Friday, June 14, 2013

No News from Texas; Sad News from Virginia

As of today, June 14, the Supreme Court of Texas has yet to issue its opinion in the Fort Worth direct appeal brought by Bishop Iker and his co-trustees of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. Such decisions are normally released on Fridays, although toward the end of the term the Court also releases some decisions earlier in the week. For those who would like to monitor the page where any opinion will appear, here is the link.

This same day brings unhappy news, however, from the Supreme Court of Virginia, which has entered a one-page order denying the petition of The Falls Church for a rehearing. In doing so, it leaves intact the troubling decision which I discussed in this previous post. The opinion, however, is based almost entirely upon (a misreading of) Virginia law, and so the grounds for review by the United States Supreme Court are virtually nil. For churchgoers in Virginia, the problems created by the Supreme Court's interpretation of a State statute will be for the Virginia legislature to address and resolve.

Whether the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia can continue to maintain all of the properties handed to it by the Virginia Supreme Court is still an open question. And what the Diocese decides to do with those properties will speak more clearly about its priorities than anything that could be written at this point. For the Anglicans, however, the way is now clear for them to go forward, in a new beginning.

Let the Episcopal Diocese, in other words, pick up the pieces of the wreckage it has made of the Episcopal faith in Virginia. And let the Anglicans continue to adhere fast to the faith once delivered to the saints. The proof will be in the fruits which each produces.


  1. Sad news indeed.Hopefully there will be news from Texas soon.

    Man’s justice is not God’s justice as we all know. We should not expect justice from secular courts. When it happens, great, when it does not, unfortunately that’s life. ALWAYS, we are to keep the faith regardless of the secular court decisions.

    I agree wit the ole saying, the proof is in the pudding. Or for a biblical quote-
    Matt 7:16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?

    SC Blu Cat Lady

  2. re "For the Anglicans...": I am a priest in TEC (Springfield), ergo I am an Anglican too. I'm sure you don't mean it that way, but too many in ACNA, CANA, etc, do. While I'm sympathetic to our brethren who've been disenfranchised from TEC, I object to the use of 'Anglican' to distinguish ACNA brethren from TEC brethren.

  3. What term would you suggest former Episcopalains use, Ian?

    An Anglican for 81 years, an Episcopalian for 73, I cannot recall any Episcopalain - bishop, clery, or lay - ever identifying himself as an Anglican

  4. The Episcopal Church in America is not Anglican in the sense of any of the greater Orthodox traditions. It has become a "relevant" church...dedicated to "meaningful social change" and "issues of social democracy" and "acceptance of those to whom love occurs in different ways" and that deals with "adjusting the distribution of wealth".
    The Orthodox Church concerns itself with saving the poor man's soul and the rich man's soul.

    You are not an Anglican in any meaningful sense. You are a Unitarian at best, or a club-member of some Occupy Wall Street Cell. You are an Anglican in the same sense that Nancy Pelosi is a Roman Catholic....
    Say hello to your friends at the National Council of Churches and the Frente Armada Revolucionaria de Colombia. And please spare your sympathies for me. Look upon the wasteland your secular "crusade" has produced of one of the greatest institutions of humankind. Ask not for whom the bell tolls....

    El Gringo Viejo
    It is understood why this might not be posted. I apologise for my inability to subordinate my own ego and ire and wrath. Please forgive me.

  5. Ian+, pace. While I sympathize with your feelings -- I, too, as a lifelong and traditional Episcopalian who deplores what the national Church has done, consider myself "Anglican" -- we Episcopalians cannot ignore what our denomination has become, especially in the views of the majority of the Anglican Communion, who no longer consider themselves in communion with ECUSA. And even our heritage from the Church of England can no longer protect us: GAFCON and the Global South will withdraw from communion even with the Archbishop of Canterbury, if the CoE openly ordains bishops who are in a relationship that is outside of Christian marriage.

    The very first post ever published on this blog, back more than five years ago, was entitled: "What is an Anglican, and who decides the question?" I have been covering various aspects of those questions here ever since.

    The one thing that is clear to me is that you cannot truly call yourself "Anglican" if you are unwilling to consider that those who have been striving to uphold the faith once delivered to the saints may very likely be right, and that those who would require that churches ordain women and gays as a matter of "civil rights" are quite possibly wrong. (See the post just linked for the full explanation of this assertion.)

    Many in ECUSA consider the debate on these issues now closed, and are not looking back. And that, I submit, is most un-Anglican.

  6. El Gringo, my feelings are much the same as yours.

    At 81 years as of last Saturday, I find it impossible to understand how older, presumably more seasoned, Episcopalians are taken in by the new gospel.

    The only thing I can figure out, is that they must not have ever thought about of the truly important things of the old church.

  7. I have considered myself and identify myself as "Anglican" since 1977. That was when I became aware that there was more to the Anglican world than TEC. Whole lot more. Also, that is when my parents decided to leave TEC. So many *well seasoned* Episcopalians knew what was going on even then. Alas, both of my parents are deceased now.

    I would agree that there are two types (at least) of Episcopalians in TEC. For those in TEC who believe in TEC's *new thang*, I use the word- "Episcopagan"- to describe such people. Others like our host can be properly called Episcopalian or Anglican. Now that our diocese (SC) has left TEC, many people here are using "Anglican" to identify themselves so not to be confused with the TEC remnant here.
    SC Blu Cat Lady

  8. Just checked the Texas Supreme Court page today, 21 June. There were some opinions and orders but not the one we are looking for. About another week and we will have to wait until the fall.

  9. Just rechecked the Texas Supreme Court Website and looked at their calendar. Seems that they are not having any oral arguments before the court until Fall. However, Orders will be published every Friday until the end of August. So there are two more months of sitting on pins and needles every Friday.

  10. Have been checking the Texas Supreme Court Website, but nothing on this case so far. Do you expect a ruling any time in the near future?