THINKING ANGLICANS

Virginia court ruling: Saturday reports

Earlier reports in previous article.

New York Times Neela Banerjee Virginia Judge Allows Case on Episcopal Property to Proceed

Washington Post Michelle Boorstein and Jacqueline L. Salmon Court Ruling Boosts Breakaway Churches

Time David Van Biema The Episcopal Property War

Washington Times Julia Duin Va. judge sides with breakaway Episcopal parishes

Institute on Religion and Democracy Court Rules in Favor of Departing Virginia Churches

Church of Nigeria CANA magnanimous in victory

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Ford ElmsPat O'NeillBen WMalcolm+Göran Koch-Swahne Recent comment authors
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JCF
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JCF

May I note that there was another property ruling, just a couple of weeks ago (Long Island NY, I believe? I could be wrong), that TEC ***won***? [I don’t believe that it was reported here, but several commenters noted it at Fr. Jake’s]

I never fail to be impressed by the *amount* of coverage the schismatics win for themselves. Ah, that Ahmanson money… (Yes-yes-yes: “thou shalt not covet”. Then again, if no one were coveting, Episcopalians in Virginia wouldn’t have any trouble worshipping in *Episcopal-built* parishes, would they? :-/)

Malcolm+
Guest

When someone has to issue a news release to tell you they’ve been magnanimous, you can rest assured they’ve been anything but.

david wh
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david wh

Anyone want to bet that Ohio’s sudden turnaround in how it treates its departing churches (within a month of saying how good relationships were) was due to being told by 815 to get nasty – after signs of potential defeat in Virginia?

http://www.livingchurch.org/news/news-updates/2008/4/4/diocese-of-ohio-litigation-ends-peaceful-way-to-coexist

Is Liberal TEC adopting the motif of the fear of God’s judgement? Aiming to keep the faithful under control through the threat of the fires of eternal litigation?

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

David wh, you place great speculation on an article that is murky at best. Out of these five congregations here in NE Ohio, one has lost it’s rector to a sex scandal within the parish, the other lost it’s priest-in-charge due to non-attendance, and one of the other break-away parishes has returned to the fold (the one down on the river). That leaves two, of which one is an inner-city mission of the other in suburban Akron (St. Luke’s). St. Luke’s is basically non-Anglican in worship (no hymnals, “liberal” use of non-prayer book passages, unorthodox music and strange gestures-did I… Read more »

robroy
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robroy

JCF, New York law is quite different from Virginia law – no 57-9 statute that addresses property in the case of division. Bp Lee’s lawyers, I am quite sure, knew about the law. Yet he allowed himself to be strong-armed into stopping negotiations and begin litigating at incredibly cost to the diocese, a cost that does not appear to be shared with the national church. Rather he apparently has sold off a million dollars worth of un-designated property (given by people who were not intending it to go to lawyers’ fees) as well as taking on debt. Incredibly, Fr Jake… Read more »

Malcolm+
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These discussions would be so much simpler if the “conservatives” had not chosen to believe that lying in defendce their cause was acceptable.

David Wh, despite your fantasies, the Presiding Bishop does not have the capcity to “force” the Bishop of Ohio, the Bishop of Virginia or any other Bishop to start a lawsuit.

Robroy (and why must you so degrade the name of an heroic figure from history), the Virginia lawsuits were not initiated by the Diocese of Virgina, but rather by the decamping pseudo-Nigerians. A plaintiff has far more influence over hte timing of a lawsuit than a respondent.

Charlotte
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Charlotte

In this context, a very interesting exchange earlier on this blog might be revisited. My post asked a question of Robroy: “Regarding church property, Robroy wrote the following yesterday on TitusOneNine: “It seems outrageous to me that one party of a contract can change the rules and the other must live with it which is precisely what the Dennis canon does. The diocese and national church effectively states give me all your deeds to your parishes. How un-American.” I would be interested in hearing from members of the Church of England on this. Does it seem wrong to them to… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

Robroy:

Someone moves into my family’s ancestral home, changes everything around, claims to be “returning it to its historic state”, and then wants to transfer ownership of the home to some foreign group…and I’m supposed to “negotiate” with him?

Cheryl Va.
Guest

Charlotte asked “So I presume, then, that if the Rector or Vicar of a Church of England parish decides to affiliate with a different province (say, Southern Cone, or The Episcopal Church), he has a perfect right to. The church buildings and all other property will transfer with him. If he should decide to become a Roman Catholic or Baptist, the church property also will transfer with him.” I think it would be fair to say that there are some leaderships who think this is reasonable, quite probably Sydney, for example. Who would also probably be prepared to take the… Read more »

cryptogram
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cryptogram

Charlotte is perfectly right to ask her question about ownership of property in the Church of England. David Wh has been a tad economical with the truth, in that whilst a Rector or Vicar is vested with the freehold of the property of the living (church and churchyard in effect) it is held ON BEHALF OF THE PARISHIONERS. The Incumbent who decided to sell the churchyard to a property developer would not get very far. There is an extremely complex system for the sale of redundant church buildings and property. The diocese can’t simply put an ad in the property… Read more »

ruidh
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ruidh

“May I note that there was another property ruling, just a couple of weeks ago (Long Island NY, I believe? I could be wrong), that TEC ***won***? [I don’t believe that it was reported here, but several commenters noted it at Fr. Jake’s]” Most definitely, St. James, Elmhurst, Queens. The interesting bit was that this parish was one of those from colonial times which predated the formation of TEC. They took the standard position the because they predated the diocese, they were guaranteed their independence. Charles Nails, former TEC member and now Anglican vagante, testified and completely failed to convince… Read more »

david wh
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david wh

Charlotte Unfortunaelty cryptogram didn’t look back and read all that I had posted, so got hold of the wrong end of the stick. The Rector/Vicar has freehold use of the property, but no right to sell it, as far as I know, if any property is sold the money would go to the Diocese. I suspect that if the Established Church suffers another ecclesiastical division – like the one that is happening to ECUSA – it could probably only happen by a change of UK law (as happened when episcopal provision was made for legitimate dissenters on the question of… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Cryptogram, thank you for responding to my question.

Here is my point. You have explained the position of the Church of England regarding its churches and other property. The Episcopal Church takes exactly the same position regarding its churches and other property. So why the controversy? What reason do David Wh, Margaret, Robroy and the others have to think that a historic Anglican standard does not apply to them?

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

Another law case has been dragging on for years in the diocese of South Carolina, Ruidh. It concerns All Saints, Pawleys Island, the majority of whose congregation voted to leave TEC in 2003. In the case of All Saints, the complicating factor is that the church building, erected prior to the American Revolution, was deeded at that time to trustees. To date the SC courts appear to have ruled that on account of this factor the SC diocese and the continuing TEC congregation have no claim on the church building, though other property and money have been awarded to them.… Read more »

robroy
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robroy

“Robroy (and why must you so degrade the name of an heroic figure from history), the Virginia lawsuits were not initiated by the Diocese of Virgina, but rather by the decamping pseudo-Nigerians. A plaintiff has far more influence over hte timing of a lawsuit than a respondent.” This is another blinking at reality. Katherine Jefferts-Schori has said herself, in sworn deposition, that she was the one that made the diocese of Virginia break off negotiations and begin litigation. Malcolm seems to confuse with the recording of the results of the votes taken at the 11 parishes at the local court… Read more »

John Henry
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John Henry

The law-abiding British people would never allow the pirates from the GS to claim CofE parish properties, the ABC’s personal position on the schism notwithstanding. The British just do not pander to thieves and pirates.

Cheryl Va.
Guest

“Since liberals do not have a majority in Synod”

Which Synod of which area within which nation does this refer, and which Synod represents all Synods in all areas within all nations?

There’s a paradigm filter leading to such statements, understand the filter and then understanding statement’s content, context and their author becomes easy.

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

“If the liberals were in control I guess they might quickly convince themselves of the virtue of the modern liberal-totalitarian approach: “we have the majority, so we make the rules — if you don’t like it go away and leave us the assets”.”

How is a holding a vote and then abiding by the majority decision a “totalitarian” approach? Sounds like democracy to me.

cryptogram
Guest
cryptogram

cryptogram replied to what David Wh wrote on *this* thread. Other things may have been written on other threads, but there are things of greater importance than pursuing the collected works of DW across cyberspace.

James Crocker
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James Crocker

“The British just do not pander to thieves and pirates”

Tell that to Queen Elizabeth I.

Malcolm+
Guest

A desperate attempt to play the race card, Robroy. Pseudo-Nigerians is a reference to a byunch of people who have no real connection to Nigeria pretending to be a part of the province of Nigeria. They can pretend to be Nigerians all they want – and the Prince Bishop of Abuja can pretend right along with them. But they are not Nigerian. They do not live in Nigeria. They have no real or tangible connection to Nigeria. Certainly nothing that would make them authentically Nigerian. KJS may well have persuaded, convinced or pressured Bishop Lee to change tactics. There is… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“The British just do not pander to thieves and pirates.”

I live in Newfoundland. Pull the other one! Oh, right. In our case, they WERE the thieves and pirates!

david wh
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david wh

Pat O’Neill wrote: “How is a holding a vote and then abiding by the majority decision a “totalitarian” approach? Sounds like democracy to me.” Pat, To quote the font of all knowledge: “‘Majority rule’ is a major principle of democracy, though (…) minority rights are often protected from what is sometimes called ‘the tyranny of the majority’.” Anglicanism’s liberals seem to not like to respect *minority rights*… if they think that that minority is “wrong” (ie not liberal)! I think that they consider that man-made “human rights” completely negate any respect for people who hold to 2000 year old Christian… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“”‘Majority rule’ is a major principle of democracy, though (…) minority rights are often protected from what is sometimes called ‘the tyranny of the majority’.” Anglicanism’s liberals seem to not like to respect *minority rights*… if they think that that minority is “wrong” (ie not liberal)! I think that they consider that man-made “human rights” completely negate any respect for people who hold to 2000 year old Christian beliefs.” Yes, but those minority rights are not protected by denying the majority vote. They are protected by a system of “checks and balances” whereby it is difficult to get a majority.… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Anglicanism’s liberals seem to not like to respect *minority rights*” Astounding statement! We are constantly being told that conservatives constitute the vast majority of Anglicans. It is conservatives who are falsely claiming they are being forced to do and accept things when no-one is doing so. It is conservatives who are forcing the minority to bend to their will or get out of the Communion. So, from where I sit, it’s not that the liberal MINORITY doesn’t respect minority rights, but rather that the conservaitve MAJORITY is upset they cannot hold sway over everybody else. How can you claim to… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Ford, You do an interesting “juggling act” with “minority” and “majority,” it just does not advance the conversation. Of course many matters can be decided in the local church (e.g. whether to use the Alpha course to teach newcomers etc), but when there are matters of basic Christian theological or moral teaching involved – e.g. God is the creator of the universe or a bishop is expected to be married and live in faithfulness to his wife – the local church cannot simply act on it own or go its own way. To the extent that the AC has a… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

David WH seems to think that I have somehow misrepresented his views. I think we all need to see the complete original post. You will see that the part I deleted was simply inflammatory rhetoric. You will see that he said nothing about “freeholds” or rights to sell parish property in the original, which is highly misleading. Here it is, in its entirety. -quote- Charlotte, Ownership of Church of England churches’ property IS vested in the Rector (or Vicar) of the parish! I’ve no idea what would happen to non-liberal churches if the liberal cancer that is destroying TEC were… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

“To the extent that the AC has a polity to deal with questions beyond the local level, the strongest expression has been the Lambeth coferences.” But that’s just it, Ben. The Anglican Communion has no such polity…and the Lambeth conferences are definitely not a part of it. The AC is a collection of individual churches…working from a historical tradition that each nation deserves its own church based in its own understanding of Christian thought and tradition. We are siblings with the CoE, the Anglican Church of Canada and, yes, even the Anglican Church of Nigeria. We are not children of… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Pat, I think you have already been around this bush with Margaret. The very concern about who is “invited” and what will be addressed tells you Lambeth is more than just to get together and talk about the weather and maybe drink a little beer! And what about “the primates” meeting? Both are ways of addressing larger than merely local concerns. I agree that the covenant process is intended to clarify some of this and deal with some lose ends (Ms MacAdams haled earlier as a leading light here I thought made the case in the light of the fix… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Ben W wrote: “You do an interesting “juggling act” with “minority” and “majority,” it just does not advance the conversation.”

Here is another “juggling act” with “minority” and “majority” (I have pinched it):

“200 million Americans can’t be right!”

; = )

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“The very concern about who is “invited” and what will be addressed tells you Lambeth is more than just to get together and talk about the weather and maybe drink a little beer!

And what about “the primates” meeting? Both are ways of addressing larger than merely local concerns.”

Address them, yes. Make canonically enforceable pronouncements, no. The arguments over who is invited to Lambeth are more about agreements over who is a true bishop than about the value of what is discussed and decided.

Malcolm+
Guest

What Ben and the rest of the “conservatives” (deliberately?) fail to grasp is that the Lambeth Conference specifically, pre-emptively and definitively REJECTED the idea that Lambeth was some sort of synodical court for world-wide Anglicanism. Not only did the +Cantuar of the day explicitly reject the idea in issuing the invitations, but the first several Lambeths actually defeated resolutions which sought to invest the conference with that kind of authority, or to establish some other juridical body to “regulate” the autocephalous provinces. Of course, when facts get in the way of the “conservative” argument, facts must be discarded. The only… Read more »

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Malcolm,

Yes, if in the context of critical challenges formal good faith pledges mean nothing then forget Lambeth and the primates meetings. But be prepared for chaos. No one expects that Caesar of old is waiting to enforce agreement by exiling the bishops on “the other side.”

But then what in Christian context is or should be more binding then one’s solemn word in this context?

Ben W

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Ben W:

As I’ve said elsewhere, the chaos you predict wouldn’t last. Sooner or later one view or the other on any presenting issue would gain a majority position, without any enforcement.

I sometimes think of the various autonomous national churches of the Anglican Communion the same way I think of the sovereign states of the United States. We allow each of them to “experiment” with certain ideas, each in its own way, until we see which ideas work best or, in the Anglican context, best fit our traditions of scripture, liturgy and reason.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“And, if the heirarchy ever allows itself to become truly representative of its churches and clergy (especially the successful ones), the risk of destruction due to liberal apostasy will recede even further.” One has to wonder what would happen if, instead of the above, the hierarchy ever allowed itself to become truly representative of its God and His teachings. We would certainly get rid of the risk of destruction caused by conservative apostasy. Where did you get the idea that the Kingdom of God is some sort of representative democracy? It is not the Republic of God, after all, despite… Read more »