Virginia: legal action proceeds

Updated Thursday morning

ENS reports Virginia diocese files suits against property claims of separated congregations.

This ENS article also includes a second story Province III bishops issue statement in support of diocesan leadership. You can read about the latter in more detail at daily episcopalian: More support for Bishop Lee. And the text of the main diocesan press release is available there also: Virginia goes to court.

The Living Church report is headed Diocese of Virginia Files Suit Against Departing Congregations.

Updates
Washington Post Diocese Sues 11 Seceding Congregations Over Property Ownership
Richmond Times-Dispatch Episcopal leaders eye title to property
Washington Times Episcopal diocese sues breakaways for property
Falls Church News-Press Episcopalian Diocese Files in Court for Removal of Defectors from F.C. Site and Editorial: The Real Falls Church.

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Ford ElmsChrisHarvard Manmynsterpreost (=David Rowett)Göran Koch-Swahne Recent comment authors
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Robert
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Robert

The Falls Church News-Press also has a story on the Diocese of Virginia lawsuits and an editorial explaining why the city applauds the legal actions and extends support to the remaining faithful Episcopalians who have lost the use of their parish property: http://www.fcnp.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=820&Itemid=33
http://www.fcnp.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=812&Itemid=34

BabyBlue
Guest

A Statement from the Board of the Anglican District of Virginia FAIRFAX and FALLS CHURCH, Va, Jan. 31 – We have learned tonight from the media that the Diocese of Virginia has filed civil lawsuits against the clergy and volunteer lay leadership of eleven Virginia churches. These are the same Virginia churches that voted overwhelmingly to sever ties with The Episcopal Church (TEC) and affiliate with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), a fully recognized branch of the Anglican Communion under the Anglican Church of Nigeria. We receive this news as an act of betrayal. Contrary to statements… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

I think it says a lot about the quality and professionalism of The Falls Church News-Press allows the same person to write the news story and the opinion piece on a single subject. Its also interesting that the tone of the two stories is the same.

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

I think it is important to understand that The Falls Church is not serving or reflecting the constituency in the area. The vast majority of the congregants live elsewhere and are conservative republicans. Falls Church (the town) sees itself as populated by the “creative class,” probably very gay-friendly, who live and work in the area and vote democrate by a significant majority. This is a church that garnered power and prestige not by meeting the needs of the local community, but by defiantly catering to the needs and views of others who live outside the area, who have no particular… Read more »

DGus
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DGus

The Richmond Times-Dispatch also published today (Feb. 1) a guest editorial by the Senior Warden of the Falls Church:

http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=RTD%2FMGArticle%2FRTD_BasicArticle&%09s=1045855935007&c=MGArticle&cid=1149192955735&path=%21editorials%21oped

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

The One Way Church Road.

Says it all.

Athos
Guest
Athos

My, My. It always amazes me how tolerant these liberals are!!

JCF
Guest
JCF

I wish to correct this headline a bit: “Episcopalian Diocese Files in Court for Removal of Defectors from F.C. Site” It’s not about “removing defectors”. It’s about ***RESTORING*** Episcopalian worship, and parish life to The Falls Church (and the other VA parishes). To the extent that certain persons continue to *block* the restoration of that worship and parish functions, then court action has become necessary, unfortunately, to remove these ***actions*** of barrier-making. But it’s never been about removing persons (even the clergy—though some about of episcopal discipline may be rightly ordered to them, when/if they return to +Peter Lee’s authority).… Read more »

kieran crichton
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kieran crichton

Why do the Falls Church people keep claiming that CANA is part of the Anglican Communion? At best it’s a tenuous claim, and given the border-crossing that’s inherent in the scheme, highly abhorrent to the so-called *Windsor* principles. And in any event, who’d want to be a member of the Communion at second- or third-hand? But for the *Board of the Anglican District of Virginia* to claim that +Lee has somehow betrayed their trust is a bit of a stretch. Are these not the same people who have constantly refused to accept any accommodation that stops short of rejecting the… Read more »

ruidh
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ruidh

“Why do the Falls Church people keep claiming that CANA is part of the Anglican Communion?”

They keep talking about it because it is part of the bill of goods they sold the members. As it is, the schismatic faction can barely claim 10% allegiance. If they admitted that leaving TEC meant becoming just another continuing Anglican sect, their membership would plummet.

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

CANA claims to be a part of the Anglican Communion in order to come under the Virginia Code applicable to church property when a church is split and the congregation goes with one branch of the church. In this case, they are setting up the argument that TEC and CANA, a mission of the “Anglican Church of Nigeria,” are both branches of the AC which they will claim is split in America. When congregations simply leave supercongregational churches like TEC, property ownership is usually governed by Cannon law.

C.B.

David Huff
Guest
David Huff

The “Anglican District of Virginia,” eh ?

Well, I’m the Lord High Pontifex and Grand Poobah of the Anglican District of Alpha Centauri (in Exile). Now invite me to Lambeth, dammit!

See, it’s *fun* to make up grandiose sounding names, isn’t it ? I can feel the increased sense of gravitas descending upon me already… 😀

Chris
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Chris

C.B. Not sure if you’re familiar with the Northern Virginia area, but the city of Falls Church is not some bohemian or artistic commune with poets and painters. It is an affluent suburb of DC that itself has a history of annexation and exclusion to engineer the type of community and schools it wants. In terms of topography, if there where no street signs you would be unable to tell where the the city of Falls Church ends and Fairfax County begins. When I lived in the DC area I attended TFC. I drove over 30 minutes from Maryland to… Read more »

Harvard Man
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Harvard Man

Chris, You speak a truth that is refreshing here, of first hand knowledge of TFC and its ministry. Thank you, and I trust you will not be treated harshly by other bloggers on this site. I have very close friends involved in ministry with TFC, and they are indeed not the bible waving fundamentalists they are portrayed to be on this site. Will some of the Thinking Anlicans take the time to read some of the letters from TFC or Truro? These are loving, faithful fellow believers who feel TEC has engaged in teachings that are not of the faith.… Read more »

Harvard Man
Guest
Harvard Man

A wonderful quote from TFC senior warden:

‘We know that we need a church that will call us to repentance from sin and will offer us not rationalizations of our faults but, rather, God’s forgiveness, transformation, and healing in Christ. To the sinner, Jesus says, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more.” We must be in a church that preaches that same message to us, in both its aspects: forgiveness and a call to a changed life.’

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Pseudonyms Chris and Harvard Man,

I refer you to an upcoming history of the Diocese of Virginia and an article which appeared on the internet December 22nd called:

How “Historic” Are Truro Church and The Falls Church?

By Joan R. Gundersen, Ph.D.

… but I warn you, that you most probably won’t be very happy about it.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

But then we live in an Age where dishonesty, spin, lies and deceit have been elevated to a form of Art.

“May your talk be Spin, Spin, and Spin, Spin.”

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Harvard man said ‘We know that we need a church that will call us to repentance from sin and will offer us not rationalizations of our faults but, rather, God’s forgiveness, transformation, and healing in Christ. To the sinner, Jesus says, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more.” We must be in a church that preaches that same message to us, in both its aspects: forgiveness and a call to a changed life.’ As we all do (and without prioritising one set of offences over another…). I think what you mean is that you want a church… Read more »

Harvard Man
Guest
Harvard Man

David, Please don’t put those words in my mouth, “I think what you mean is that you want a church which tells other people they’re beyond the pale while offering the gentlest of wrist-smacks to those already ensconced in the citadel of salvation.” That is not what I said, or what I believe. What I was trying to say is that we are all in a sinful state, as I understand it. And we all need a Saviour. My sinfulness is no greater or worse than anothers. We are all called to recognize that sinfulness, repent of it and believe… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

David, I’ll echo Harvard Man’s statements. Most of the sermons given at TFC over the past several years are available on the website – as are many of the statements and pastoral letters concerning the TEC issues. You can also find the “I Invite You…” paper that was the vestry report recommending leaving TEC. As a former member I can’t remember sermons from the pulpit that included condemnation of broad categories of people within the church or in the larger society. Certainly disagreements in doctrine or philosophy were discussed, but with maturity and grace. Most of the teaching was extremely… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“The call of Christ to be Lord of every area of our lives was central and clear” While this is Evospeak, it does state the truth that real happiness is to be found in putting Christ and His Kingdom above all things. I find it interesting how this is interpreted by modern Christians as opposed to how the Church has traditionally seen it. It was once considered a Good Thing to give one’s wealth to the poor and live ascetically in prayer and celebacy. Married people, single people, princes, landowners, etc. did it, and it usually ended with retirement to… Read more »