Comments: news from Quincy

"The breakaway Diocese of Quincy has filed suit against the Episcopal Church in an Illinois Court, asking the court to clarify its rights to the name and assets of the diocese."

If you have broken from the Episcopal Church and joined the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, what possible right to call yourself an Episcopal Diocese can you claim to have? Further, if you are in such violent disagreement with the Episcopal Church as to find such actions necessary, why would you want to retain a name that can only cause outsiders to confuse you with the larger body?

Unless, of course, you think that makes it easier to retain the property....

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Sunday, 5 April 2009 at 4:57pm BST

How akin this all is to the children's playground where one of the players wants to sequester the ball - when it doesn't agree with the established rules of the game. When will the dissenters realise that they have no grounds for wanting to seize the lawfully acquired assets of TEC?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 5 April 2009 at 11:21pm BST

"Unless, of course, you think that makes it easier to retain the property...."

But the Colorado breakaways [sounds like a football team, doesn't it?] now tell us, having lost their attempt to grab the property, it never WAS about the property. I'm confused...

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Monday, 6 April 2009 at 1:09am BST

Do be careful. While it is reasonably clear that parishes normally can't keep the property, no diocese has ever tried to leave TEC except in the US Civil War, so matter has never been tried in court. As a result it isn't clear whether secular courts will let the dioceses can take the property with them. In the US Civil War, of course, it would have been impossible to settle the matter in court.

Jon

Posted by Jon at Monday, 6 April 2009 at 1:30am BST

It's becoming increasingly clearer that according to US law the schismatics do not have a right to the Church's property. However, it seems to be their custom as they leave to stop and pee on the carpet. Then the Church has to spend money cleaning it up. I've forgotten the technical psychological term for this behavior.

Posted by Bill Moorhead at Monday, 6 April 2009 at 3:32am BST

"I've forgotten the technical psychological term for this behavior."

In animal behavior, it's called marking territory.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Monday, 6 April 2009 at 11:18am BST

Their desire to hold on to assets may say a great deal about their fear - their fear that they will not be able to attract new followers given their lack of love and charity. The bitterness in conservative blogs is absolutely frightening.

Posted by ettu at Monday, 6 April 2009 at 12:18pm BST

Jon,

Are you aware of a legal argument that would allow a distinction to be drawn between a diocese and a parish under the law of any of the states that might consider a church property case? I am not aware of one, and the California Supreme Court's recent ruling certainly allows no such distinction, but some state laws are idiocyncratic --Virginia's being the most notable example--so maybe there is one sitting out there that I don't know about.

Jim Naughton

Posted by Jim Naughton at Monday, 6 April 2009 at 3:03pm BST

"Their desire to hold on to assets may say a great deal about their fear - their fear that they will not be able to attract new followers given their lack of love and charity."

Well said, ettu.

I'm not sure whether it's the ugliness of the new "Church of No Homos (Ordained, Married, or UnCloseted!)" brandname . . . or simply the *competition* (from ConEv, Popoid and Mormon quarters) for that share of the religious market! ;-/

[But seriously: a blessed Holy Week to all...]

Posted by JCF at Monday, 6 April 2009 at 8:47pm BST

I am not aware of any legal argument that would allow such a distinction to be drawn, but I'm also not a lawyer. Coincidentally, if a was a lawyer I'd be inclined to side with TEC over the break away dioceses. The legal arguments take us several steps down the line, however. My point is to note at the outset that, however convincing we find any of the legal arguments, it is uncharted territory.

Jon

Posted by Jon at Tuesday, 7 April 2009 at 1:13am BST
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