Friday, June 26, 2009

Bishop Minns reports on the ACNA Assembly

via e-mail:

“The assembly meeting was a wonderful coming together of the various jurisdictions represented in the Anglican Church in North America. Everyone was determined to make it work and we kept our eyes on Jesus and the Gospel.

“Since day one, CANA has been and will continue to be a full participant in the life of the new province, and will continue to maintain our own identity. We will encourage groups of congregations, when they are ready, to establish themselves as free-standing dioceses. Our goal is to support the work, mission, and ministry of the Gospel on this continent and bring our own particular distinctive to that task.

“CANA congregations now have a ‘dual citizenship.’ They are members of the Church in Nigeria and as a result of that relationship, full members of the global Anglican Communion. CANA congregations are also members of the Anglican Church in North America and will participate fully in the life of the new province.

“CANA is unique in its connection to the largest province in the Anglican Communion, the Church of Nigeria, which represents about 25 percent of the entire population of the Communion. CANA also has a distinct connection with the GAFCON and Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans movement, and with the Global South. We have a radical commitment to ministry of the poor which crosses all ethnic lines, to planting new churches, equipping the next generation for leadership in the church, and educating the church about how to engage with a resurgent Islam in North America.

“The future involves radical inclusion, profound transformation, and inspired service. The vision has not changed. Jesus Christ is the same and the Gospel remains unchanged. The new province has given us a way to do this work more effectively and more collaboratively.”
UPDATE: Here is a Q&A with Bishop Minns and members of the CANA delegation to the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Assembly:
What were your impressions of the inaugural Assembly and what do you hope ACNA will achieve?
It was a wonderful coming together of the various jurisdictions represented in the Anglican Church in North America, everyone was determined to make it work and we kept our eyes upon Jesus and the gospel.

CANA is a founding member of ACNA. Please describe how CANA will operate as a member of ACNA.
Since Day 1, CANA has been and will continue to be a full participant in the life of the new province, and will continue to maintain our own identity. We will encourage groups of congregations when they are ready, to establish themselves as free-standing dioceses. Our goal is to support the work, mission, and ministry of the gospel on this continent and bring our own particular distinctive to that task.

Will any CANA districts such as the Anglican District of Virginia (ADV) or the Anglican District of the Great Lakes (ADGL) apply to become a new diocese in ACNA?
In time, it is expected that several clusters will be formed and will apply for recognition. In the coming months I will be working with groups across CANA who are wanting to explore this process.

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) amended its constitution to include CANA. Will CANA continue to have an official relationship with the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)?
Yes we will. Part of the work this summer is to meet with the canonical lawyers in the Church of Nigeria to work on this process. CANA has a significant number of Nigerian clergy and congregations. For many in CANA - both Nigerian and non-Nigerian - our link with the Anglican Church of Nigeria is important. We are also reminded through this link that the body of Christ is larger than North America and that we are members of the global family of believers.
Will CANA congregations have two Archbishops: Archbishop Bob Duncan of ACNA and Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria?
CANA congregations will continue to be under my leadership as Missionary Bishop. I will continue to be a missionary bishop in the Church of Nigeria, however I will be working closely with Archbishop Duncan in the work that takes place in North America. For a period of time, CANA congregations will have a 'dual citizenship'. They will be members of the Church in Nigeria and as a result of that relationship, full members of the global Anglican Communion. CANA congregations are also members of the Anglican Church in North America. CANA is a founding member and full participant in ACNA and will participate fully in the life of the new province.

Will CANA congregations have to join a new diocese in ACNA or will they be able to stay as CANA congregations?
No one will be required to change anything. I am encouraging CANA churches to move forward and develop missionary structures that help us do the work of the gospel.

What distinctives can CANA offer member churches and ACNA?
First, our connections with the largest Province of the Anglican Communion, the Church of Nigeria which represents about 25% of the entire population of the Communion. CANA also has a distinct connection with the GAFCON and Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans movement, and with the Global South. We have a radical commitment to ministry of the poor which crosses all ethnic lines, to planting new churches, equipping the 'next generation' for leadership in the church, and educating the church about how to engage with a resurgent Islam in North America.

Are new congregations and clergy joining CANA?
Absolutely. The numbers continue to grow. We are welcoming new clergy and new congregations on a regular basis. We also have a growing number of individuals who are seeking ordination.

As you consider the inauguration of ACNA and the continued ministry of CANA, what are some of the challenges and opportunities that are ahead?
We need to keep our eyes fixed on the gospel and mission, rather than becoming side-tracked with lots of debates and discussion about the things we disagree over. Sometimes questions about structure can consume us; however, I believe we need to keep focused on the local congregation fulfilling the mission of the gospel.

On a personal level, you have worked hard to see ACNA established. What now is the future for Martyn Minns?
This is only the very first step. A lot of work remains to be done. By God's grace, I anticipate being involved in this ongoing work to find ways where we can have a common mission and strategy across the nation; ways where our worship can have a common life, common governance so that structures serve the ministry of the church! There is a huge amount of work still to be done. I will also continue to encourage clergy to faithfully fulfill the ministry that has been entrusted to them and offer leadership in the growth of the local church and the planting of new congregations.

This week we found out that churches and clergy in the USA formerly under the jurisdiction of Uganda now are part of their own diocese within the new province. Does that mean they are no longer members of ADV?
Those who are in Virginia remain part of ADV in mission and ministry. Their new jurisdictional home was established so that the clergy and congregations associated with Uganda could be transferred and become part of only the Anglican Church in North America and no longer be canonically resident or under the jurisdiction of Uganda.
How will the roles of various bishops who have helped orthodox congregations through this transition change within the new province?
We are going to invite some of the bishops who have assisted in the past to serve as episcopal consultants; they will therefore be part of the college of bishops in the new province. Some of the bishops will have a change in their assignments and this will help to further strengthen our shared life together.
Will the constitution and canons for ACNA continue to change and is there a formal group tasked with overseeing that process?
I believe that we have a strong foundation from which we can move forward. There will be a group that will be tasked to deal with any changes or amendments. Archbishop Duncan chose as the first chancellor for the ACNA the best person for the job: Hugo Blankingship. Hugo is a supremely distinguished canonical lawyer who loves Jesus and the church. He was the son of a bishop, a former member of Truro Church, and more recently of The Falls Church (Falls Church, Virginia). Also, CANA's own Chancellor Scott Ward will be the assistant ACNA chancellor assisting Hugo for affairs in the USA, while Mrs. Cheryl Chang will help in Canada.

How does the ACNA constitution address church property issues?
As is the case in CANA, the emphasis in ACNA is on each congregation owing its own property. We have made it very clear that there will be no claims made against local church property by the Province - in contrast to what The Episcopal Church is doing.

What is the vision for the future?
The challenge is to keep our eyes firmly fixed upon the Lord himself and to keep the main thing as the main thing. The future involves radical inclusion, profound transformation, and inspired service. The vision has not changed. Jesus Christ is the same and the gospel remains unchanged! The new province has given us a way to do this work more effectively and more collaboratively.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

A resurgent Islam? Is this the next group CANA is going to vilify?

BabyBlue said...

If you care about Africa, Anon, you might do some homework.

bb

Martha said...

Hm. This is interesting news to me. I sort of thought that once the ACNA was established CANA would be absorbed into the larger organization. I did not know CANA was going to continue to maintain an individual presence, as both CANA and belonging to the ACNA.

1662 BCP said...

Martha,
I think that you are not alone; in the coming weeks I believe that there will be many such surprises for those who thought they knew where this was going.

BabyBlue said...

CANA churches retain their direct connection to the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion due to the litigation currently underway. For example, in Virginia the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia are appealing to the Virginia Supreme Court over their losses in the Circuit court and so the churches must remain in CANA until the conclusion of the litigation. CANA churches and clergy enjoy dual citizenship until the conclusion of the litigation when it is expected that dioceses will be formed, including a diocese in Virginia.

bb

Anonymous said...

Bb-

Minns didn't say Islam resurgent in Africa, but in North America, according to your post. So putting aside your charmingly smug quip, Minns is now getting his followers to become "educated" about Muslims in North America? What kind of education will that be?

Anonymous said...

So CANA is simply an artifact that continues to exist for litigation purposes?

Anonymous said...

Many CANA churches are Nigerian Anglican churches in the US, catering to the NIgerian disapora. The predated the demise of ECUSA, are an integral part of the Church of Nigeria, and will remain so after APNA is accepted into the communion and ECUSA remains only as a bad dream.

BabyBlue said...

I believe the issue is radical or resurgent Islam. There are lots of ways to approach the issues, a major one being the freedom and equality for women.

bb

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine why the Virginia litigation would require continuing organizational alignment with the Nigerians. The departure and the plan for taking the property was orchestrated to fit into the language of the Virginia "Division Statute". However, there was nothing in that process that made alignment with the Nigerians particularly significant other than that it supported the argument that the parishes were still part of the Anglican Communion, which was represented to be significant for pushing the right buttons within the Division Statute. I guess the problem is that until ACNA's status within the Anglican Communion is clarified, CANA parishes don't want to risk upsetting the apple cart that has worked so well to date in the Virginia statutory context. If ACNA were deemed to be a province of the Anglican Communion to the same extent as Nigeria, the property game in Virginia could proceed as it has to date. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Scout

Anonymous said...

I don't know where the previous comment went, but I agree. It is sad that those who remained with the Episcopal Church are vilified and scoffed at as artifices, when CANA is being discussed as a tool to create a favorable situation under Virginia's laws.

I think the people who remained are trying to be faithful and I hope some tempering of the rhetoric could happen.

BabyBlue said...

Interesting how the word "Nigerians" is used in the earlier post. Interesting that the word "Nigerians" is used instead of the Church of Nigeria. Why is that?

One wonder if it was the Anglican Church of Norway rather than the Anglican Church of Nigeria whether the poster would have used the word Norwegians? What if the sentence read "I can't imagine why the Virginia litigation would require continuing organizational alignment with the Norwegians." Sort of changes the tone of the post, doesn't it?

The fact is, the Anglican Church of Nigeria, the Anglican Church of Uganda, the Anglican Church of Kenya, the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone, the Anglican Church of Rwanda, the Church of Southeast Asia - all these came to help congregations, clery, and laity who separated from the Episcopal Church but desire to remain in the Anglican Communion. The Global South of the Anglican Communion created life boats.

For the churches in Virginia, the offer still stands from the congregations that make up the Anglican District of Virginia to return to the negotiating table and continue the process put in place by the Bishop of Virginia Special Committee and written by his own chancellor. The congregations did not walk away from the table, The Episcopal Church did - days after Bishop Lee requested the congregations to send representatives to his official "property committee."

As part of the Protocol process, the parishes in Virginia voted to join the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. That is where the parishes remain, though CANA is also a founding member of ACNA. What is amazing is that the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion stands by the Virginia congregations even now.

Let's just remember where the "property game" started - and who started it - who cut off the negotiations abruptly within days of appointing representatives. And let's also remember that the protocol - written by the Diocese of Virginia Chancellor - was written with the laws and statutes of the Commonwealth of Virginia in mind.

The hope of the Virginia Protocol was the hope first spelled out by the Bishop of Virginia - that the CANA Congregations and the DoV Congregations remain "in as close a communion as possible." That was the hope, that was the goal.

bb

DavidH said...

Interesting how the word "Nigerians" is used in the earlier post. Interesting that the word "Nigerians" is used instead of the Church of Nigeria. Why is that?

Oh, please. Nigerians is not a racial slur. Because Anglicanism runs (generally) along national boundaries, the members of the Church of Nigeria are Nigerians. You sound like a Democrat -- searching for racial slurs wherever possible.

For the churches in Virginia, the offer still stands from the congregations that make up the Anglican District of Virginia to return to the negotiating table and continue the process put in place by the Bishop of Virginia Special Committee and written by his own chancellor.

You mean the Committee that had no ability to put anything in place, I take it. And the process that both the Diocese and TEC killed before anything was in place? And the parts of the Protocol that the CANA Congregations chose to adopt (as opposed to the parts you ignored).


As part of the Protocol process, the parishes in Virginia voted to join the Convocation of Anglicans in North America.


As part of a years-long process designed by their lawyers, the CANA Congregations successfully resuscitated a statute that is a relic and used it against the Diocese that had been very good to them. You have taught Episcopal bishops everywhere that the hard-line approach is best. Congratulations.


Let's just remember where the "property game" started - and who started it - who cut off the negotiations abruptly within days of appointing representatives. And let's also remember that the protocol - written by the Diocese of Virginia Chancellor - was written with the laws and statutes of the Commonwealth of Virginia in mind.


And the fantasy continues. The property game started when your congregations seceded and then went to court first in an effort to take the property. Who started the game and who cut off the negotiations are two different things.

Also, you may be able to hoodwink those who don't know much about either document, but the "Protocol" and 57-9 are very different.


The hope of the Virginia Protocol was the hope first spelled out by the Bishop of Virginia - that the CANA Congregations and the DoV Congregations remain "in as close a communion as possible." That was the hope, that was the goal.


Yup, then the CANA Congregations said "no" to being in communion with anyone who was in communion with those the CANA Congregations think heretics. Your right, of course. But enough with the ridiculous "we just want to be friends" revisionism.

KAY4 said...

Among other things, I applaud Minns - and Duncan - for saying that we need to engage Islam. Aye, there is the "women's rights" issue but more than that, there is the question of lives at sake. Not just in the temporal sense, although cases have been made for the deadly results of radical Islam, but in the spiritual sense. Islam is rapidly growing in North America as in other places in the world. It purports to be the truth. It promises order where there is no order, justice where there is no justice, a disciplined life where chaos formally existed. It is very seductive, especially to outcast men. And it's a LIE. The only truth is Christ; Duncan reiterated that the other night. Christians need to reach out to Muslims, to show them the real God, approachable through Christ. We don't need to be confrontational - it doesn't work anyway. We need to reach out with love. The Gospel is a powerful message. It can transform lives and we need to get in there and transform Muslim lives and bring those folks to Christ. Sure, we'll see an immediate benefit in the short term, in the temporal, but the "long term" gains are immeasurable. However, this isn't amateur hour at the Ritz. When leaders say, "We need a way to reach out," they are right. This has to be done properly, carefully, and with love.

BabyBlue said...

The rules for voting were based both on the laws and statutes of the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as the canons of the Diocese of Virginia. If folks have an issue with that, they should possibly consider bringing it up with the Chancellor of the Diocese of Virginia.

The Diocese of Virginia participated in the Virginia congregations' 40 Days of Discernment - it was in order and it was following a long process. I supposed one could argue that Bishop Lee never dreamed that the majorities would vote so overwhelmingly as they did. The next step in that process following the votes was the implementation of the bishop's Property Committee (at one point, Bishop Lee called it his "Get On With It" committee). ;-) The churches were requested by the Bishop of Virginia to send two representatives from the voting churches each for the Property Committee.

All Saints Dale City was the trial balloon that was used to try out the process before all the other congregations followed. They had voted in late spring or early summer of 2006, even before Columbus. But that was when Frank Griswold was the PB and his policy had been that these were diocesan issues, for dioceses to work out and not an 815 matter.

It was just a few days after the representatives were chosen in January 2007 that the Property Committee was suddenly disbanded by Bishop Lee and the lawsuits were filed against the congregations, their rectors, trustees, and lay leaders - followed not long after by more lawsuits filed by Katharine Jefferts Schori against all the same people.

Bishop Schori's lawyer, David Booth Beers, met with the leadership of the Diocese of Virginia in the time period between when the churches selected their representatives and when Bishop Lee called it all off. That must have been some meeting.

bb

deborah said...

All Saints Dale City was a "trial ballon." Good to know, given that Guernsey portrayed his congregation as not part of CANA and independent. And the process resulted in All Saints giving up their sanctified property for non-sanctified acres up the street - something Yates, Minns, Harper, et al. were absolutely unwilling to contemplate. How much money did All Saints pay? None.

For a former leader of the Diocese, it is startling and sad how much you seem to either not understand, choose to ignore, or try to wish away by regurgitating statements crafted by Minns' PR folks.

You've left the Episcopal Church. Can you not, therefore leave the Episcopal Church alone? Go forth, as all of us do, and seek the Lord as you best are able.

And thank you, David, for the helpful, clear, and honest response. I've heard this tale too many times without someone saying "oh, puh-lease" as you did.

BabyBlue said...

All Saints Dale City negotiated a settlement. The process that All Saints went through was the prototype of what all the parishes were to follow. It had been the intention of All Saints, who had outgrown the current location, to move to a larger location and the settlement meant that they could continue in their current property until their new church building is completed.

Bishop Lee had requested the ability to negotiate with each parish separately regarding the property rather than through CANA or the Anglican District of Virginia. In that way it would be very similar to the negotiations with All Saints.

The point is, the Diocese of Virginia participated in the process - and it was a hard process, it was not easy - throughout 2006 while Frank Griswold was Presiding Bishop. That all changed in November when Bishop Schori was installed as the new Presiding Bishop.

It was Bishop Lee who stated the mission, the vision was to find a way to remain in as close a communion as possible. I don't believe that mission, even that vision, has changed, even now.

bb

Anonymous said...

Since I used the term, "Nigerians", without sensing it had any negative meaning other than to refer to the Anglican Province of Nigeria, I'm surprised that BB or anyone else thinks it is a pejorative or negative term. And, yes, to follow your lead, I suppose I would have said "Norwegians" had it been a Norwegian Anglican Province that the parishes had aligned with. I'm not sure why we would assume anything is amiss with this.

My only point was that I understand why the departing Virginia parishes have to maintain that they retain both the Nigerian connections and the new ACNA alignment simultaneously. The Nigerian (or Anglican Church of Nigeria, it makes no difference) connection is part of the structure of fitting the Virginia events into the Virginia statute. I haven't heard anyone say anything to the contrary.

In other states, the plan is to extricate something that passes for the diocese as a whole from ECUSA. In some of those situations, the departing groups (Pittsburgh and at least one of the dioceses in Texas, if memory serves) are holding onto the "Episcopal" nomenclature. I haven't figured out a good reason for that unless it is to plug into the legal fight over property. In Virginia, because of the peculiarities of the statute, and because the Diocese itself shows no sign of slipping its moorings from ECUSA, they will have to continue with the link to an established Anglican province elsewhere for legal reasons relating to the control of the property.

If I'm wrong about this, I'm sure someone can explain it.

Scout

BabyBlue said...

Yes, Scout, we do agree there! The CANA congregations must continue to remain within the Church of Nigeria until the litigation is completed, though the CANA congregation enjoy "dual citizenship" as British often are able to retain their passport even when they become citizens of other countries (I recently rode in the press van at the ACNA Assembly and one of the Canadians is a Canadian citizen, but he's British-born so he holds two passports). The Commonwealth of Virginia Statute 57-9 contains a word "branch" that is very important - a long time was spent in Circuit Court defining that word.

I can speculate on why the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has retained their name and it may have something to do with their incorporation - that is, it's their incorporated and legal name and according the legal ramifications of voting as they did, they rightfully retain their legal name when they voted to disaffiliate from TEC. If the Episcopal Church wanted to establish a new diocese in Pittsburgh they could have done it, but since the number of churches who wish to remain in TEC is quite small, it may have been better to just affiliate with another diocese in the state (it's not like we're talking big numbers here). But that was not the intention of Bishop Schori's office to do that, but rather to pursue litigation instead of respecting the voting of the diocesan leadership according to their own canons.

In the end, what does drive many of the decisions at this point - for better or for worse - is litigation. Believe me, that makes me very sad on all counts.

bb

Anonymous said...

d'accord, bb, re the evils of litigation.

Scout

Anonymous said...

BB,

All this "leave my Episcopal church alone" reminds me of the "Leave Britney Alone" guy. The fact that we've been objecting over many years fell on deaf ears. So many have left one way or another. Where is the love of Christ for them? Where is the love of Christ for those of us still in TEC but still not buying the New Deal? A one-way conversation. Gimme. Gimme your building, your DOK cross. Gimme. Lawsuit. Christ said no. Christ has said no in so many ways which are ignored by TEC. Where does any of what TEC is doing show love?

TEC can try to rewrite the Bible, rewrite the liturgy, rewrite "membership", steal through litigation or canons not approved, but there is one thing TEC can't do and that is change His very nature. And TEC can't separate me, mine, BabyBlue or anyone else (including TEC if they submit to Him) from the love of God. But they can separate themselves from Him.

BB, keep up the good work. The hostility/persecution you keep getting is because you are working in the name of Jesus Christ. TEC has been blinded to the truth. They just don't get it. Nor do they want to. They don't have to come here, but they chose to because you won't give in.

May God continue to give you His strength to stand firm in His faith.

The Lakeland Two

Anonymous said...

I am a regular BB reader, and I have never sensed that she is being persecuted. I also sense a great deal of hostility in the last comment.

Perhaps we could just say that issues of separation are stressful for many on both sides of the schism.

Scout

BabyBlue said...

Well, the celebrated Cafe Anons certainly are dropping by a bit more often lately.;-)

bb

Anonymous said...

No, Scout, you don't sense hostility on my part. Sadness, weariness, wariness, frustration and plain tired of the games and dishonesty.

The 60 some churches under litigation showed super majorities of those choosing not to follow the New Thing. Why are they such a threat that they have to be punished by taking property that they and their forebearers built? Why is the Anglican "tent" big enough for every progressive thing, but not big enough to handle conservatives. Yet it is a Biblical principle not to sue your Christian brothers. 60 lawsuits. Obviously, the Dennis Canon wasn't accepted by a significant number no matter how much Schori wants to diminish them as a small minority.

Scout says that Scout is a regular reader yet Scout hasn't seen persecution of BabyBlue on this site, or even in this thread. Re-read the thread, especially Deborah and DavidH's comments. Just because you don't want to see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.


It is through threads like this that remind me over and over again why there is separation. The Anglican "tent" is supposed to big enough to allow a broad range of belief...until conservatives say - "wow- too far for me." I recall quite well that no one was to be forced into accepting women as priests. The Anglican "tent" is big enough.... What happened to that?

That you don't see the hostility that BabyBlue has encountered even in this thread does not surprise me. Nor does your projection of hostility on me because I simply acknowledge it exists surprise me.

The Lakeland Two

Anonymous said...

David H said:

"Nigerians is not a racial slur. Because Anglicanism runs (generally) along national boundaries, the members of the Church of Nigeria are Nigerians."

The way many in the TEC Dicoese of Virginia say it, typically with a sneer and perhaps a deliberate mispronunciation, it clearly is. Whether any particular blogger means it that way, I don't know. And I suspect many of the CANA folks are proud to be called Nigerians.

"You mean the Committee that had no ability to put anything in place, I take it. And the process that both the Diocese and TEC killed before anything was in place?"

Umm, the bishop had the ability under the VA canons to make the agreement. You cannot cite any part of the VA canons that says otherwise. Even the property settlement part of the bishop's protocol conforms to the canons.

"And the parts of the Protocol that the CANA Congregations chose to adopt (as opposed to the parts you ignored)."

Those would be?

"the CANA Congregations successfully resuscitated a statute that is a relic and used it against the Diocese that had been very good to them."

I thought you just stated that the Dicoese had for a year deliberately mislead the CANA churches into thinking the bishop had the authority to agree to the protocol, even telling them to proceed under it? Exactly how is that being good to them?

And by the way, just how old does a law have to be before it isn't good any longer? Or does it depend upon whether one likes that law or not?

"And the fantasy continues. The property game started when your congregations seceded and then went to court first in an effort to take the property. Who started the game and who cut off the negotiations are two different things."

Let's see. Bishop agrees to a protocol that was titled, let's see, "for departing congregations". Then the congregations vote to depart under the terms of the protocol. Then the congregations and the diocese begin to negotiate the terms of the property settlment under the terms of the protocol. Then the diocese and the congregations enter into a standstill agreement that allows the congregations to file under 57-9. It is filed. Then the diocese backs out of negotiations and reneges on the protocol.

Why does the Diocese want to deny that happened? We know the bishop agreed to one thing, then reneged, so why keep trying to revise the past? Perhaps some think the unsavouriness of the diocese' behavior can be whitewashed, but the facts have a way of shining through.

"But enough with the ridiculous 'we just want to be friends' revisionism."

Well, I know some people at the Diocese wanted to be friends with other Anglicans, and negotiated a friendly agreement with them, but then the people who think being friends with other Anglicans is ridiculous took over.

DavidH said...

Anon at 11:06,

The way many in the TEC Dicoese of Virginia say it [Nigerians], typically with a sneer and perhaps a deliberate mispronunciation, it clearly is.

There's no audio on blog posts and thus no basis to assume that in this case, particularly given that the members of the Anglican Church of Nigeria are Nigerians. My point was about BB's hypersensitivity. I also would love to hear a specific, non-anonymous instance where anyone in a position of leadership within the Diocese added a "g", as you imply.

Umm, the bishop had the ability under the VA canons to make the agreement. You cannot cite any part of the VA canons that says otherwise.

Thank you for playing, but no. The Standing Committee must, under Canon 15.2, approve anything that involves disposition of consecrated property (and all of the CANA folks have such property). And it is the Executive Board, under 15.3, that has authority to act when the Diocese believes property abandoned, as here.

Even the property settlement part of the bishop's protocol conforms to the canons.

Because it recognizes a diocesan ownership interest and requires the consent of the Standing Committee and Exec Board.

"And the parts of the Protocol that the CANA Congregations chose to adopt (as opposed to the parts you ignored)." Those would be?

Paragraph 3(f), the wording of the second resolution, which is a substantive matter and which the CANA folks all ignored because their lawyers knew that following it was not a good idea. Some of the CANA folks didn't meet 3(a) and varied 3(e) too. Thanks for asking.

I thought you just stated that the Dicoese had for a year deliberately mislead the CANA churches into thinking the bishop had the authority to agree to the protocol, even telling them to proceed under it?

No, that was you, misstating what happened. I was referring to the many years before that, when Bishop Lee and the Diocese bent over backwards so as not to impose upon the now-CANA folks.

And by the way, just how old does a law have to be before it isn't good any longer? Or does it depend upon whether one likes that law or not?

Those familiar with Virginia church property law know that a lot has changed in the last 20-30 years. I believe, as the Diocese argues, that 57-9 is not consistent with modern church property law in Virginia.

BTW, you may want to read the St. James petition to the US Supreme Court, which makes the same relic argument about Watson v. Jones -- a case decided a few years after 57-9 was passed. What's good for the goose...

Let's see. Bishop agrees to a protocol that was titled, let's see, "for departing congregations".

Apparently, your vision is clouded. According to the evidence introduced at trial, the Bishop agreed only to take the "Protocol" to the Standing Committee and Executive Board, where it died before ever being adopted by anyone -- something the CANA folks knew good and well (as, for example, David Allison testified at trial).

Then the congregations vote to depart under the terms of the protocol.... Then the diocese backs out of negotiations and reneges on the protocol.

Your timeline is bass-ackwards. And you can't renege on something you never agreed to.

the facts have a way of shining through.

They do indeed.

And persecution? Please.

Anonymous said...

It was said:

"The Standing Committee must, under Canon 15.2, approve anything that involves disposition of consecrated property."

Which is consistent with the protocol, which says:

"g. If the second vote passes by a 70% majority, the amount of payment to the Diocese for its claim to the real and personal property and the terms of such payment shall be determined by agreement, after disclosure of the nature and amount of the parish assets, between representatives of the departing congregation and representatives of the Diocese, appointed by the Bishop. The representatives of the Diocese should include a representative of the remaining congregation, if available. In approaching their agreement, we urge the parties to be guided by principles of fairness, equity and Christian charity. h. Any agreement will require the further consent of the Bishop, Standing Committee, and Executive Board."

Which, since it was drafted by the Chancellor, is understandable. Does anyone really think the Bishop did not understand what he was doing when his Chancellor showed him that? I also wonder what part of being "guided by principles of fairness, equity and Christian charity" the Standing Committee did not like.

"Paragraph 3(f), the wording of the second resolution, which is a substantive matter and which the CANA folks all ignored because their lawyers knew that following it was not a good idea. Some of the CANA folks didn't meet 3(a) and varied 3(e) too. Thanks for asking."

I assume you are referring to the voting standards. The Diocese claimed deficiencies in the way the votes were taken, but the evidence for that did not seem to persuade the court.

"I was referring to the many years before that, when Bishop Lee and the Diocese bent over backwards so as not to impose upon the now-CANA folks."

I wasn't. I was referring to the last few years when the Bishop and Diocese treated them poorly and it seems evident tried to deceive them into thinking the Dicoese was acting in good faith in the protocol process, then only to reverse itself and sue once the usefulness of the process as a delaying tactic had failed.

"I believe, as the Diocese argues, that 57-9 is not consistent with modern church property law in Virginia."

Good, the courts will decide.

"'Then the congregations vote to depart under the terms of the protocol.... Then the diocese backs out of negotiations and reneges on the protocol.' Your timeline is bass-ackwards."

The Protocol, which called for the discernment period and vote, was approved unanimously by the Bishop's Committee in September 2006. The vote, after the 40 days of discernment, was around Nov. 12-13. Lee wrote a nasty letter in early December, I recall. The standstill agreement was entered into on December 18, 2006. And the property committee members were appointed in early January, 2007. The Dicoese only broke off negotiations after meeting with David Booth Beers in January, 2007.

Backwards? Interesting way of looking at things.

Look, people can go and read the protocol themselves. It is here:

http://www.thediocese.net/News_services/pressroom/docs/special_committee_report.pdf

And the standstill agreement is here:

http://babybluecafe.blogspot.com/2008/01/yes-virginia-there-was-standstill.html

I would encourage people to read them and see what the Diocese said and did. And I think people also understand that this type of ocurrance and this exchange serves as pretty good testimony on how life is for the orthodox in the Episcopal Church Welcomes You these days, and explains a lot.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, got some of the dates mixed up. The vestries voted in mid-November. The Falls Church membership vote was on Dec. 10. Not sure when the other votes by other parishes were taken, but most were about the same time. The 40 days, referred to in the protocol, and with the knowledge of the Bishop, began in September and had ended in October 2006.

DavidH said...

Anon at 12:04 pm,

You're persistently wrong about facts and misinterpret matters (many of which were discussed in Court filings but upon which the Court never ruled, by the way). Puts you in good company here with BB.

And you have your mind made up, which is fine but my tolerance for debating that's not true debate is very limited. Have a good evening.