On property disputes
The Primates urge the representatives of The Episcopal Church and of those congregations in property disputes with it to suspend all actions in law arising in this situation. We also urge both parties to give assurances that no steps will be taken to alienate property from The Episcopal Church without its consent or to deny the use of that property to those congregations.
When I first read the Primates Communique, I would have bet some serious money that nothing in this Communique would stop the Episcopal Church's attorneys, who seem hell-bent on suing as many departing congregations and, in general, inflicting as much pain on orthodox Anglicans as they possibly can.
Well, I was right...
Lawyers for the Episcopal Church have told two attorneys representing some of the 11 Diocese of Virginia congregations involved in a legal dispute over possession of church property that "there is no basis at this time" to put that litigation on hold.
Washington, D.C. attorneys Mary A. McReynolds and Steffen N. Johnson asked by letter on February 22 that the litigation be put on hold after the communiqué issued at the end of the recent Primates' Meeting "urge[d] the representatives of The Episcopal Church and of those congregations in property disputes with it to suspend all actions in law arising in this situation."
The Primates' recommendation concerning litigation was one of a number of interrelated recommendations which they made concerning the way the Episcopal Church should deal with disagreements among its members.
In their February 26 reply, David Booth Beers, chancellor to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, and his colleague Heather H. Anderson, first reminded the two attorneys that the Anglican Communion is a federation and not a "juridical or legislative body."
Thus, they wrote, it "has no legal authority over the affairs of its members."
I hope the Primates are paying attention.