Texas Supreme Court overturns a summary judgment as dispute between Episcopal groups drags on

Aug 30, 2013 Full story: Star-Telegram.com 20

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday narrowly overturned a summary judgment in the dispute over property between the two groups that claim to be the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.

Full Story

“Plays well with others.”

Since: Jun 07

LIVING WELL*THE BEST REVENGE

#1 Aug 30, 2013
Thou Shalt Not Steal...they are free to leave, but leave is all. They are not free to take.
Dan

Omaha, NE

#2 Sep 3, 2013
Looks like the courts are mulling saying "thou shalt not change the rules in the middle of the game and get to keep all the stuff other people gave you".
George

Jacksonville, FL

#3 Sep 4, 2013
Selecia Jones- JAX FL wrote:
Thou Shalt Not Steal...they are free to leave, but leave is all. They are not free to take.
Looks like under Texas law it is TEC and the faux bishop who are assuming the role of "thieves." The decision illustrates well why I have said from the start that indiscriminately throwing around such inflammatory comments is both erroneous and unhelpful in understanding the issues - something you have never appeared to have any interest in addressing.

“Plays well with others.”

Since: Jun 07

LIVING WELL*THE BEST REVENGE

#4 Sep 4, 2013
George wrote:
<quoted text>
Looks like under Texas law it is TEC and the faux bishop who are assuming the role of "thieves." The decision illustrates well why I have said from the start that indiscriminately throwing around such inflammatory comments is both erroneous and unhelpful in understanding the issues - something you have never appeared to have any interest in addressing.
If you don't like the restaurant you are eating in, get up and leave...but you can't take the stove with you. That is what these folks have done. Leave...not a problem. Find where you are brought to God and Christ...you just don't get to take the pews, the buildings and the bank accounts.

I wish them all the best. They are welcome to found and form whatever they wish....just NOT the Episcopal Church. We already have that.

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#5 Sep 4, 2013
George wrote:
<quoted text>
Looks like under Texas law it is TEC and the faux bishop who are assuming the role of "thieves." The decision illustrates well why I have said from the start that indiscriminately throwing around such inflammatory comments is both erroneous and unhelpful in understanding the issues - something you have never appeared to have any interest in addressing.
Excuse me. I don't think that is a true characterization of Selecia's comments. Her opinions are just as valid as are yours.

She is right. But, that may not cover the issues that the Texas Supreme Court wants to have addressed.

You are the supposed lawyer on this thread. Why don't you address the issue and set the record straight?

Hasn't the TexasSC sent the summary judgment back to the Appellate or Circuit Court to have the Court show WHY summary judgment should or should not be allowed?

The newspaper article reports that former Episcopal bishop Iker is happy and assuring that the group he calls the "Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth" will be able to keep the properties and assets that had been given in the name of The Episcopal Church (PECUSA); the Church whose yoke, authority and identity that he and his group have revoked and thrown off.

The TSCourt interpreted the Dennis Canon of TEC as being of limited scope as to its declaration of an explicit "trust" under Texas Law. But, the TSC did not either affirm or dispute the claims of either TEC or Iker's group. In fact, the Court appears to have muddied the waters, by declaring that the Dennis Canon is not specific or worded strongly enough for the lower Court to have made its summary determination.

We live under a Federal Constitution that specifically protects the rights and assigns the responsibilities of the individual citizen - the ultimate minority.

When an ownership split occurs over trademarks, copyrights, patents, property and assets, the Courts are there to see that either the Law is followed or an equitable split of such assets is made, so that the rights of the minority or weaker partner cannot be simply overrun by a more powerful majority.

That means that at least two issues are at stake here.

One is the right of the National Church to defend its interests in its own republican form (not political party), including its delegation and authorization of power and authority into each of its separate diocesan cells. Hence, the National Church lays proper claim to trademark and property rights, etc., in ALL of its diocesan cells. It does this in order to defend the rights of its individual members.

Secondly, the individuals that comprise the minority in the Diocese of Fort Worth, yet who choose to continue to align with the National Church, have an obvious claim to the intellectual and tangible materials that make up the Diocese as a part - a cell - of the National body. The Dennis Canon was adopted specifically to reinforce this cellular bond and identity, in anticipation of a future schism that has occurred precisely as foreseen.

Iker's group, on the other hand, has, by their own declaration, assumed complete control of the trademarks, property and assets of the very namesake that their group has kicked away. The minority, which would stay with the namesake, is given no say.

What now? Please present some ideas from the perspective of a lawyer familiar with the options given to the lower Court.

If your view and opinion is to be biased in favor of former Episcopal Church bp. Iker, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't say so.

From my perspective, bp. Iker's bravado and hubris is a call to his constituency to open their wallets and pay a whole bunch more legal bills.- Without ANY real proof that they will be assured of a victory. However, if I have gotten this right, Iker's original plan has been all along to take ALL and then settle for HALF.

Rev. Ken

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#6 Sep 4, 2013
George wrote:
<quoted text>
Looks like under Texas law it is TEC and the faux bishop who are assuming the role of "thieves." The decision illustrates well why I have said from the start that indiscriminately throwing around such inflammatory comments is both erroneous and unhelpful in understanding the issues - something you have never appeared to have any interest in addressing.
Excuse me. I don't think that is a true characterization of Selecia's comments. Her opinions are just as valid as are yours.

She is right. But, that may not cover the issues that the Texas Supreme Court wants to have addressed.

You are the supposed lawyer on this thread. Why don't you address the issue and set the record straight?

Hasn't the TexasSC sent the summary judgment back to the Appellate or Circuit Court to have the Court show WHY summary judgment should or should not be allowed?

The newspaper article reports that former Episcopal bishop Iker is happy and assuring that the group he calls the "Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth" will be able to keep the properties and assets that had been given in the name of The Episcopal Church (PECUSA); the Church whose yoke, authority and identity that he and his group have revoked and thrown off.

The TSCourt interpreted the Dennis Canon of TEC as being of limited scope as to its declaration of an explicit "trust" under Texas Law. But, the TSC did not either affirm or dispute the claims of either TEC or Iker's group. In fact, the Court appears to have muddied the waters, by declaring that the Dennis Canon is not specific or worded strongly enough for the lower Court to have made its summary determination.

We live under a Federal Constitution that specifically protects the rights and assigns the responsibilities of the individual citizen - the ultimate minority.

When an ownership split occurs over trademarks, copyrights, patents, property and assets, the Courts are there to see that either the Law is followed or an equitable split of such assets is made, so that the rights of the minority or weaker partner cannot be simply overrun by a more powerful majority.

That means that at least two issues are at stake here.

One is the right of the National Church to defend its interests in its own republican form (not political party), including its delegation and authorization of power and authority into each of its separate diocesan cells. Hence, the National Church lays proper claim to trademark and property rights, etc., in ALL of its diocesan cells. It does this in order to defend the rights of its individual members.

Secondly, the individuals that comprise the minority in the Diocese of Fort Worth, yet who choose to continue to align with the National Church, have an obvious claim to the intellectual and tangible materials that make up the Diocese as a part - a cell - of the National body. The Dennis Canon was adopted specifically to reinforce this cellular bond and identity, in anticipation of a future schism that has occurred precisely as foreseen.

Iker's group, on the other hand, has, by their own declaration, assumed complete control of the trademarks, property and assets of the very namesake that their group has kicked away. The minority, which would stay with the namesake, is given no say.

What now? Please present some ideas from the perspective of a lawyer familiar with the options given to the lower Court.

If your view and opinion is to be biased in favor of former Episcopal Church bp. Iker, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't say so.

From my perspective, Iker's bravado and hubris is a call to his constituency to open their wallets and pay a whole bunch more legal bills.- Without ANY real proof that they will be assured of a victory. However, if I have gotten this right, Iker's original plan has been all along to take ALL and then settle for HALF.

Rev. Ken
George

Jacksonville, FL

#7 Sep 4, 2013
RevKen wrote:
<quoted text>
Excuse me. I don't think that is a true characterization of Selecia's comments. Her opinions are just as valid as are yours.
Rev. Ken
Right! So my calling Schori and 915 thieves is just as valid as her calling Iker a thief. Thanks for clarifying that for me.

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#8 Sep 4, 2013
George wrote:
<quoted text>
Right! So my calling Schori and 915 thieves is just as valid as her calling Iker a thief. Thanks for clarifying that for me.
Here is what YOU wrote:

"The decision illustrates well why I have said from the start that indiscriminately throwing around such inflammatory comments is both erroneous and unhelpful in understanding the issues ..."

As if you calling "Schori and 915 thieves" is not in any way inflammatory.

Besides, who says the truth is not to be inflammatory or divisive?

"I come as a sword ..."

You single out PB Schori. But, she is simply carrying out what the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies have authorized and directed her to do.

Those who have split off, taking trademarks, copyrights, property and assets with them, while using the very authority of those from whom these ones are splitting, to authorize that very revocation of such authority, have a problem.

It is the same problem that Lot's wife had.

It is also known as "monkey with his hand in the coconut." He's successfully gotten his hand inside and has successfully grabbed a handful of the juicy coconut meat. But, now that he has a fistful, he can't get his hand back out of the hole without cutting up his hand on the corners of the hole. The Only way out is to let go. Usually, the monkey ruins his hand and gets very little for his efforts.

Q: What does it mean when the story says Lot's wife was turned into a "pillar of salt?" What is the analogy and lesson?

Here's one hint. But, there is more. Salt is sometimes reckoned with wisdom and has trading value. It is also a lifeless rock, while being essential for life and preservation, and yet, Lot's wife is assumed to have died. She couldn't let go and she paid the price.

Iker and Duncan and the others who are trying to take everything with them, as they leave, are getting what they have opted to get.

Rev. Ken
George

Jacksonville, FL

#9 Sep 4, 2013
RevKen wrote:
<quoted text>
Here is what YOU wrote:
"The decision illustrates well why I have said from the start that indiscriminately throwing around such inflammatory comments is both erroneous and unhelpful in understanding the issues ..."
As if you calling "Schori and 915 thieves" is not in any way inflammatory.
Besides, who says the truth is not to be inflammatory or divisive?
"I come as a sword ..."
You single out PB Schori. But, she is simply carrying out what the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies have authorized and directed her to do.
Those who have split off, taking trademarks, copyrights, property and assets with them, while using the very authority of those from whom these ones are splitting, to authorize that very revocation of such authority, have a problem.
It is the same problem that Lot's wife had.
It is also known as "monkey with his hand in the coconut." He's successfully gotten his hand inside and has successfully grabbed a handful of the juicy coconut meat. But, now that he has a fistful, he can't get his hand back out of the hole without cutting up his hand on the corners of the hole. The Only way out is to let go. Usually, the monkey ruins his hand and gets very little for his efforts.
Q: What does it mean when the story says Lot's wife was turned into a "pillar of salt?" What is the analogy and lesson?
Here's one hint. But, there is more. Salt is sometimes reckoned with wisdom and has trading value. It is also a lifeless rock, while being essential for life and preservation, and yet, Lot's wife is assumed to have died. She couldn't let go and she paid the price.
Iker and Duncan and the others who are trying to take everything with them, as they leave, are getting what they have opted to get.
Rev. Ken
The TEC thieves seek to reap where they have not sown. If title was held in the name of TEC, then they should keep it. If title is held in the name of a parish or a diocese, that is who owns it regardless of affiliation with 815. Neutral principles of law should apply. No one should be allowed to declare themselves the owner of property titled in another and that is precisely what the Dennis canon purports to do. In it, TEC declares it is the beneficiary of a trust over property titled in others.
George

Jacksonville, FL

#10 Sep 4, 2013
Here is an illustration that shows how unjust TEC's position is:
Suppose GC were to adopt a canon that provides that the property of anyone who is or becomes a member of an Episcopal parish anywhere in the US becomes the property of TEC upon the death of the member. Someone could become a member without knowing of the "canon," remain a member knowing about it but not having paid any intention or even said, at the time, I am not leaving and I don't care what happens upon my death. Suppose the person then dies -- maybe he dies as a member or maybe he has long since left his parish. TEC lays claim to his residence pursuant to the canon. It argues - we are a hierarchical church. When you became a member or chose to remain as a member, you tacitly accepted all of the canons that existed or that later were adopted. Maybe you even agreed in writing to be bound by the canons. I say apply neutral principles of law. If TEC wanted title to the property, it should have required a deed as a condition of membership or continued membership. Without a deed, it has and is entitled to nothing. Enforcing a title claim that arises from membership involves an excessive entanglement in religion in violation of the First Amendment.

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#11 Sep 4, 2013
George wrote:
<quoted text>
The TEC thieves seek to reap where they have not sown. If title was held in the name of TEC, then they should keep it. If title is held in the name of a parish or a diocese, that is who owns it regardless of affiliation with 815. Neutral principles of law should apply. No one should be allowed to declare themselves the owner of property titled in another and that is precisely what the Dennis canon purports to do. In it, TEC declares it is the beneficiary of a trust over property titled in others.
LOL!!
Yeah,... Gee,...

That Dennis Canon thingie sure messed up the plans for claiming clear title and then, pockets loaded, "skippin' out the back, Jack!"

Of Course, what will probably get them what they have earned in the end is the idea that the contributions they made and for which they took full deductions on their taxable income weren't really meant to be something that they actually GAVE.

NOOoooooo! After all, THAT money was really theirs and everything that it built is still theirs, to this very day.

I gotcha, George. I know what you are saying.

Rev. Ken
George

Jacksonville, FL

#12 Sep 4, 2013
RevKen wrote:
<quoted text>
LOL!!
Yeah,... Gee,...
That Dennis Canon thingie sure messed up the plans for claiming clear title and then, pockets loaded, "skippin' out the back, Jack!"
Of Course, what will probably get them what they have earned in the end is the idea that the contributions they made and for which they took full deductions on their taxable income weren't really meant to be something that they actually GAVE.
NOOoooooo! After all, THAT money was really theirs and everything that it built is still theirs, to this very day.
I gotcha, George. I know what you are saying.
Rev. Ken
The gave them to their churches for God's work. If they get to keep them, they will continue to be used for ministry and God's work - not sold to mosques or turned into discos.

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#13 Sep 4, 2013
George wrote:
Here is an illustration that shows how unjust TEC's position is:
Suppose GC were to adopt a canon that provides that the property of anyone who is or becomes a member of an Episcopal parish anywhere in the US becomes the property of TEC upon the death of the member. Someone could become a member without knowing of the "canon," remain a member knowing about it but not having paid any intention or even said, at the time, I am not leaving and I don't care what happens upon my death. Suppose the person then dies -- maybe he dies as a member or maybe he has long since left his parish. TEC lays claim to his residence pursuant to the canon. It argues - we are a hierarchical church. When you became a member or chose to remain as a member, you tacitly accepted all of the canons that existed or that later were adopted. Maybe you even agreed in writing to be bound by the canons. I say apply neutral principles of law. If TEC wanted title to the property, it should have required a deed as a condition of membership or continued membership. Without a deed, it has and is entitled to nothing. Enforcing a title claim that arises from membership involves an excessive entanglement in religion in violation of the First Amendment.
Judging by what you have written above, and maybe a few blurbs you have made in the past in whch you have made no more sense than the goofy analogy above,...

I don't think you are a lawyer. Or at least you are not a lawyer who practices much in the arena of property ownership.

The Church only has what people have GIVEN to it, plus whatever increase in value that has occurred that holding and reinvestment of those gifts has earned. The Church has never had ANY right or claim to the estate of a deceased member, other than by a will.

When the Dennis Canon came along, every parish and Diocese in the PECUSA (TEC) had the immediate right and option to object and pull out, right then and there. It was a title-clouding game-changer specifically written to prevent the absconding that you are now defending.

Your question revolves around what the definition of Church is. Plus, you apparently do not recognize authority within the Church.

Did you attend English and grammar school with Billy Clinton?

Rev. Ken
George

Jacksonville, FL

#14 Sep 4, 2013
RevKen wrote:
<quoted text>
Judging by what you have written above, and maybe a few blurbs you have made in the past in whch you have made no more sense than the goofy analogy above,...
I don't think you are a lawyer. Or at least you are not a lawyer who practices much in the arena of property ownership.
The Church only has what people have GIVEN to it, plus whatever increase in value that has occurred that holding and reinvestment of those gifts has earned. The Church has never had ANY right or claim to the estate of a deceased member, other than by a will.
When the Dennis Canon came along, every parish and Diocese in the PECUSA (TEC) had the immediate right and option to object and pull out, right then and there. It was a title-clouding game-changer specifically written to prevent the absconding that you are now defending.
Your question revolves around what the definition of Church is. Plus, you apparently do not recognize authority within the Church.
Did you attend English and grammar school with Billy Clinton?
Rev. Ken
And I for one am sure you are a pretend priest or at least not a priest who follows Our Lord.

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#15 Sep 4, 2013
George wrote:
<quoted text>
And I for one am sure you are a pretend priest or at least not a priest who follows Our Lord.
LOL!!!....

Yeah, well,... I've heard that one from you before, George.

But, no lawyer would suggest, as you did, that any religious denomination could try to enforce an arbitrary claim to the estates of its members, solely by fiat. A ludicrous analogy without any parallel to the present absconding scrapes.

The closest that you could have come to anything of this sort would be to cite the real historical claims that the Roman Catholic Church made upon the estates and assets of the families of its departed members, as extorted payments for permissions to get the departed soul into Heaven.

What a crock that was! Among about a hundred other objections nailed to the Church door, it got Martin Luther's ire up and going, and rightly so.

But, that had no parallel with the TEC business either.

So, what's your point, Georgiekins? No point at all, I see.
George

Jacksonville, FL

#16 Sep 5, 2013
RevKen wrote:
<quoted text>
LOL!!!....
Yeah, well,... I've heard that one from you before, George.
But, no lawyer would suggest, as you did, that any religious denomination could try to enforce an arbitrary claim to the estates of its members, solely by fiat. A ludicrous analogy without any parallel to the present absconding scrapes.
.
Yet that is precisely what TEC has done with the Dennis canon. By legislative fiat it has declared that if you are an Episcopal parish, the property that you once owned (titled in the name of the vestry and wardens of the parish)is now held in trust for the benefit of TEC. And it matters not that TEC of which you were once a part has changed so radically that few Christians would even recognize it any longer as being part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. The only absurdity in the analogy is your failure to recognize yourself in the mirror it holds up to your arrogance and deceit.

“... truth will out.”

Since: May 08

Stratford, Connecticut.

#17 Sep 5, 2013
RevKen wrote:
<quoted text>
LOL!!
Yeah,... Gee,...
That Dennis Canon thingie sure messed up the plans for claiming clear title ...
... in the Diocese of S. Carolina?

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#18 Sep 5, 2013
George wrote:
<quoted text>
Yet that is precisely what TEC has done with the Dennis canon. By legislative fiat it has declared that if you are an Episcopal parish, the property that you once owned (titled in the name of the vestry and wardens of the parish)is now held in trust for the benefit of TEC. And it matters not that TEC of which you were once a part has changed so radically that few Christians would even recognize it any longer as being part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. The only absurdity in the analogy is your failure to recognize yourself in the mirror it holds up to your arrogance and deceit.
LOL!!!.. YOUR view, George. Not mine.

No. That is not what the Dennis Canon did or does. Those who promoted the Dennis Canon realized, primarily after the dust-up over bringing women into the priesthood, that the ensuing grumblings about Traditions and orthodoxy that would rise as the Church moved to unseat institutionalized bigotry could eventually result in a full-scale mutiny in which the mutineers would try to move out, taking property and assets with them.

You try to characterize this schism as some kind of result due to Central Office policies. That is not what it is. The schism is the result of a mutiny in which some have refused to make the changes that are seen by the wider membership of the entire Episcopal Church as proper.

The claims being made in Court for a full accounting and return of assets and property are being made by the ENTIRE EPISCOPAL CHURCH. The claims are being pursued because the ENTIRE EPISCOPAL CHURCH has always held a vested interest in trust and authority in all of the property and assets that have been given in the Name of The Episcopal Church. This includes the responsibilities of stewardship and the rights of membership, right down to the individual member.

That is why it is called The Episcopal Church (PECUSA). That is why there is a recognized hierarchical structure that includes the authorization and the spiritual power of the Church. It is a two-way street and we do put definitive, guiding power and authority in the representative governing bodies of the Church.

You may not actually believe in any such spiritual power. But, I think you do understand that it is also represented in financial power that will be successfully, legally employed by the Church to prevent the mutineers from getting away unscathed.

In fact, it is costing the mutineers, big time. And, what's more, this pursuing effort is just getting going.

Rev. Ken
George

Jacksonville, FL

#19 Sep 5, 2013
RevKen wrote:
<quoted text>
LOL!!!.. YOUR view, George. Not mine.
No. That is not what the Dennis Canon did or does. Those who promoted the Dennis Canon realized, primarily after the dust-up over bringing women into the priesthood, that the ensuing grumblings about Traditions and orthodoxy that would rise as the Church moved to unseat institutionalized bigotry could eventually result in a full-scale mutiny in which the mutineers would try to move out, taking property and assets with them.
You try to characterize this schism as some kind of result due to Central Office policies. That is not what it is. The schism is the result of a mutiny in which some have refused to make the changes that are seen by the wider membership of the entire Episcopal Church as proper.
The claims being made in Court for a full accounting and return of assets and property are being made by the ENTIRE EPISCOPAL CHURCH. The claims are being pursued because the ENTIRE EPISCOPAL CHURCH has always held a vested interest in trust and authority in all of the property and assets that have been given in the Name of The Episcopal Church. This includes the responsibilities of stewardship and the rights of membership, right down to the individual member.
That is why it is called The Episcopal Church (PECUSA). That is why there is a recognized hierarchical structure that includes the authorization and the spiritual power of the Church. It is a two-way street and we do put definitive, guiding power and authority in the representative governing bodies of the Church.
You may not actually believe in any such spiritual power. But, I think you do understand that it is also represented in financial power that will be successfully, legally employed by the Church to prevent the mutineers from getting away unscathed.
In fact, it is costing the mutineers, big time. And, what's more, this pursuing effort is just getting going.
Rev. Ken
Almost no one gives to THE ENTIRE EPISCOPAL "CHURCH." They give to their local parishes to be used primarily locally for ministry and mission in their communities. And if they thought that 815 and the Gestapo had the right to take what they were giving and use it for other purposes, they would not give it or they would give it with strings attached. Once I figured out their game and for the time I thereafter remained in one of their pews, I only gave in a way that no part of my giving could find its way into the diocese or national church.

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#20 Sep 5, 2013
George wrote:
<quoted text>
Almost no one gives to THE ENTIRE EPISCOPAL "CHURCH." They give to their local parishes to be used primarily locally for ministry and mission in their communities. And if they thought that 815 and the Gestapo had the right to take what they were giving and use it for other purposes, they would not give it or they would give it with strings attached. Once I figured out their game and for the time I thereafter remained in one of their pews, I only gave in a way that no part of my giving could find its way into the diocese or national church.
Half-hearted giving.

Sorry you feel that way, George.

Every penny that goes into the plate; every Dollar that comes by pledge; every gift, every bequest, every endowment, every property that is left for the Church; all of it is a contribution to the entire Episcopalian Church.

Like Selecia says, nothing requires you to attend or to contribute. It is all a voluntary program.

Rev. Ken

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