Comments: news from American dioceses

'Iker himself is the past argued that TEC's structure is hierarchical. In a 2002 'friend of the court' brief in Edwards v. Dixon, a 4th Circuit Court of Appeals case challenging the authority of Bishop Jane Dixon, he has asserted the church's hierarchical structure, - "the same position we're arguing now" ' - Chancellor Kathleen Wells -

It would seem that the former Bishop of Fort Worth, Mr. Iker, may have gotten himself into a spot of bother with his current assertion that TEC is not a hierarchical church. It remains to be seen whether or not he can wriggle out of this one. However, as we all now know, the re-asserters are quite capable of asserting something different from what they once said (apropos of their vows of fealty to TEC) which they now see as now no longer valid!

Well, if one can go back on one's vows of obedience to a hierarchical Church (TEC), I suppose it's not too much to assume that Bishop Iker and his colleagues in ACNA can bare-facedly assert that black is white, and vice-versa. But will that satisfy a US Court of Appeal?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 4 September 2009 at 1:45am BST

'The court concluded that "Former Bishop John-David Schofield is no longer the Bishop and has no claim to any of the corporate offices". The court also ruled that the continuing Diocese of San Joaquin is "not a new organisation" created after Schofield attempted to remove the Diocese from the Church, but that the Diocese "is the older organisation from which (Schofield and the other) defendants removed themselves" '

- ENS Report on earlier legislation -

One wonders what possible new evidence could be produced by the re-asserters that would allow them to walk away with the property and identity of the lawully established TEC Diocese of San Joaquin.

The Anglican Communion world-wide will be watching the proceedings of this Fresno Court of Appeal lobby by former Bishop Schofield and his friends with intense interest.

If Schofield and Iker lose their court actions what, I wonder, will be the next step for the ACNA litigants? And will the money have run out?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 4 September 2009 at 2:08am BST

One has to wonder what the schismatics in San Joaquin hope to accomplish - although perhaps they are simply misled by attorneys who hope to get paid win or lose. Recent rulings by the Court of Appeals, upheld by the California Supreme Court, have gone consistently in favor of the Episcopal Church and the continuing, rebuilding diocese. On the other hand, there's a lot of truth in the saying, "Fools rush in...."

Posted by Marshall Scott at Friday, 4 September 2009 at 2:15am BST

Re Fort Worth and San Joaquin:

We've sawed off a limb of the tree and grafted it onto another tree entirely...but we insist we are still part of the original tree and that tree has no right to grow new limbs to replace us.

Yeah, right.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Friday, 4 September 2009 at 3:32am BST

So much for the "Christian diocese not suing another Christian diocese".

Posted by Fred Schwartz at Friday, 4 September 2009 at 6:24am BST

All these people are interested only in money and status - or they would accept that they should simply leave.

Posted by Merseymike at Friday, 4 September 2009 at 10:38am BST

Of course, none of this is about property or money...

Posted by Nom de Plume at Friday, 4 September 2009 at 12:02pm BST

One wonders what possible new evidence could be produced by the re-asserters that would allow them to walk away with the property and identity of the lawully established TEC Diocese of San Joaquin.

One can't introduce new evidence at the appellate level. Instead, one offers arguments why the prior rulings were incorrect applications of law.

Posted by ruidh at Friday, 4 September 2009 at 1:58pm BST

Unfortunately, the church press is as bad as the secular press in its inability to report legal proceedings accurately. There is no appeal from the Fresno County Superior summary adjudication order. There is only a right of appeal from a final judgment. The disaffected have filed a petition for a writ of mandate or prohibition seeking interlocutory review of that order. Review of such a petition is discretionary on the part of the Court of Appeal. Most such writ petitions are denied summarily without opinion. The response the legitimate diocese may file at this time is as to whether there are any grounds to grant discretionary review. If the Court of Appeal declines to grant review, the petition ends there. Even if it were to grant review, that is not a ruling on the merits of the petition--full briefing and argument on the merits would then ensue. I have not seen the petition, but I doubt there's any merit, and it's unlikely review would be granted. The Court of Appeal prefers to hear matters on appeal after final judgment to all issues can be addressed at one time. I have read the Superior Court's order, and all of the decisions cited therein. I am a California attorney whose practice includes significant appellate practice. I am QUITE familiar with the legal and factual issues presented. I could, if necessary, and would brief these issues in support of the TEC and the legitimate diocese of San Joaquin.

Posted by Richard Zevnik at Friday, 4 September 2009 at 9:20pm BST

a propos the current legislative situation in the US courts (via Schofield & Iker); at least the American Courts cannot be accused of political bias - at least, as far as I am aware. However, in Church legislation currently being enacted in Zimbawe, the following extract from today's news release from the leaders of the Churche of the Province of central Africa (CPCA), bears testimony to the fact that this is definitely not the case in Zimbabwe, where former Bishop Konunga is holding on to his illicit patrimony from Dictator Mugabe - as though he had never departed from his former Diocese and the Anglican Communion.

"Anglicans willingly, subject themselves to the faith, worship, teachings, format and rules, fellowship, mutual support, the proclamation of the Gospel and the care of God's people in love and faith as prescribed in our Canons, Acts and other laws. These are spiritual and ecclesiastical aspects outside the scope of the Common Law Courts" - Bishop Albert Chama -

Perhaps the Dissenters from TEC jurisdiction in the USA should take note of their repudiation of their own fealty to TEC. Patrimony from Global South Primates might just be a factor in their own tussles with their former Church (TEC).

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 4 September 2009 at 11:57pm BST
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