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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: "A Church Divided": Aftermath of Virginia Anglican/Episcopal Battle
Augustine the Aleut
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Mockingale writes:
quote:
Not to mention how you'd feel if you were one of the congregants who voted to stay put in the church you grew up in, and watched your former friends take all the trappings of your church home with them.
Which was exactly the situation I was in. And without going into detail, the departers were not particularly couth or honest in how they dealt with things.

But I must disagree with Zach82 entirely: intent is entirely pertinent, and denying this (on both parts) means that the damage will be exacerbated, and long-lasting. While it moves into the realm of ecumenical relations rather than intra-Anglican life, ecumenical concerns are, given the dominical instruction, rather primary.

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Zach82
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quote:
But I must disagree with Zach82 entirely: intent is entirely pertinent, and denying this (on both parts) means that the damage will be exacerbated, and long-lasting. While it moves into the realm of ecumenical relations rather than intra-Anglican life, ecumenical concerns are, given the dominical instruction, rather primary.
When little Johnny took candy from the drugstore, not knowing any better, his intent was not criminal. When he threw a temper tantrum after it was made clear to him that he could not take what wasn't his, he become culpable for stealing, whether he was willing to understand that fact or not.

Giving our patrimony over to people preaching against us is a little much for the sake of ecumenism.

Zach

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by Zach82:
quote:
But I must disagree with Zach82 entirely: intent is entirely pertinent, and denying this (on both parts) means that the damage will be exacerbated, and long-lasting. While it moves into the realm of ecumenical relations rather than intra-Anglican life, ecumenical concerns are, given the dominical instruction, rather primary.
When little Johnny took candy from the drugstore, not knowing any better, his intent was not criminal. When he threw a temper tantrum after it was made clear to him that he could not take what wasn't his, he become culpable for stealing, whether he was willing to understand that fact or not.

Giving our patrimony over to people preaching against us is a little much for the sake of ecumenism.

Zach

Zach82-- I do not know how you concluded that I favour surrendering property for ecumenism. I have re-read my post twice and find your interpretation quite singular. I am suggesting that we do not assume the worst of our Xn interlocutors in disputes, and that we look at solutions which bring us forward. That the other party is not being helpful is a fault with which we must deal, not a characteristic to emulate.

As far as your other comment, I will restate bluntly my previous position: my god-daughter's Grade XII civics class knows the difference between theft and a civil dispute over property. Crime and tort. Gee whillikers.

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Zach82
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I will grant that this is a matter for civil courts, since I am not calling for anyone to be criminally prosecuted anyway, and I hardly care about their intent. We'll take back what's ours, forgive them their schism, repent out part in it, and thereon let all the ecumenism either side can stand commence.

It might get lost in the back and forth, but my intent here has been to argue that the Episcopal Church is not being vindictive in its pursuit of church property (which it has every right to) or in refusing to sell it back to the people that ran off with it (which would not be in the best interest of the Church). It has nothing to do with revenge.

Zach

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Beeswax Altar
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And, if it were that clear cut morally, you would have a point. Depending on the age of the churches in question, the parishioners leaving the parish might have paid for the building. The parishioners certainly paid for the upkeep. What did the diocese contribute? Not much. The churches in question have endowments because people gave money to those churches. Had they wanted to give money to the diocese they could have. Had they wanted to leave money to the national church they could have.

I'm also struggling with what view of the gospel holds that it is better for a church to become a mosque instead of remaining a church. Even if you say the gospel is all about Dead Horses and nothing else you still can't justify allowing the church to become a mosque. The standard Muslim view on Dead Horses is virtually the same if not less tolerant than that of the ACNA.

So what if the ACNA wants to replace TEC as the representative of TEC in the United States? Most progressives in TEC could care less about being a member of the Anglican Communion. TEC only wants to be a member of the Anglican Communion on its own terms. ACNA holds more in common with the rest of the Anglican Communion than TEC. The ACNA wouldn't even be the most conservative province in the Anglican Communion.

Personally, I don't care if TEC is a part of the Anglican Communion or not. I also don't care if the ACNA is in the Anglican Communion or not. For all I care, both TEC and ACNA can be in the Anglican Communion. Doesn't really impact me one way or the other.

Now, priests knew the nature of TEC when they took their ordination vows. Lay people should have known the nature of TEC when they decided to start giving their money. I say should have because most don't understand the nature of TEC. TEC is a hierarchical church. Don't join a church and start giving your money if you don't fully understand the name.

Like I said, if any of the parishioners want to remain in TEC, TEC should insist on keeping the building and the endowment. I can see keeping the endowments. Let's face most diocese can use the money. However, I cannot see any reason consistent with being a follower of Jesus Christ in refusing the sell the church back to the congregation. Not give it to them. Sell it to them. Allowing their church to become a mosque was both vindictive and insulting and the people responsible for it should be ashamed.

If the shoe was on the other foot, would the conservatives have behaved in a more gracious way than TEC?

Hell no

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Beeswax Altar
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10. Do a better job explaining the definition of Episcopal and the polity of TEC. It never ceases to amaze me how many Episcopalians think we are Congregationalists. This unfortunate mistake causes all sorts of problems for everybody involved.

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Zach82
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quote:
Do a better job explaining the definition of Episcopal and the polity of TEC. It never ceases to amaze me how many Episcopalians think we are Congregationalists. This unfortunate mistake causes all sorts of problems for everybody involved.
Applied to the schismatics fighting to keep those parishes, that is a matter of vincible vs invincible ignorance.

I suppose, if I was bishop, I would sell the congregation their church back (though without a endowment they would be unlikely to afford it), so long as they changed their name to reflect the fact that they were not a legitimate continuation of the Episcopal parish there before. But I can't see that anyone is selling to icky Muslims just to score revenge against these people.

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RuthW

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Thanks for the specificity of your numbered replies, Beeswax Altar. I don't have time to respond with particulars right now, but in general I think I agree with you.
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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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quote:
Originally posted by Zach82:
quote:
Do a better job explaining the definition of Episcopal and the polity of TEC. It never ceases to amaze me how many Episcopalians think we are Congregationalists. This unfortunate mistake causes all sorts of problems for everybody involved.
Applied to the schismatics fighting to keep those parishes, that is a matter of vincible vs invincible ignorance.

I suppose, if I was bishop, I would sell the congregation their church back (though without a endowment they would be unlikely to afford it), so long as they changed their name to reflect the fact that they were not a legitimate continuation of the Episcopal parish there before. But I can't see that anyone is selling to icky Muslims just to score revenge against these people.

I'm not sure it's anything to do with ignorance. I've recently run onto a nest of these creatures and ISTM that they simply choose to willfully disregard the reality of what TEC in 2012 is; they refuse to conform themselves to the doctrine and discipline of TEC as established by the bishops and representative clergy and laity in General Convention assembled. They want their little corner within TEC to be something other than a parish community in communion with its diocese and with the national Church. It's not ignorance, but rather denial, intransigence and incorrigibility.
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Wyclif
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quote:
Originally posted by Zach82:
[QUOTE]that doesn't change the fact that the congregation is no longer using Church property for the propagation of the Episcopal faith.

Not to be pedantic, but there is no such thing as "the Episcopal faith." Episcopacy is a particular form of government. There is only the Christian faith, full stop.

[ 17. April 2012, 01:18: Message edited by: Wyclif ]

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Sober Preacher's Kid

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quote:
Originally posted by Augustine the Aleut:
quote:
Originally posted by Mockingale:
quote:
Originally posted by Augustine the Aleut:
Mockingale writes:
quote:
If we make it a little harder to leave, maybe cooler heads will prevail.
I assure you that, in my painful experience, this is a fantasy. If anything, it has the opposite effect.
Well, at the very least, we're not rewarding their attempts at theft.
Without getting into the ten-year-long fight at S Vartan's, where I was of the minority that held out against the pirate crew takeover (those shipmates who know me IRL are aware of the viciousness and unpleasantness of it all), I would not characterize their efforts as attempted theft (in Canada, the in-trust-for-the-national-church doctrine is not pertinent, either in canon or civil law). Their intent is not criminal, but rather contrary to legal provisions for ownership.

A split is a split and, like a divorce, we must make it as tidy as possible to that people can proceed forward with the least damage. Our local arrangement was a complex buy-back scheme whereby the pirates bought one of the two seceding churches. This partition seemed to have a cooling effect on post-split passions, and the Diocese and the pirate crew now cheerfully ignore each other and go about their business.

That is explicitly how the United Church of Canada is organized and it is incorporated within the United Church Acts and the Trusts of Model Deed. Each congregation has a Board of Trustees who hold title to the property with reversionary interest to the United Church of Canada, through the Presbytery.

Identical provisions were incorporated in the Presbyterian Church Acts in 1875 and in the Methodist Acts in 1885. It certainly exists in civil law.

*Acts means one for the Federal Government and one for each province.

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gorpo
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quote:
Originally posted by sonata3:
quote:
Originally posted by gorpo:

Episcopalians, on the other hand, are on frozen relations with 80% of the anglican communion, and are DEAD as it comes to ecumenical relations with the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and evangelical forms of protestantism (namely, more then 90% of global christianity). It has turned its back on the anglican communion and the whole christianity worldwide...

gorpo, I think your final phrase needs to be reconsidered. On the issue of the ordination of non-celibate gays - clearly the main factor in the Virginia schism - TEC is on the same side of this issue as the Old Catholics, many of the continental Lutheran churches, and some of the continental Reformed churches; in the US, ELCA and the Presbyterian Church. Although the Moravian Church in North AMerica continues to discuss these issues, they remain in full communion with both ELCA and TEC. It has hardly turned its back on "the whole Christianity worlswide." The Anglican/Episcopal churches in New Zealand, Scotland, and Canada are, I believe, equally liberal on this issue.
It should be noted that "global christianity" is not the same as "euro-american christianity".

Mailine protestantism isn´t even a majority in the USA. People are leaving it.

What makes the 1.9 million member TEC more important then the 4 million member Church of South India? Or the church of Uganda? Just the fact that the 1.9 million in TEC are white??? Roman catholics and orthodox are nearly 70% of worldwide christianity. And the other 30% are overwhelmingly conservative on most issues, since the fastest growing religion in the world is pentecostalism.

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gorpo
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quote:
Originally posted by CL:
quote:
Originally posted by Zach82:
We're evil for not giving them churches, Gorpo? We don't owe them squat.

Maybe not but being purposely vindictive is another matter altogether, a case in point being the treatment of Matt Kennedy and his parish - they offered to purchase their church at full market value; not only were they refused, the building was instead sold cut price to Muslims and is now a mosque.
The bishop was not happy to sell the building to a group of anglicans who don´t accept gay bishops. She sells it to a congregation that, instead of the Bible, will be reading a book that says its ok for men to spank their wives, and has a curse against "non-believers" every 5 verses... the irony.
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gorpo
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quote:
Originally posted by ToujoursDan:
quote:
Originally posted by SeraphimSarov:
If it was the "witness to a renewed Gospel" , it would be prospering. It is dying as previous posters have pointed out

In many ways it is prospering. A church where approx. 30% of the membership grew up in other traditions and made a conscious decision to join it, must have something compelling to offer, otherwise this wouldn't be occurring.

It's just not enough to make up for the falling birthrate amongst the educated, mostly White base that makes up 80% of TEC's membership.

30% of the mebership growing in other traditions is not much in a country they are a minority, and there are hundreads of other protestant and christian traditions. In fact, it means that most episcopalians who marry someone from another denomination move to their spouses´s church, instead of bringing them to TEC.

And unless there is some mass suicide among whites in America, I don´t think it´s possible to go down from 3.6 million in the 70´s to 1.9 million in 2011 only because of low birth rates. Acording to most polls, the fastes growing segment of the USA population are the "non-religious" (including atheists and agnostic). Where are those people coming from? From the mainline denominations like TEC, it´s obvious. Non-religious people are also overwhelmingly white in the USA, and have low birth rates. They are growing in numbers exactly at the same proportion mainline churches are falling.

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Zach82
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Gorpo, do you even know any Episcopalians in real life? Have you even met one?

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Alogon
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quote:
Originally posted by gorpo:
Roman catholics and orthodox are nearly 70% of worldwide christianity. And the other 30% are overwhelmingly conservative on most issues, since the fastest growing religion in the world is pentecostalism.

What's your point? That TEC has deserved to die since 1970, or that the Church of England has deserved to die since the 16th century, so that Anglicanism should never have reached American shores?

If the latter, you'd have good company in John Henry Newman after he swam the Tiber.

But if the former, then I'll only be a good Anglican conservative in denying that these pentecostal groups are, or ever were, a complete and regular part of the church.

It's just a matter of what one finds it important to be conservative about, you see.

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jordan32404
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On Episcopal polity... TEC is NOT hierarchical. The government of TEC was deliberately constructed to avoid hierarchy and association with a metropolitcal episcopacy. See Colin Podmore's "A Tale of Two Churches".
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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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I'd say, not quite. TEC was structured so that bishops do not have overweening authority, but governance is very much shared with the laity and with diocesan clergy. However, the Church is hierarchical in the sense that this signficantly lay-led and democratic polity invests the national Church with a great deal of ultimate authority and ownership streaming downward to diocesan and parish levels. The representative government is elected upward from the more local levels, but like the federal government of the United States, it then exercises the plenitude of authority downward to the more local levels from whence it was derived.
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Fr Weber
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quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
10. Do a better job explaining the definition of Episcopal and the polity of TEC. It never ceases to amaze me how many Episcopalians think we are Congregationalists. This unfortunate mistake causes all sorts of problems for everybody involved.

I'm afraid this is a condition of being an American church. Regardless of the actual polity of the denomination, American Christians tend to behave like Congregationalists within their own building-based communities.

If I were in a position to offer advice to congregations (or percentages thereof) leaving TEC, it would be to pick up and leave with nothing. Just get out, and don't worry about the building or the stuff. It's just stuff. Leave it behind. Meet in a VFW or rent space from some other church and start up all over again. The rancor and stress caused by litigation is just not worth it.

These protracted disputes draw the wrong element, in any case. The continuing church has drawn more than its share of professional malcontents and other goofballs to its welcoming embrace. It is past time for the continuers to assert a positive identity rather than setting themselves up as "Not The Episcopal Church". We're getting there, slowly, I think, but there's a way to go yet.

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aumbry
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quote:
Originally posted by Zach82:
Not impertinent- just false. You might imagine any number of moral arguments, but Church canons are clear that the church property belongs to the Episcopal Church, and exists for the propagation and worship of the Episcopal tradition. [/QB]

Sorry I was under the impression that the Episcopal Church had jettisoned tradition in its adoption of all things modish.

As a church it is doomed if it has given up on the hearts and minds of its fellow anglicans and sees the church as buildings and endowments.

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Matt Black

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quote:
Originally posted by Zach82:
I will grant that this is a matter for civil courts, since I am not calling for anyone to be criminally prosecuted anyway, and I hardly care about their intent. We'll take back what's ours, forgive them their schism, repent out part in it, and thereon let all the ecumenism either side can stand commence.

It might get lost in the back and forth, but my intent here has been to argue that the Episcopal Church is not being vindictive in its pursuit of church property (which it has every right to) or in refusing to sell it back to the people that ran off with it (which would not be in the best interest of the Church). It has nothing to do with revenge.

Zach

OK, since we are talking civil law then, there may be at the very least something of an implied or resulting trust (as defined in English law at least) arising in favour of the leaving parishioners: Beeswax Altar made the point that if the parishioners have financially contributed to the upkeep and repair of the building, then they morally as well as legally have some kind of stake in the worth of the building.

It's the same principle as is at work in the following example: a man owns a house in his sole name. He then gets married, wife moves in and pays towards the bills, maintenance and mortgage on the property. The courts will rule that she over time will acquire a financial interest in the proceeds of sale of the property.

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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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quote:
Originally posted by Fr Weber:
quote:
Originally posted by Beeswax Altar:
10. Do a better job explaining the definition of Episcopal and the polity of TEC. It never ceases to amaze me how many Episcopalians think we are Congregationalists. This unfortunate mistake causes all sorts of problems for everybody involved.

I'm afraid this is a condition of being an American church. Regardless of the actual polity of the denomination, American Christians tend to behave like Congregationalists within their own building-based communities.

If I were in a position to offer advice to congregations (or percentages thereof) leaving TEC, it would be to pick up and leave with nothing. Just get out, and don't worry about the building or the stuff. It's just stuff. Leave it behind. Meet in a VFW or rent space from some other church and start up all over again. The rancor and stress caused by litigation is just not worth it.

These protracted disputes draw the wrong element, in any case. The continuing church has drawn more than its share of professional malcontents and other goofballs to its welcoming embrace. It is past time for the continuers to assert a positive identity rather than setting themselves up as "Not The Episcopal Church". We're getting there, slowly, I think, but there's a way to go yet.

I agree with the final paragraph, but as someone who had flirtations with the early Continuers of the late 1970s/early 1980s, I would guess that the latest vintage of secessionists have been mindful of how unsuccessful many of the early leave-takers were, in significant measure because they left without buildings or much property of any kind. Many of the little Continuing start-ups in people's living rooms, in the chapels of existing churches, in motel spaces or in the rented halls of the ladies auxillary of the Masons disappeared in a relatively short amount of time. Even some of the Continuing congos who managed to get some sort of unattractive building didn't make it. Unless you have rich, generous benefactors, the fact is that you are likely screwed if you march out into the wilderness with no building. At least St Mary's Denver managed to finally reach a settlement with the Diocese of Colorado, in which they continued to occupy their building but ownership remained with TEC. Of course, that screwed the third of the congregation who had remained loyal to TEC and who were thus without their former church building and parish home. The general policy of TEC afterward has been not to engage in such settlements, a decision that I would endorse.
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Zach82
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quote:
OK, since we are talking civil law then, there may be at the very least something of an implied or resulting trust (as defined in English law at least) arising in favour of the leaving parishioners: Beeswax Altar made the point that if the parishioners have financially contributed to the upkeep and repair of the building, then they morally as well as legally have some kind of stake in the worth of the building.
Not according to Church canons there ain't. And again- it really was very obvious the whole time, so it's a definite case of vincible ignorance.

quote:
It's the same principle as is at work in the following example: a man owns a house in his sole name. He then gets married, wife moves in and pays towards the bills, maintenance and mortgage on the property. The courts will rule that she over time will acquire a financial interest in the proceeds of sale of the property.
I can't see that a marriage metaphor is very apt. Who is married to who? The individuals? The parish as an organization? If you ask me a more accurate metaphor would be a tenant that feels that the landlord's house is his just because he's paid rent in the past. Which is why neither legal nor moral cases are usually based on metaphors. The principles that apply in the metaphor don't necessarily apply in the case itself.

Anything the individuals of the schismatic groups contributed for the upkeep of church buildings or towards endowments was a gift to the Episcopal parish, and the thing about gifts is that it isn't yours anymore once you've given it.

On the other hand, the parishes that these groups set up are not continuations of the Episcopal parishes they were part of before. I am no expert on property laws, but I can't see that an organization is reducible to any of the people or groups of people in it, even the majority of the people in it. When they choose to leave the organization, the organization remains and the custody of its assets goes to those who choose to stay. What happens when there is no one left is completely obvious in Church canons, and any ignorance about that is strictly vincible.

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Mockingale
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quote:
Originally posted by Augustine the Aleut:

As far as your other comment, I will restate bluntly my previous position: my god-daughter's Grade XII civics class knows the difference between theft and a civil dispute over property. Crime and tort. Gee whillikers.

It's a distinction without a difference in this case. I understand the difference between crime and tort, but the law does not allow a person to profit from either.
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Matt Black

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quote:
Originally posted by Zach82:
quote:
OK, since we are talking civil law then, there may be at the very least something of an implied or resulting trust (as defined in English law at least) arising in favour of the leaving parishioners: Beeswax Altar made the point that if the parishioners have financially contributed to the upkeep and repair of the building, then they morally as well as legally have some kind of stake in the worth of the building.
Not according to Church canons there ain't.
I'm talking not about canon law but about the law of property which presumably applies to the building and the land it is on
quote:
quote:
It's the same principle as is at work in the following example: a man owns a house in his sole name. He then gets married, wife moves in and pays towards the bills, maintenance and mortgage on the property. The courts will rule that she over time will acquire a financial interest in the proceeds of sale of the property.
I can't see that a marriage metaphor is very apt. Who is married to who? The individuals? The parish as an organization?
OK, they don't have to be married for a resulting trust to arise; it applies equally to co-habitees.

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"Protestant and Reformed, according to the Tradition of the ancient Catholic Church" - + John Cosin (1594-1672)

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Mockingale
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quote:
Originally posted by aumbry:
quote:
Originally posted by Zach82:
Not impertinent- just false. You might imagine any number of moral arguments, but Church canons are clear that the church property belongs to the Episcopal Church, and exists for the propagation and worship of the Episcopal tradition.

Sorry I was under the impression that the Episcopal Church had jettisoned tradition in its adoption of all things modish.

As a church it is doomed if it has given up on the hearts and minds of its fellow anglicans and sees the church as buildings and endowments. [/QB]

Why don't you just admit that you have nothing of value to add to the conversation and leave it at that? The Episcopal Church is not in the business of soothing and appeasing those who seek to destroy it. Not ever.

Assuming that you're a continuing Anglican, from your attitude, your childish insults speak volumes.

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Zach82
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quote:
Why don't you just admit that you have nothing of value to add to the conversation and leave it at that? The Episcopal Church is not in the business of soothing and appeasing those who seek to destroy it. Not ever.
Don't mind aumbry, Mockingale. As my old father used to say, "Sometimes it's best to just let pointless dogs lie." Or something like that.

quote:
OK, they don't have to be married for a resulting trust to arise; it applies equally to co-habitees.
Again, the metaphor isn't apt, since it simply doesn't accurately describe the relationships involved. I imagine one would have to look at Church canons to determine just what the relationship was between the parish, the Church, and the individuals in the parish, and the individuals making a break for it.

They do say, and there is a clear prenuptial agreement therein, if you must.

Just a quick question. Do you know much about property laws yourself? Or are we both arguing from what we imagine the laws to be?

Zach

[ 17. April 2012, 14:06: Message edited by: Zach82 ]

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by Mockingale:
quote:
Originally posted by Augustine the Aleut:

As far as your other comment, I will restate bluntly my previous position: my god-daughter's Grade XII civics class knows the difference between theft and a civil dispute over property. Crime and tort. Gee whillikers.

It's a distinction without a difference in this case. I understand the difference between crime and tort, but the law does not allow a person to profit from either.
Given that posts used the term theft freely and without precision, I felt that the distinction was important to make. A property dispute resulting from internal political differences does not constitute a crime. Having been publically addressed with opprobrium (Tool of Satan) during the disputes up here, I feel strongly that we need to bring light, not heat, to what needs to be done.
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Matt Black

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Zach, property law is my specialism [Smile] , admittedly English and Welsh jurisdictions only, but I am endeavouring to apply the principles here to the situation under discussion, nevertheless.

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Mockingale
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quote:
Originally posted by Zach82:
[QUOTE]Why don't you just admit that you have nothing of value to add to the conversation and leave it at that? The Episcopal Church is not in the business of soothing and appeasing those who seek to destroy it. Not ever.

Don't mind aumbry, Mockingale. As my old father used to say, "Sometimes it's best to just let pointless dogs lie." Or something like that.

quote:
OK, they don't have to be married for a resulting trust to arise; it applies equally to co-habitees.[/quote

Again, the metaphor isn't apt, since it simply doesn't accurately describe the relationships involved. I imagine one would have to look at Church canons to determine just what the relationship was between the parish, the Church, and the individuals in the parish, and the individuals making a break for it.

Just a quick question. Do you know much about property laws yourself? Or are we both arguing from what we imagine the laws to be?

Zach

A resulting trust (I am a lawyer) arises when you give someone money with the instructions that they purchase property for you. The person then purchases property in his own name and refuses to turn it over to you. If you can prove to the court that the arrangement was that he, as your agent, was instructed to purchase property for you, then the court will find an implied or "resulting" trust with the agent as the trustee and you as the settlor/beneficiary. The court will then order that the agent convey title over to you.

A resulting trust can be disproven with writings or behavior to the contrary. If the Church canons and constitution clearly state that parishes hold real estate and endowments in trust for the Episcopal Church with instructions to turn them over to the church when the parish dissolves, then the argument that the Episcopal Church holds those properties in a resulting trust for parishioners is a non-starter.

Equity (the parallel to "law" that deals with trusts) also requires that a person trying to claim a trust be innocent and deserving of an extraordinary remedy like disgorging funds from the Church - these parishes knew or should have known if they'd paid attention to the Church canons that their land and monies were not theirs to take with them if they decided to quit the Church.

If they were so concerned, they could have formed an independent congregation or a congregation of a different denomination that gives property rights to individual parishes. But they accepted the rules of the church and for decades reaped the benefit of Episcopal affiliation. The court is not going to rule that they were somehow hoodwinked or ignorant of the rules and that it's unjust that they should not be able to take the building.

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Zach82
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quote:
Originally posted by Matt Black:
Zach, property law is my specialism [Smile] , admittedly English and Welsh jurisdictions only, but I am endeavouring to apply the principles here to the situation under discussion, nevertheless.

I'll have to take your word for it then, and clarify that I do not begrudge the schismatics taking what they actually have a right to. It is just obvious, even to one who does not know much about property laws, that they have a right to very little, and are not being very gracious about it.

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Don't give up yet, no, don't ever quit/ There's always a chance of a critical hit. Ghost Mice

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aumbry
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quote:
Originally posted by Mockingale:
quote:
Originally posted by aumbry:
quote:
Originally posted by Zach82:
Not impertinent- just false. You might imagine any number of moral arguments, but Church canons are clear that the church property belongs to the Episcopal Church, and exists for the propagation and worship of the Episcopal tradition.

Sorry I was under the impression that the Episcopal Church had jettisoned tradition in its adoption of all things modish.

As a church it is doomed if it has given up on the hearts and minds of its fellow anglicans and sees the church as buildings and endowments.

Why don't you just admit that you have nothing of value to add to the conversation and leave it at that? The Episcopal Church is not in the business of soothing and appeasing those who seek to destroy it. Not ever.

Assuming that you're a continuing Anglican, from your attitude, your childish insults speak volumes. [/QB]

As a matter of fact I am not a Continuing Anglican - I am a somewhat half-hearted member of the Church of England - but I would have hoped that a Christian denomination would have treated church property in a way congruent with Christian Ethics and not Property Law. The Church of England, for all its many faults, does not act in this vindictive sort of way.

Pardon my impurtenance.

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Matt Black

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What about an implied trust, then, Mockingale (the 'couple' example I gave above)?

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The Silent Acolyte

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quote:
Some assert that Augustine the Aleut is a:
Tool of Satan

Tool of Satan?!

Nobody's ever called me a Tool of Satan! You must be doing something right Mr. Aleut. And, I need to work harder.

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Mockingale
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quote:
Originally posted by aumbry:
As a matter of fact I am not a Continuing Anglican - I am a somewhat half-hearted member of the Church of England - but I would have hoped that a Christian denomination would have treated church property in a way congruent with Christian Ethics and not Property Law.

How is it that you suppose the Episcopal Church to have acted unethically? Did they hide the trust rules in dusty code books in the cellar of headquarters, only to be viewed upon completion of 1000 pages of paperwork in triplicate?

Did they do something they promised not to do?

Are parishioners entitled to take back contributions to the Church?

Did the Church in any way covet, steal, bear false witness?

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aumbry
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quote:
Originally posted by Mockingale:
quote:
Originally posted by aumbry:
As a matter of fact I am not a Continuing Anglican - I am a somewhat half-hearted member of the Church of England - but I would have hoped that a Christian denomination would have treated church property in a way congruent with Christian Ethics and not Property Law.

How is it that you suppose the Episcopal Church to have acted unethically? Did they hide the trust rules in dusty code books in the cellar of headquarters, only to be viewed upon completion of 1000 pages of paperwork in triplicate?

Did they do something they promised not to do?

Are parishioners entitled to take back contributions to the Church?

Did the Church in any way covet, steal, bear false witness?

Oh I am sure TEC has been scrupulous in its keeping to the letter of the law. But to this party stopping an anglican congregation from purchasing their church (not taking it) and preferring it to become a mosque instead hardly seems like the actions of a christian church, more like those of a rapacious corporation.
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The Silent Acolyte

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Pointless dog, posting pointlessly.
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aumbry
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quote:
Originally posted by The Silent Acolyte:
Pointless dog, posting pointlessly.

Clearly you are incapable of defending the actions of TEC. Which I suppose is in your favour.
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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by The Silent Acolyte:
quote:
Some assert that Augustine the Aleut is a:
Tool of Satan

Tool of Satan?!

Nobody's ever called me a Tool of Satan! You must be doing something right Mr. Aleut. And, I need to work harder.

Yes, and at the annual vestry. The topic of much correspondence, all available to church historians sometime hence. The incident was even stranger than you can imagine. So much for my attempts to help bridge differing perspectives.
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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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The fact is that the case law over the last 30+ years has been quite consistent in ultimately finding in favour of TEC in these disputes. The leave-takers are really throwing good money after bad. Of course, lawyers will be quite willing to take their cases, represent them in litigation, and develop theories contrary to the most pertinent established case law. That doesn't mean these cases ultimately having the hopes of a snowball in hell.
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aumbry
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quote:
Originally posted by Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras:
The fact is that the case law over the last 30+ years has been quite consistent in ultimately finding in favour of TEC in these disputes. The leave-takers are really throwing good money after bad. Of course, lawyers will be quite willing to take their cases, represent them in litigation, and develop theories contrary to the most pertinent established case law. That doesn't mean these cases ultimately having the hopes of a snowball in hell.

So as far as you are concerned the moral argument and the legal argument are one and the same?
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jordan32404
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As I've said before, the best thing for TEC to do is drop the lawsuits, pray for ACNA, and apologize for any wrongdoing. The only thing holding ACNA together is a dislike of TEC. Beyond that, they don't agree on anything, Prayer Books, WO, churchmanship, polity, anything really. I wish them well but I don't see how it's going to last. They've already created a "no-compromise" culture so it's bound to fall apart, soon.
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Zach82
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quote:
Originally posted by jordan32404:
As I've said before, the best thing for TEC to do is drop the lawsuits, pray for ACNA, and apologize for any wrongdoing. The only thing holding ACNA together is a dislike of TEC. Beyond that, they don't agree on anything, Prayer Books, WO, churchmanship, polity, anything really. I wish them well but I don't see how it's going to last. They've already created a "no-compromise" culture so it's bound to fall apart, soon.

I believe it was Chesterton that said something along the lines of "It was previously understood that compromise meant half a loaf was better than no loaf, while today it seems to mean that half a loaf is better than a whole loaf."

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Don't give up yet, no, don't ever quit/ There's always a chance of a critical hit. Ghost Mice

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GreyFace
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quote:
Originally posted by Mockingale:
Are parishioners entitled to take back contributions to the Church?

I don't have any particular stake in this fight but this looks more like a case of schism so the analogy doesn't really hold. Perhaps it's that I'm more interested in church history than civil law but it seemeth to me that those former-Episcopalians could make a credible argument that they have not changed their faith, TEC has (I make no comment on the substance of the dead horse but this would be undeniably a credible claim), and therefore along with the fact that they're there on the ground, they have some claim to the property of the pre-schism entity that originally owned it.
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Zach82
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quote:
Perhaps it's that I'm more interested in church history than civil law but it seemeth to me that those former-Episcopalians could make a credible argument that they have not changed their faith, TEC has (I make no comment on the substance of the dead horse but this would be undeniably a credible claim), and therefore along with the fact that they're there on the ground, they have some claim to the property of the pre-schism entity that originally owned it.
The faith and polity of TEC is dictated legitimately, according to the rules they previous accepted, by the General Convention, so saying they hold the true Episcopal faith in the face of the General Convention has very weak ground.

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Don't give up yet, no, don't ever quit/ There's always a chance of a critical hit. Ghost Mice

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RuthW

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quote:
Originally posted by GreyFace:
it seemeth to me that those former-Episcopalians could make a credible argument that they have not changed their faith, TEC has (I make no comment on the substance of the dead horse but this would be undeniably a credible claim)

Contrary to what some would have you believe, the gospel is still preached in TEC. At least it is by the very orthodox priest who leads the parish I belong to, as well as by the assistant. And both the retired priests (one gay, one a woman) who volunteer their services.

quote:
and therefore along with the fact that they're there on the ground,
Huh? And the rest of us are up in the air?

quote:
they have some claim to the property of the pre-schism entity that originally owned it.
If I get fed up and leave the parish I've been contributing to for almost two decades, how much of the property do I get to take with me?
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Anglican_Brat
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Here's a thought:

If the dissidents claim that they are the "true-blue" Christians who have the right answer, then there is nothing stopping them from buying land and building their own church buildings. If they are God's special people, then they will undoubtedly attract more and more followers, enabling them to receive more money to fully pay off that investment. They don't need to keep or take away Episcopal church property. If they are the elect, then God will prosper them once they leave.

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It's Reformation Day! Do your part to promote Christian unity and brotherly love and hug a schismatic.

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Mockingale
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quote:
Originally posted by GreyFace:
quote:
Originally posted by Mockingale:
Are parishioners entitled to take back contributions to the Church?

I don't have any particular stake in this fight but this looks more like a case of schism so the analogy doesn't really hold. Perhaps it's that I'm more interested in church history than civil law but it seemeth to me that those former-Episcopalians could make a credible argument that they have not changed their faith, TEC has (I make no comment on the substance of the dead horse but this would be undeniably a credible claim), and therefore along with the fact that they're there on the ground, they have some claim to the property of the pre-schism entity that originally owned it.
You must have different definitions of "undeniably" and "credible" than we in the States.
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Augustine the Aleut
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Out-of-USA posters are not always conscious that TEC polity is different from that of many other Anglican churches, which have explicit limits on their decision-making powers (e.g., Canada with its Solemn Declaration of 1893) and even on the application of decisions (Oz and Canada, where many decisions need to be received in dioceses to have effect).

Differing sets of trust and association laws (e.g., the absence of similar patterns in Canada -- to being with, we have two sets of civil legal culture--led most Canadian churches to have enabling legislation passed by parliaments as equity practice was insufficient to deal with property or pension issues) in other parts of the world help to confuse the issue.

Greyface assumes that no-change is the default viable position, and this does fit with a strong tradition in Anglicanism. The TEC's structure is such that any change it makes in accordance with procedures thereby becomes the orthodox position. This left USA no-changers in an untenable position when they felt unable to move with the majority. When we join this with some cultural politics and the overwhelmingly congregational self-perception of most US Xns (even the RCs and Orthies are challenged by this), the resulting frustration and demonization is perhaps more understandable, even if not desireable.

Apologies for the ramble, but I'm trying to understand the disconnect in much of this thread.

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Mockingale
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quote:
Originally posted by Augustine the Aleut:
Out-of-USA posters are not always conscious that TEC polity is different from that of many other Anglican churches, which have explicit limits on their decision-making powers (e.g., Canada with its Solemn Declaration of 1893) and even on the application of decisions (Oz and Canada, where many decisions need to be received in dioceses to have effect).

Differing sets of trust and association laws (e.g., the absence of similar patterns in Canada -- to being with, we have two sets of civil legal culture--led most Canadian churches to have enabling legislation passed by parliaments as equity practice was insufficient to deal with property or pension issues) in other parts of the world help to confuse the issue.

Greyface assumes that no-change is the default viable position, and this does fit with a strong tradition in Anglicanism. The TEC's structure is such that any change it makes in accordance with procedures thereby becomes the orthodox position. This left USA no-changers in an untenable position when they felt unable to move with the majority. When we join this with some cultural politics and the overwhelmingly congregational self-perception of most US Xns (even the RCs and Orthies are challenged by this), the resulting frustration and demonization is perhaps more understandable, even if not desireable.

Apologies for the ramble, but I'm trying to understand the disconnect in much of this thread.

Even so, the church Canons did not speak to the sexuality of a candidate for Bishop as a disqualifying factor. There is nothing in the Book of Common Prayer, which is incorporated by reference, disqualifying a candidate for episcopal ordination. The General Convention did not hold a vote to change canon law in order to allow a person in a same-sex relationship to stand for episcopal office, because it did not need to.

The Episcopal Church did not change its theology or its church laws or structure. Rt. Rev. Robinson was nominated as a candidate for bishop and he was duly voted according to the rules of the Convention and the Episcopal Church.

The only thing that changed was that before, the conservative parishes and dioceses assumed that an openly gay man would never be seriously considered as a candidate; and they learned that this assumption was unwarranted.

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