Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Anglican Iron Curtain: "Principle 80"

BB NOTE: Wake up laity - looks like the iron curtain is coming to the Anglican world. Sad, isn't it? Instead of the solving the problem - they institute an iron curtain to keep everyone in control. Thought the Denis Canon was whacked. Get a load of this one. And where, pray tell, did Patrick Henry give his famous speech? Wonder what he'd say about this so-called "principle?" George Orwell, call your office.

Turns out that the authors of these "principles" think that bishops not only love to sit down to a roaring feast after a hot day protesting against poverty, but that they secretly wish they were all Yertle the Turtle too.

From page 81 of "The Principles of Canon Law Common to the Churches of the Anglican Communion," (David Booth Beers contributing) which was handed out to the Lambeth press today. Thanks to Matt Kennedy for typing it up.

Principle 80: Ownership and administration of church property

1. Churches should satisfy those requirements of civil law which apply to the acquisition, ownership, administration and alienation of church property both real and personal.

2. Property is held by those authorities within a church which enjoy legal personality as trustees or other entities of a fiduciary nature under civil law and competence under church law.

3. Ecclesiastical authorities are the stewards of church property.

4. Ecclesiastical authorities must hold and administer church property to advance the mission of a church, and for the benefit and use of its members from generation to generation, in accordance with the law of that church.

5. Church property is held in trust for a church and should not be alienated or encumbered without such consents ans may be prescribed by law.

6. Ecclesiastical trustees may sell, purchase and exchange property in the manner and to the extent authorised by law.

7. The central assembly of a church, or other designated assembly, may frame laws for the management and use of property held in trust for that church.

8. Commissions, boards and other bodies may be appointed to advise church trustees on the development and administration of any property held by those trustees.

9. The management and day-to-day administration of church property at the local level are vested in parish assemblies or other legal entities and are subject to such prerogatives of the clergy as may be provided by law.

10. National, regional, provincial, diocesan, parish or other church trustees must perform their functions under the order and control of the appropriate assembly to which the law of a church renders them accountable.

11. No one shall deny or obstruct access to any ecclesiastical person or body lawfully entitled to enter or use church property.

9. The management and day-to-day administration of church property at the local level are vested in parish assemblies or other legal entities and are subject to such prerogatives of the clergy as may be provided by law.

10. National, regional, provincial, diocesan, parish or other church trustees must perform their functions under the order and control of the appropriate assembly to which the law of a church renders them accountable.

11. No one shall deny or obstruct access to any ecclesiastical person or body lawfully entitled to enter or use church property.




Would someone get Mack on the phone?

9 comments:

obadiahslope said...

I can understand why a virginian anglican might be a tad suspicious of this document.
But I think you are being a little unfair. This bishop of Cork describes it this way
" It is the fruit of detailed analysis and comparison of 44 sets of laws from throughout Anglicanism. It is a description of the common principles identified and how they were formulated as common principles. It is not a project designed to give everyone the same ecclesial legal system."
It is not a blueprint, or legislation.
It is a description of how Anglican canon laws work around the communion.
Your mileage varies. Most provinces are in Commonwealth countries and have some form of property trust. The Us has a different history so It is not a commentary on your particular situation.
It not about you!

Anonymous said...

No, she is not being unfair she is being realistic. As the Canons of the EC have been abused, this new set encourages TEC to go even further. With Beers on this committee what would you expect.

If you thought it was bad before, get ready it is about to get worse.

obadiahslope said...

Not everything that happens in the anglican Communion is a plot by TEC. For your dark suspicions to be right, TEC would somehow have caused the canons of the other 37 provinces to be written to include property trusts. Strangely enough I doubt that that happened.
I understand your fears. I sympathise with your case against TEC. But I find your reading of this document lacks understanding of other contexts but your own.

Hening said...

Property is the truest necessity of the post-modern Anglican church. Without it, there is nowhere to go after protesting poverty, aids, global warming, intolerance towards sexual perversion and just kick the dust from your sandals, ignite the chandeliers, and feast.

All the fuss about biblical truths, all the confusion and illustrations about twisting Christ's words really comes down to real estate, and an open bar for the bishes.

Agape American Style:
"May the peace of the Lord have your people call my people. See you in ten."

1662 BCP said...

Wasn't the original wording "... life, liberty and the pursuit of property"? Most Americans are currently at a disadvantage because we don't know our history, the Constitution and what the Founding Fathers intended for this representative Republic, nor do they know Church History and Canon Law, much less the Bible. It wasn't for no reason that Oliver Cromwell declared "No Bishop,no King!" Now just try to relax, this won't hurt a bit.

Ann said...

Your paranoia is showing - this document is an analysis of the commonalities of Canon Law in all Provinces of the Anglican Communion - not a directive - information for consideration.

BabyBlue said...

Anon, that's an interesting point. It is true that after the last House of Bishops meeting we saw how the canons could be "reimagined" by the Presiding Bishop's chancellor (and she follows his orders - remember, after the Standing Committees of several dioceses lodged protests against the gross misuse of the canons in deposing two elderly bishops - it still just boggles the mind - the only statement to come out of 815 was a legal one, no statement from Schori until the letter she posted to the Diocese of Central Florida before she skipped town). We are now coming into the part of the litigation in Virginia where the contracts provision of the United States Constitution comes into play. And of course, from the Episcopal Church's point of view - this is all about property - the people are expendable.

It is no accident that David Booth Beers is on this committee - and yes, he has an agenda. Remember, it was Bishop Lee who requested that we vote in Virginia. Perhaps he never dreamed that thousands of Virginians would vote to separate from the Episcopal Church. He is a bit isolated down there at Mayo House. But after the vote it was clear that David Booth Beers had a very different point of view and intervened - as we know - big time.

Hening brings up an interesting point as well - it is about the property. The property is the facade that lends credibility to the American cultural innovations now being imposed on the communion. Without the facades their ideology lacks credibility. The facades and the uniforms that come with them are very crucial ingredients to make this whole immoral enterprise plausible.

#11 is particularly harsh. The Diocese of Virginia continues to promote the fiction that Episcopalians are being denied access to their church. This means that the there is concerted effort to sweep away from public memory the democratic voting that occurred by Bishop Lee's request - included n this request was that in addition to voting on whether to separate from the Episcopal Church, the congregations would vote who would retain the property - the minority or the majority. In overwhelming numbers - even larger than the vote to depart - the congregations voted that the majority should retain the property.

The Diocese of Virginia - and the Episcopal Church - have attempted to repeat the fiction that these properties are "abandoned" (well, that got thrown out early on by the court) and Episcopalians are being denied entry into their churches. Of course, Mayo House has only been able to put together very very small "shadows" at four of the churches, which is frankly cruel to those people in those shadows because the shadows are designed not as a service to those Episcopalians, but to shore up the Diocese's litigation.

#11 promotes that fiction. It assumes that people are being denied and that is frankly - wrong. It's more than wrong.

This document though is a top-down imposition of legal maneuvering to attempt to keep Episcopalians and Anglicans from fleeing - it is another brick in the Anglican Berlin Wall.

bb

Robert said...

I think it odd that the Bishops at Lambeth are too busy doing other things to address the central issue tearing our church apart, but have plenty of time to come up with a manifesto defending their right to take our property.
It is far too easy for people to sit on the sidelines and charge that we are paranoid when they have not had to contemplate a future many of us have had to.
Several posts on this thread asset that our concerns grow from an over focus on the U.S. property problems, but it is not paranoid to take into consideration the over representation of TEC at the table when figuring out what the priorities might be. Frankly, there is no other reason for this to even be a topic of discussion at Lambeth, but for Ms. Schori's focus on keeping "what is hers".

Anonymous said...

Regardless of which way the Virginia dispute is settled, I will never, never again be a member of a denomination which asserts claim to property above the local level.

CANA's By-Laws specifically state that each church owns its property and that CANA has no claim to said property.

Of course, Mr Rees and Mr Beers would probably argue that I am not an Anglican...

RalphM