Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court

From the Anglican District of Virginia, via e-mail:

FAIRFAX, Va. (April 7, 2009) – In response to the appeal in the Virginia church property litigation filed on Tuesday, April 7 by the Diocese of Virginia and The Episcopal Church, the Anglican District of Virginia Vice-Chairman Jim Oakes issued the following statement:
“We are saddened that The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia find it necessary to continue this litigation with an appeal filed during Holy Week. The appeal process will cost additional millions of dollars that could be spent on mission and ministry. Both sides have already spent some $5 million in legal costs, money that could have gone to helping our communities during these tough economic times. The legal victories we’ve had so far in support of our religious freedom have only encouraged us to stand firm in our Anglican faith and work together to deliver the message of Christ.

“Since our final legal victory in December 2008, the Anglican District of Virginia has added two more congregations, bringing out total to 25 congregations and three mission fellowships. This continuing growth here and around the country is tangible evidence of the hunger for orthodox Anglicanism in the U.S. Despite today’s appeal, we will continue to move on with our mission to spread the transforming news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our doors are open to everyone, especially those who thirst for transformation and renewal.”
An interesting way to begin Holy Week. The seal is the official Commonwealth of Virginia State Seal.

UDPATE: The Diocese of Virginia's appeal is here and the separate appeal from Katharine Jefferts Schori is here.


DavidH said...

The Holy Week stuff is baloney, bb, and you know it. Deadlines are set by court rules, and you don't get to ask the Supreme Court of Virginia if you could please file a week or two late so that it's not a sensitive point on the religious calendar.

And again, had it gone the other way in the trial court, I'm betting Jim Oakes wouldn't have been so terribly saddened to see an appeal.

These are the games that PR warriors play, of course.

Allen said...

The Seal of our Virginia should be adopted by TEC's PB Office: A woman standing on the throat of a man.

Oh, BTW David H:

You can't polish dung and sell it off as shine. The "appeal" should have never been considered...but what are more millions spent while one is continually told that they are losing, losing, losing, and sure enough....they DO keep losing? The definition of insanity is to repeat failed choices.

DavidH said...

Except that no one has appealed these issues before now, Allen, which makes your attempt at cleverness with the "repeat[ing] failed choices" bit inaccurate and thus just lame.

Anonymous said...

"Final legal victory in 2008"?

Technically, and wonderfully so, true. It was the final legal victory in 2008. It was not the final legal victory. Not yet, it isn't.

The Episcopal Church has won everywhere else. If I were with CANA leadership, I'd be thinking long and hard about that.

Allen said...


The repeating failed choices occurred during the trial. The TEC and Diocese lawyers were handed their heads and they could clearly see that Virginia law...and public opinion is against them. Yet, they poured countless lawyer hours into the futility and rehashed arguments that were scuttled effectively time and again.

THAT's insane.

How much more so to start it all over again!

DavidH said...

Allen, it's easy to assert that Virginia law favors one side or another, but that's just electronic chatter -- the entire point of the appeal is to determine who Virginia law favors.

I suppose you will never seek a second opinion medically. You'll never ask more than one friend their opinion on something. The first time you encounter a result that isn't to your liking, you give up. An interesting way to live, but not what I think most would choose. Appellate courts exist for a reason.

Andy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy said...

I was thing about the Great Seal of the Commonwealth and took a slightly different take:

The Virginia 11 are represented by a woman attorney with great skill and legal accumen, while TEC is reprented by a male attorney of note, with a seemingly bottomless purse.

Even if the Virginia Remonstrants prevail, I don't believe that this legal saga will end. In fact, I can almost imagine 815 carrying this case to their supreme deity, the UN, and having the case heard in the Hague.

TEC, please in fiscal integrity, follow the admonition of Gamaiel in Acts 5. If CANA, ACNA, et al are merely troublesome agitators, they'll come to nothing. Or, you may find yourself at war with the Almighty himself.

Like ol' Brother Lon at McClean says...

Anonymous said...

I understand your point, DavidH. However, when one reads all of Judge Bellows's decisions in the suit against the breakaway congregations, he makes clear which arguments he finds consistent with VA law. And consistently those arguments are not the ones presented by the DioVa and TEC.

Anonymous said...

Legal deadlines are set by Courts, yes. But one does not have to wait until the last day (which fell in Holy Week, evidently), to file an appeal. So you are wrong when you suggest the Diocese and TEC had not choice about when to file. They did.

Anonymous said...

The other denominations have waded in. The Court will be listening to them.

ADV better start thinking about leasing new space.