Read it all. A snippit:
Last week I noted that stories fail to explain why the Episcopal Church is so aggressive about property issues but not doctrinal issues. And with this story we have yet another example of why this needs to be explained by reporters.
For instance, Canon I.17.7 of the Episcopal Church (.pdf link here — see page 55) explicitly prohibits administering Holy Communion to unbaptized persons:
Sec. 7. No unbaptized person shall be eligible to receive Holy Communion in this Church.
And yet this service, hosted by none other than the Los Angeles Diocese, clearly offered communion to unbaptized people. Now let’s go to property disputes. The Episcopal Church’s argument for why it should retain the property in the disputes with the departed parishes is on the basis of another canon (Canon I.7.4 — page 40 of the previous link):
All real and personal property held by or for the benefit of any Parish, Mission or Congregation is held in trust for this Church and the Diocese thereof in which such Parish, Mission or Congregation is located. The existence of this trust, however, shall in no way limit the power and authority of the Parish, Mission or Congregation otherwise existing over such property so long as the particular Parish, Mission or Congregation remains a part of, and subject to, this Church and its Constitution and Canons.
Wouldn’t a story examining the disparity between which canons are enforced and which canons are not enforced be interesting? Put another way, why are some bishops free to violate some canons while other bishops are threatened with punishment if they permit their dioceses to even vote about whether to realign? I’m sure the Episcopal authorities have their reasons, but we need to hear what those are. Why aren’t reporters asking them to explain how this works?
As I told my Bishop, I feel the Episcopal Church has ethically and philosophically forfeited its right to enforce the Constitution and Canons against its people due to the fact that the church has consistently violated its own Constitution and Canons – doctrinally, in faith, in order, and just about every which way but loose. It is a shame that this doesn’t translate legally. BLD