Retired bishop barred from conducting son's funeral

Michael Miller

A retired bishop of the Peoria-based Episcopal Diocese of Quincy has been banned by The Episcopal Church from performing any rites until a trial on charges that he broke canon law can be held.

Bishop Edward MacBurney, 80, who now lives in Iowa, is accused of breaking canon law when he performed confirmations in June 2007 at a San Diego, Calif., Anglican parish without permission of the San Diego Episcopal bishop. The church had broken away from the U.S. province and is now part of the Southern Cone Anglican province.

The ban includes taking part in the April 19 funeral of his son, Page MacBurney, who died of cancer April 4. The letter of inhibition from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was signed on April 2.

MacBurney, who was bishop of Quincy from 1988-1994, is being ordered to "cease from exercising the gifts of ordination in the ordained ministry" and to "cease all Episcopal, ministerial and canonical acts."

A trial is expected to be held in the fall.

Current Quincy Bishop Keith Ackerman said in a statement that he was "saddened" over "this unnecessary action taken against my predecessor, especially at a time when he is mourning the death of his son."

Episcopal Church officials declined to elaborate beyond confirming that MacBurney had been inhibited from ministering.

The Diocese of Quincy covers several counties in west-central Illinois.

Michael Miller can be reached at (309) 686-3106 or