Thinking Anglicans

more developments in Pittsburgh

First, see this earlier report about a legal action in which Calvary Church asked a court to appoint a monitor to “inventory and oversee property held or administered by the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.”.

Today, there was a news report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Episcopal Diocese prepares for secession vote.

In response to a lawsuit led by one of its parishes, the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has agreed to have a court-appointed neutral party inventory all of its property and assets as it prepares for a final vote on seceding from the Episcopal Church.

The agreement between representatives of the diocese and Calvary Episcopal Church, Shadyside, came after a hearing yesterday before Joseph M. James, president judge of Common Pleas Court. In 2005, he oversaw a settlement after Calvary sued the diocese to prevent the transfer of property from the denomination to individual parishes…

The diocese will pursue “a fair and equitable distribution of property” if the realignment resolutions pass, said its spokesman, the Rev. Peter Frank.

The diocese also agreed yesterday to permit parishes that oppose secession to divert diocesan support payments to escrow accounts that would remain in the Episcopal Church.

The agreement assumes that new leaders affiliated with the church will be elected for Pittsburgh if Bishop Duncan secedes.

“It is highly likely that Bishop Duncan and the other leadership of the diocese will purport to separate from the Episcopal Church, and it is our position that the court order of Oct. 14, 2005, addresses what will happen in that regard,” said Walter DeForest, attorney for Calvary.

“It is certainly the position of Calvary that the new leadership of the diocese will be in charge of those assets.”

And later in the day, a press release was issued by the Diocese of Pittsburgh: Statement on the Sept. 8 Court Hearing.

“On Sept. 8, there was a hearing before Judge James in the Calvary litigation. Calvary took the position that the Realignment vote will violate the 2005 Stipulation and that Calvary was entitled to the appointment of a “monitor” to take over the financial affairs of the Diocese. Calvary first initiated this request in a July 2008 filing. Since July, we have documented with the Court the Diocese’s strong opposition to Calvary’s position, and the fact that Diocese has consistently complied with the Stipulation since it was signed, and will continue to comply with the Stipulation after the Realignment vote. The Diocese always has been, and remains committed to administering Diocesan assets for the beneficial use of all parishes and institutions of the Diocese, regardless of any parish’s position on Realignment.

“The relief Calvary sought — a court-appointed monitor who would effectively run the financial affairs of the Diocese — was not what was done yesterday. To the contrary, we proposed the appointment of an independent third-party (called a “Special Master”), who will have no role regarding the operation of the Diocese. Rather, the Special Master will review all Diocesan financial records and make recommendations to the Court regarding which property is covered by which provisions in the 2005 Stipulation (i.e., what is Diocesan property and what is parish property). The appointment of a Special Master has no impact on whether TEC or its representatives can make any claim to any property. These issues will be addressed at a later date. We have clearly stated our position that the minority who oppose Realignment are not entitled to seize the assets of the Diocese. If necessary, we will vigorously pursue this position in litigation…

Second, this press release GROUP ANNOUNCES PANEL TO ARGUE CASE FOR STAYING WITH EPISCOPAL CHURCH was issued by Across the Aisle. See this earlier report on that group.

One of the speakers on that panel,The Rev. Bruce Robison, Rector, St. Andrew’s, Highland Park, has written this Reflection on San Joaquin and Pittsburgh.

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jnwall
jnwall
13 years ago

At last! Bob Duncan will soon be able to create for himself a church that is willing to have him as an Archbishop. Just like Minns had to create a church that would have him as a bishop. Its about time. But its a travesty of any notion of catholic order and tradition. Not to mention scripture and reason.

Robert Ian williams
Robert Ian williams
13 years ago

So Duncan is putting a brave face on it and acknowledges that he will not be able to take everything with him. Pity the Diocese of Virginia had not been as thorough as the Across the Aisle..Duncan opponents in Pittsburgh.

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
13 years ago

jnwall’s exasperation is well founded.

It has has always been the case that much of this present debacle is due to a small bagful of ambitious and/or disappointed men.

L J Roberts
L J Roberts
13 years ago

What a shame these disappointed men (sic) cannot enjoy the sunshine and the rain; and the wonder of this miracle of being alive, rather than being disappointed of the past or ambitous for the fututre —

two states which are inaccessible —

unlike the present moment !

Present moment
Wonderful moment !

Charlotte
Charlotte
13 years ago

Very interesting post by the Rev. Bruce Robison. He shows us that the national Episcopal Church had no clear plan to handle canonically the “realignment” of San Joaquin. I had suspected as much for quite some time, having been a member of Episcopal Voices of Central Florida in the days when it looked as though that diocese might hive off, too. Those of us who wished to remain in the Episcopal Church had fairly urgent questions, but all we were ever told in response was: “A diocese can’t leave the Episcopal Church; only individuals can leave the Episcopal Church.” Well,… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
13 years ago

I suppose the clearest answer to Charlotte’s conundrum – about why no effective preparation has been made for the suspected realignment of diocese or parishes from TEC – is that there is no statutory way to deal with suspected schismatic activity. What is being proposed by the ‘dissenters’ is nothing less than schism. How does one prepare for this without ‘greasing’ the wheels for its possiblitiy? What is needed now, and urgently, is a meeting of the ACC to determine the claims of the dissenting bodies to remain within the Anglican Communion. After all, there can be no tought of… Read more »

davidwh
davidwh
13 years ago

Martyn, Charlotte, jnwall etc This debacle has been caused by liberals trying to change the Church’s practices to conform with the current secular humanist worldview and beliefs on acceptable sexual behaviour. It was not caused by Bishop Duncan. All this ad-hominem stuff might make you feel better about the mess that you have caused, but it is really just avoiding the real issue. TEC has tolerated heretical leaders and heretical practices who have caused division in the church. Now, TEC’s inability to stop supporting them drives TEC into becoming an ever more hostile environment for Christians who are determined to… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
13 years ago

Charlotte, don’t under estimate the Episcopal Church….they haven’t played all their cards yet.

He that laughs last laughs loudest.

Cheryl Va.
13 years ago

Robert I also like “the show ain’t over until the fat lady sings” Zephaniah 3:14 “Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem!” Isaiah 54:1 ““Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the LORD” Hosea 2:14-16 “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

“TEC might succeed in suing orthodox dioceses and churches for their properties and funds (just for joining some other part of the Anglican communion!!) but whether or not, it just demonstrates another of TEC’s inabilities – this time the inability to be gracious.” As opposed to the re-aligners lack of graciousness in refusing to tolerate even the possibility that others might have a different view of scripture and sexuality than they, and to accept that that different view is not a result of faithlessness but of a faithful and reasoned reading of scripture? And since when did differences on minor… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
13 years ago

“TEC might succeed in suing orthodox dioceses and churches for their properties and funds (just for joining some other part of the Anglican communion!!) but whether or not, it just demonstrates another of TEC’s inabilities – this time the inability to be gracious”. – David WH. Just what is ‘gracious’ about the re-asserters’ dismissive attitude towards women and gays who just want to be included among the congregations and ministry teams of the Anglican Communion? And as for ‘joining some other part of the Anglican Communion’, what makes you think that becoming part of the Province of the Southern Cone… Read more »

Davis d'Ambly
Davis d'Ambly
13 years ago

“He that laughs last laughs loudest.”

Yes, but Mr Williams, none of these divisions is a laughing matter.

Fr Mark
Fr Mark
13 years ago

Davidwh: “This debacle has been caused by liberals trying to change the Church’s practices to conform with the current secular humanist worldview and beliefs on acceptable sexual behaviour.” No, I don’t agree at all. It has been caused by a narrow club of insecure old men who feel that their traditional grip on power is being overturned by a world in which diversity and difference are celebrated, rather than persecuted or ignored. Their time in exclusive control, in the Church as in e.g. the armed forces, the police or any other profession, is now up, and they are terrified and… Read more »

Charlotte
Charlotte
13 years ago

Davidwh, you are (in all possible charity) slandering the Episcopal Church.

Ren Aguila
Ren Aguila
13 years ago

Charlotte, he has been doing that for a long time–and so have others. (I bet you this is mild compared to the kinds of comments on T19 and Virtue.) So what makes it slanderous this time around?

Of course, his views, especially the second paragraph, are widely held throughout the Communion, even among those churches who attended the last Lambeth Conference. It is hard to ignore that kind of thinking. (Please don’t get me started on Tom Wright and what he said years ago about liberals and conservatives in America being exceptionalists…)

JPM
JPM
13 years ago

Charlotte, apparently one of the great advantages of being “orthodox” is that one no longer need worry about that pesky Ninth Commandment.

Charlotte
Charlotte
13 years ago

Ren Aguila: Granted, Davidwh has been slandering the Episcopal Church for a long time, and granted, many others do it too, on the blogs you mentioned and on others. Granted, N T Wright is 100% off base in calling the Episcopal Church American exceptionalists in the Bush mode. The question is: what is the Episcopal Church doing actively to counter such slanders and biased misconceptions? Apparently a good many of the bishops at Lambeth were surprised to discover that American bishops too say the Creed and mean it. Why was this? Why did the Episcopal Church not get its own… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
13 years ago

Charlotte, in part an answer to your query; why have the people of the middle-ground kept silence? Perhaps it is because, sometimes, the people who shout the loudest are having to convince themselves of the propriety of their argument. A lesson I learned early on from my teachers is that “The Gospel is caught, rather than taught”. Also, there is the sheer eloquence of humble silence – in the face of blusterers: ‘Like a lamb before his shearers is dumb (Jesus) opened not his mouth’. I gues that sometimes the more we shout, the less certain we may be of… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Father Ron

The problem is that the middle ground does have a very real responsibility. Being morally right and decent isn’t enough.

By leaving the field entirely to the passionate, by not firmly pointing out excesses and injustices, and by not trying to mediate actively, the middle ground is as responsible for the fragmentation as the main actors.

In any debate that grips a whole organisation there IS no innocent position, the IS no safe place. Ultimately, we’re as implicated by what we do or say as by what we don’t do or say.

Fr Mark
Fr Mark
13 years ago

I agree, Erika. A teacher, for example, has a duty to interfere and stop bullying happening in her/his classroom. To neglect to do so by turning a blind eye, much the easiest option for the teacher in the short term, is to become complicit in the bullying, and to allow long-term damage to be done. I think church leaders should operate on the same principle: they have a resposibility not to allow the weak (in this case, gay people in the Church) to be psychologically mangled by vociferous and angry bullies.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“‘Like a lamb before his shearers is dumb (Jesus) opened not his mouth’.”

Isn’t this one of the lessons of the Cross: sometimes (?always?) good has to let evil overrun it? The Cross is proof of the power of weakness, of the victory to be found in yielding to evil. We could more cynically refer to it as giving them sufficient rope with which to hang themselves.

Cheryl Va.
13 years ago

Amen to the liberal posters and those who remind us that silence can be seen as acquiesance. Allusions to liberals trying to change the Church to conform with the secular worldview demonstrates an ignorance of the millenia of God reforming the world.

Any peaceful, inclusive and compassionate paradigms come from God. It is to some souls shame that they see compassionate secularism or humanism as “evil”. Such souls should renounce Exodus, the prophets and even Jesus. Even if they don’t renounce the people, their theology does renounce the paradigms from which these souls operated and are affirmed.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Ford
“We could more cynically refer to it as giving them sufficient rope with which to hang themselves.”

Yes, where there is a clear evil and where we are powerless.
No, where we actually have influcence and could do something to stop the situation spiralling out of control.

Resisting evil is one thing.
Not speaking out against wrongs quite another.

Ford elms
Ford elms
13 years ago

“Allusions to liberals trying to change the Church to conform with the secular worldview demonstrates an ignorance of the millenia of God reforming the world.” And I’ve been, in my small corner, trying to combat this for the past two years here with no effect whatsoever. There is not one conservative on this site who will even entertain the possibility that so-called liberals are acting on anything other than a desire to gain the world’s approval, not one who will acknowledge that there is any faith or belief in anything other than the trends of the world. My God, conservative… Read more »

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