Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Episcopal Church returns to court

It does take a chart to keep up with all the litigation going on in the Episcopal Church these days. Here's the latest from the Diocese of Colorado, where Grace and St. Stephen's Church are on the docket with the Bishop of Colorado, Robert O'Neill:
The highlight of the week was Wednesday's cross examination of O'Neill, bishop of the Colorado Episcopal diocese, by Gregory Walta, attorney for the breakaway congregation.

Walta attempted to characterize the bishop as unfamiliar with the nuances of property law within his own diocese, and ignorant of the property history, financial situations and most decisions at Grace Church & St. Stephen's.

O'Neill, who was consecrated as Colorado bishop in October 2003, testified that he had never seen Grace Church's 1973 Articles of Incorporation, the bedrock of the plaintiff's case. He also said nothing was done when an attorney in 2003 informed the diocese that Grace Church's 1973 corporation did not conform to Episcopal canon law.

When Walta showed O'Neill documents that Grace Church bought and sold property without the consent of the diocese, a violation of canon law, O'Neill blamed Grace Church rector Don Armstrong for the vestry's failure to seek approval of property transactions. "The rector is failing to educate the vestry in canonical responsibility," O'Neill said.
Read it all here.

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