March 23, 2017

September 6, 2013

Don’t say I didn’t warn ya

Back in June, 2009, about three years into that first run of “America’s Got Primate!”  and in the sixth year of phenomenal Episcopal Church growth started by the consecration of a bishop for New Hampshire LGBT&c events in cool places all over the world, a lame fly-over country blogger knelt in that roiling cloud of glory and tapped out a message,

Louie Crew is a gay activist who has, for some years, called many of the shots in The Episcopal Church (TEC).

Crew was on the “Executive Council”, a group mandated to carry out programs established every three years by the General Convention of the denomination.

But with Crew in the driver’s seat, the Council went beyond that mandate in egregious ways, without public discussion:

  - Declaring the denomination a formal supporter of a radical pro-abortion group, which then put “The Episcopal Church” on its publications
  - Making large decisions to cut and redirect various denominational budget items, mainly to fund litigation against clergy and congregations who dissented from the direction of the church.

Ah, but now there is an anonymous subcommittee of some sort discussing how to navigate the chaos inflicted on the denomination by the LGBT activists. And guess what? Louie is suddenly passionate about open government in the church.

Read Frankenstein, Louie. The monster ultimately turns on its maker.

See, the activists wanted a church run by a central “hierarchy.”  They wanted executive orders from unaccountable individuals or inner circles so the old way of winning consensus across dioceses and even congregations wouldn’t slow down the most important work of the church, loadin’ up on gay clergy and sprinkling liturgy on their love lives. 

The activists wanted TEC to go more Roman than the old school Romans when it came to bureaucratic power.  They wanted people who didn’t buy the agenda punished.  They wanted property seizures and litigation and hiearchy-friendly dioceses created out of thin air by executive fiat.

And they got it all.

‘cept remember what the lame blogger said, “the monster ultimately turns on its maker.”

The hierarchy, as we’ve been reporting, just grabbed up a big fundraising mechanism and its existing accounts.  The 125 year old effort of The Episcopal Church Women to support real live church work via the United Thank Offering is now in the pocket of the Primate of the Americas’ Privy Councilor of the Exchequer or Whatever.

See, the Gay Stuff is all done.  We gots the clergy and the rituals.  And as Mr. Stand Firm showed during the NCAA basketball tournament, when Gay Stuff went as far as it could in the brackets, a bigger champion emerged.  The hierarchy.

Now, I don’t know the United Thank Offering officers who resigned to protest this grab-up of program and assets.  My guess is that they are typical Episcopalians, thinking of themselves as exemplars in a church of thinking people who are tolerant and inclusive and all that.  I mean, they didn’t resign over the Gay Stuff, or bishops who spit on the Bible and the Creeds, or the multimillion dollar litigation diversion of the peoples’ offerings, or the well documented evidence that the current leadership trajectories were congregational conflict and membership losses.  They were OK with the monster.  And like the lame blogger said,  “the monster ultimately turns on its maker.”

Things are so bad that one of the denomination’s leading lesbians is writing things critical of the hierarchs, albeit she some how exempts the First Female Presiding Bishop of the Hemisphere & Great Oceans and sees the whole mess as just another example of the #WarOnWomen.

There are days, and this is one, where the lame blogger in fly-over country enjoys his marginal status in the denomination.  Days when he can just pop a cold one and smile about those who said, “All that stuff we taught you about what it means to be a Christian and a priest in the Episcopal Church?  We were just kidding.  Everything you think you know and all you’ve ever done for this church are out with last week’s kitty litter.” 

Days where he can watch the monsters clank and growl and cannibalize one another. 

He warned you about that a few years ago; so did plenty of your other brothers and sisters in Christ.  Too bad you sacrificed your ears to build the monster.



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I am predicting that within the next few years, we will see a bishop deposed, not for taking a diocese out of TEC, but keeping one in TEC without paying the completely “voluntary” “asking” for support of the national apparatus.

[1] Posted by tjmcmahon on 9-6-2013 at 07:58 PM · [top]

One wonders what would have ensued with the UTO board had the Title IV “discipline of the laity” stuff flown.

Maybe this will be the case that allows the hierarchy to get some cool sanctions against laity on the books in 2015!

And yes, I can see deposition for “failure to collect the taxes.”  It’ll be better than “No justice, no peace;”

No green, no purple!

[2] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 9-6-2013 at 08:37 PM · [top]

It is interesting that Ms. Kaeton sees this as a misogynistic attack against the ever-downtrodden women of the church, rather than the money-grab spin that has been heard elsewhere.  I’m not saying that I disagree with her, but I agree more with the money=power line of thought that she briefly presents.

I’m also wondering if TEC wants to take credit for the missionary and charity work of the ECW and the UTO, since that is such a scarce commodity in the organization these days.  They can point to all the “good works” that “THEY” have been doing with the pennies and nickels of children.

Oh, the monsters are coming out from under the beds, folks.

[3] Posted by GillianC on 9-6-2013 at 09:00 PM · [top]

The “war on women” theme doesn’t work, of course, because the chief officer of DFMS, who called the meeting and began the process, is a woman.

This just smells very strange.

[4] Posted by Katherine on 9-7-2013 at 06:48 AM · [top]

It’s simple really.

815 has run out of money.

They have spent their annual receipts which are down anyway, thanks to their policies; they have spent the unrestricted trust funds left to the church for mission on ‘mission litigation’ and they have charged the restricted trust funds to borrow money to float vichy dioceses, fund more litigation, buy the election of African Primates and to fund ACO and Lambeth Palace programs to wangle themselves back into Communion relationship.

Now they need more money, and if they aren’t going to be able to use UTO funds to directly support litigation, then at least they can use them for necessary funding and thinkly described bribes to Tanzanians to free other funds to support litigation.  If they are lucky they can charge the UTO funds as security for further borrowing for their litigation and propaganda programs, just as they have with the now squeezed dry trust funds, and if they could get their hands on them, as they would like to with the pension funds.

Now the raid of Episcopal Church assets has to be completed and shovelled into Goodwin Proctor and their friends before the PB leaves office, by which time this raid should be completed and the shredders have been removed from 815’s records rooms.

Then perhaps the Schoris will depart for Switzerland on an all expenses paid retirement generously provided by the lawyers’ benevolent fund?

[5] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 9-7-2013 at 07:36 AM · [top]

Granted that TEC has done some enormously stupid (not to mention heretical, deceitful, etc) things over the last 10 years, but this one I still don’t get.  They MUST have known this would make people angry- lots of people, the very people who have been the entire support for TEC and its revisions and its programs over the last 50 years.  As I said on another thread, I was part of a parish some years back where EVERY woman who regularly attended in the parish was part of ECW.

It would have made radically more sense to have redirected some of the rental income from Trinity Wall Street.  Even in bad economic times, $2 billion in commercial real estate is going to generate gross rental revenue on the order of $200 million per year.  The profit from that after upkeep, salaries, etc, again, even in a lean year, would be in the 10s of millions of dollars.  Or if they needed a big mound of cash all at once, they could have sold 5% of the portfolio, and put $100 million in the bank- even at Goodwin Proctor rates, that would have paid a lot of lawyers for a very long time. And it’s all off the books of GC.

The fact that they did this instead, leads me to the conclusion that those 19th Century bankers who set up Trinity to the be the financial powerhouse it is today, had some pretty good lawyers themselves.  WHY has TEC gone after the property of every mission that has tried to leave, mortgaged its own headquarters, sold churches to Islamic organizations and nightclubs, and now seized hold of one of its most broad based charitable appeals, and not touched the real estate portfolio on Manhattan Island?  Could it be that they cannot?

[6] Posted by tjmcmahon on 9-7-2013 at 08:52 AM · [top]

tjmcmahon # 6 - ‘tis in the low nature of bullies to avoid fights with people big enough to hurt them back.

#3 Gillian C - so far, I find the theory in your 2nd paragraph the most compelling on this mess.

Although I have to say that Pageantmaster at #5 is credible, especially given the proximity of the UTO grab-up to the court setbacks in TX.

[7] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 9-7-2013 at 09:12 AM · [top]

Another possibility is the ability to control the grant-making process and be sure that those grants go to entities that are aligned with the agenda of the leadership.

[8] Posted by gaanglican on 9-7-2013 at 11:14 AM · [top]

Could it be that the major property owners in TEC…..Trinity Wall Street…...are actually an entity unto themselves, and have seen to it that their properties, and they themselves, are “untouchables?”  After all, are they not the actual power brokers behind 815?  Are they not TEC’s bankers?

[9] Posted by cennydd13 on 9-7-2013 at 11:25 AM · [top]

gaanglican #8 - yeah, good possibility!

cennydd13 - that might be the case, although I’m not sure the 815 inner circle like it if so.  I’m sure they would be glad to overthrow an arrangement like that.

Interesting that there have been recent vestry vs. rector dust-ups at Trinity.  About money, of course.

[10] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 9-7-2013 at 11:25 AM · [top]

And haven’t a major share of those grants…..let’s say those given to African primates whom Mrs Schori has offered “aid,” come from Trinity?

[11] Posted by cennydd13 on 9-7-2013 at 11:28 AM · [top]

#11 true, but I think she still had to ask.  How much more wonderful for Bp. Sauls and her to decide over drinks.

[12] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 9-7-2013 at 11:32 AM · [top]


You lost me in a couple places there.  I must have missed something somewhere.  What African election did TEC buy? And what kind of support are they getting from Tanzania.

[13] Posted by StayinAnglican on 9-7-2013 at 01:25 PM · [top]

I don’t see why KJS could not simply have declared Trinity Wall Street’s clergy and vestry “out of communion” with TEC, inhibited them, appointed a new “true church” rector and vestry, and then taken the church assets?  That seems to be much more in line with traditional TEC tactics.

[14] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 9-7-2013 at 02:05 PM · [top]

Perhaps TEC should have given some thought to losing approximately 23,000 members and the money Diocese of SC sent to TEC every year? Granted it was not much in terms of percentage of our diocesan budget but then again propping up the *faux* remnant of TEC here in SC has already cost 815 thousands…... I think we are seeing the desperation of people who *know* sources of funding are drying up. If the leftists are turning on fellow leftists, you know things are bad….. really bad….... really,really Bad!!!

[15] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 9-7-2013 at 04:31 PM · [top]

#6, TJ, You might be on to something. Typically wall street types tend to have very goodlawyers and hence may have iron clad trust agreements on their particular trusts so TEC can’t touch them. Although, look how long it took to even decide to consider selling 815…..... I suspect that TEC will be caught and fully embarrassed when it is revealed what is really happening.

[16] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 9-7-2013 at 04:38 PM · [top]

I am quite sure that the IRS and the FTC have some very good lawyers themselves, who might be tough enough (and smart enough) to take on TEC’s legal beagles, and they just might be “inquisitive” about TEC’s financial shenanigans involving Trinity et al.  Smart enough and experienced enough to not let themselves get snookered.  Just like the lawyers that my wife and I have.

[17] Posted by cennydd13 on 9-7-2013 at 06:52 PM · [top]

Liberals never care about what something costs.  If they bankrupt TEC while pushing the LBGT agenda, so be it.

It’s all about power, not $.  They may need the $ to continue funding litigation, but again it’s about power.

[18] Posted by B. Hunter on 9-8-2013 at 11:23 AM · [top]

Some of the HoBD types and the liberal side of the TEC press are putting up letters that indicate that the PB may have been thinking that UTO was going to separately incorporate and pull itself out of TEC- in order to retain autonomy.  Of course, that they would ever do such a thing strikes me a ludicrous.  While individual members of the board might want to, this is a board that is a creature of GC- it would be like randomly selecting a dozen bishops and having a majority vote to remove the PB from office.

[19] Posted by tjmcmahon on 9-8-2013 at 12:25 PM · [top]

I agree with B. Hunter- TEC leadership is all about the *POWER*. IF the money happens to follow along, so much the better. If it does not, well TEC still has plenty….....

[20] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 9-8-2013 at 02:44 PM · [top]

Well, yes, providing there will still be some deep pockets left after this fiasco.

[21] Posted by cennydd13 on 9-8-2013 at 03:21 PM · [top]

#21, It is just of matter of whose pockets they pick next….......

[22] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 9-8-2013 at 06:30 PM · [top]

Trinity Wall Street has been fending off efforts by TEC to get its hands on its money for probably 70 years or more.  Not only have they been very well lawyered, but very astute in episcopal church politics for longer than 815 has.  That said, while they have much greater assets to defend against any takeover efforts by 815 than 815 has to pursue it, not to mention the benefits of being in New York State longer and politically powerful, it is not entirely clear the national church could not take them over as a legal question.  They have usually found it politic to avoid the question by agreeing to spend some of their money, usually a small amount in their eyes, and something they’d support anyway, for some current project 815 wants, like conferences in Africa to garner support for TEC.  Just a little protection money.

[23] Posted by pendennis88 on 9-9-2013 at 08:52 AM · [top]


Dr. Kaeton appears intellectually dishonest with her cries of foul.  She knows full well well who is in charge in New York but won’t call a spade a spade and wants to claim victimhood.  They gleefully created the monster that is “Leadership.”

Besides, it seems to me that the new grantees of the UTO are going to fit into the narrow agenda that is approved by 815 and the cronies of Dr. Kaeton.  What’s not to like?  You hijack a venerable ministry and make sure that the pet projects of “Leadership” are advanced.

BigTex AC

[24] Posted by BigTex AC on 9-9-2013 at 09:18 AM · [top]

[22]  SC blu cat lady, the kids in the local TEC parish had better keep a close eye on their piggy banks.

[25] Posted by cennydd13 on 9-9-2013 at 10:14 AM · [top]

Perhaps this whole thing is simply a ruse shell game being played by Kaeton.  If you read Kaeton’s piece, you get the impression that there is some secret and heretofore unknown cabal of traditionalist men running 815 and who are trying to undermine the Great Revolution through such counter-revolutionary actions as taking over the UTO.  It all seems pretty wild and irrational to me.

But then think about it.  That story plays really well with the Leninist types that are TEC’s liberal activists.  They are ready to swallow whatever nonsense is spooned out in the proper formula.

Suppose that Kaeton is actually fully on board with the UTO takeover, and knows full well that KJS is as well.  And suppose they know full well that such a takeover will be met with a great deal of anger by a lot of women.  And suppose that an idea was hatched to divert that anger away from those who are actually responsible for the UTO takeover and direct it to some imaginary group of straw men. 

The result then is that at least some of the blowback will be just so much jousting at windmills, especially blowback from the liberal True-Believer followers.  KJS and the Leadership get what they want, while the liberal mob blames conservative men.

[26] Posted by jamesw on 9-9-2013 at 03:42 PM · [top]

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