Story from Southern Ohio AAC Chapter newsletter 5/3/2004:
In breaking news, The Rev. John Reade, who has been serving as priest-in-charge at All Saints', Portsmouth, was removed that position today (5/3/2004) by The Rt. Rev. Herbert Thompson, Jr., Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio. It is conjectured (by me) that the bishop's move was intended to prevent any conflict that might arise from Fr. Reade's orthodox Christian faith (and his decision to leave The Episcopal Church for the Roman Catholic Church). Fr. Reade was ordained to the priesthood in June 2003.
(Note: material in parenthesis was not in the original newsletter story.)

Additional background:
Fr. Reade was in the process of preparing a letter he intended to deliver to the parish to explain his decision to enter the Roman Catholic Church and therefore leave The Episcopal Church and All Saints' parish. Although he is now prevented by Bishop Thompson from delivering that letter, drafts of the letter were in the hands of a few friends who were providing editorial assistance. A copy of a near final draft of that letter has been provided through the orthodox grapevine, and is shown below.

John M. Reade
May 2404

Dear Friends of All Saints' Parish:

Over the past few months I have struggled between my love for Anglican forms of Christian life and the increasing sense that God wants me to embrace my catholic faith more completely. Throughout my adult life I've been nurtured within Anglican Christianity. However, ,after earnest prayer I believe that our Lord is leading me now in a different direction. I am leaving The Episcopal Church and soon I will be received into the Roman Catholic Church as a layperson. Accordingly, I submit my resignation as the Priest-in-Charge, of All Saints' Episcopal Church. I have offered to facilitate the transition in cooperation with Parish and Diocesan leaders. For a few moments please let me share with you the fundamental reason for my decision.

All Saints' Church has good people with solid Christian values. However, in The Episcopal Church as a whole I believe there are serious problems. I have discussed these in private communications with the Bishop, in personal conversations with some of you, and in my recent Easter Pastoral Letter. I'll say no more here except to state firmly that my choice to leave The Episcopal Church is not caused by the issue of sexuality that has captured so much attention in past months. Nor does my new course reflect disapproval of any kind with All Saints' Parish.

The fundamental reason for my choice to enter the Roman Catholic Church is my changed understanding about life as a catholic-minded Christian. Although I always considered myself to be a catholic, I now believe that the fullness of that Faith is found in the Roman Catholic Church from which I must not remain separated. The determination to leave The Episcopal Church and its priesthood is one of the most difficult in my life. However, through much prayer and counsel I'm assured in God that this move is made in order to embrace the Christian Faith more fully and not as a way to escape problems in The Episcopal Church. The Catholic Church certainly has problems of her own. However, her witness to the Gospel over two thousand years gives me confidence that she is set on the rock that Christ intends. I'm thankful that God leads me to take a place in her life.

A parish priest's departure to another church can cause strong reactions under any circumstances. My particular decision comes after only ten months of service at All Saints and following a longer period of turmoil in your parish life. I have wrestled with these aspects of my departure and I assure you that my decision is in no way a sign of dissatisfaction with this Parish. In fact, I even imagined ways to hide within the protection of this wonderful congregation. However, I must be honest and take a larger view. Your priest should be a model of Anglican doctrine and spiritual life, a responsibility I can no longer fulfill knowing that God calls me instead to the doctrines, life, and authority of the Catholic Church.

I honor you as a loving community. All Saints' people demonstrate in many ways how God's love operates in everyday life. You are an extraordinary Christian community and I urge you to continue on paths of healing and renewal - I will miss the people of All Saints. You have helped me to grow in the priestly vocation that I love. You encouraged me and gave me strength during a period of difficult personal discernment. It may be hard to hear from me at this point, but please know that I love you. It has been an honor to be your priest. May God reward your faithfulness to the Gospel. Thank you.

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