Category : TEC Conflicts: Quincy

[Diocese of Quincy] Bishop Morales responds to the Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court Decision

16 May, AD 2016

To All the Faithful in the Diocese of Quincy,

The Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court has ruled in our favor in our ongoing defense against legal challenges brought against us by the Episcopal Church. In their unanimous decision of May 13th, the Appellate Court for the second time ruled that our Diocese had the ability not only to leave the Episcopal Church, but also to keep all of our assets.
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While all of this is fantastic news and is a further answer to our prayers, it does not mean we are done with legal challenges. The Episcopal Church still has a lawsuit pending against us in Peoria County and another pending against us in Rock Island County. These lawsuits are essentially asking for the courts to award the assets of our individual congregations to the Episcopal Church. These cases have been “stayed” or put on hold pending the decision of the Appellate Court discussed above, but are now likely to become active again in the very near future. While we all hope and pray that the Episcopal Church will cease these attacks upon our Diocese, our Diocese and its attorneys will continue to vigorously defend our rights to proclaim the Gospel without fear and to worship as traditional Anglicans.

Upholding all of the faithful in the Diocese of Quincy in unceasing prayer and all love in Christ Jesus,..

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy

Diocese of Quincy Press Release: Appellate Court Unanimously Rejects Episcopal Case

The Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court ruled in favor of the Anglican Diocese of Quincy in their ongoing defense against legal challenges brought against them by the Episcopal Church. In the unanimous decision of May 13th, the Appellate Court for the second time ruled that the Diocese had the ability not only to leave the Episcopal Church, but also to keep all of its assets.

While the Episcopal Church had claimed that prior Court rulings did not encompass “all” of the Diocese’s assets, the trial court of Adams County, Illinois ruled that it had in fact awarded all of the Diocesan assets to the Diocese free of any claim by the Episcopal Church.

The trial court noted that its original decision had been affirmed by the Fourth District Appellate Court and that the Illinois Supreme Court had declined the Episcopal Church’s Petition for Leave to File further appeal. Further, the Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s sanction against the Episcopal Church, whereby the trial court had ordered the Episcopal Church to pay attorney’s fees for the Diocese.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy

A S Haley–TEC Loses (Again) in Quincy; San Joaquin Seeks Review

Now that the case will return to Adams County (assuming the Church litigators do not waste everyone’s time and money with a request for leave to appeal again to the Illinois Supreme Court), the stay against those actions will be lifted, and they can proceed. However, like the claim to the moneys in the bank, the claims in these suits will not be proceeding in a vacuum. Twice now the Illinois Court of Appeals has held that ECUSA had no enforceable trust interest in property held for parishes. The first of those decisions also dealt with the ineffectiveness of the Dennis Canon to create any such trust under Illinois law. It is likely, therefore, but not certain, that these last few isolated claims will fare the same fate as the others. (No one ever made anything by trying to predict what a particular court will decide to do.)

It is nonetheless deplorable that the new Presiding Bishop of ECUSA sees fit to allow his litigators to continue to waste the Church’s trust funds and pledge income on litigation for purely punitive purposes. One has to wonder, when it comes to going after realigning dioceses and parishes, just who is in charge of ECUSA after all these years. The irony is that a person who acts as his own attorney (or lets his attorney make all the decisions, which comes to the same thing) has, as those of us in the profession happily admit, “a fool for a client.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Katherine Jefferts Schori, Law & Legal Issues, Michael Curry, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin, Theology

A S Haley–The Episcopal Church and the Freedom of Association: a Showdown Is Coming

By my count, 40 of the 91 cases listed resulted in legal victories at the trial or appellate level for ECUSA; just two parish cases (All Saints and the Good Shepherd San Angelo case in Texas) went the other way, but three of the five cases involving Dioceses resulted in rulings against ECUSA. A fourth diocese case (San Joaquin) is on appeal; the fifth one (Pittsburgh) gave a victory to ECUSA on the basis of a very strained reading of the effect of a stipulation between the parties.

It is a legitimate query to ask why the results of the parish cases are so lopsided in favor of ECUSA, while the results of the diocese cases go just the other way.
For the parishes, most of the decisions turned upon explicit language in their own bylaws that made them “perpetually” subject to their Diocese and ECUSA. No such language exists in any of the Dioceses’ governing documents, however. For the cases involving them, the explanation lies in the well-established freedom of association, which is a fundamental right enshrined in the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. It holds that just as no one can be prevented by the government from joining a group, so also the group may not go to court to prevent a member from leaving it. “Freedom of association therefore plainly presupposes a freedom not to associate,” as the Supreme Court put it in Roberts v. U.S. Jaycees, 468 U.S. 609, 623, 104 S. Ct. 3244, 3252, 82 L. Ed. 2d 462 (1984).

The liberals in ECUSA have a very difficult time trying to understand why their Church should be subject to such a doctrine. For them, the union between a Diocese and General Convention is an ecclesiastical one, and as such, they claim, civil courts should be precluded (by that same First Amendment!) from examining or questioning it in any way.

A moment’s reflection will expose the flaws in that argument (not that ecclesiastical liberals ever pay any attention to logic or reason). ECUSA is, ecclesiastically speaking, a denomination — but that says nothing about what it is in the eyes of the law. In order to sue or be sued in a civil court, for instance, ECUSA has to be a juridical person, not just an ecclesiastical one.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Analysis, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology

A.S Haley–The Episcopal Church is sanctioned again in the Quincy Lawsuit

After analyzing the record to find that TEC had waived any right to claim that there were separate funds in the single account, the Court observed:

During the argument on these issues, TEC argued that it did not freeze the account, PNC did. To say this argument lacks merit would be charitable. While TEC, in a very literal sense, is correct on “who” froze the account, the “why” is the more important issue. PNC froze the account because it received a letter from counsel for TEC which threatened to hold PNC liable if funds were disbursed.

The court finds, based upon this record, that the continued threat made to PNC Bank to hold it accountable if funds were disbursed and the continued attempt to collaterally attack the clear order of this court dated October 9, 2013 even after this case had run its course through the appellate process constitutes bad faith, is not grounded in fact or existing law and has resulted in needless, ongoing and expensive litigation.

Accordingly, the court grants the request of the Plaintiffs for fees incurred from December 30, 2014 onward pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 137.

There is much more to savor in the Court’s order. It is gratifying to have a trial judge (not the one who rendered the original Quincy decision) see so clearly through TEC’s bullying tactics, and to deal with them accordingly.

Read it all and make sure to follow the link to the full order.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

(Quad City Times) Illinois Supreme Court rejects the Episcopal Church's appeal in Quincy Case

Local Anglican priests gave parishioners an extra helping of good news during Thanksgiving Day services.

The Illinois Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a petition by the Episcopal Church to review a lower court ruling that decided contested money and property tied to a 2008 split rightfully belonged to the Quincy Diocese of the Anglican Church in North America, the Rev. Thomas Janikowski, public relations director, said Friday.

He shared the news with parishioners at Trinity Anglican Church in Rock Island, where he’s rector, during his Thanksgiving homily and said he saw several “moist eyes” in people grateful to learn the case finally may be over, he said…

The Supreme Court’s denial was a disappointing decision, according to Episcopal Bishop Jeffrey D. Lee, of the Chicago Diocese, which the former Quincy Episcopal Diocese realigned itself with in 2013.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Presiding Bishop, Religion & Culture, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Departing Parishes, Theology

AS Haley: ECUSA Denied Leave to Appeal in Quincy Case

Today the Illinois Supreme Court posted twenty-eight pages of its recent dispositions of requests made by losing parties for leave to appeal their decision to that Court. On page twelve, at the very top, appears this brief notation:

No. 118186 – The Diocese of Quincy et al., respondents, v. The Episcopal Church et al., petitioners. Leave to appeal, Appellate Court, Fourth District. (4-13-0901)

Petition for leave to appeal denied.

What this means is that the highest court of a State has now ruled that there is no provision in the governing documents of the Episcopal Church (USA) that keeps a Diocese from withdrawing its membership in that organization. The Church in fact is an unincorporated association of dioceses fashioned under American common law, and not under the laws of any one given State. Under the First Amendment, members of such associations are free to leave the group at any time, with only reasonable restrictions placed on their ability to do so (they could be required to pay any back dues still owed, for example). The opinion delivered last April by the Illinois Fourth District Court of Appeal stands as written.

ECUSA’s options are now very limited. They could ask the Illinois Supreme Court to rehear their request — a move that has never been known to be successful among the Illinois attorneys to whom I have talked. And they have 90 days within which to file a petition for certiorari (review) with the United States Supreme Court — which thus far has turned down every other recent petition in the various church property cases.

Moreover, the Diocese of Chicago was never admitted to the case as the successor to the remnant Diocese of Quincy that merged into it a year ago September. So there is a procedural difficulty to ECUSA’s taking the case further: it no longer has a diocese as a co-party which it can misleadingly try to put forward as “the real Diocese of Quincy.” And if no diocese is a party, who is left to complain that the departure of the Anglican Diocese was null and void, because the “real one” is right here? Just ECUSA, which itself is not a diocese, but an association of dioceses — and it already has lost that argument in two Illinois courts.

Meanwhile, however, the decision will come as a very useful precedent for the courts in the other pending diocesan withdrawal cases — which present a unique question that the Illinois court is now the first to have definitively decided. Watch for the withdrawing dioceses to cite the case to the courts in Texas (Ft. Worth), California (San Joaquin) and South Carolina.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy

(Anglican Ink) Richard Baker–The Diocese of Quincy: the mouse that roared.

The trial court in Quincy first handed a shock to TEC when it denied TEC’s summary judgment motion and ordering TEC to prove at trial that it was hierarchical….TEC was not prepared for this ruling coming out of the Adams County courthouse. Then, in a well-reasoned opinion after the trial, the trial court again disagreed with TEC, holding that: “There is no provision in TEC’s Constitution or Canons which require prior approval (by TEC) of a diocesan constitution or its canons. There is no express prohibition against withdrawal of a diocese.”

In a unanimous opinion, the Appellate Court also rejected TEC’s claims and held that TEC failed to prove that it was hierarchical. More importantly, it ruled that even if TEC were hierarchical, this was irrelevant because deference by the court to the determination of the hierarchy was not necessary since the property dispute could be decided using neutral principals of law. As stated by the Appellate Court:

This approach (neutral principals of law) may be applied in resolving property disputes, even within a hierarchical church organization, so long as the court need not decide a religious matter involving church doctrine, polity or practice. Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, Theology

A statement from the TEC Diocese of Chicago about the recent Illinois Appellate Court Decision

“We are disappointed by the decision of the Court and believe that the decision is erroneous,” said Richard Hoskins, chancellor emeritus of the Diocese of Chicago. “We believe that the opinion misunderstands the polity of the Episcopal Church and misapplies the First Amendment. The attorneys representing us in the lawsuit are studying the opinion and will advise the Diocese whether to petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy

Quad City Anglicans celebrate Illinois appeals court decision

An Illinois appeals court has ruled in favor of an Anglican Church in North America diocese and against the Episcopal Church in a case that highlights theological differences between the two sides.

The ruling over the ownership of money and endowments as well as the property of parishes and missions was handed down Thursday in Springfield by the Illinois 4th District Appellate Court.

Locally, members of the Trinity Anglican Church in Rock Island celebrated the decision.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, Theology

Breaking: Appeal Court denies TEC Quincy Appeal

Key Excerpts follow below the “read more” link.

Read it all[pdf]. h/t Stand Firm

Note: An article with important background to today’s decision is here.

[color=Red]UPDATE:[/color] Don’t miss Allan Haley’s analysis of this decision at Anglican Curmudgeon

[47] However, the deference approach is unavailable where the determination of a church’s hierarchical structure is not easily discernible. See Maryland & Virginia Eldership of the Churches of God v. Church of God at Sharpsburg, Inc., 396 U.S. 367, 369-70 (1970) (deference approach is permissible only where the governing church body can be determined without extensive inquiry into religious policy). Here, the trial court declined to apply a deference approach, concluding it could not “constitutionally determine the highest judicatory authority or the locus of control regarding the property dispute to which it would be required to defer.” The court’s conclusion is not against the manifest weight of the evidence.

[48] A review of the evidence presented in this case, including testimony from Dr. Mullin, the Church’s own witness, does not clearly demonstrate the existence of a hierarchical relationship between the Diocese and the Church. Indeed, the Church’s authority is not readily ascertainable without an impermissible investigation into matters of polity. Moreover, the central matter underlying the parties’ dispute is: “who owns the disputed property.” Determining whether the Diocese could leave the Church or identifying the leaders of the continuing diocese is unnecessary for purposes of answering that question. Again, such determinations would necessarily involve an extensive inquiry into church polity. With regard to the issue of the disputed property, however, we agree with the trial court it can be resolved by applying neutral principles of law.
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[54] An examination of the evidence reveals nothing to demonstrate an express trust, an implied trust, or any other interest vested in the Church. As stated, neither the deed nor the Discretionary Agency Agreement provides for an express trust in favor of the Church. Further, our review of the Diocese’s constitution and canons does not suggest diocesan assets were ever impliedly held in trust for the Church. After Jones, the Church adopted a trust canon (Title I.7.4, referred to by the parties as the Dennis Canon). That canon provides parish property is held in trust for the Diocese and Church and restricts a parish’s ability to dispose of its property. However, it appears undisputed the Church’s canons do not contain similar language with respect to diocesan property being held in favor of the Church. In addition, Bonner testified the Dennis Canon does not apply to property owned by a diocese. Our review of the record reveals nothing to suggest the opposite conclusion. Accordingly, the trial court’s findings in this regard are not against the manifest weight of the evidence.

[55] In sum, the evidence presented demonstrates title to the funds and real property lies with the Diocese. Following our review of the record, we cannot say the trial court’s findings were arbitrary, unreasonable, or not otherwise based on the evidence. Nor can we say the opposite conclusion is clearly apparent in this case. As a result, the court did not err in finding in favor of the Diocese. We commend the trial court for its detailed order, which we found quite helpful in reviewing this matter.

III. CONCLUSION

[57] For the reasons stated, we affirm the trial court’s judgment and deny the Church’s motion to substitute party.

[58] Affirmed; motion denied.

Posted in * Admin, * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Featured (Sticky), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Polity & Canons

A.S. Haley–Arguing the Quincy Case in Appellate Court

You may download the entire argument and listen to it from a link at this page on the Court’s Website.

Mary Kostel began with the appellant’s argument, which urged that courts must always defer to a “hierarchical” church like ECUSA. She did not get far before Justice White interrupted her with a question: “Do we have to resolve that [ecclesiastical] question [of whether a diocese may leave the Church] before we can resolve who is entitled to this property?”

Ms. Kostel reiterated her view that courts may not resolve that question, because it is purely ecclesiastical in character. Justice White then asked her (echoing Judge Ortbal’s ruling) if it was not the case that there was no highest body in the Episcopal Church which had already ruled on whether a diocese may leave, so that there was no decision by the Church on that issue to which the civil courts would have to defer. Ms. Kostel claimed that to the contrary, there were two decisions before Quincy voted to leave in 2008 — decisions by “the highest body in ECUSA that had been assigned by the General Convention to make these decisions” — and she clarified that she meant by that the House of Bishops.

This point was typical of how Ms. Kostel’s argument picked on elements of the record with which civil judges could not be expected to be familiar. General Convention, of course, has never “assigned” to the House of Bishops the jurisdiction to decide whether or not a Diocese may leave the Church. Judge Ortbal’s minute and careful examination of the record had concluded that there was no judicatory body in ECUSA with any jurisdiction over that issue.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, Theology

A.S. Haley–ECUSA and Diocese of Chicago Gang Up on Quincy Parishes

Yes, on the site of the Diocese of Chicago and those that reprint its press release, you will read a headline such as: “Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and Episcopal Church File Suit in Peoria”, but not at this blog. Here we call them as we see them — and this latest lawsuit is simply an outrageous attempt to bludgeon the already cash-starved Anglican Diocese of Quincy and its member parishes and missions into submission. Worse, it comes right after the Anglican Diocese prevailed at trial over ECUSA on many of the same issues raised in this new lawsuit.
Take a look at the complaint as filed. The lies in the plaintiffs’ press release are evident from the very caption at the start of the complaint. They claim to be suing “to clarify the legal status of the parishes and missions whose leaders left the Episcopal Church in 2008,” yet have they named those parishes? No, they have not: instead, in typical blunderbuss fashion, they are going after the individual rectors of those parishes, as well as Bishop Morales and the members of the Diocese’s standing committee and corporate board (whom they personally sued in the case they already lost).

Another lie in the press release (emphasis added): “Among the assets are the properties of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Macomb, Grace Episcopal Church in Galesburg, Trinity Episcopal Church in Rock Island and Christ Episcopal Church in Moline.” That last church, however, is not mentioned in the complaint; nor is its its rector (whom, again, they sued in the suit they lost, but in his capacity as a trustee and member of the Standing Committee).

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Analysis, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Presiding Bishop, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy

(Official PR) Chicago Diocese and Episcopal Church File Suit in Peoria

The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and The Episcopal Church today filed suit in a circuit court in Peoria asking that clergy and lay members of a faction that broke away from the church in 2008 be ordered to relinquish control of buildings and other assets that belong to the diocese and the church.

Among the assets are the properties of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Macomb, Grace Episcopal Church in Galesburg, Trinity Episcopal Church in Rock Island and Christ Episcopal Church in Moline. The congregations in Rock Island and Moline have formed All Saints Episcopal Church in Moline.

“In our society, we invest a great deal of energy in an impartial legal system designed to help parties settle matters about which they cannot agree,” said the Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. “Although we are prepared to litigate this matter, ultimately we still hope that God will use even these legal proceedings to bring us to a place of reconciliation and mutual respect in Christ.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, Theology

Diocese of Quincy sued by TEC and the Diocese of Chicago

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy

A.S. Haley–Quincy Funds Frozen Again; Defense Fund Needs Help

As I explained in this earlier post, the Anglican Diocese of Quincy was successful in obtaining a judgment that it had sole title to its bank accounts and real property. The Episcopal Diocese of Quincy had already merged into the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago by the time the judgment was entered, so the only adverse party left before the court was the Episcopal Church (USA), represented by the Presiding Bishop’s Chancellor, David Booth Beers, and by her Special Assistant for Litigation, Mary Kostel, as well as by local counsel Thomas B. Ewing, of Lewistown. They filed a motion to stay the effect of the judgment, i.e., to keep the Diocese of Quincy’s funds in National City Bank in Peoria frozen pending appeal.

It should be noted that ECUSA never went through the formal steps to attach the Diocese’s funds. It never submitted a motion for prejudgment attachment, or a declaration of hardship and necessity, and it never posted any bond. Mr. Beers simply wrote a letter to National City Bank purporting to advise it of the Church’s claim on the funds, and stating that the Church would “hold [National City Bank] accountable for any dispositions made … of such funds …”. The Bank responded by putting a hold on all of Quincy’s accounts pending an order of court.

Thus the Diocese of Quincy was forced to file a lawsuit against ECUSA in order to try to recover the use of its operating and trust funds.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, Theology

(ACI) Ephraim Radner–After Quincy: Rethinking The Purpose Of Our Common Life

This brings me to the… more profound… reason for my support of Judge Ortbal’s reasoning: at the root of TEC’s fracture lies our General Convention’s failure to engage our church’s own identity, an identity rooted in the deeper character of unitive mission that ought to inform our life. In brief, the Church’s unity is given in her “apostolicity”, her apostolic mission. When the latter is subverted, unity disintegrates, and this is what we have seen happen in TEC. The result is not a “good” ”“ I continue to believe that the disassociation of dioceses like Quincy, Fort Worth, South Carolina, and San Joaquin constitutes a failure of the Christian life. But the reversion to diocesan “independence” represents the almost natural reassertion of the will to apostolicity that one would expect in a situation of profound ecclesial dysfunction. And that reversion has something to teach us.

The polity question has to do with General Convention in this case. Dioceses, at least in theory, joined the Convention because such joining represented the furtherance of the apostolic ministry of the Church. They have disassociated themselves when that ministry was being impeded by General Convention. Part of the demanded reconsideration of our common life has to do with figuring out why this has been the case, and on what basis.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

(Journal-Star) Retired Bishop Keith Ackerman returns to central Illinois

Bishop Vicar of Quincy Keith Ackerman once again lit up smiles of parishioners at Christ Church Limestone where he performed service Sunday morning.

Ackerman, the retired eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy for the Anglican Church in North America, came back to the Hanna City church after current Bishop Juan Alberto Morales of Quincy asked him to return to the area for a diocene convention.

Ackerman spoke about the importance of giving thanks to God, family and friends.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), Pastoral Theology, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, Theology

A.S Haley–Judgment in Quincy; Chicago Denied Substitution; $1.1 Million Released

On October 9, 2013, Judge Thomas H. Ortbal of the Adams County Circuit Court entered a final judgment against ECUSA and its (no-longer-existent) “Diocese of Quincy”. The judgment decrees and declares that the Anglican Diocese of Quincy is the sole owner of its real and personal property, including approximately $4 million in its bank accounts that has been frozen ever since ECUSA first wrote a letter to its bank in January 2009.

In order to keep the funds frozen, ECUSA had filed a motion to stay enforcement of the judgment pending its appeal to the Fourth District Court of Appeals. It also filed a motion to substitute, in place of its former “Diocese of Quincy”, the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, into which the former Diocese of Quincy merged ecclesiastically effective September 1.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, Theology

A.S. Haley on the recent TEC House of Bishops Meeting–Fiddling While Rome Burns

The Presiding Bishop’s job — and future reputation — is, in effect, on the line. She and her personal Chancellor have been so identified with the litigation agenda of ECUSA (because they run that agenda without interference from anyone else in the entire Church) that they are taking a hit, so to speak, on account of the reversals which that agenda has recently suffered in Texas (Fort Worth), Illinois (Quincy), South Carolina, and yes – let it be said — in San Joaquin (even though there is as yet no final judgment there, ECUSA faces a decidedly uphill battle to convince the California court that its canons allow it to take the property of the withdrawing diocese).

In a (rather desperate, and, some would say) clumsy attempt to protect her prerogatives on the litigation front, the Presiding Bishop (and, as always, her personal Chancellor, whose law firm earns millions each year from the Presiding Bishop’s continuing patronage) asked the “Ecclesiology Committee” to deliver a counter to the “Bishops’ Statement on Polity” promulgated by the Anglican Communion Institute and the Communion Partner Bishops within ECUSA….
That Committee (with membership as noted above) obediently came forth with just such a “Statement”, and presented it to the assembled bishops in Nashville. Wonder of wonders, however — what seemed likely as a rubber stamp of 815’s current litigation claims devolved into a rejection of the Committee’s paper. That rejection was based chiefly on the bishops’ reluctance to submit themselves or their dioceses, by a simple resolution, to any claim of metropolitan authority — but it was also based on their own personal knowledge of the Church’s historical polity.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Analysis, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

Bp. of Chicago–Episcopal Church Files Stay in the Quincy Case

In the two weeks since Judge Ortbal ruled against the Diocese of Chicago and The Episcopal Church, we have been working hard to understand the ruling, assess its implications, and determine our next steps. Last Friday, September 20, we filed a motion for a stay of judgment in the Quincy trial court stating our intention to appeal the judge’s ruling. We continue to maintain, despite that ruling, that the assets in dispute rightfully belong to the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy, now reunited with the Diocese of Chicago. This will ultimately be decided by the appellate court.

These legal proceedings will continue to unfold and I will keep you updated as they do….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, Theology

Crucial Documentation available to Readers–TEC's so called "Expert" under Fire from the Quincy Case

[You may find here]….the cross-examination of ECUSA’s expert witness on its polity and history, Dr. Robert Bruce Mullin, who testified all day on both April 29 and April 30 of this year. His cross-examination by Alan Runyan, …[counsel of] the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina under Bishop Lawrence, is a case study in how to break apart a structure into which every effort has been poured to make it appear as solid.

That cross-examination (on behalf of the Anglican Diocese) was followed by a further and well-honed cross-examination by Talmadge G. Brenner, the Chancellor for Quincy, on behalf of its bishop, the Rt. Rev. Alberto Morales, whom ECUSA had named individually as a counter-defendant in its counterclaim in the case. (That is what comes of suing people personally — they get their own attorneys, who have the right to participate fully in all aspects of the trial.)

Read it all (courtesy of A.S. Haley).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Primary Source, Church History, Education, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

The TEC Bishop of Chicago responds to the Ruling in the Quincy Lawsuit

We learned this afternoon that Judge Thomas J. Ortbal of the circuit court in Adams County has ruled against the diocese and the Episcopal Church in our efforts to recover assets that we believe rightfully belong to the church.

This ruling is the most recent action in legal proceedings that began in March 2009. At issue are an endowment fund that has been frozen, the former diocesan office building adjacent to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Peoria and the principle that churches such as ours have the right to determine how we organize and govern ourselves….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy

(ENS) An Art. on the Illinois Court Ruling against the New TEC Diocese that upholds Trdl. TEC polity

Read it all and note the wording very carefully.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Presiding Bishop, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Polity & Canons

A.S. Haley–Decision in Quincy: ECUSA Has no Rule against Dioceses Withdrawing

I will have a fuller analysis of the rest of the opinion up later today at StandFirm, and will integrate that analysis with my other Quincy posts at this blog in due course. For now, this represents a great legal victory (albeit at the trial level) for those dioceses of ECUSA who are facing lawsuits over their actions to remove themselves from membership in Quincy. And for that reason, ECUSA will almost certainly appeal the ruling. But as Bishop Iker reminded 815 following the decision in favor of his diocese in Texas, it is never too late for 815 to come to its senses, and stop this endless warfare in which Christians everywhere lose.

Read it all and follow the link and please read the ruling.

Update
Allan Haley’s fuller analysis ‘The Importance of the Quincy Decision’ is now posted on StandFirm here

and watch the interview he has just given to Kevin Kallsen at Anglican TV below:

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy

A.S. Haley–Remnant Quincy Group to Be Absorbed by Diocese of Chicago

The fate of the Potemkin “Diocese of Quincy” foreshadows what will probably happen to all of the other Potemkin villages currently being propped up by the coffers of ECUSA, except for Pittsburgh and possibly Fort Worth (depending on how the Texas Supreme Court rules — any day now, by the way). The remnant Episcopalians in San Joaquin, Quincy and South Carolina are currently each governed by a part-time, provisional bishop, previously retired (“resigned”), who spends only a fraction of his time visiting the parishes and handling administrative matters.

The oldest such group is in the geographical area of the former Diocese of San Joaquin, spread over fourteen California counties in the southern Central Valley. The Presiding Bishop called its initial convention in April 2008 so that it could immediately file a lawsuit against Bishop Schofield (but not naming his Anglican Diocese — remember, ECUSA cannot recognize the right of a diocese to withdraw, without forfeiting its claims to the withdrawing diocese’s property and bank accounts).

After five years, the group’s lawsuit against Bishop Schofield has yet to go to trial, while it has accepted loans and subsidies from ECUSA amounting to about $1.5 million thus far. Meanwhile, its ASA dropped since 2001 by nearly 80%, and has remained flat at just 943 for 2010 and 2011.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy

A.S. Haley on what the Details of the Quincy/TEC Lawsuit reveal about the so-called "Accord"

It’s a rather neat set-up, don’t you think? Get the uneasy bishops to face disciplinary charges, and then soft-soap them with promises of full (well, almost) confidentiality. And then disregard the terms of the Accord entirely, thereby letting the accused bishops know that nothing, absolutely nothing, will stand in the way of intimidating them to whatever extent may be necessary to keep them silent.

In other words, despite your own contempt for the language of the Accord, continue to hold it over them, to intimidate them from attempting to commit such an outrageous act of disloyalty ever again. And if the bishops allow that continuing intimidation to affect their actions, then I pray for them, and for the future of a Church that is in such cynical and calculating hands.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Analysis, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Presiding Bishop, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Polity & Canons

(Western NC) Bishop Porter Taylor offers some Thoughts on Yesterday at GC 2012

Back to work at 2:15. The Bishops dealt with a sensitive issue. Seven bishops–some retired or no longer Episcopalian–had signed a friendly brief for the court proceedings in Fort Worth to support the parishes who left The Episcopal Church and are trying to keep their property. Because much of our conversation was private, I can only report that we had a unanimous roll call vote to support the Episcopal parishes, the right of the Episcopal bishops in the dioceses struggling with property disputes, and affirmation that the Episcopal bishops are the only rightful bishops in these dioceses. It was a hard but grace filled conversation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Aggressive Title IV Action Against Multiple Bishops on Eve of Gen. Con. 2012, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Polity & Canons

Mind of the House of Bishops Resolution, July 8, 2012, as Passed

From here:

Resolved, That Episcopalians in the Dioceses of Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Quincy and San Joaquin–lay and clergy–be commended for their unflagging efforts to continue to witness to God’s mission as The Episcopal Church during recent difficult times as they reorganize their continuing dioceses in that same spirit; and be it further

Resolved, That the leadership in each of those four continuing dioceses be commended for their similar efforts, including in particular the Rt. Rev. C. Wallis Ohl, Provisional Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth; the Rt. Rev. Kenneth L. Price, Assisting Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh; the Rt. Rev. John C. Buchanan, Provisional Bishop of the Diocese of Quincy; and the Rt. Rev. Chester L. Talton, Provisional Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin, and especially the strong lay leadership of each dioceses.

You may read more there.

Update: You can check to see the headline chosen by the TEC affiliated diocese of Fort Worth there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Law & Legal Issues, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Polity & Canons

Current TEC Bishops in Fort Worth and Quincy write PB Jefferts Schori about recent Charges

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefforts Schori
The Episcopal Church
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY, 10017

Re: Request to set the record straight

Dear Bishop Jefforts Schori:

We, the bishops of the Dioceses of Quincy and Fort Worth, with the support of the Standing Committee and Council of each diocese, respectfully urge the Church’s House of Bishops, at its meeting at the 77th General Convention in Indianapolis, to set the record straight regarding recent statements by certain bishops in our Church. The subject bishops are:

1. The Rt. Rev. Maurice M. Benitez (resigned, Diocese of Texas);
2. The Rt. Rev. John W. Howe (resigned, Diocese of Central Florida);
3. The Rt. Rev. Paul E. Lambert (suffragan, Diocese of Dallas);
4. The Rt. Rev. William H. Love (diocesan, Diocese of Albany);
5. The Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson (diocesan, Diocese of W. Louisiana);
6. The Rt. Rev. Daniel H. Martins (diocesan, Diocese of Springfield);
7. The Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton (diocesan, Diocese of Dallas);
8. The Rt. Rev. Peter Beckwith (resigned, Diocese of Springfield); and
9. The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon (resigned, Diocese of South Carolina).
FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The House of Bishops is well aware of the litigation across this Church resulting from breakaway factions who left The Episcopal Church but claim to have taken parishes and entire dioceses, and all the historic church property, names, records, and funds, with them, and claim to “be” the continuing parish or diocese. In the Dioceses of Quincy, Fort Worth, San Joaquin, and Pittsburgh, these breakaway efforts were led by former members of the House of Bishops.

Recent events illustrate that there are still bishops in our Church who harm the Church by officially misrepresenting the polity of the Church; invading the episcopal jurisdiction of other bishops; taking official, formal, affirmative actions directly against their own Church and sister dioceses; and even recognizing the continuing authority of breakaway former bishops over the bishops who are recognized by this Church. In doing so they give aid and comfort to breakaway factions who would take title and control of substantially all of the real and personal property of this Church and cripple its mission and ministry.

Specifically, on April 23, 2012 Bishops Benitez, Howe, Lambert, Love, MacPherson, Martins, and Stanton, purporting to act in their oficial capacities as bishops of The Episcopal Church and its House of Bishops, caused to be filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief n litigation in support of a breakaway faction led by former bishop Jack Iker and against this Church and its Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.

Similarly, on October 6, 2011, 2011, Bishops Salmon, MacPherson, and Beckwith, purporting to act in their official capacities as bishops of The Episcopal Church and its House of Bishops, caused to be filed affidavits in litigation in support of a breakaway faction led by Alberto Morales and against this Church and its Episcopal Diocese of Quincy. The details of their misrepresentations are reflected in the documents themselves. However, generally the bishops falsely claimed as follows:

1. They Represented that Dioceses Can Unilaterally Leave: These bishops give aid and comfort to breakaway factions trying to alienate this Church’s historic property and identity and urge a false view of polity that would purport to authorize each bishop across this Church to lead his or her diocese and church property in the diocese out of The Episcopal Church.

2. They Denied the Dennis Canon and Failed to Safeguard Church Property: These bishops advocate that the breakaway parties should prevail in the litigation against The Episcopal Church and the loyal Episcopalians in those dioceses and assert positions that would strip millions of dollars of historic property and funds, lovingly accumulated by generations of Episcopalians, from the mission and ministry of this Church, and instead urge that they be used by breakaway factions for the mission and ministry of a new church. They thus would nullify this Church’s trust interest in all the real and personal property of congregations in those dioceses and, indeed, across The Episcopal Church and fail to safeguard property of the Church and its dioceses.

3. They Recognized the Wrong Bishops: The amicus bishops in the Fort Worth case expressly claim that Iker, not Bishop Wallis Ohl, repeatedly recognized by the Church, is still the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth; in the Quincy filing the affidavit bishops imply that Morales, not Bishop John C. Buchanan, repeatedly recognized by the Church, is the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy. By this claim these bishops not only reject this Church’s authority to recognize its own bishops but they arrogate for themselves, in direct defiance of this Church, the authority to determine the episcopal authority of every other bishop in the Church, substituting at will their personal standards for those of this Church and trying to inject chaos into core ecclesiastical functions of The Episcopal Church itself.

4. They Violated Episcopal Jurisdiction: By their public filings in local litigation, without invitation or consent of the ecclesiastical authority in those sister dioceses, these bishops directly violated the ecclesiastical authority and episcopal jurisdiction of Bishop C. Wallis Oh1 and Bishop John C. Buchanan, respectively, who have been consistently recognized by The Episcopal Church as being the current bishops of Fort Worth and Quincy. By inserting themselves in local litigation against the ecclesiastical authority in those dioceses, the subject bishops have violated the longstanding prohibition against “acting in another diocese without the consent of the diocesan authority”’ and have engaged in boundary crossing to interfere profoundly in the mission and the very existence of a sister diocese and the jurisdiction of other bishops of this Church.

CONCLUSION

This is not a matter of a few unhappy bishops stating their personal views on church polity. They each affirmatively and officially acted by injecting themselves, intentionally and without invitation from the bishops exercising jurisdiction, into local litigation, opposing this Church and sister dioceses on core ecclesiastical issues regarding the very identity of other dioceses.

We respectfully urge that the House of Bishops set the record straight on the polity of this Church regarding its hierarchical character.

Respectfully submitted,

(signed)

(The Rt. Rev.) C. Wallis Ohl (TEC) Bishop of Fort Worth

(The Rt. Rev.) John C. Buchanan (TEC) Bishop of Quincy

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Polity & Canons