By Jack Cascione
Christian News, July 22, 2013
Like other LCMS Sacerdotalists, Atlantic District President David Benke likes the title Bishop (as seen on the internet). We are not surprised that he takes sides with LCMS Sacerdotalists over the recent Reclaim News release “Sacerdotalists Taking over the LCMS.”
“Jack Cascione is bitter-ish, a former Missouri Synod pastor who took himself and his congregation out of the denomination and is now retired. Although the topic of Bible versions has some importance as a denominational selection, the rest of Cascione's opinions are insubstantial.”
Signed Dave Benke
It is nothing out of the ordinary when members of the LCMS Council of District Presidents distort the truth as Benke does here. “Insubstantial” depends on whose substance is being gored.
First, Cascione did not leave the LCMS, he was removed from the LCMS clergy roster on December 21, 2004 by COP President and Michigan District President Hoesmann in a 3 sentence letter. There were no charges of false doctrine, questionable practice, or allegations of any kind, no phone-calls, no meetings, and no conversation from the regional vice-president or the circuit counselor. There is no paper trail. The only letter from Redeemer Lutheran Church to the Michigan District President stated that Cascione wanted to remain on the LCMS clergy roster.
Second, Cascione’s crime is that he touched the third rail of LCMS politics, “Thou shalt not expose COP real-estate fraud.” In response to the CCM Opinion of May 2004 Redeemer Lutheran Church said it was leaving the LCMS unless it was assured that the COP agreed to follow “proper channels” in congregational constitutions that the district had already approved.
Third, CCM May 2004 exempts the COP from following “proper channels” in congregational constitutions, thus nullifying a congregation’s property rights whenever a member of the COP wishes to circumvent a congregational constitution.
Michigan District President Hoesmann refused to answer the congregation’s question. An LCMS official who makes 6 figures doesn’t have to answer a congregation’s question, even if it means that refusal to answer results in the congregation leaving the Synod. The question was referred to the Council of District Presidents. Months later, President Kieschnick wrote to the congregation in behalf of the COP that there was nothing they could do.
The fish stinks from the head.
These events led this writer to advise the four women the LCMS was suing for their church property in Oakland, California. During the whole processes the Synod denied it was suing anyone. After bankrupting the church, the LCMS lost the suit.
During the process Herman Otten and I were able to feed questions to their attorney when he deposed President Kieschnick in February 2010 in St. Louis. Publishing Kieschnick’s transcripts on the internet and in Christian News were a factor in Kieschnick’s removal from office later that summer.
Benke is aware of all this, yet he writes, that Cascione took himself out the LCMS. This is how the COP sanitizes its malfeasance. Unless of course Benke means questioning COP real-estate fraud is equivalent to a resignation from the LCMS clergy roster.
When sacerdotalists can’t debate the facts, they simply rely on their holy sacramental rite of ordination to manufacture their own truth. When the clergy are the church everything they say is from God.