If one thinks of a true hierarchy like the Roman Catholic Church, there would be no question as to who could authorize a bishop to speak for it in court: it would be the Pope, and nobody but the Pope. Since ECUSA, however, lacks any metropolitan archbishop (the Presiding Bishop is called a “Primate” without the word signifying anything other than that the Presiding Bishop represents ECUSA to the other Churches in the Anglican Communion), there is a very nice question as to just who has sufficient authority under its Constitution to represent it in a court of law. If it were a regular corporation, like General Motors, the matter would be clear: its Chief Executive Officer (or President, as the case may be) would be authorized by the Board of Directors to speak for the corporation in court; or the Board could give him the authority to delegate the task of spokesperson to some other officer of the Corporation.
Nothing like that, however, has happened here. General Convention, ECUSA’s only legislative body, has not met since 2006, and has never (to my knowledge, at least) specifically authorized any official within the Church to file suit in its name and to speak for it in court. Even if it had purported to do so, there is no provision in the Constitution to which General Convention could point as granting it the authority from the member dioceses to designate a spokesperson to represent the views of all of the dioceses in court—as though they were one. Elementary common sense suggests that the members of a group have to vote on an issue in accordance with their procedures before the position of the group as a whole on that issue may be stated. Even then, there is usually provision made for some means by which any division of opinion can be exhibited: by a “minority report”, or by a “statement of the views of the minority”, which always accompanies any presentation of the views of the majority.
The recent publication of the Statement by the (Communion Partner) bishops is evidence that just such a minority viewpoint exists in ECUSA today.
Read it all.