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NYT: Episcopal Rift Drawing Near Point of Revolt

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 01:47 PM
Original message
NYT: Episcopal Rift Drawing Near Point of Revolt
Episcopal Rift Drawing Near Point of Revolt
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: December 17, 2006

For about 30 years, the Episcopal Church has been one big unhappy family. Under one roof there were female bishops and male bishops who would not ordain women. There were parishes that celebrated gay weddings and parishes that denounced them; theologians sure that Jesus was the only route to salvation, and theologians who disagreed.

Now, after years of threats, the family is breaking up.

As many as eight conservative Episcopal churches in Virginia are expected to announce today that their parishioners have voted to cut their ties with the Episcopal Church. Two are large, historic congregations that minister to the Washington elite and occupy real estate worth a combined $27 million, which could result in a legal battle over who keeps the property.

In a twist, these wealthy American congregations are essentially putting themselves up for adoption by Anglican archbishops in poorer dioceses in Africa, Asia and Latin America, who share conservative theological views about homosexuality and the interpretation of Scripture with the breakaway Americans....

Together, these Americans and their overseas allies say they intend to form a new American branch that would rival or even supplant the Episcopal Church in the worldwide Anglican Communion, a confederation of national churches that trace their roots to the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury....

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/17/us/17episcopal.html?h...
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Tyo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. Born of schism
Ending in schism
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
2. They're still fighting over wedge issues.
Just take their money.
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More Than A Feeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
3. Why not just get it over with?
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 02:24 PM by Heaven and Earth
All the the liberal believers in the various denominations could join together into one large denomination, and all the conservative believers could do likewise. And we shall call those two denominations...the Democratic and Republican parties.

Seriously, it isn't even about the nature of God anymore. It's about whether religious people have the right to organize society on sectarian basis or not. That makes it fundamentally political, not religious.
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
4. This Will Create Yet Another Church That Will Be Working Against Us Every Election

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asjr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Just what we need--another pseudo-Christian church.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
6. the liberal arm of the episcopal church outnumbers the conservatives by
a lot -- this new conservative church would number very few in the total make-up of 3 mil plus episcopalians.

and the liberal arm has very strong claims on the property and retirement pensions of these churches -- this will not go entirely the way they think this will go.

what will happen after this is the joining with the african churches and after that -- breaking with canterbury.

it can't happen soon enough for me.

buh-bye y'all -- don't let the door hit ya on the way out.

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ClintonTyree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
7. And their largest concern is........
the money, of course. :eyes: Why is it that god needs so much money? :shrug: Couldn't these people pray on a hillside and still have as much access to the "Big Guy: upstairs? Multi-million dollar churches, preachers wearing $5,000 suits and Rolex watches......and religion is taken seriously by HOW MANY people, and WHY? :eyes:
Being an atheist I shouldn't care but yet I do. I guess I just have a low tolerance for hypocrisy and lunacy, and I'd like to see both defeated within my lifetime. Now THAT'S lunacy, huh? ;)
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nealmhughes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. You won't find many Episcopal clergy wearing $5K suits or Rolexes.
Not off their salaries, anyway, maybe if their families bankroll them, but not on clergy salaries.

I think you refer to the MegaChurch TV preachers, not Anglican clergy.

Two very different animals.

Apples and carrots different.
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charlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
8. Lift a rock, find a Scaife
His money has managed to blow up the Episcopalians, and if he has his way, it'll happen to the Methodists and Presbyterians too. It's sad to watch. The meddlesome git needs to be taken out back and beaten soundly.
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Chorophyll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Very true.
If you can stomach it, check out www.ird-renew.org

It's funded by Scaife and others of his ilk. (Lucky me, I just finished a research paper on this stuff.) :(
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
9. This is a good article; read the entire thing
Edited on Sat Dec-16-06 04:04 PM by kwassa
some important points to remember, some highlights from the same article:

while this "revolt" sounds dramatic:

"If all eight Virginia churches vote to separate, the Diocese of Virginia, the largest Episcopal diocese in the country, will lose about 10 percent of its 90,000 members. In addition, four churches in Virginia have already voted to secede, and two more are expected to vote soon, said Patrick N. Getlein, secretary of the diocese."

in the world of irony; most of these white conservatives in real life have nothing to do with black people at all. This is their homophobic African supporter:

"In Virginia, the two large churches are voting on whether they want to report to the powerful archbishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, an outspoken opponent of homosexuality who supports legislation in his country that would make it illegal for gay men and lesbians to form organizations, read gay literature or eat together in a restaurant. Archbishop Akinola presides over the largest province in the 77-million-member Anglican Communion; it has more than 17 million members, dwarfing the Episcopal Church, with 2.3 million."

and most important

"Anglican rules and traditions prohibit bishops from crossing geographical boundaries to take control of churches or priests not in their territory. So Archbishop Akinola and his American allies have tried to bypass that by establishing a branch of the Nigerian church in the United States, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. Archbishop Akinola has appointed Mr. Minns as his key missionary bishop to spread the gospel to Americans on his behalf.

Mr. Minns and other advocates of secession have suggested to the voters that the convocation arrangement has the blessing of the Anglican hierarchy. But on Friday, the Anglican Communion office in London issued a terse statement saying the convocation had not been granted any official status within the communions structures, nor has the archbishop of Canterbury indicated any support for its establishment. "

so far, they have no standing, and the Diocese of Virginia STILL owns all the buildings and property. So those conservatives can leave, and leave all property behind.

Minns, who is English, by the way, has to be out of Truro on January 1st, anyways, per the diocese. Bishop Lee has sent a letter reminding both congregations that the property belongs to the diocese. Truro and Falls Church need 70% of the vote to leave. Let's see how they feel if they know they leave the buildings behind.

Bishop Lee has cancer, though, and the real interesting development will be who his successor will be. This conflict may be resolved before then.





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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
11. Two Episcopal Congregations Vote to Split From U.S. Church
Two Episcopal Congregations Vote to Split From U.S. Church

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

By Bill Turque and Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, December 17, 2006; 1:38 PM

Officials at The Falls Church in Falls Church and Truro Church in Fairfax City announced the results of the week-long vote following their worship services this morning. Their leadership has been at the forefront of a national conservative movement that has been alienated from the Episcopal Church, the U.S. wing of the worldwide Anglican Communion, since the installation of a gay bishop in New Hampshire in 2003.

At both congregations, more than 90 percent of the members voted to split from the U.S. church and to retain their church property.

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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
13. from the Episcopal News Service
http://www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_80571_ENG_HTM.htm

According to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church, dioceses are created or dissolved only by acts of General Convention (Articles V and VI) and dioceses create or dissolve Episcopal congregations in their midst. Congregational property is held in trust for the diocese, and the diocese holds property in trust for the wider church (Canon I.7.4 of the Episcopal Church). Canon 15.1 of Virginia's diocesan canons concurs with the national canons.

Patrick Getlein, secretary of the diocese, said the congregations that were due to announce their vote tallies on December 17 are Church of the Apostles, Fairfax; Church of the Word, Gainesville; Potomac Falls Episcopal Church, Sterling; St. Margaret's, Woodbridge; St. Stephen's, Heathsville; St. Paul's, Haymarket; The Falls Church, Falls Church; and Truro Church, Fairfax.

(all voted to leave)

Four Virginia congregations had previously announced their disaffiliation with the diocese, according to Getlein. They are All Saints, Dale City; Christ Our Lord Anglican Church, Lake Ridge; Church of the Holy Spirit, Ashburn; and South Riding Episcopal Church, Fairfax.

Two other congregations have announced their intentions to put Episcopal membership to a future vote, Getlein said. They are Church of the Epiphany, Herndon, and Our Saviour, Oatlands.
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. So given the canons that were quoted...
Edited on Sun Dec-17-06 11:44 PM by TechBear_Seattle
Who gets the property from the divorce? It sounds like the the congregations voting to leave are supposed to drop the parish keys and bank signature cards with the diocese and walk away, homeless, penniless and naked, but somehow I doubt that will happen.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-18-06 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. So far, the diocese have always won ....
as far as I know. Not all diocese have the same polity structure, but many do. The diocese owns the property.

And the correction in the Post this morning is that the total number of people leaving in Virginia is only about 5% of the diocese, despite what seems like a large number of churches.
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Danger Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
14. Ah...
so they wish to take their hate party to a place where it would be more welcome.
heh...
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