Skip to comments.'Extinct' Episcopal Parish Refuses to Hand Over Keys to Property
Posted on 11/29/2005 9:04:30 AM PST by sionnsar
(AgapePress) - An Episcopal congregation in Rochester, New York, is determined to hold on to its property -- despite being declared "extinct" by its diocese.
Bishop Jack McKelvy with the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester recently declared All Saints Episcopal Church "extinct" because of its opposition to the denomination's homosexual rights agenda. But the attorney for the parish says it is "alive in Christ" -- and anything but extinct.
While Bishop McKelvy wishes to take over the parish's property, the parish claims the diocese has no legal right to do so. Attorney Raymond Dague, who will represent All Saints should the congregation be sued by the diocese, says McKelvey came down on the parish like a "SWAT team."
"When the bishop came asking for the keys, we sent him packing with nothing but a handshake," the attorney explains. "We were very polite. He brought his chancellor, meaning his head lawyer, with him, and we shook hands, we exchanged business cards.
"He asked for the keys to the church," Dague continues. "He wanted possession of it, he wanted to install his pastor there. And we politely told him, 'No, you're not going to do that.'"
Dague says the standard under New York law does not allow the parish to be declared "extinct," so he does not believe the diocese can seize the parish's property through civil recourse. And while the dispute may eventually be hashed out in court, the attorney says he hopes that never happens.
"We're not going to sue the bishop," Dague says. "Will he sue us? Generally Christians are not supposed to be suing one another. I would hope that he would abide by that scriptural admonition -- but I am a little bit concerned because there was a very thinly veiled threat that a lawsuit may be coming. It's not coming from us."
The Episcopal bishop of Connecticut recently seized the property of an orthodox parish in Bristol. That parish, along with five other like-minded congregations, has since sued the diocese.
They should have tried flyers for free Gucchi apparel. That'd have gotten em out of there.
Homosexual Agenda Ping.
And meanwhile, over at the Episcopalian church - note the little sentence that about this particular church's refusal to accept the "gay" agenda:
"Bishop Jack McKelvy with the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester recently declared All Saints Episcopal Church "extinct" because of its opposition to the denomination's homosexual rights agenda."
Good for them.
Freepmail me and DirtyHarryY2K if you want on/off this pinglist.
Since Aug 17, 2005
It's the Dioceses that own the deed to all the Parishes, right?
So it looks like all the Bishop has to do is bring a policeman and a Locksmith with him next time. There's no need for a law suit, unfortunately.
Do I have that right sionnsar?
When I pray for schism that's always in the back of my head.
There have been some churches that left with their properties, though. I think these were cases where state law interefered with the Canon somehow.
And even then I seem to recall that in one high-profile case in CT, the bishop has now been sued.
You take a cheap shot at the faithful remnant in the Episcopal Church who are fighting against the apostate leadership, and I'll take a cheap shot at you based upon your longevity at FR.
You want to discuss on the merits, we can discuss on the merits. You want to play games, we can play games.
Fire away at my longevity.
I don't believe that is correct. In some cases, the locals have legal title to their property, in some of those cases there are express trusts in favor of the Diocese, in other cases, there is no express trust. Absent an express trust, the bishop has to argue that he has superior rights under the Dennis Cannon. In some states, that may work; in others, like California, it likely will not.
So the first stop should be at the county courthouse to see what the papers say about title under civil law, and then consult an experienced real estate attorney to see what credit, if any, the state will give to canon law.
Of course, if the bishop holds legal title, the question is much simpler.
As applied to this case, the local church appears to have held legal title, which they conveyed to a corporate structure. (There can be reasons for doing this apart from planning to split from the denomination).
Of course, the inverse of all of this can be seen in the bankrupt Catholic diocese, where the Bishop holds title to all of the property, but is claiming that he holds it in trust for the Parish. (I'd like to see how fast he'd change his tune if a Catholic parish tried to walk with 'its' property.)
In some cases in Virginia, the Church predates the Diocese! These Churches have already done the property title search on their property and are "ready" to fight in Court, if/when it becomes necessary.
I think there are no less than 2 Churches in Alexandria that date back to George Washington, where he not only worshipped there but I think might have started the Church - "old" Truro parish in Alexandria is one of them. (Washington was also known to have worshipped at the "other" Truro, in the heart of Fairfax City, but the building that he actually worshipped in burned down and was replaced by what is now the Chapel, completely stone outside but with beautiful wood inside. I digress.
Those Churches whose deeds predate the Diocese are prepared to "walk" with their property since I think one of them has already tested the legality in Court, and the Court decided for them. I also believe this involved several Dioceses as there is the Diocese of Virginia, the Diocese of Southern Virginia and perhaps another one as well (Diocese of SW VA?). My Blue book is still packed, and I can't check it for the number of Dioceses in the state, so forgive me if I'm inaccurate as to the number in VA.
So, you're saying you aren't capable of discussing this issue on its merits? Why speak, then? This is something that has caused a great deal of pain to many lifelong Episcopalians, myself (formerly) included. How will adding to it help?
If you have merits I'll debate them or admit I didn't read closely.
(Frankly I don't have a lot of respect for episcopols in general lately)
But firing off nastygrams based on the date I signed on is hardly in order.
I ain't been here long but I suspect if I was some sort of liberal troll I'd have been zotted by now.
Further feel free to read my past posts if you feel I'm a liberal toady thou.
Here's the issue. The parishoners in this case are the good guys. They are standing up for what is right and moral and true.
The bishop is a homosexual enabler trying to steal their property
Your comment, quoted above, seems to slam the parishoners (But admittedly you could have been talking about the bishop and his lackeys, it was unclear) who we've already seen are on the right side (FreeRepublic's side if I may be so bold).
This, coupled with your newbie status, makes you look like a troll. PAR35 pointed out your date so the rest of us could safely ignore you as being either a troll or simply not knowing any better.
So, I ask that you clarify your original comment (Surely you weren't attacking these parishoners for doing the right thing), or explain why you slammed them in the first place, or admit you are a troll and go away.
We are very friendly and open to discussion here but almost no one gets away with slamming the good guys without a fight.
Then you are a bigot. Welcome, we don't have too many bigots. We need your views.
I was not slamming the parishoners.
I remember reading about that one. As I recall, an old lady who's family helped establish the church was the one who opposed the pastor and led the liberal bunch. I suspect she has the church like she wants it now - not many noisy children or newcomers to get in the way. She can probably keep things propped up for the bishop as long as she's around.
Thanks for your comments. I continued the 'discussion' with the new guy via freepmail because it wasn't relevant to the merits.
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