Washington Post: Virginia Ruling Bolsters Breakaway Anglican Parishes

Five years after the consecration of an openly gay bishop, conservatives who have left the Episcopal Church have organized into a cohesive movement, creating a de facto, if small, separate Anglican church in the United States.

This month, the Diocese of Pittsburgh became the second diocese, after San Joaquin, Calif., late last year, to decide to leave the 2.2 million-member national Episcopal church. The dioceses of Quincy, Ill., and Fort Worth will vote next month. Those moves followed 15 Virginia parishes — including the large and well-known Truro Church and The Falls Church — that over the past two years have left their diocese because they view it as too liberal.

The conservatives have been bolstered by the breakaway churches’ legal victories in Virginia. Yesterday, Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows ruled Truro Church could retain ownership of land sought by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, CANA, Church of Uganda, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

8 comments on “Washington Post: Virginia Ruling Bolsters Breakaway Anglican Parishes

  1. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Lest there be premature rejoicing here by many of us on the orthodox side, let me point out that the ruling today was a very narrow one, dealing only with the land that Christ the Redeemer returned to Truro. It wasn’t the big final decision that we’ve been waiting for so long.

    Tomorrow’s subject will be more interesting, i.e., whether Judge Bellows will buy TEC’s surprising claim that the oldest part of the land that Falls Church sits on actually belongs to…Christ Church, Alexandria. That peculiar legal strategy does seem to indicate a DESPERATE sign on the part of TEC/Diocese of VA to find some way to claim at least some part of the disputed property.

    But what it makes me wonder is this: Just how many billable hours of expensive lawyer time were spent combing through the legal archives to find that long-forgotten (and probably irrelevant) bit of paper from 1745? The national headquarters still refuses to come clean on its legal bills in this scandalous case, so we can only speculate. But my hunch is that it may be even worse than any of us imagine, even in our most cynical moments. But the truth will eventually come out. It always does.

    And then there will be hell to pay.

    Finally, let me call attention to the significant fact that this article appeared in the ultra-liberal Washington POST, not the more conservative Washington TIMES. And for a piece in such a liberal news outlet, it’s not nearly as biased in a liberal direction as past articles have been. Maybe even the MSM (MainStream Media) is finally catching on.

    David Handy+

  2. chips says:

    Perhaps the CCP has hired media flacks. TEC has left itself wideopen for a major pr offensive – this would be great on 60 minutes or NBC’s news magaizine format. In fact a full page ad everytime TEC does some nefarious act in the Wall Street Journal would be most effective – 30 second ads on the Golf Channel might also get the Episcopalians that write checks to see where their money is going. KJS will not stop waging war until it really hurts the pocketbook and imperils her beloved MDG’s.

  3. Already left says:

    But what happened to the “churches cannot own property” polity?

  4. Steven in Falls Church says:

    Here and here are, respectively, Christ Church Alexandria’s update on its vestry’s decision to allow the parish to be represented in this claim for the TFC property, and the vestry’s approval resolution. I checked the Falls Church City property records, and all 7 adjacent parcels on which TFC sits, including the historic parcel in question, are titled in the name of TFC (one small parcel is titled in the name of trustees for TFC). This record goes back at least to January 1, 1900. Putting aside the strong arguments TFC would have for adverse possession (you can see from the CCA vestry resolution that they are trying to tee up (i.e., manufacture) facts to defeat this argument), I am not certain that TEC and the Diocese can overcome the fact that TFC appears to have clear title to the land. TEC and the Diocese also may be barred from raising this claim so late in the litigation. After all, if CCA owns the land, CCA should have been expected to know this fact and therefore should have advanced it as a basis for an additional claim in the complaint filed against TFC.

  5. Irenaeus says:

    Good article for the Post, a newspaper whose coverage of ECUSA has tended to have an edgy bias against the orthodox.
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    Which word jumps out at you from this photo caption from the article: “Scott Callender, 11, carries a cross at the beginning of mass at Falls Church Presbyterian Church”?

  6. Cennydd says:


  7. Cole says:

    [blockquote] … They now comprise more than 580 congregations made up of more than 100,000 people, said Peter Frank, a spokesman for the new umbrella group, called Common Cause Partnership.

    [b] They [/b] say the Episcopal leadership defines Scripture on modern rather than eternal standards, and they take exception to the ordination of female clergy, the full acceptance of gays and lesbians … [/blockquote]

    Now lets pick apart these statements. Who are [b] They [/b]? I doubt that Peter Frank would make such a statement about WO. We all know that there is a diversity of opinion here. How about “full acceptance of gays and lesbians”? The moderator of Common Cause certainly wouldn’t accept my behavior if I was to be living a non-celibate lifestyle as a widower. Does that mean he doesn’t accept widowers? Lets call this spin for what it is: [b] False Witness! [/b]

  8. stevejax says:

    #6 — WRONG! Correct answer: “Presbyterian”!