An ENS Article on the Fort Worth decision

Read it all and please follow the links as well.


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

10 comments on “An ENS Article on the Fort Worth decision

  1. AnglicanFirst says:

    “Because the Church is hierarchical, the Court follows Texas precedent governing hierarchical church property disputes, which holds that in the event of a dispute among its members, a constituent part of a hierarchical church consists of those individuals remaining loyal to the hierarchical church body,”
    The term “hierarchial” in reference to ECUSA inadequately describes the relationships between the dioceses of ECUSA.

    In fact, and this has been stated often, ECUSA is only “hierarchial” up to the level of the diocesan, i.e., the bishop of an ECUSAn diocese.

    After that point, canon/ecclesial ‘rule’ in the church is based upon a loose alliance of dioceses who meet every three years at ECUSA’s General Convention.

    The General Convention can at best be described as a “confederation.” And if I remember correctly, there is something that has to do with “voluntary association’ that applies to membership in a confederation.

    To stretch a ruling ecclesial hierarchy within ECUSA beyond the level of bishop/diocese is a ‘creation’ of ECUSA’s lawyers and judges who have acted beyond their competence.

    But in the end, ECUSA has and is discrediting it self so badly by its punitive lawsuits that the end result will be a general loss of public confidence in ECUSA as a Christian institution.

    If the Diocese of Fort Worth loses these diicesan properties, it will merely build new worship facilities. But what will ECUSA do with all of the financially unsustainable properties that it has taken from the Diocese of Fort Worth? Not much else but sell most of them I think.

  2. Brian from T19 says:

    To stretch a ruling ecclesial hierarchy within ECUSA beyond the level of bishop/diocese is a ‘creation’ of ECUSA’s lawyers and judges who have acted beyond their competence.

    And yet, they were able to “fool” a judge! Those wily lawyers manipulating the poor, uneducated judges. If only judges knew the law, then things like this wouldn’t happen 😉

  3. BillB says:

    AnglicanFirst, if TEc prevails through the Texas Supreme Court and has all those properties to sell they will surely sell them to the local Muslims. That is what Satan wants.

  4. Cennydd13 says:

    There is a huge difference between being loyal to the Episcopal Church and being loyal to Christ and His Church.

  5. Cennydd13 says:

    Bishop Iker and the people of his diocese are loyal to Christ and His Church, but I can’t say the same for +Ohl and his crowd.

  6. Adam 12 says:

    I am hoping the judge was lazy and looking for an easy way to decide a complex matter…with his superiors ready to explore the matter more fully.

  7. Old Guy says:

    If TEC is hierarchicial, what about the Anglican Communion? If the AC is as well, perhaps the “dissidents” should be made to turn over their property . . . to the proper authority.

  8. Jeremy Bonner says:

    Old Guy,

    Robert Prichard at Virginia Theological Seminary has actually pointed out (ACI, February 2010) that the language of “accession and subscription,” today cited as proof of diocesan subordination to the General Convention, is the [i]same[/i] language as that employed by TEC in approving participation in the Anglican Consultative Council in 1969.

    [url=]Catholic and Reformed[/url]

  9. Old Guy says:

    Mr. Bonner,
    Interesting, thank you. I apologize if my comment was too “cute.” But it raises a serious issue for the TEC. While the TEC certainly still has the benefit of numbers, money, churches and maybe even the trend of the last several decades, as opposed to its Orthodox minority, I can’t help but feel that they are making a dreadful mistake by taking such a hard hearted stance–about money and property of all things. What minister has seen a couple going through a divorce and not seen the lasting horror of such an approach. Hopefully, some of their leadership will see this and will show the wisdom of being more gracious. Then God and time can show who was right. If not, I am truly sorry for them–they are playing with fire.

  10. DavidH says:

    Mr. Bonner, 7, you’re not seriously suggesting that the Anglican Communion is hierarchical, are you? I doubt there’s a person in the Anglican Communion — including GAFCON archbishops — who would say that any organ of the Communion has the power to order/require a province to do one thing or another. A witness from the Church of Nigeria testified as much in Virginia in 2007. (After all, if the Communion actually could require provinces to do anything, life since 2003 would have been quite different.)

    Also, all you have to do is read the ACC Constitution to see that it doesn’t claim to be anything other than consultative and advisory.