Welcome to Stand Firm!

Motion challenging the existence of the Dennis Canon filed this Afternoon in CNY v. Good Shepherd

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 • 5:09 am


Transfigurations posts this description of our filed motions today:

The Church of the Good Shepherd filed motion papers today seeking the dismissal of the lawsuit brought by the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York against the 100 member parish in Binghamton, New York. The motion to dismiss and for summary judgement by the parish was based on the lack of proper adoption of the Dennis Canon by the Episcopal Church. The Diocese previously served a motion against the parish for summary judgment based largely on the Dennis Canon. Both motions are scheduled for oral argument at 9:30 am Friday, December 12, 2008 at the courthouse in downtown Binghamton. Judge Ferris Lebous could issue an immediate ruling, but a written reserved decision from the judge sometime early next year is also possible…more

Below you will find some of the documents we filed today including our Cross Motion, an exhibit from a 1979 General Convention Jounal, and my affidavit. The Rev. George Conger’s Affidavit may be found here. All are in PDF format:

The Cross Motion Filed on Behalf of the Church of the Good Shepherd (PDF)

43. This entry, when compared with C-150, the place it references, creates a problem as noted, supra: the Dennis Canon is nowhere to be found! The above-quoted entry does not contain the text of what they adopted in the House of Deputies on that date. Were amendments made? Did one or more committees alter the text of the resolution from the House of Bishops? What was the text of the resolutions from the House of Bishops? Was the language identical to what the House of Bishops adopted? What in fact did they adopt that day, if anything? The record is silent on these points. With no text of the resolution set forth in these printed minutes of the House of Deputies, and no summary of the resolution, all of these questions are left open, and we can only speculate as to the answers. But one thing is indisputable: when we look at the reference cited at D-154 “(See pg. C-150)” we find no Dennis Canon, but rather something quite different.

44. The quoted reference in parentheses to C-150 (the citation to the report of concurrent actions of both Houses) as indicated, supra, shows concurrent action only as to the technical correction amendment (HB # 78) which contains no trust provision, as mentioned. Only HB # 76 and HB# 75 had any reference to the trust provision of the Dennis Canon, and that is absent from the “concurrent actions” recorded at C-150 of the 1979 Journal.

45. The Dennis Canon placing a trust on church property is, for that matter, set forth nowhere else in the 1979 Journal except in the verbatim recitation of B-60. 46. Given the cross reference to the adoption of a wholly different amendment and the fact that the actual language before the House of Deputies is not quoted in the journal of the House of Deputies proceedings at D-154 or anywhere else, the official record of the General Convention of 1979 supports the conclusion that the House of Deputies never adopted the Dennis Canon.

...more (PDF)

General Convention Journal entries(PDF) regarding the Dennis Canon

My affidavit (PDF):

3. One of the many exhibits contained in the papers of the Diocese is Exhibit W attached to the affidavit of Bishop Gladstone Adams III is a resolution of the Diocesan Convention of the Diocese of Central New York adopted on November 15, 2008 which declared that the Church of the Good Shepherd is no longer in union with the convention and that our vestry no longer meets. Attached hereto is copy of that resolution of the Diocesan Convention of the Diocese of Central New York adopted on November 15, 2008 as Exhibit “A”

4. Our case here is different from the Court of Appeals case of Diocese of Rochester v. Harnish, because in that case the Convention of the Diocese of Rochester on November 19th, 2005, declared All Saints parish to be “extinct”.

5. The Diocese of Central New York by this resolution has indicated that the Church of the Good Shepherd continues to have existence even though we are no longer in union with them. Indeed the Church of the Good Shepherd is not in union with the Convention of the Diocese of Central New York, its bishop, or the Episcopal Church. But we most certainly continue to worship formally as a parish and we regularly hold official vestry meetings on the third Wednesday of every month and call special meetings when necessary.

6. Our most recent vestry meeting was held on Saturday December 6, 2008. At that meeting we adopted a resolution agreeing in part with the Diocesan Convention resolution adopted on November 15th, 2008 stating that the Church of the Good Shepherd is no longer “in union” with the Diocese of Central New York nor with the Episcopal Church. Attached hereto is copy of that resolution adopted on December 6, 2008 as Exhibit “B”

....

12. Because the Diocese of Central New York by the action of its diocesan convention has declared itself to be no longer in union with us, we doubt that they have any standing to oppose this request of ours to amend our certificate of incorporation. But knowing that the Diocese of Central New York has sued us and is seeking to seize all of our property, we are here putting the plaintiff on notice of our amendment to our certificate of incorporation.

13. There is no issue that we were once affiliated with the Episcopal Church. There is no issue that this affiliation, by the actions of both the Diocese of Central New York and Church of the Good Shepherd, is now terminated. There should be no issue that we are an ongoing church, since we clearly are…more (PDF)


54 Comments • Print-friendlyPrint-friendly w/commentsShare on Facebook
Comments:

MP [#1],

As I understand it, the rules adopted by the new North American province specify that each parish owns it’s property. So, it would seem that not every bishop claims to own all property in his diocese.

[1] Posted by Ameryx on 12-09-2008 at 09:59 PM • top

Beats me if any of that makes any sense legally, but that is what judges are.  I don’t see any better path for you to take, given that your choices are:

a)  Roll over and loose everything
b)  Spend some of the money you would have lost anyway on defending yourself.

[2] Posted by AndrewA on 12-09-2008 at 10:16 PM • top

Go gettum, Fr. Matt.  Sometimes the good guys win.  I hope that is what happens with y’all.

[3] Posted by terrafirma on 12-09-2008 at 10:22 PM • top

Isn’t it fascinating that the records and supporting documentation go oddly missing for the crucial day 10 in question, despite being present for days 1-9 and day 11?  I find it even more fascinating that this lack of documentation was noted as early as 1981 in White and Dyckmann.  This defense may be a winner…

[4] Posted by Nevin on 12-09-2008 at 10:36 PM • top

...and if this defense wins, it would have massive implications across the board.

[5] Posted by yohanelejos on 12-09-2008 at 10:42 PM • top

Mad Potter in my opinion “we” are consistent, we look to our Bishops to uphold the faith once delivered and to behave in Christian manner when it comes to property issues.  I don’t think many of “us” care what “our” Bishops’ legal opinions are since they base their actions on what is right, not what is legal.  Since “your” Bishops are more concerned with what property they can legally claim, than what is the Christian thing to do with it, their legal opinion do have an impact.  If the Bishops all acted in a Christian manner, legal opinions would not matter.

[6] Posted by JustOneVoice on 12-09-2008 at 10:43 PM • top

Silly ol’ MP. Didn’t you read the article? The DCNY declared GS out of union whilst pursuing property claims - a conflict of intent for a parish it had given up on some time ago and resurrected by it’s present denizens. Kinda like when I was a kid - another kid had this messed up old bike he left in my yard. My Dad made me take it back to his house. When I got it there, he told me he didn’t want it. His Mom standing there asked if I wanted it and I said sure. So they both said take it. I took it home as my first project bike. Cleaned it up, repainted it, fixed the seat, replaced the handlebars and tires, and rode it down to his house to show him what I’d done. He couldn’t believe it. He asked to ride it, I said sure and he left on it. I waited for him to come back but he didn’t (he had rode around the block, decided he liked it and snuck back into the garage out back and hid it, then snuck in the house). I knocked on the door and his Mom answered. I asked if he was home and if he had brought the bike back. Apparently he had told his Mom what he had done, because she said - you mean you brought HIS bike back. I protested - she closed the door on me. I told my parents, my dad went to talk to them and he talked them into at least paying for the paint, handlebars and tires. My Dad came back and said, ” next time get it in writing.” He gave me the money and I learned my lesson. I guess the point is moot when I mention that it took about a year or so and the fixed-up bike was back in poor condition, and he was leaving it around - just not in my yard.

Now that goofy Dennis Canon has gone all missing, except apparently where someone scribbled it into the canons at some point or other without proper procedure. Fess up MP you just can’t stand it when the other guys even appear to gain an advantage, let alone win. Time for Sportsmanship 101 I guess.

[7] Posted by masternav on 12-09-2008 at 11:00 PM • top

Tsk-tsk MP. Such lese majeste. And you of course are essentially and fundamentally wrong. EVERY bishop does NOT claim to control the properties of the parishes in their diocese. I simply challenge you to provide conclusive proof of such a statement. You are wrong. Now if you meant that EVERY diocesan bishop claims to control SOME property in their diocese - I would aver that you could be correct. There are undoubtably some properties that fall under the bishop’s control, say the odd set of diocesan offices, a camp here or there, some missional properties, or parishes at risk. There may be some diocese that have constitutional or other provisions that require subjugation of parish claims to physical properties to the diocese. But it is not universal, and that has been recorded elsewhere on other threads here. Perhaps if you clarified your statement a bit so the intent and logic were a tad less muddled we could have a nice rousing discussion about what all the bishops do.

[8] Posted by masternav on 12-09-2008 at 11:20 PM • top

Ahhh there you go! See you are simply interpreting the statements by the GS bishops based on your own TEC bishops and their claims - no wonder you’re confused! Well it’s a relief to have that settled. Amazing what the right amount of clarification does for an enlightened discussion around here. And everyone saying your pedantic and all. They just don’t understand that you are speaking out of your truth in TEC. And your comment above reminded me of a delightful little ditty from Camelot!

GUENEVERE
What do the simple folk do
To help them escape when they’re blue?
The shepard who is ailing, the milkmaid who is glum
The cobbler who is wailing from nailing his thumb
When they’re beset and besieged
The folk not noblessly obliged
However do they manage to shed their weary lot?
Oh, what do simple folk do we do not?

ARTHUR
I have been informed by those who know them well
They find relief in quite a clever way
When they’re sorely pressed, they whistle for a spell
And whistling seems to brighten up their day
And that’s what simple folk do
So they say

GUENEVERE
They whistle?

ARTHUR
So they say

(they whistle for a while)

GUENEVERE
What else do the simple folk do
To pluck up the heart and get through?
The wee folk and the grown folk
Who wander to and fro
Have ways known to their own folk
We throne folk don’t know
When all the doldrums begin
What keeps each of them in his skin?
What ancient native custom provides the needed glow?
Oh, what do simple folk do?
Do you know?

ARTHUR
Once, upon the road, I came upon a lad
Singing in a voice three times his size
When I asked him why, he told me he was sad
And singing always made his spirits rise
And that’s what simple folk do
I surmise

GUENEVERE
They sing?

ARTHUR
I surmise

BOTH
Arise, my love, arise, my love
Apollo’s lighting the skies, my love
The meadows shine with columbine
And daffodils blossom away
Hear Venus call to one and all
And taste delight while you may
The world is bright and all is right
And life is merry and gay

GUENEVERE
What else do the simple folk do?
They must have a system or two
They obviously outshine us at turning tears to mirth
And tricks a royal highness is minus from birth
What, then, I wonder, do they
To chase all the goblins away?
They have some tribal sorcery you haven’t mentioned yet
Oh, what do simple folk do to forget?

ARTHUR
Often, I am told, they dance a fiery dance
And whirl ‘till they’re completely uncontrolled
Soon the mind is blank and oh, they’re in a trance
A violent trance astounding to behold
And that’s what simple folk do
So I’m told

GUENEVERE
They dance?

ARTHUR
So I’m told

(they dance)

GUENEVERE
What else do the simple folk do
To help them escape when they’re blue?

ARTHUR
They sit around and wonder what royal folk would do
And that’s what simple folk do

GUENEVERE
(spoken)
Oh, no, really?

ARTHUR
I have it on the best authority.

BOTH
(sung)
Yes, that’s what simple folk do

I think I need to recast this as “What do Diocesean bishops do?” Marvelous! TTFN!

[9] Posted by masternav on 12-09-2008 at 11:35 PM • top

hmmmm MP - that means that the redoubtable suffragans and diocesans will be going best two out of three falls to see who really controls the buildings in the diocese. And those darn retired bishops are just biding their time - waiting for the suffs and dios to tangle to leap in and claim the properties for themselves. Those darn bishops - worse than railroad barons they are! “whatever isn’t nailed down is mine, and whatever I can pry up isn’t nailed down!”

[10] Posted by masternav on 12-09-2008 at 11:47 PM • top

Temper ....temper…. Mad Potter! Geesh! It’s okay you are safe in Louisiana!

Oh what tangle webs we weave when once we set out to deceive! TEC using the Dennis Canon may just come back to bite them in their backside!

[11] Posted by TLDillon on 12-09-2008 at 11:58 PM • top

KJS and DBB don’t even follow the canons that DO exist and we’re suprised they try to follow a canon that doesn’t exist.

This is a war of attrition.  They just want to bleed money because they have more than the parishes.  The one weakness they have to doing things as stupidly as they have in Virginia and apparently here as well is that they look like they have contempt for the whole judicial process.  Even liberal judges who want to give TEC the benefit of the doubt don’t want to played for fools.

[12] Posted by Bill2 on 12-10-2008 at 12:01 AM • top

I hope that this all works out, not only for your church but others who are involved with lawsuits.

[13] Posted by martin5 on 12-10-2008 at 01:22 AM • top

In this hearing, as I understand it, our burden is to establish a question of fact unaddressed in the higher court ruling in NYS. The filings above, I believe, are the best anyone could possibly do given the circumstances in this state. Still our chances of victory are slim. So please pray for us.

[14] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 12-10-2008 at 04:05 AM • top

MP. I agree with you that there ought to be no trust claims implied or exerted over parish property anywhere. If there are orthodox bishops who do it, I pray they will desist.

[15] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 12-10-2008 at 07:44 AM • top

MP

Up here in Canada, the diocesan corporations do control all real property in the diocese de jure. Those of us in ANiC are hoping to either: negotiate to purchase the buildings we are in (St. Alban); prove that we have constructive ownership based on the way the properties have been managed over the decades (St. Hilda); or to find a better building to move into (Faith).

Here in dio Ottawa, the diocese has about 30 buildings too many, some of which are heritage buildings that the province requires the owners to maintain, so we like our chances at a negotiated settlement.

The senior archdeacon is the person who has the control, rather than the bishop. The earliest versions of canon law in dio Ottawa forbid the bishop from participating in discussions about money.

It was told to me that the reason the archdeacon controls the money is that bishops need to be free from the temptation to make decisions based on money. Unfortunately, most of the recent bishops have been archdeacons and have not lost their habit of controlling the budgets. There is also a change in perception of bishop from chief preacher to chief executive. This has not been helpful.

As I’ve said before, property law in North America tends to be state or province based rather than federal. If Bishop Iker is claiming control, it may be exactly that under Texas law and the governing diocesan and parish incorporation documents he does have that control, much as Canadian bishops do. In other states, notably Virginia and California, there are open questions that make a mockery of the bishops’ claims. A claim does not make

[16] Posted by Bill in Ottawa on 12-10-2008 at 08:05 AM • top

#24 MP. I agree with you that there ought to be no trust claims implied or exerted over parish property anywhere. If there are orthodox bishops who do it, I pray they will desist.

Like +Iker, who used the Dennis Canon against one of his own parishes in 1994 when it wished to move to the Antiochian Orthodox? He didn’t question its validity. Theories of its non-passage have been around since the 80’s, but no conservative bishop has ever questioned it until recently.

[17] Posted by laud on 12-10-2008 at 08:15 AM • top

Fr. Matt (#24)
Your definition of an Orthodox Bishop?

[18] Posted by Dallas Priest on 12-10-2008 at 09:39 AM • top

#26 laud
Maybe there was no real reason to question it until recently…ya think? If TEc leadership had actually acted like Christians, as they go around professing they are, and allowed the churches and dioceses to leave and disassociate from TEc and wish them well instead if suing them, or if TEc had actually followed through on the DES Communique I don’t think anyone would have given the Dennis Canon a thought like all these past 30 years of no mention of it until recently with all that TEc is doing and not doing! I do believe it has been stated before that association with TEc is voluntary!

I do get puzzled by all these liberal revisionists! On one hand they would love to be rid of us Tradtional Conservatives, but then they get all twisted about us leaving! Oh! Silly me….I had a brain fade…it’s not the people they want to keep it’s the buildings and the assets!

“You annoying Traditional Conservatives can go but you cannot take anything with you, including that pew Bible & BCP that we will be re-writing!”

[19] Posted by TLDillon on 12-10-2008 at 09:53 AM • top

Mad Potter,
  Those individual parishes in those dioceses all individually voted on whether to leave or whether to stay in TEC and those Bishops honored that vote. How is that Bishop’s control?

[20] Posted by ctowles on 12-10-2008 at 10:01 AM • top

#28 It appears you only question its validity when it suits you. Was the Diocese of Fort Worth wrong when it used it to stop a congregation taking a church to the Antiochian Orthodox? Was the Diocese of Quincy wrong when it used it to stop a congregation taking a church to the Anglican Church in America. Conservatives didn’t question its validity at the time, but now the shoe’s on the other foot…More than a hint of hypocrisy.

[21] Posted by laud on 12-10-2008 at 10:19 AM • top

Laud - we in Quincy did not use the Dennis Canon in our dispute with ACA over the former Cathedral of the Diocese as the property issues were settled long before the 1970’s.

[22] Posted by Dallas Priest on 12-10-2008 at 10:39 AM • top

Dallas Priest,

Interesting question…I would say that at adherance to the principles articulated in the Theological Statement of the ACNA are consistent with orthodoxy.

[23] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 12-10-2008 at 10:43 AM • top

MP’s been sounding like sour grapes ever since the new Province’s papers were published.  The problem with a purely congregationalist approach to property is that it is possible for outsiders to join and overwhelm a parish and to sell the property out from under them ... after they have exercized sacrificial stewardship sometimes for generations to purchase said property.  The old wisdom was that keeping the title in the diocese was a protection against this.  Unfortunately, what happened in TEC was that the national church was taken over by outsiders, unformed as Anglicans and as Christians.  So now we need to look to protection from “hostile takeover” from both ends of the spectrum.  I have no doubt that it has occurred to the militant gays in TEC to join conservative parishes, overwhelm them with numbers, and take their property ... after all, this is what was done on the national level in TEC already.  So I don’t think a pure Congregationalist model of property ownership will be adequate.

[24] Posted by monologistos on 12-10-2008 at 11:46 AM • top

Well, I don’t mean to say that only gays are pushing this agenda but they appear to be much more organized towards such goals and have clearly stated as much many times.  Some preferred to see TEC founder rather than give up the gay agenda ... they got their wish.

[25] Posted by monologistos on 12-10-2008 at 11:49 AM • top

#32 I think you’re forgetting St John’s Episcopal, Quincy in 1994? The diocese sought to “end the illegal occupation of the property of the legitimate St. John’s Episcopal Church by a renegade and dissident few.” according to then then Quincy communications officer.  And the President of the Standing Committee stated the diocese “will vigorously pursue every legal avenue open to us to defend the diocese’s control over the property and assets because we know that they are held in trust for the diocese as long as there are Episcopalians who wish to worship there.” Sounds familiar…

[26] Posted by laud on 12-10-2008 at 12:08 PM • top

laud #31,

Yes.

And, personally, since I wasn’t aware of the situations you’re describing when they happened, I plead innocent to the charge of hypocrisy.  Now, don’t you have a labyrinth to walk somewhere?

[27] Posted by Phil on 12-10-2008 at 12:27 PM • top

Congrats to your lawyer on a well crafted cross-motion.

To the Canonical scholars out there, do subsequent GCs occasionally ratify the codified canons at their conventions?  If so, even if record doesn’t exist for ‘79, it may ‘pass’ as part of the subsequent codified canon.

There is no question, given the NY high court’s prior rulings, you have to attack the Dennis Canon and there’s nothing the matter with giving this the ‘old college try’ but as others have said, it’s a longshot.

In my mind, it is questionable that the Dio of NY canon fails just because the Dennis Canon does.  I understand your claim that the words the Diocesan Canon chose cause a linkage that makes it also invalid. But will the judge buy that argument?  If not, the NY highest court is clear on its read of the Dennis Canon, sadly for the Good Shepherd faithful, I doubt it would change its mind if it based its enforcement on the Diocesan Canon rather than the Dennis Canon.

Either way it cuts, the law is a blunt instrument.

Peace,

[28] Posted by miserable sinner on 12-10-2008 at 12:36 PM • top

I simply am unable to remain silent when I read comments by those who obviously do not know what they are speaking about.  I cannot speak to San Joaquin, Pittsburg, New York or any other diocese.  I can, however, speak about the position being taken in the Fort Worth Diocese.  Diocesan ownership of property in Fort Worth is based on the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese, which created a non-profit corporation that holds legal title to the property in trust for the use and benefit of the individual parishes.  Shortly after the Diocese was created, a specific Canon was enacted in Fort Worth that disavows any claims by TEC, under the Dennis Canon or otherwise, to any beneficial interest in property in the Diocese.  The terms under which a parish may leave, with its property, are not those “imposed by the good Bishop”.  They are canonically established, with full recognition of and accommodation for the contributions of those parishioners who built and have maintained the property since the parish was formed.  So, before we presume to offer our opinions as fact, we should (perhaps) conduct a little research.  Differences in circumstances may, at times, appear to create inconsistencies in positions taken, when the truth is that it is the specific circumstance that has changed, not the core positions taken.

[29] Posted by DFW Lawyer on 12-10-2008 at 02:57 PM • top

Miserable sinner (#38), here is how the Curmudgeon treats the point you raise about the diocesan canon being sufficient:

Whether the same is true of the Diocesan canon will depend on how the Court views the evidence creating an issue of fact about the enactment of the Dennis Canon. For if the passage of Canon XXIII (which is not itself in dispute) assumed the prior validity of the Dennis Canon, then it would appear that there is an issue of fact about the applicability of Canon XXIII as well to the case. In other words, a trier of fact would have to decide whether the Diocese intended Canon XXIII to apply even in the event that the Dennis Canon was, for whatever reason, invalid. If the court finds that such a question is raised by the evidence, it will not be able to grant the Diocese’s motion on the strength of its own Canon alone.

The language of the Canon (.pdf download here) would seem to make an assumption that the Dennis Canon was valid, because it states that it is only reaffirming what the Dennis Canon says: “In conformity and consistent with the provisions of Title I, Canon 7.4 and .5 of the Canons of the General Convention*, it is hereby explicitly reaffirmed that . . .”.

[30] Posted by Chancellor on 12-10-2008 at 03:17 PM • top

Mad Potter, you forgot to mention that +JDS has repeatedly stated that if any parish wants to depart the diocese with their property, they may do so, provided that they do not leave the diocese with any financial encumbrances.

[31] Posted by Cennydd on 12-10-2008 at 03:37 PM • top

If there was a better master plan in effect - this cannon should have already been challenged in a more favorable venue.

[32] Posted by chips on 12-10-2008 at 03:37 PM • top

Mad Potter, you also forgot that, going way back to 2004, Bob Duncan attempted to arrange things such that parishes that dissented from him could be assured of their property ownership should a (now come to pass) separation from ECUSA be necessary.  For his trouble, the largest architectural and musical museum - I’m sorry, parish - in his diocese sued him to make sure he couldn’t forswear ownership of their property.  (He lost.)

[33] Posted by Phil on 12-10-2008 at 03:47 PM • top

#40 Chancellor:
I’m aware of the Curmudgeon’s view.   

The question at hand is whether that assumption (validity of the Dennis Canon) is material to the Diocesan Canon itself.  If the opening clause of the Diocesan Canon is not material to the remaining language, here:
it is hereby explicitly reaffirmed that all real and personal property held by or for the benefit of any parish, mission, chapel, or congregation located in the Diocese of Central New York is held in trust for the Episcopal Church and The Diocese of Central New York. The existence of this trust, however, shall in no way limit the power and authority of the parish, mission, chapel, or congregation, or the power and authority of the Trustees of the Diocese holding title thereto, otherwise existing over such property so long as the particular parish, mission, chapel, or congregation remains a part of, and subject to, The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Central New York and the Constitution and Canons of each of them.

. . . then the Diocesan Canon could arguably stand on its own.  If ‘reaffirmed’ requires the validity of the Dennis Canon, then Good Shepherd may win, or at least survive summary judgment.

My ONLY point, it that a reasonable judge might rule either way on this issue.  Even at the summary judgment phase.

Dennis Canon or no Dennis Canon, this ain’t no slam dunk for either side.

Peace,

[34] Posted by miserable sinner on 12-10-2008 at 04:53 PM • top

Mad Potter, I’d say that +JDS is being pretty magnanimous.  Too bad TEC’s bishops aren’t as charitable.  But then, there are no TEC bishops of his caliber, are there?

[35] Posted by Cennydd on 12-10-2008 at 05:30 PM • top

I think that if 815 was not being so nasty about it many TEC Bishops would be making Christian like arrangements with those Parishes that wish to depart - and efforts to provide for the pastoral care of those within the departing parishes who wishe to stay.  But becasue of the rabid ideologues and institutional we want the money types in command at the national level - all we have is legal warfare and scorthed earth pyhic victories designed to imtimidate.  A very sorry state of affairs and one day those responsible will be held to account.

[36] Posted by chips on 12-11-2008 at 11:22 AM • top

I was just doing some background reading on this and found the Wikipedia article
which suggests many previous court decisions have “overwhelmingly recognized the legitimacy and applicability of the Dennis Canon.”  Is that true?  Could some of the experts working on this please take a few minutes to update the Wiki page with a summary of the current debate, keeping in mind that Wikipedia articles must be written from a neutral point of view?  The current article sounds neutral but actually reflects TEC biases.

[37] Posted by Boffin on 12-11-2008 at 01:15 PM • top

Hello and may God bless us all This is to MP and all that argue about who’s property is who’s and who lays claim to it as with all this property in the law suit that skip is trying to get does not belong to him or to the Church it belongs to God and with that it has already been decided who will remain in it whether we as the parishoners will stay there and do His work or whether the doors to that building wll be closed due to the Anti-Chrst and our Father allowing it for now. As for me I am praying that somehow our Father in heaven will be merciful to those that walk away from His word and walk down the path of darkness. As for all the bishops that are staying within the TEC I am afraid to say this but they nee to read and heed the words of Christ when He tells of woe to he who leads one of my children astray. I can speak on the isues for I lived a very sinful life and I know that with His mercy I can now work to follow what He tells me in His word. Tomorrow a judge will have to decide on what the Lord wants and will either listen to the Lord or listen to Satan and that will be the outcome for this church. but nomatter what happens we as a church will be together and our Lord will be with us. Those that break His will and do their own thing will not be so pray for all of them

[38] Posted by chulolee on 12-11-2008 at 07:32 PM • top

#34

I have no doubt that it has occurred to the militant gays in TEC to join conservative parishes, overwhelm them with numbers, and take their property

If the parish is truly conservative, though welcome in the parish, they would not be able to hold office or have a leadership role if they were engaged in a relationship.  Do you really think they would give that up?

[39] Posted by Gigs Girl on 12-15-2008 at 10:52 PM • top

#50

  Wikipedia article

Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information, nor is it permitted as a resource in most universities today.

[40] Posted by Gigs Girl on 12-15-2008 at 11:04 PM • top

#51 Although God surely knows today who will win the “secular” legal battle tomorrow, He has allowed it, not decided it,and whatever the outcome He will use it for good in some way that we may now not see.  Keep praying.

[41] Posted by Gigs Girl on 12-15-2008 at 11:07 PM • top

Registered members are welcome to leave comments. Log in here, or register here.


Comment Policy: We pride ourselves on having some of the most open, honest debate anywhere about the crisis in our church. However, we do have a few rules that we enforce strictly. They are: No over-the-top profanity, no racial or ethnic slurs, and no threats real or implied of physical violence. Please see this post for more. Although we rarely do so, we reserve the right to remove or edit comments, as well as suspend users' accounts, solely at the discretion of site administrators. Since we try to err on the side of open debate, you may sometimes see comments that you believe strain the boundaries of our rules. Comments are the opinions of visitors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Stand Firm, its board of directors, or its site administrators.