Comments: US Supreme Court denies certiorari

This is a wonderful and appropriate move by the US Supreme Court.

There is nothing in Federal Code, nor in decisions by Federal Courts, to give any hope to those separatists who would try to take that which clearly does not belong to them, but instead to the Diocese and the national Church.

And there are very few State laws that would allow this taking of property by separatists from a hierarchical church, but undoubtedly we will see a very small number of anomalies related to quirks in individual locations.

It will be interesting to see what malicious spin is put on yet another loss by the schismatics.
They tried to take that which didn't belong to them, and they complained when legal actions were taken against them, and now the legal actions are resulting in a cascading of legal opinions that put to the lie their absurd claims to justify theft.

Posted by Jerry Hannon at Monday, 1 March 2010 at 11:36pm GMT

This is a clear signal from the Supreme Court that they do not wish to unsettle the well-settled law that property is held in trust for the larger church, whether under a general deference to hierarchy or under the neutral principle embodied in the Canons, and that even a majority of a congregation can not alienate property from the diocese and national church.

Posted by Tobias Haller at Monday, 1 March 2010 at 11:55pm GMT

Whew! For a second I thought it was in the Virginia case and not the LA cases. The VA case still needs a little reality applied to it. That reality might not come from the VA Supreme Court.

Posted by ruidh at Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 1:52am GMT

May the schismatics be reconciled to the Episcopal Church, in God's Good Time.

Posted by JCF at Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 4:34am GMT

One is moved to wonder how the schismatics are going to try and spin this into a stunning victory.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 5:46am GMT

"The VA case still needs a little reality applied to it. That reality might not come from the VA Supreme Court." Yes, and Virginia has the post-civil war law designed to help congregational churches that had in fact split during the civil war to settle property claims.

TEC is of course hierarchical not congregational
and did not formally split during the Civil War. That is, although Episcopal churches in the confederate states declared themselves separated, TEC never recognized that and called the names of the absent dioceses at the General Convention [or conventions?] held during the war.

When the war was over, there were no property disputes [that I know of] to settle.

The district court judge did not see this clearly. Also, the Commonwealth's Attorney weighed in with his opinion, against TEC. And who was that? That be our new governor, trained in Pat Robertson's Regent "University" law school.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 1:59pm GMT

That's a shame Cynthia, what happened to Trinity/Charlottesville? They were making weird noises when I was visiting a couple of years ago.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 10:10pm GMT

"It will be interesting to see what malicious spin is put on yet another loss by the schismatics." - Jerry Hannon -

Yes, Jerry. And one only has to look in on that so ill-named site: 'Virtue on Line' (hosted by former Baptist David Virtue) to see how the vitriol is being disseminated. I would like to be as hopeful as JCF in his posting above, and think that the schismatics might be reconciled with TEC, but I'm not holding my breath. Too much rhetoric to the contrary has already been spouted by the likes of ACNA and it's African associates.

What will be interesting is what will happen to the likes of 'Archbishop' Bobbie and his friends when they find they have to work for their own credibility and their own property portfolio in the furtherence of their particular puritanical version of the gospel.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 2 March 2010 at 11:44pm GMT

"That's a shame Cynthia, what happened to Trinity/Charlottesville? They were making weird noises when I was visiting a couple of years ago"

I think you've got the name wrong - a friend who is closer to C-ville than I says Trinity is an all-black congregation that has been in search of a vicar and finally has one. I've asked her about other possibilities. There was a church plant near there where the church planter absconded to some other church - am vague on the details. Will let you know when I know more.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Wednesday, 3 March 2010 at 8:40pm GMT

It will be interesting whether the Supreme Court will hear the Pawleys island case.

Posted by Robert Ian williams at Wednesday, 3 March 2010 at 9:38pm GMT

The church near C-ville w/troubles was a church plant, Church of the Word. Church planter left Episcopal church, took number of people with him. The plant remains, but is shaky.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Thursday, 4 March 2010 at 1:56am GMT

Thanks Cynthia, it was Christ, not Trinity. The one closest to the downtown, not the university.

Posted by evensongjunkie (formerly cbfh) at Thursday, 4 March 2010 at 9:53pm GMT
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