Read it all.
Well, it seems to me, at least, that since a diocese consists of missions and parishes…..meaning that they are composed of people…..real live human beings…..who have joined together to organize into a common organization while not having agreed to any accession clause, it then follows that they have the right to leave that organization en masse, if they so choose, don’t they? And if that organization…..that diocese…..chooses to leave as one entire group…..sans the usual groupies who may choose to stay while not being able to support themselves as a faux diocese…..then the diocese has in effect actually left TEC. I believe it’s called the “right of free association.” But I believe that the TEC Constitution and Canons don’t guarantee that right, although the U.S. Constitution does. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
There may be a precedent for this. Correct me if I haven’t
presented it properly, but didn’t the Episcopal Church split
during the U.S. Civil War ? I think the northern Episcopal
Church accepted, somewhat reluctantly, the separation
from it of the Episcopal Church of the Confederate States.
This can only be viewed as a voluntary – and recognized
withdrawal – from the Episcopal Church. So, though not
recent, there is an historical antecedent which can be cited
in support of withdrawal.
The sundered parts rejoined after the Civil War ended. Can
anyone shed some light on this ?
The General Convention continued to call the roll of the dioceses which were unable to attend because of the Civil War. After the War the Bishop of North Carolina attended General Convention and was welcomed. The House of Bishops toned down a triumphalist House of Deputies resolution on the restoration of peace and unity. The mid-19th century Episcopal Church tolerated slave-owning clergy and members when the Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian chuches split.