Saturday, July 26, 2014

Are TEC's litigation garments going through the rinse cycle?

Anglican Curmudgeon is worth keeping up with these days, as TEC's litigation against the Diocese of Quincy gets rinsed and its litigation against South Carolina unravels.


Father Ron Smith said...

Sounds of glee, I should think, will be echoing your obvious delight, Peter, in the recent triumph of litigation against TEC by your friends in the schismatic jungle of North America. Enjoy Your time in the sun while it lasts. I note your legal friend, Curmudgeon, is getting off on the seeming success of his predictions. Maybe he'll be enjoying some of the monetary benefits.

In the meantime, the real world is still spinning round about.

Unknown said...

Hi Peter,
Some of the reports certainly do make for good reading.TEC(USA)
brought to a standstill by a Jewish female Judge.Texas, seems to be progressing down the same line.However,I see that the Presbyterians and Methodists have joint in with TEC as 'Friends of the Court' in South Carolina to try and give some moral(???) support.What will the good lady think of that.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
It has never seemed right to me that if a whole diocese leaves a national church then it cannot keep its property(speaking generally - I respect the fact that the USA is a quagmire re legal matters with federal v state considerations at all times - thus not all decisions re TEC's litigation will end the same way).

I rejoice in judgments which seem to offer sanity re the rights of dioceses.

There is no schismatic jungle in North America but we perhaps could talk about a variety of sections being developed and fenced within the vineyard!

carl jacobs said...

TEC didn't see any possible alternative to litigation. Encumbering property was the only leverage in had over congregations. Bishops don't have any tangible power over parishioners. They can't compel people who participate in a voluntary organization. To try and keep the serfs ... Pledging units, I mean ... on side, TEC threatened them with loss of property for leaving. This had the added benefit of making it hard for a competing Anglican entity to establish itself. If parishes could simply walk away from TEC with their property, the exit barrier would have been almost zero. What is worse, the healthy self-sustaining congregations were the most likely to leave. That's why TEC decided to declare war on its own laity.

So in order to crush the rebellion against its exclusive claim to Anglicanism, it spent tens of millions of dollars trying to enforce an implied trust. That strategy is now falling to pieces under neutral principles of law. The irony is that TEC will by its lawsuits end up forcing hierarchical churches to explicitly require the hierarchy to hold title to property - like the RCC. Which is what TEC should have done in the first place when it decided to pass the Dennis Canon. But it was afraid to do so. If the bishop had told the laity they needed to sign over the title, the laity would have sent the title to the bishop with the mortgage payment slips stapled to the front. These things had to be done delicately.

What has TEC gained? Its ASA plummets toward 600,000. The average age of a parishioner creeps farther north of 60. Its parishes are increasingly reporting financial distress. Dioceses edge closer to bankruptcy. Twenty years from now it will be impossible to find an Episcopal church almost anywhere in the US. And people will not even notice its absence. Chisel its epitaph over the entrance to 815.

We are the future. They are the past.


Pageantmaster said...

TEC seems to have been stuck on an accelerated spin cycle and some of its more outrageous assertions came seriously unstuck. However, litigation is always uncertain so it would be good to keep praying in this situation.

#1 Fr Ron
"Maybe he'll be enjoying some of the monetary benefits"
Mr Haley has made it clear from what I read that he acted laregely pro bono for dio Quincy in their successful appeal so your unkind suggestion is unwarranted.

That cannot be said for TEC's lawyers and experts. Their principal expert became a millionaire for his help and their total legal bill that is known about is believed to top $40m from what I have read. We just do not know how far the coffers have been emptied of money for litigation which was originally given for mission years ago.

When all is said and done the important thing in all this is that the Gospel is preached to a generation in great need of it and that to do this the church of Christ is taken back by Him and made fit for purpose.

Unknown said...

Pageantmaster's last paragraph says it all.
Bonhoeffer wrote:"The Church of Jesus Christ, is the place where Christ is to be believed and obeyed as the salvation of the world.Because of it's essential nature,if it fails in it's
responsibilty of proclaiming the One True God to the world;it fails to be the congregation of Christ".

Father Ron Smith said...

"When all is said and done the important thing in all this is that the Gospel is preached to a generation in great need of it and that to do this the church of Christ is taken back by Him and made fit for purpose." - Pageantmaster -

You're right on this bit of your comment, Pageantmaster. Justice is at stake for ALL people, not only those who have moved out from TEC. It may be that, with the noisy dissenters gone, more can be done about the outworking of justice by the Faithful Remnant in TEC.

Unknown said...

Hi Ron,
I understand that it is a bit of a rude awakening for the TEC(USA)
liberals who thought that they were going to walk away with all the assets,salaries and pensions;
which had been built up and paid for long before Spong and his ilk
ever appeared on the scene.
You speak of Justice!!!Well,JUSTICE at its most fundamental level,requires honesty and integrity;meaning, that when a Church proclaimes a
Doctrine and accepts donations of
money,land and personal effort;to further that Gospel;people can expect it to abide by it.It is FRAUDULENT to accept donations for one purpose and use it for another.
So what are the "Faithful Remnant in TEC being faithful to????
Not to the Scriptures or the Doctrine of their Constitution.

MichaelA said...

"Maybe he'll be enjoying some of the monetary benefits"

I too found this comment by Fr Ron Smith extremely amusing. "Sidesplitting" would be an appropriate word.

TEC is said to have spent more than $22 million of church funds in about 80 law suits against departing parishes and dioceses. That figure accords with TEC's publish accounts, and it has never been denied by the TEC hierarchy, to my knowledge.

A significant portion of that $22 million has found its way into the coffers of the law firm of TEC's chief legal officer, David Booth Beers.

So if you want to find a group who has "enjoyed the monetary benefits" of this litigation, you won't have to look far. Certainly not to the many people who have offered their time free or on a reduced-fee basis to the orthodox breakaway churches.

This becomes even more interesting when compared to what TEC has got out of this litigation, which is very little. It hasn't actually won many final judgments. It has however managed to beat a number of parishes by causing them to run out of legal funds. In those cases, TEC is then left with an empty building which it cannot fill (after all, who wants to join a liberal church?) and cannot afford to maintain.

Unknown said...

Hi Michael A,
We both seem to reading from the
same page.The most recent figure
(unsubstanciated)from those who should be in the know,is Forty
Though these cases hang on a slightly different legal basis
(Neutral Principle);the Free Church of Scotland case decided by the House of Lords in 1904;
decided in favour of those who
retained the Constitutional
Doctrine.The decision was mot based on theological principles;but on the issue of the
'Trusts' upon which the assets were accumulated.
In short,money,land and personal effort are accumlated for the purposes for which the organisation is established for.
As TEC(USA) no longer serves the
Christ of the Scritures;it has forfieted any right to consider itself part of the"One,Holy,Catholic and Apostolic Church.It is at the most,Episcopal,even though some of its Bishops are of a very
questionable variety.

Father Ron Smith said...

Well folks, there's always the burgeoning new Church of Hamilton (ex-Anglican) that is offering a new and narrow way. Circumcision anyone

St. Paul had some good advice for the would be Judaisers. But that might be the unkindest cut of all.

Unknown said...

Hi Ron,
The'narrow way',is not a new way.
Jesus said:"Enter ye in at the
strait gate:for wide is gate,and
broad is the way,that leadeth to destruction,and many there be which go in thereat:Because strait is the gate,and narrow is the way,which leadeth unto life,and few there be that find it.Beware of false prophets,which come to you in sheep's clothing,but inwardly they are ravening wolves".Matt 7/13-15.
St.Paul certainly had some salient
advce concerning circumcision:
"but he is a Jew which is one inwardly:and circumcision is that of the heart,in the spirit,and not in the letter;whose praise is not of men,but of God".Rom 2/29.
So,yes I am for circumcision ;to get my heart right with God.
Anybody else coming along too.

Father Ron Smith said...

'"but he is a Jew which is one inwardly:and circumcision is that of the heart,in the spirit,and not in the letter;whose praise is not of men,but of God".Rom 2/29.'

'So,yes I am for circumcision ;to get my heart right with God.
Anybody else coming along too?'
- Glen Young -

Not for me, Glen. I'm not 'a Jew' - as this quotation qualifies!
I shall remain as God created me, a kiwianglo, and be duly thankful.

Unknown said...

Hi Ron,
Just 90 days and counting down to
the day, when the ANGICANS in the USA are liberated from their herectical and apostate userpers;
who came in sheep's clothing but were inwardly ravening WOLVES.

Father Ron Smith said...

Well, Glen. You've just given us another instance of conservative opinion being turned into 'Gospel'.
A very common activity on the con/evo front at the moment. I guess we'll all have to wait for Almighty God to show us the sins of ourselves as well as those of others.

However, God is merciful! That's why I worship the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who has redeemed us - despite our sin.

Father Ron Smith said...

I find it interesting that the South Carolina dissidents are relying on 'neutral principles' (secular law) to determine their trajectory - and not the 'mind of the Church' whose corporate property is involved.

Unknown said...

The Dio. of South Carolina are relying on both 'secular law'
(neutral principles)and the 'mind
of the Church'(the Constitution and it's Doctrine).
The Dio. and it's Bishop Lawrence
have remainbed true to the purpose for which the Church exists.
This whole shamble arose because
TEC leaders set off on a mission of teaching and preaching Spong's gosple of secularisation.They were the ones who did not hold true to the 'mind of the Church';but hoped that they could
maintain that the corporate property was vested in them.
They were the ones who started the
litigation processes which have now turned against them.

Father Ron Smith said...

"Just 90 days and counting down to
the day, when the ANGICANS in the USA are liberated from their herectical (sic)and apostate userpers (sic) who came in sheep's clothing but were inwardly ravening WOLVES."

- Glen Young -

What's with this 90 days stuff, Glen? The GAFCON (wolves, you have called them) have been in the USA and Canada far longer then that! Their ravages among the flock of TEC and the Anglicans Church of Canada has indeed caused havoc in God's Church. And to what purpose?

Peter Carrell said...

With respect to each of your arguments, Ron and Glen, on the analogies of battles/war, I think it early days in the litigation battles to call the outcome of the war!