March 30, 2017

May 9, 2008

DCNY blog: The Diocese of Central New York Way

from here

...In three cases, St. Andrew’s, Syracuse, St. Andrew’s, Vestal, and Good Shepherd, Binghamton, the Diocese has sued two parishes and is saddled with the expenses of two church buildings in Vestal (the one of the three not sued). What does the diocese have to show for their efforts? They have the legal expenses from two lawsuits, one settled and one ongoing and the proceeds from the sale of the rectory in Vestal. Considering that the rectory sold for $145,000, the diocese is operating at a loss thus far from its hostile approach. The diocesan loss is in both financial and in reputation. Of course, the diocese has been steadily losing reputation since at least the failed persecution of Fr. David Bollinger. Legal expenses will mount up as the diocese prepares to wage legal war against Good Shepherd.


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Not too mention all the other legal monies being spent on other parishes and “Dioceses throughout te US! More buildings to empty and sale, then persecute those that left for the Truth, the Way, and the Life and are growing and flourishing by leaps and bounds. Let those with eyes see!

[1] Posted by TLDillon on 5-9-2008 at 10:58 AM · [top]

As the DCNY is finding out, the pecusa hostile approach is costly, but as the DCNY should know by now, there is not sufficient leadership in the diocese to chart a better way.

The measure of a ‘better’ strategy is inextricably linked to the ultimate goal.  Perhaps a ‘better’ strategy could be found if the ultimate goal was to maximize financial return.  But I suspect the ultimate goal is not to maximize financial return, but instead to raze Anglican othodoxy, and salt the ground where it stood.  In this case, the measure of a successful strategy is the amount of destruction visited upon the orthodox enemy.  Liberals are willing to spend vast amounts of money to see that goal achieved.  Every action they take gives evidence to the truth of this assertion. 

It’s not about the money.  It’s about driving the orthodox into the wilderness, and scattering them to the winds.


[2] Posted by carl on 5-9-2008 at 12:34 PM · [top]

Do you think 815 is picking up the tab for legal expenses for the dioceses? Nah, all, they are doing is threatening to hold the bishop personally financially liable. The only option for the bishop is to knuckle under (assume the position) or follow Schofield, Iker and Duncan. 815 creates its own enemies. This is Gay Rights in Action.

[3] Posted by ctowles on 5-9-2008 at 12:35 PM · [top]

And worse yet, Central NY isn’t an exceptional, isolated case.  The Diocese of Ohio has lately taken a similar turn toward relying on lawsuits instead of keeping on a more amicable path toward resolving the property conflicts.  Likewise, as is widely known, the Diocese of VA backed off from the negotiating table and filed suit when PB Schori insisted on it.

This trend is ominous.  Fortunately, there is a counter trend.  Central FL has been able to reach settlements with 7 or so parishes that recently decided to leave TEC.  So +Howe certainly gets credit for achieving something that eluded +Adams, +Hollingsworth, and +Lee.

I’m glad to see that Fr. Tony Seel has a blog.

David Handy+

[4] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 5-9-2008 at 12:49 PM · [top]

From <a >the NBC interview report:</a>

Since then, about 100 of the 8,000 Episcopal parishes in the United States have split with the American church and aligned themselves with the conservative Anglicans in Africa. Robinson pointed out that it is a very small number as a percentage of all congregations.
“It’s important to keep that in proportion,” he said. “But conflict is no surprise to the church; it’s been there from the very beginning.”

It is commonplace for TEC leaders try to downplay (dishonestly) the effect of these innovations on TEC – with VGR being but one the latest of such leaders.  Why is it so important for them to do this?  What is the objective?

The survival of TEC as an established and credentialed institution within society that is capable of making these innovations hangs in the balance.  From the interview, it is clear that VGR is implying that “7,900” Episcopal parishes support or accept this innovation.  The leaders of the “7900” parishes are using them to validate the blessedness of VGR’s SS activities and to affirm the corporate decisions of TEC

If TEC appears to survive, then the validation and affirmation survives.

This objective appears to influence directly the litigation strategy of TEC.  In many cases, it makes poor financial sense for TEC to pursue litigation for properties – apart from the foregoing consideration.  It is even worse financial sense for TEC to refuse to sell a property to a willing purchaser (e.g., a departing parish). 

But to settle or sell would threaten the appearance of the viability of TEC – there would be an established competitor in each venue.  The “7,900” number is important, as VGR says.

In addition, it is better that the competitor be forced to meet in a warehouse or auditorium – so that the competitor appears insubstantial, temporary.  A displaced and inconvenienced congregation has limited appeal to those within the reach of TEC.  Importantly, TEC must appear to be intact.

I suspect that DCNY has been contacted by 815 to align DCNY’s litigation strategy with that of 815 – for this reason.

In the background, reappraisers at all levels rage against the missionary movements – furious at their existence and success.  Their animus is at times breathtaking – reviewing Preludium, Fr. Jake, etc. is a real lesson.  They desire mightily to discredit any possibility of the validity of the missionary movements in hopes of damaging their credentials.  In this context, a charge of abandonment of communion makes perfect sense, as the fiction is their greatest desire.

But as Abp Venables said:

“This is not a human battle. It is a battle over Jesus Christ as the Word of God and as the only begotten Son of God. That is one essential truth that we have to get right.”

So long as that essential truth is their most important credential, TEC will, in the long view, fail to discredit the missionary efforts.

[5] Posted by tired on 5-9-2008 at 12:57 PM · [top]

tired (#5),

You’ve made some very astute observations.  I agree.  As usual in our society these days, image is triumphing over substance.  This ludicrous claim that “only 100” of the purported “8000” TEC congregations have failed to support the pro-gay agenda is all about the desperate attempt to prop up the establishment’s tarnished public image.

The irony is the stark contrast between the surface image of calm and serenity since supposedly only a tiny minority of people are all that upset with the direction TEC is going, and all the ire and fear lurking under the surface.  TEC’s leaders are desperately trying to “keep up appearances” and intimidate the great majority of Episcopalians, especially laity, who are unhappy.

But at some point, it will be clear to all that the Emperor has no clothes.  And then the floodgates could open.  If a few court cases go our way and the departing churches in VA and CA keep to keep their property, things could change dramatically.  I suspect that this is what many leaders in TEC are afraid of, secretly.

David Handy+

[6] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 5-9-2008 at 01:12 PM · [top]

David Handy+:  “But at some point, it will be clear to all that the Emperor has no clothes.  And then the floodgates could open.”  Amen!

I pray there will be repentance like a flood and the Church will be prepared and anointed to receive and assist many to the ‘such WERE some of you’ state of freedom, holiness and health described in I Corinthians 6:9-11

Jesus is indeed able to save to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25) all who will come to Him.
We need people trained to do as Jesus commanded his disciples at Lazarus’ tomb, to remove the graveclothes and at the hillside, to gather the fragments of the souls whose identities are so deeply affected and disoriented by sin.  We ALL receive new identities in Christ. 

May the Church be able, willing and faithful, full of the Holy Spirit. 

May there be men like Fr. Mario Bergner train and equip the Church to receive and love sinners to wholeness, not leave them bound and fractured.

[7] Posted by Theodora on 5-9-2008 at 01:23 PM · [top]

How can one measure the ‘better’-ness of a strategy unless one knows the actual (rather than the stated) goals? Perhaps the prime actual goal (after the hemming and hawwing), as it was in the Diocese of Los Angeles, is to 1) thoroughly punish any parish that presumes to “leave” the diocese and 2) discourage any other parishes that may even be thinking about leaving by showing the punishment they have in store for them.

By these goals, and from the standpoint of the Diocese, they may think they are actually gaining ground in line with their overall strategy. Money? What’s that? Just up the required pledge amounts!

The Rabbit.

[8] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 5-9-2008 at 01:43 PM · [top]

In the Trinity Sunday issue of the Living Church is a letter describing the local church as being gathered around it’s Bishop as leader and Father in God.  From this perspective the writer takes issue with Bishops Vagantes who have no diocese or flock of their own and travel from place to place, interefering with the workings of the local church.  Since the have no diocese of their own, they have no legitimate Episcopal authority,
and can be told by the Ordinary to leave and stay out of the diocese.  What Bishop of the Church has no diocese, yet travels about and intereferes in the local diocese?
Dumb Sheep.

[9] Posted by dumb sheep on 5-9-2008 at 03:41 PM · [top]

There are only six congregations in the United States that REALLY back the queer agenda. Why? Because I said so. So there.

[10] Posted by Anglican Paplist on 5-9-2008 at 03:44 PM · [top]

Note that “only 30” and “only 100” come from the same lips that said the orthodox would “soon get over” our concerns about GC 2003.
_ _ _ _ _

As time goes by, it will become increasingly clear that “only 100” refers to the number of congregations that are about to leave at any given moment.

[11] Posted by Irenaeus on 5-9-2008 at 04:15 PM · [top]

Some thoughts about remarks above:
It will be very interesting to see what happens in Virginia if the case is resolved in favor of the Virginia Congregations, at least to the point of the next 3 court dates:
-May 28 the constitutionality of 57-9
-later, examining the validity of the voting
-in the fall, the deposition of the property
If we win on all counts and if resolved favorably at the Virginia Supreme Court if TEC goes that route, the floodgates could open. I believe that is what TEC is worried about.  If it comes to past that congregations uninhibited by the threat of losing their properties begin to leave in droves in Virginia, what a PR nightmare that becomes for TEC.  That fear has got to be a lot worse than worrying about the loss of money…...or by the advantage of accumulating funds by the sale of vacated properties.
On another thread it was pointed out that there are a bit over 7,000 churches left which includes those remnants of separated congregations remaining that probably won’t survive as well as many other failing congregations with low ASA; that 126 parishes have separated within the past couple of years, but that over 600 are in the orthodox category if the AMIA, REC, etc. are included. The saddest cut of all are the number of people driven away from TEC who have no place to go and can no longer stomach TEC’s new religion.

[12] Posted by Petra on 5-10-2008 at 05:24 PM · [top]

Petra (#12),

I agree.  All we need is for a few court cases to go our way, and the whole ball game changes.  TEC knows this and I think that is why the leadership at 815 or the Executive Council is trying so very hard to hold the line right where it is.

But it’s a high risk strategy.  It reminds me of the French Maginot Line at the start of WWII.  The French invested so much of their defensive forces there, that when the Germans did an end run around that fortified line, they couldn’t react in time and were crushed.  OK, maybe it’s not the best or most desirable analogy to compare the orthodox position with the Nazi war machine. 

How about poker instead?  TEC is waging a huge amount of chips on a relatively weak hand.  OK, maybe that’s not the ideal analogy either.  And I’m not even a betting man.  I don’t know how to play Texas Hold ‘Em.

But personally, I think the CA cases will be more important than the VA ones.  If St. James, Newport Beach, and the other Anglican parishes manage to retain their property, as it looks very much like they might, that could set an even more important precedent, since it doesn’t depend on a unique state law like Virginia’s Division Statute.  And if we win in both cases, CA and VA, then that double whammy could be especially powerful.

I hope the floodgates do open.  And soon.

David Handy+

[13] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 5-10-2008 at 05:39 PM · [top]

Ironically enough, today is the 68th anniversary of the German invasion of France.  All in all, I think the Maginot line is a wonderfully accurate metaphor for TEC.  Stationary, obsolete, fear-driven, vulnerable, the product of a childless culture, and yet with all the outward appearance of strength.


[14] Posted by carl on 5-10-2008 at 06:34 PM · [top]

carl (#14),

Wow, I had no idea about today being the anniversary of the invasion.  Yes, TEC may be a lot like France here, but I wasn’t sure very many of us on the orthodox side would take kindly to being compared to the Nazi’s.

David Handy+

[15] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 5-10-2008 at 07:49 PM · [top]

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