More questions for Bishop Kelly

Subject: Re: doctorate
Date: Mon, 07 Aug 2000 17:53:51 -0500
From: purnhrt <>
To: Webmaster <>
References: 1

Bishop Kelly, thank you for the time to check into this matter and to write
back. I appreciate that. I have a few additional questions now.

You wrote that you have referred this matter to another bishop. How may I get in
touch with this bishop and what is his name?

Also, did James Trimm by any chance mention what state this seminary was in? He
will not tell anyone this information, even those within his own organization.

Am I correct in understanding that a bishop can have a seminary, without being
licensed, for the purpose of training for clergy within that diocese? But in
order to have a seminary and offer doctorates, it would need to be licensed by
the state? Am I getting that right?

Also, the bishop who issued the doctorate and the bishop "in question" that
left, due to a dispute in Dec., 1995, are they both the Bishop Don De Cordova?
If so, what state and city did this bishop have his diocese, in 1995?

Thank you again for your time and trouble. Kathryn Olenick

Webmaster wrote:

> Ms. Olenick:
> I have referred this matter to our Presiding Bishop, whose tenure as a
> member of our Synod of Bishops predates my own by many years.
> Mr. Trimm has contacted me and stated that he received the degree he cites
> from a seminary run by someone who is no longer a bishop of our Church.  It
> is completely proper for a bishop to conduct a seminary to prepare
> candidates for ministry within CACINA for his own diocese.  It is also legal
> in a civil sense to do so.  However, there was no national seminary for
> CACINA in the period in question, and any action taken by the bishop was
> done on his own recognizance.
> The claims made regarding that seminary, that it was authorized under
> CACINA's Canons are, to a degree, correct, in that the bishop was authorized
> to conduct training for his clergy candidates.  He was not authorized to
> offer academic degrees in the absence of appropriate licensing by the
> secular government.
> Only the secular government can authorize an educational institution to
> grant academic degrees, such as a doctorate in an academic discipline.
> Seminaries must be licensed by the state to offer a degree, but do not need
> licensing to merely train clergy candidates.
> If the former bishop claimed that CACINA authorized, by its canons, that he
> grant academic degrees, he was wrong.  None of our Canons authorize that
> act.  Neither do they forbid it.  Rather, the local bishop conducting
> training for his clergy, if he wants to offer academic standing for that
> training, must seek licensing from the secular government.Any degree awarded
> would be, of its very nature, honorary since it lacked license to be issued.
> I have no knowledge whether the seminary cited by Mr. Trimm had the
> necessary credentials to offer academic degrees.  I was unaware of its
> former existence until now.  I suggest that you contact the Department of
> Education for the state in which the degree was offered to determine whether
> the necessary licensing was accomplished.
> I also point out that there is a difference between being licensed of offer
> academic degrees by a state, and an institution of education being
> accredited by the agencies recognized for that purpose by the US Department
> of Education.
> The bishop in question left CACINA due to a dispute in December, 1995.  We
> have no knowledge of his current whereabouts or his actions since leaving.
> Indeed, he did not keep the rest of the Church informed of his activities
> while he was a memnber.
> I suggest that, in all probability, Mr. Trimm has the documents that he
> claims to have.  The degree of their meaning and usefulness I leave to your
> decision.  I cannot comment on it.
> Bishop Kelly