Anglican Lawsuit

I am hoping someone can explain how Anglican congregations are able to decide which diocese they belong to.

In reading the following, I assume there must be a way to do this, OTOH, there seems to b basis for filing a lawsuit by the bishop but I am not quite clear on whether this is simply real estate and property rights insofr as the bishop is concerned.

"…The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles announced Tuesday that it has filed lawsuits against three breakaway parishes that aligned themselves with an Anglican diocese in Uganda.

The Southern California churches abandoned the local diocese in mid-August, saying that it had strayed from biblical teachings. The orthodoxy dispute has been simmering for years and the Episcopal Church’s recent stance on homosexuality has deepened the divide.

Bishop J. Jon Bruno, head of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, recently assigned two assistant bishops to serve the congregations and said he would appoint new lay governing boards. He also had threatened legal action…"

It is totally contrary to the canons of ECUSA for a congregation to switch dioceses like that. And there is no reasonable chance that they will be able to keep their property (which is the subject of the bishop’s lawsuit). In other words, they will almost certainly have to reorganize themselves as “Anglican” parishes while losing their church property.

It’s relatively more conceivable for Anglicans to behave this way than Catholics, because the local congregation has a lot more power with us than with you–congregations call their own priests, for instance. But the local parish does not control its own property.

I’m sympathetic with these parishes–clearly sexual morality is a lot more important than proper jurisdictional procedure. But they ought to just make up their minds to give up their property–relatively speaking, it’s a small price to pay.

In Christ,

Edwin

[quote=Contarini] I’m sympathetic with these parishes–clearly sexual morality is a lot more important than proper jurisdictional procedure. But they ought to just make up their minds to give up their property–relatively speaking, it’s a small price to pay.

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Your brief summary of the situation is accurate. And the whole thing is now complicated by the fact that the Anglican bishops of Uganda have just declared themselves to be not in communion with the Episcopal Church in the U.S.

I understand why you say giving up the real estate is a small price to pay, but in fact, some of these churches are unbelievably beautiful, and people have generations of history connected with them. It can be a big price to pay, but it must be paid nonetheless.

[quote=Contarini] But the local parish does not control its own property.

I’m sympathetic with these parishes–clearly sexual morality is a lot more important than proper jurisdictional procedure. But they ought to just make up their minds to give up their property–relatively speaking, it’s a small price to pay.
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As you appear to know an Episcopal parish may be a mission - that is a church that is founded,supported and run (in a sense) by the diocese. But most often it is a self-supporting parish with its own vestry (directing body) and has over time built the church building , paid for property, etc. It is not a small price to pay to forsake the physical church that current and past parishioners have built, maintained and paid for. The choice is very difficult and outweighed only by the moral conviction of the parishioners and clergy.

Of course, spiritually, it is a small price to pay to remain faithful to the teachings of Christ and we should be ready to forfeit all our possessions and even our lives to remain faithful. It has been a long time since believers have had to face such a choice. The tragedy is that the hardship is the result of a struggle between believers and their own church.

I am proud to be a new member of just such a parish. The actions of these parishes stand as a telling witness to the faith of their congregations - and their sacrifices will draw other Christians to them (as it did me) just as they did in the first century. God bless all such believers that are called to carry the cross to follow Jesus.

[quote=Anglo-catholic]. The tragedy is that the hardship is the result of a struggle between believers and their own church.

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Our church has many of the same kind of internal battles going on so Anglicans have my total sympathy. It’s wonderful to know that when push comes to shove, there are still Christians who put their spiritual life and convictions ahead of everything else. It isn’t easy

But I was really interested as in the RCC rite, I don’t think it’s even possible and never realized that Anglicans can move their congregations to affiliate with a different diocese…

In my most humble opinion, I am not surprised at anything they do after making a practicing Homosexual a Bishop.

With so many Liberal Judges in California it seems to me the judgement will go to the Homosexuals.

My heart goes out to the Churches that stand up and Fight the wrongdoers!

The real issue here is an organizational one.

A bit of flippancy will illustrate. An RCC parish is part of a GLOBAL organization, headquartered in VC, and with branches [dioceses] in NY, LA, etc. US-NCCB is an administrative convenience.Same organization, whether NY or Kumpala or Brisbane.

By contrast, EC churches are part of the Episcopal Church USA, which is affiliated with AC Canada, England, Uganda etc. ABC is not the Anglican pope and unlike JPII, does not have [indirect or direct] canonical authority over ECUSA parishes. Thus, a community may move from the American League to the Ugandan League……………but, that is similar in some respects to the Old Catholic Church movement.

Hope that is helpful.

Yes it is and thank you. However the RCC now has a few in-betweeners, our parishes are in deaneries, our deaneries are in dioceses and our dioceses then report to Rome. Whew - no wonder the paperwork is endless. :o

Talk on ECUSA message boards is that evidence is mounting that ECUSA dioceses are seeing a large drop in contributions. This makes the large, beautiful old churches they are trying to wrest from breakaway parishes somewhat of a problem: the buildings are expensive to maintain and without contributions and/or contributors–or, in some cases without even sufficient numbers of parishioners–ECUSA is winning battles while losing the war. In many cases they can’t destroy the buildings or modify them–they are historic landmarks, and in any case the buildings in some inner-city areas are far far more valuable than the land they occupy. There is continual talk of some sort of compromise between oponents of homosexual priests and ECUSA, in hopes of staunching the hemmorhage of red ink.

Well Dr. Williams must be talking to himself a bit today after this report:

Dr Rowan Williams has been voted one of the least effective Archbishops of Canterbury of modern times in a poll of more than 200 of his own clergy.

Dr Williams came fifth out of seven when his colleagues were asked who they thought was the most effective archbishop of the past 60 years, gaining just 21 votes.

Many of those who took part in the survey said that Dr Williams, who became archbishop in 2002, lacked the common touch and had failed to engage the interest of ordinary worshippers. “He needs to express profound thoughts with greater clarity for simpler minds,” said one voter. A woman priest said: “His effectiveness still needs to be shown.”

The poll, which was conducted by the Telegraph, also asked the clergy for their views on other subjects, including their favourite hymn, the most inspirational saint and the most treasured Biblical passage.

The accolade of most effective archbishop went to Michael Ramsey, who led the Anglican Communion between 1961 and 1974.

news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/09/12/nbish12.xml

[quote=HagiaSophia]Dr Rowan Williams has been voted one of the least effective Archbishops of Canterbury of modern times in a poll of more than 200 of his own clergy.
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This is interesting but not surprising, considering the whole gay ordination controversy. Also interesting is that he was appointed by Tony Blair, basically a closet Catholic, who took a particular interest in the selection (more so than previous PMs).

Not sure we can draw any conclusions from any of this, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.

I would have taken it a bit more seriously had they not said Ramsey was the most effective. As I recollect, he was better known I believe, but why would they think he was more effective?

Like yourself, if my church were to have a popularity vote, I don’t know that the most popular is always the best. Sometimes you have to make hard deisions and everyoe is not “charismatic” - many very effective bishops are low key, low profile.

[quote=HagiaSophia]I . . . never realized that Anglicans can move their congregations to affiliate with a different diocese…
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They can’t. This is an attempt to work out a new way of managing an impossible situation.

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