Skip to comments.Taskforce of lawyers ready for Anglican split
Posted on 11/21/2005 11:54:31 AM PST by sionnsar
American Anglican bishops have set up a taskforce of lawyers to prevent breakaway conservative congregations holding onto property worth billions of dollars.
The group was set up following a meeting in San Juan of the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church of the USA (ECUSA). The Church is facing a schism over the decision of the diocese of New Hampshire to ordain a practising gay man as bishop.
Conservative dioceses in the US have threatened to secede from ECUSA and form their own Anglican province. Some parishes in liberal dioceses have already declared themselves out of communion with their bishop and have asked traditional bishops from other provinces - particularly England and Africa - to carry out confirmations and ordinations.
A liberal Episcopalian group has already drawn up plans to oust the conservatives in the event of a split. The group proposes to file charges against the bishops in Church courts, replace them with interim liberal bishops and then file claims in the secular courts to seize diocesan property.
The final schism could come at ECUSA's general convention in Ohio next June. If the delegates vote to uphold the consecration of Gene Robinson in New Hampshire, conservative bishops are expected to walk out.
Speaking in London last weekend, Robinson accused the Catholic Church of vile' treatment of homosexuals. He said he had seen many Catholics becoming Anglicans, adding: Pope Ratzinger may be the best thing that ever happened to the Episcopal Church.
The Robinson consecration and the blessing of same-sex marriages' in North America have already led a number of parishes to break away from ECUSA.
Six weeks ago in Florida,12 parishes and 35 priests formed the Anglican Alliance of North Florida (AANF). The group includes congregations which have already put themselves under the authority of overseas bishops.
On the west coast, three Anglican churches have just won the latest round of their court battle to cut their links with the diocese of Los Angeles while holding onto their property. Orange County Superior Court Judge David Velasquez ruled that ECUSA had no valid claim of ownership over local parish land and buildings.
Ten days ago, four Ohio congregations also voted to split from the national church.
The parishes have voted to affiliate with the diocese of Bolivia in the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. The South American diocese is led by conservative bishop Frank Lyon.
The divisions caused by the Robinson consecration have now spread worldwide. The Bishop of Southwark in London last week revoked the licence of a clergyman who invited a South African bishop to ordain three priests at his church in Wimbledon.
Rev Richard Coekin, minister of Dundonald Church, said: Some bishops in England think they can re-invent the Christian faith by tearing difficult pages out of the Bible in the name of political correctness, and their latest statement on civil partnerships is the last straw.
Interesting perspective, Vicki.
"Bishop" Robinson must be totally delusional if he hasn't noticed the max exodus of Episcopalians to the RCC and to conservative protestant churches over the past few years since his "ordination". If he thinks that the Episcopal church will grow as a result of this schism, he is delusional in a manner that only few can reach and still function in normal society.
By his fruits shall we know him.
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