Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hypocrisy? You Call That Hypocrisy??

The liberal blogs out there (check the links in my "AngliCannon to the Left" sidebar) are falling all over themselves about the supposed hypocrisy of the Dioceses of Ft. Worth and Quincy in leaving The Episcopal Church, when some years ago each of them sued a parish that left them.

This just goes to show the weakness of liberals---since they lack any ability to use logic, they simply cannot tell what is true hypocrisy from what is not. I know this will be a waste of time, but for the record, I will spell it out for them:

1. A diocese that leaves a church is not the same as a parish that leaves a diocese. There is nothing in TEC's Constitution or Canons that says a Diocese may not leave TEC, but there are provisions in all Diocesan canons that govern the obligations of a parish with respect to the diocese.

2. Let's take the example of the Diocese of Ft. Worth. The first two paragraphs of Article 14 of its Constitution, entitled "Title to Church Property," have read as follows since 1989 (I have added the bold for emphasis):

The title to all real estate acquired for the use of the Church in this Diocese, including the real property of all Parishes and Missions, as well as Diocesan Institutions, shall be held subject to control of the Church in The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth acting by and through a corporation known as "Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth". All such property as well as all property hereafter acquired for the use of the Church and the Diocese, including Parishes and Missions, shall be vested in Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.

Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth shall hold real property acquired for the use of a particular Parish or Mission in trust for the use and benefit of such Parish or Mission. The income from such property shall belong to such Parish or Mission, which will be responsible for expenses attributable thereto. Such property may not be conveyed, leased or encumbered by Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth without the consent of the Rector, Wardens and Vestry of such Parish or Mission. Upon dissolution of such Parish or Mission, property held in trust for it shall revert to said Corporation for the use and benefit of the Diocese, as such.

(Canon 18 of the Diocesan Canons is to similar effect. Notice that this language is not inconsistent with the Dennis Canon, because that Canon, too, recognizes that parish property is held in trust for the diocese in which the parish is located. The Dennis Canon attempts to add another trust in favor of TEC itself---but we do not have to go there for purposes of my example: it was the Diocese of Ft. Worth, and not TEC, that sued the departing parish.)

3. Language in TEC's Constitution requiring each Diocese to make "an unqualified accession" to TEC's Constitution and Canons in order to join spells out a current condition for a diocese to be able to join TEC. It is not an ongoing requirement of membership---as I pointed out in this earlier post, several dioceses do not have any such language of accession in their Constitutions, yet no one questions their membership in TEC.

4. The language of Ft. Worth's Constitution, in contrast, requires the actual title of the parish property to be held in the name of the Diocesan Corporation. So in that case cited by the liberals, the diocese was simply going after property that was supposed to be in its own name. (I discussed the earlier case of the Diocese of Quincy in this post.)

5. If liberals were logical, they would see that this same logic would require the current Dioceses of Ft. Worth and Quincy to go after any parish that tried to leave the diocese by "staying" in TEC.

6. For in reality, there is currently only one diocese formerly affiliated with TEC in each of the geographical territories of Ft. Worth and Quincy, and there is no "diocese" that is currently so affiliated. (There cannot be one until TEC's General Convention gives its permission for one to be formed, and it doesn't meet for another eight months.)

7. Any parish thus "staying" in TEC has no diocese to join, unless a neighboring TEC diocese would agree to take it in.

8. It is to the great credit of the current leadership of the dioceses of Ft. Worth and Quincy that they are willing to allow this to happen, without filing any lawsuits to prevent it. As we know from what happened in San Joaquin, the putative "Episcopal diocese" was by no means as generous.

9. But liberals don't know how properly to use logic, so they babble on about the supposed "hypocrisy" of the dioceses in question.

10. Would you like proof, o ye of liberal bent, that you cannot recognize true hypocrisy when you see it? Fine: just show me more than one liberal blogger who admitted that what I called attention to in this post was hypocrisy. (One doesn't count, because Scott+ is the exception that proves the rule.)

Q. E. D.  I rest my case.


  1. FYI Scott+ on Stand Firm is me.

  2. My apologies for mistaking you with Scott Gunn+, Traditionalanglican. I have changed the text to remove the wrong identification, and am happy to explain here that it was your comment at StandFirm that put me on to the true hypocrisy of TEC's Chancellor. I will also note for the record that as your moniker here proclaims, you are not a liberal, and thus provide further proof for the statements in the main post. Thank you again!

  3. Dear A.S. Haley,
    Thank you so much for writing on this issue. I have been reading all the "Pea Soup" style verbiage on the HoB/D Listserv. I'm am glad to have your clarity on this matter. I was hoping that Stand Firm would touch on this but alas they seem to keep treading on toward the horrific decisions that certain dioceses are making and the inside strategy vs. the leaving strategy. This IMHO is far more important news that needs to be discussed and made known.
    Thank you again

    TL Dillon