Bishop William Ireland, Revd. Tia L. Douglass: statement of position

On 2 April 2011, the Council of Three of the Ecclesia Apostolica Divinorum Mysteriorum issued a Joint Memorandum with Bishop William Ireland (no. 14 of 2011) that addressed the claims made by the Revd. Tia L. Douglass. Bishop Ireland was at the time of the events alleged a member of clergy of The Young Rite and had been placed on that body’s Inactive List due to serious illness and personal difficulties.

The principal matters of contention addressed were as follows:

  • That the Revd. Tia L. Douglass asserted that she had been consecrated to the Sacred Episcopate by Bishop Ireland on 10 February 2011. It was not contested that Bishop Ireland had previously attempted to ordain her deacon and priest.
  • That on this basis the Revd. Tia L. Douglass had placed on the website of her community a table of Apostolic Succession that asserted her descent from Bishop Ireland and the bishops of E.A.D.M.
  • That the website of her community contained significant content authored by the Metropolitan of E.A.D.M. that had been plagiarized.

Additional matters raised concerned allegations made by Bishop Ireland concerning the manipulation of photographs and jurisdictional changes made without his authority.

Bishop Ireland has never been a bishop of E.A.D.M. and E.A.D.M. takes no responsibility for his episcopal actions. Nor is E.A.D.M. in communion with Bishop Ireland’s jurisdiction. However, Bishop Ireland is recognized as having been validly consecrated in the Apostolic Succession from E.A.D.M. Because this situation had raised matters that were of common concern, his request that E.A.D.M. should issue a Joint Memorandum in support of him was granted. Appended to the Joint Memorandum was a Notice of Abrogation and Abnegation of Holy Orders issued by Bishop Ireland, in which he stated that he had erred in attempting to raise Tia Douglass to the minor and major Orders, and that those ordinations were invalid on the primary grounds of his own lack of fitness to perform the rite concerned due to his state of health at the time.

Following communication with the Revd. Tia Douglass, the matters involving plagiarized content on her community’s website were resolved and the content in question removed. This settled the issue that was of greatest concern to E.A.D.M. directly.

Subsequently, Bishop Ireland on advice from the Council of Three executed a Statutory Declaration before a solicitor attesting to the facts as he had presented them to us. However, the Revd. Tia Douglass and a member of her clergy also executed Statutory Declarations before a solicitor that attested to a directly conflicting account of events. It was clear in the circumstances that one or other party must have sworn a false declaration. In the light of this, the Council of Three withdrew the Joint Memorandum and stated that it was for Bishop Ireland and Tia Douglass to resolve the issues between them, if necessary in a court of law, and that it was no longer possible for the Council to determine the issue in favour of either side. It was also made clear that E.A.D.M. would take no further part in this conflict and regarded the matter as sub judice.

E.A.D.M. notes that the Joint Memorandum has since been subject to further circulation online despite its withdrawal by us and our clear statement of dissociation published in a Memorandum (OA no. 8/2012; EADM no. 11/2012). We deplore this action and state clearly that it has been done against our wish to have no further part in this affair, which from our perspective is closed. We note that, as stated above, the Joint Memorandum no longer represents our position on the matter, and furthermore that one of its signatories is no longer a member of our church.

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