Monday, January 05, 2009

Episcopal Church Wins California Ruling

In a unanimous decision, the California state supreme court ruled in favor of the Episcopal diocese of Los Angeles in a property dispute over three parishes that left the Church over doctrinal issues.

The decision was written by Justice Ming W. Chin and basically says that one of the parishes, St. James of Newport Beach, can not take the property with them as they have left the diocese of Los Angeles and the Episcopal Church.

And, it may have an effect on two other parishes, All Saints Anglican in Long Beach and St. David's in North Hollywood.

But, as I have written in the past, there is a chance that a case may end up in the hands of the United States supreme court.

This could be the one.

But, there are many other cases in state courts all across the nation.

Because some judges and other state supreme courts may end up with different rulings, there seems to be no other eventual remedy than one of the multitude of similar cases ending up before the nine United States supreme court justices.

The ending quote in the article is the most important quote and it is from the Rev. Ian Douglas, professor at Church Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts:

"No one wins in these cases," he added. "We're so busy battling each other that we're not doing God's work, and that's the tragedy."

And that is most accurate. But, what this also shows is the great schism that is occurring in mainline Protestant Christianity over numerous issues including but not limited to the following:

  • Biblical interpretation.
  • The role of gay and lesbian people in the Church.
  • Whether or not believing in Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the light.
  • Christianity's role in relations with non-Christians.

But, with overbearing bishops in the Episcopal Church that do not think the rules apply to them, unless threatened in the manner of parishes leaving the diocese, just because courts rule one way or the other does not end the disputes.

And, that is the tragedy of the whole process. And, as the Rev. Douglas notes, no one is doing the work of God.

3 comments:

Arden Forester said...

The Episcopal Church once had five million adherents. Over the past 30-odd years it has halved. However, the half left includes newcomers from outside the church who are not of an Anglican grounding so are quite prepared to change doctrines to suit themselves.

Mrs.Schori and her family left the Roman Catholic Church behind, but she seems to have left some core beliefs behind her.

Most of these individual parishes in dispute over property have never been inclined to believe in such novelties. So their benefators would be astounded at what is to become of these places of worship should they be transferred to the new believers!

Rightwingsnarkle said...

When your old club no longer serves its purpose or meets your needs, start a new club. Or join a different one.

You might even save on dues.

a corgi said...

that is so true; no one is doing the work of God and unfortunately with cases like this and other things we disagree on, unbelievers wonder if it is worth following Jesus if believers can't get along with each other

betty