expression of a voluntary desire on the part of the Oratorian to be a member of the fellowship of the Oratory.

The AMiA:

The idea of the Mission Society is that members strive, for missional service in and for Christ’s Church, lived in a spirit of humility and prayer, where obedience is offered to the Society and the local church out of fraternal love rather than through any external compulsion.

The Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri:

The ideal of the Oratory is community life and priestly service lived in a spirit of prayer, and in which obedience is offered out of fraternal love and not through the compulsion of formally vowed obedience.

Constitution of the Anglican Mission in the Americas IV

There seems to be some more plagiarism elsewhere in the document:

AMiA Constitution Source Document?
Article 3, Section 3 Associations of the Faithful

By Philip C.L. Gray, J.C.L.

Because such apostolic works under a society must have a common purpose congruent with the mission of the Church, those who are the competent ecclesiastical authority have the obligation of oversight in matters of faith and order so as to promote the common good, protect against the infringement of rights and duties and provide a venue of adjudication when necessary. Because associations of the faithful must have a common purpose congruent with the mission of the Churchcompetent ecclesiastical authority has the obligation of vigilance over all in matters of faith, morals and ecclesiastical discipline. The purpose of this vigilance is to promote the common good, protect against the infringement of rights and duties and provide a venue of vindication when necessary.

Can that be a coincidence?

I also note that the Congo is not currently being mentioned in the document. It says that “The inaugural membership (of the College of Consultors) includes the founding Primates of the Anglican Mission, which was established in 2000 by the Primates of South East Asia and Rwanda.” This may be a formality while waiting for the Congo to iron things out at their own Synod this month.

At the ACNA Assembly today, Archbishop Duncan said:

What will become of the remnant “Society for Mission and Apostolic Works” we cannot know, we only know that what has emerged does not look like the Anglican Mission, the AMiA, that was once so central to who and what we became as a Church.  We continue in prayer for these now functionally separated brothers and sisters.

He also informed us that yet another AM bishop is talking to ACNA about leaving the AM:

In other parts of our two countries (Canada and the US) congregations that have been AM congregations are associating with existing dioceses of the Anglican Church in North America. Bishop Todd Hunter of Churches for the Sake of Others (C4SO) has joined us as a bishop with special mission and two of our dioceses have given “cover” to two other Anglican Mission bishops and their congregations – with a third bishop and network in conversation – as their relationships to the AM gets sorted out.

With Bishop John Miller moving to be the rector of Christ Church, Vero Beach, there is a whole lot of shaking going on.

Constitution of the Anglican Mission in the Americas III

Moving on through the document, we find a continual borrowing from Roman Catholic sources that becomes outright plagiarism, which will become obvious below.The Constitution says:

We are a voluntary association of individuals, families and faith communities committed to the advancement of mission and ministry. We have been called in the Church to exercise a missionary mandate from our College of Consultors.

The phrase “missionary mandate” echoes Pope John Paul II’s encyclical “Redemptoris mission: On the permanent validity of the Church’s missionary mandate” issued in 1990. Also, the Catholic Catechism at Section 849 discusses “The missionary mandate” extensively. The Constitution continues:

In our common vocation, each member is called primarily to holiness of life rooted in the Baptismal Covenant

This echoes phrases such as “The call to holiness is rooted in Baptism” by Pope John Paul II as seen at this link for example. It is a common turn of phrase in theology, and so is not terribly surprising to see it here. But while these kind of borrowings from Roman sources can be understood as the zeal of someone for conformity with un-Anglican norms, the borrowing becomes more explicit.
The Oxford American Dictionary of Current English defines “plagiarize” as to “take and use (the thoughts, writings, inventions, etc., of another person) as one’s own.” With that in mind, witness this section in the AMiA Constitution:

By our lives as a mission society, we seek first to glorify the Triune God. We follow in the footsteps of the apostles who were filled with the commitment to the Great Commission to spread everywhere the knowledge and love of Jesus. We live and work that God’s name may be hallowed, that his kingdom come, that his holy will be done (Mt 6:9-10).

And compare it to this section from the “Rule of Life for the Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity and the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity.”

3. By our lives as Missionary Servants we seek first to glorify the Triune God. We follow in the footsteps of the apostles who, filled with the Holy Spirit, went forth from the Cenacle to spread everywhere the knowledge and love of Jesus. We live and work that God’s name may be hallowed, that his kingdom come, that his holy will be done (Mt 6:9-10).

With very minor variations, this is word for word the same! I don’t see any attribution in the document to this source. I would call that plagiarism. It is followed by:

In all our apostolic commitments, we recognize the authority of our College of Consultors, the Apostolic Vicar, the Conference of Bishops and their special role as signs of unity, and as pastors in the local (or particular) churches.

Again, this is lifted directly from the Rule linked above, with modifications for differing government structures:

In all our apostolic commitments, we recognize the authority of the bishops and their special role as signs of unity and as pastors in the local churches.

Constitution of the Anglican Mission in the Americas II

We have heard a lot of talk about a Missionary Society over the past nine months. Archbishop Duncan said that a Mission Society cannot also be a jurisdiction, and that the AM needed to chose one or the other. He said, “in that letter we talked about jurisdiction, and any church body that has bishops and clergy and congregations and ordinations, that’s a jurisdiction, you can call it anything you want, you can call it a Missionary Society if you want, but that’s not classically what it is. Classically, its a jurisdiction.” The new Constitution says:

Societies of apostolic life and mission are associations of men and women, lay and ordained, who live in faith communities pursuing the particular apostolic purposes of the society and leading lives reflective of the Baptismal Promises and the Great Commission, striving for apostolic witness through the observance of their constitutions and charters.

This is something of a paraphrase of the Catholic Canon Law:

Can. 731 §1. Societies of apostolic life resemble institutes of consecrated life; their members, without religious vows, pursue the apostolic purpose proper to the society and, leading a life in common as brothers or sisters according to their proper manner of life, strive for the perfection of charity through the observance of the constitutions.