Comments: Diocese of Virginia on property dispute

Bravo to +Lee for setting the record straight!
These law suits are the fault of the former Vestries and rebel clergy of these schismatic cabals.

Posted by John Robison at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 6:50pm GMT

"CANA congregations filed petitions with the courts..... Subsequently, the Diocese and the Episcopal Church filed complaints"

Yet in some people's eyes, it is TEC taking the faithful remnant to court to deprive them of even a place to worship. Conservatives would be so much harder to oppose if their understanding of things came in any way close to reality.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 7:33pm GMT

I'll second that John Robison.

The Schismatics and Donatist heretics are welcome to leave and set up their own church if they so wish, but not to break the law and take TEC's property with them.

As suspected all along, it seems that the CANA parishes are more interested in worshipping Mammon than following the advice of Scripture.

God bless +Lee of Virginia!

Posted by John Omani at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 8:05pm GMT

"Four continuing Episcopal congregations have been denied use of their property, locked out of their buildings, deprived of their rights to that property and forced into exile."

Poppycock. Not a single person has ever at any time for any reason been barred from worship at any of these congregations. And at the Falls Church, a proposal for a regular service to be officiated by a continuing Episcopal priest, for the benefit of those who wanted to continue in communion with TEC and the Diocese of Virginia, was explicitly and repeatedly refused by Bishop Lee.

TEC's maintenance of this litigation is not about meeting the spiritual needs of people. It is about the property.

Posted by DGus at Thursday, 8 November 2007 at 9:42pm GMT

If you care so little about the property, then vacate it and give it back to the church you have left.

Posted by Merseymike at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 12:26am GMT

"at the Falls Church, a proposal for a regular service to be officiated by a continuing Episcopal priest"

I'm guessing that wasn't at 11AM Sunday morning?

Whatever. DGus, when you CANAnites voted (after pushing out most of "those who wanted to continue in communion with TEC and the Diocese of Virginia") to kick out your bishop, and then sued to make it binding, YOU BROUGHT THIS UPON YOURSELVES. End of story.

Lord have mercy!

Posted by JCF at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 1:27am GMT

"TEC's maintenance of this litigation is not about meeting the spiritual needs of people. It is about the property."

So - the departing congregations' initiating lawsuits to steal TEC property was about ... what? Spiritual needs? Hogswallop!

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 4:26am GMT

The news story from the Episcopal News Service says that the Diocese and TEC are defendents in some suits. Having read the documents above, I don't see them. TEC and Dio. VA as plaintiffs against dozens of clergy and vestry, but not defendants.

As the Diocese and TEC are not named on the titles, seems to me more like what would happen when the title to my property is written in my name and has a lien on it and I'm filing with (petitioning) the court to say the lien has been paid or voided. I'm not suing anyone, just reporting what has happened in order to clear the title. In doing so I'm not suing the bank.

Since Virginia does have laws in place regarding congregations keeping their property--even if the court finds those laws inapplicable in this particular case-- The vestry of those churches weren't suing the diocese, nor were they outside "reality".

I'm sure most here won't agree with me, but let's be honest that the "spin" around this case doesn't just come from the breakaway group.

Posted by Chris H. at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 6:48am GMT

"Since Virginia does have laws in place regarding congregations keeping their property--even if the court finds those laws inapplicable in this particular case"

See, first of all, the church buildings do not belong to the parish. In reality, they don't belong to the Church either, they belong to God. They were built "for the greater glory of God", they are referred to as the "House of God". Simply by trying to take "their" building when they leave, these schismatics show how far they are from the faith of the "catholic church" they claim to believe in when they say the Creeds.

Given the overall attitude of Evangelicals towards following the "traditions of men" WRT liturgical things, indeed, anything that Rome does, I find it amusing that one would appeal to the laws of Virginia to claim the parish has a right to its buildings. The ancient tradition of the Church has been totally opposuite. I guess the unacceptibility of the 'traditions of men' doesn't extend to the way we carry out the Second Great Commandment.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 12:26pm GMT

re: the DGUS comment above - I see on BabyBlue's blog that the schismatics are holding a prayer vigil at Truro during the property trial - I wonder if the faithful remnant are welccome - would be made to feel welcome - at this prayer vigil. Really, given our fallen nature, it is difficult if not impossible for these 2 separate congregations to truly share the premises. Wishful thinking is one thing - reality another.

Posted by ettu at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 12:32pm GMT

Cynthia writes:

So - the departing congregations' initiating lawsuits ...

Actually, it is Bishop Lee and Katharine Jefferts Schori who initiated the lawsuits. They are suing the Virginia Churches, not the other way around. I hope that is clear. They are the plaintiffs, the Virginia Churches are the defendants.

You can read a fascinating "insider" report from a former member of the Diocese of Virginia Executive Board here:
http://www.pwcweb.com/ecw/tec_to_nigeria.html

bb

Posted by BabyBlue at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 1:03pm GMT

Chris H - My head is spinning around from your spin. The only way for the diocese to defend against CANA's original claim (petition) for the property, was to file a counterclaim. The way this is done in VA. is a plaintiff. These are filing formalities required by the State and should not be used to determine the origins or nature of the dispute.

Yes, Virginia does have laws regarding splits in denomination (not congregations). Hence, the counterclaim by the dioceses.

And as far as the vestry suing the diocese, why would they - when the only possible avenue to taking the property from the diocese was to file a petition for it. Which they did.

That's the reality.

Posted by C.B. at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 1:36pm GMT

"The dispute over property in the Diocese of Virginia entered the civil courts when the separated CANA congregations filed petitions with the courts in their jurisdictions reporting the results of their congregational votes and seeking the court’s declaration that the property belonged to the congregations."-

Just what about CANA congregations filing petitions with the courts do you not understand Chris H.?
You're right, I don't agree with you because you are inherently incorrect, not to mention blind.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 1:50pm GMT

It won't work CANA...it simply won't work because stealing is frowned upon most everywhere in civilized countries and then, of course, there is, the THOU shall NOT, part!

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 5:29pm GMT

"I see on BabyBlue's blog that the schismatics are holding a prayer vigil at Truro during the property trial"

I wonder if the prayer is "Let us win our property". I doubt somehow it's "Not our will nor that of TEC, but THY will be done."

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 6:29pm GMT

Dear Ford Elms,

Your skepticism about the CANA churches' prayer intentions is not well founded. The Rev. John Yates's 11/6 invitation to join the prayer meeting that you mentioned asked, "Will you do your best to join us? Will you please be praying that God will work through this trial to bring about his plans and purposes."

Similarly, a suggested list of prayer intentions that was distributed earlier included--

"Pray for God’s will be to done in the hearings in November....
"Pray for wisdom and clarity for Judge Randy Bellows....
"Pray for our legal teams and their families....
"Pray for a quick resolution of the legal cases....
"Pray for Rectors, Wardens and Vestry members and their planning around the legal issues....
"Pray for TEC and Diocese of Virginia to return to the negotiating table and reach an amicable settlement of the legal case, as requested by the
Primates in the Dar Es Salaam Communique...."

http://www.thefallschurch.org/clientimages/29455/realignment/statements/10_18_07_parishemailrelitigationprayer.pdf

In fact, I have never read or heard any suggestion that we pray that the congregations would win in the litigation. Not that there would be anything wrong with that. But that's not the atmosphere in the Falls Church, nor, I'm sure, in the other CANA churches.

Posted by DGus at Friday, 9 November 2007 at 10:52pm GMT

D Gus wrote: "Pray for Rectors, Wardens and Vestry members and their planning around the legal issues..."

"Planning around", indeed.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Saturday, 10 November 2007 at 5:45am GMT

"dear God

Just listen carefully

while I just give Thee Thine orders........ " !!

Posted by L Roberts at Saturday, 10 November 2007 at 2:34pm GMT

"In fact, I have never read or heard any suggestion that we pray that the congregations would win in the litigation. Not that there would be anything wrong with that."

It was uncharitable of me to suggest otherwise, and I have been set straight. Given that your second sentence is precisely what I was deriding, I think you'll see that I don't agree at all. Glad, and chastened, to know that's not how the parish is praying, all the same.

Posted by Ford Elms at Saturday, 10 November 2007 at 2:37pm GMT

As long as you enjoyed it, Ford ...... ;-)

Posted by L Roberts at Saturday, 10 November 2007 at 4:17pm GMT

So DGus, why is Truro waiting until the trial to have a prayer vigil?

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Sunday, 11 November 2007 at 12:15am GMT

"And as far as the vestry suing the diocese, why would they - when the only possible avenue to taking the property from the diocese was to file a petition for it. Which they did.

That's the reality." CB

Won't someone please make appointments for face-to-face factshock "induced" conversations/confessions for the emotionally/spiritually CANA "blocked" Truro "seekers" and the fact "fallen" over at Falls Church?

Reality, it just takes some getting to and pretending "theiving" is taking place won't change bad actions into good and Godly "will."

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Sunday, 11 November 2007 at 5:16pm GMT

Question: If a parish has paid for their own property with no help from the diocese or national church, shouldn't they be allowed to keep their property? Isn't the right thing to do.

Posted by DRJ1943 at Sunday, 6 January 2008 at 1:34pm GMT
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