Friday, December 19, 2008

Dio. of Virginia Case to be Appealed

The battle in the Virginia courts over the Episcopal Church property taken by CANA was not settled completely in the favor of the Diocese. A press release from them discusses the outcome and their expectation of filing an appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia shortly.


Phil said...

You have a gift for understatement. The case was not settled in favor of the diocese at all.

David said...

The Fairfax County Circuit Court today affirmed that petitions filed by the CANA congregations do not include the endowment fund of The Falls Church (Episcopal) in Falls Church, Va. As a result, the endowment fund was not subject to the congregational vote and the following legal action taken by the CANA congregations seeking to take this property.

That's certainly in the diocese's favor. And I still think the other parts will be overturned upon appeal. The majority of the ruling is in clear violation of the Division Statute in the Constitution, as it "intrudes into the freedom of the Episcopal Church and other hierarchical churches to organize and govern themselves," (in the words of Bp. Lee).

So don't start doing your Happy Dance yet, Phil :)

Phil said...

David, this whole case was about property ownership. On that score, the diocese lost just about every way you can in a courtroom. Separately, the judge ruled the endowment fund is not subject to 57-9 and has to be litigated separately. That isn't a win for everybody - it simply says the endowment is a separate ballgame that hasn't yet started.

Subject to appeal, the churches now belong to ADV, in a 100% victory.

PseudoPiskie said...

I wonder if the schismatic church is growing like the Episcopal Falls Church is. Membership from 27 to 140 now with a full staff. Amazing how inviting inclusiveness is.

When the SC gets the case, the property will revert.

David |Dah • veed| said...

Careful PP, the schismatic congregation is quite large, hundreds of members, with three, soon to be four, church plants in the surrounding communities.

I also see from their website that they are now emphasizing actual conversion to Anglicanism through catechesis and confirmation. That was not so important according to local newspaper accounts in the past, when the Falls Church grew to its huge membership by letting any old Methodist or Presbyterian claim membership without confirmation.

Roger said...

Subject to appeal is correct, Phil, because Bellows has been clearly biased on this case from his earliest statements on the subject. Hopefully, the appeals court will be less biased in their rulings

Virginia is the best case for CANA winning anything, with the most favorable state laws. It will be interesting to see if the schismatics do succeed in stealing the property of Truro and Falls Church.

and CANA and GAFCON and whatever other acronym they choose to name themselves with wither away with time. There are only small numbers in TEC willing to leave and join their fruitless effort.

David said...

I fully expect this case to go through the Federal Court if TEC loses in VA. And I just can't see how the schismatics can win against the Division Statute... (unless the Constitution means nothing anymore)

I mean really, can you imagine conservative Roman Catholics like John Roberts or Samuel Alito ruling against a hierarchical church organizing and governing itself ? The Pope would start up the Inquisition again just for them! :D

Phil said...

Sure, David, I can see conservative Roman Catholics having no problem with 57-9. You'll note that, in Virginia, the Roman Catholic Church, which really is a hierarchical church, as opposed to just calling itself one when it's lawsuit time, has its parishes titled in the name of the dioceses. Therefore, 57-9 is moot.

Why don't you propose 815 do the same thing at the next General Convention? Should we place a friendly wager on how long it would be until the laughter subsides?

David said...

:: sigh ::

You know ? On alternate days I just wanna say "the hell with it," and give the Church over to the tender ministrations of people like Phil. We've stood by passively and let people like him run roughshod over us for so long.

But then I remember that goodness is a rare & fragile thing, and worth standing up for. And even if the Church is to be lost to the Phils of the world, they can't destroy goodness and mercy - because they didn't create it in the first place, and the Church isn't nearly its only source.

JCF said...

the Roman Catholic Church, which really is a hierarchical church

So I take it that "hierarchical" only means hierarchical, as long as it's Boys Only (straight and/or closeted) in said hierarchy, Phil?

Once again, your "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose" logic escapes me.

David said...

Like most things from the AAC/ACN/CCP alphabet soup side, "real (anything)" church is a code word for "agrees with my narrow, preconceived, shallow notions" church.

What ? You expected something different from them this time ?! ;)

Phil said...

Actually, JCF, you can take it that "hierarchical" means "hierarchical," as in, "relating to or arranged in a formally ranked order."