State court and appellate remedies are all fine and dandy, but why did they simply stand idly by and let the guy get physical possession of the parishes in the first place?
Why didn't they physically block him and his lieutenants from the buildings, and physically remove him from the property. That would force the Bishop to spend money and time and effort on eviction notices, and would force the whole issue into court...or maybe a court would have ruled the same way: no jurisdiction - at which point the Bishop would NOT have possession of the buildings, but would instead be filing appeals to try and get into court.
Indeed, if orthodox Anglicans are more numerous than that unorthodox, why don't they simply go back into their parishes and take physical possession. This forces a court to listen and hear the eviction arguments.
Passively arguing gives the bad guys the win. Physically block them, and they won't fight either. Then THEY are the ones running to court trying to get orders...and they might lose, depending on the judge. Let them get physical possession, and there's no ground to fight. Engage them in a fistfight, and THEY are the ones invading the property.
Defy them and ignore them. They do not have the police in their pocket. The government doesn't want to get involved in this. If he's an abusive bishop, unceremoniously unfrock him and and declare he's no bishop at all. Fight.
Please understand that the Episcopalians are on new and unfamiliar territory. The action by Bishop Smith was completely new and without precedent, and the very first action aggressively carried forward under the Dennis Canon.
If you had been following the saga as posted here on FR, you would know that this came as a complete surprise, maybe a bit like the circumvention of the Maginot Line.
Indeed, if orthodox Anglicans [sic] are more numerous than that unorthodox, why don't they simply go back into their parishes and take physical possession. This forces a court to listen and hear the eviction arguments.
1) We don't know that that orthodox Episcopalians are the majority anymore. A huge number, yours truly included, have for various reasons left for other jurisdictions -- and even if those jurisictions are Anglican they have no standing in TEC(/ECUSA/PECUSA/whatever-else-we-are-today).
2) Physical possession may nor may not mean a thing, depending on state statutes, after the (possibly questionable) enactment of the Dennis Canon in response to the departure of a number of churches, with property, in the late '70s.
Understand that the liberals have been active for a long time, carefully preparing this battle ground. The orthodox Episcopalians have for the most part remained (willfully? I cannot say) passively ignorant -- "if it doesn't affect me here in my pew, it's not important."
Watch carefully and take heed, Vicomte13; they're trying similar things over your way. ++B16 should not be your only line of defense!