Katie Sherrod writes of the difficulties Episcopalians are having finding help from the national church office as they struggle to remain in the Episcopal Church while living in dioceses planning on leaving.
After describing the situation in the Diocese of Fort Worth, she write of her frustration as she and others in the diocese seek guidance in how to respond:
"I confess to being baffled at how much difficulty we are having getting legal advice on all this from the national church. What’s more, they don't say, 'Well, we can't help until you get your own lawyer,' or 'Here are the steps you need to take before we can help you,' or 'Jump through these hoops to prove you are worthy of our help.'
We would gladly do whatever we need to do -- if we had the slightest idea what that is.
We are not canon lawyers. The lawyers we are talking with are not canon lawyers and will have to do research on this. Texas courts are very reluctant to intervene in a church fight and, we are told by lawyers here, they always defer to the canons of hierarchal churches. Well, that sounds good. But nothing I've been able to find talks about what to do when a bishop is trying to take everything in a diocese with him.
That changes the dynamic in ways 815 doesn't seem to grasp.
Everyone tells us it will have to be fought out in court. OK. But when? And by whom? And with what money? And what should we be doing in the meantime?
Most of the clergy here are in the bishop’s pocket. Those who are not are few, and pretty beat up.
So it is us lay people [basically Fort Worth Via Media] who are struggling to find ways to stay in TEC. We do not have diocesan resources to help us, and few of the parishes are willing to use their resources to help us. Trinity, my parish, is clear it wants to stay in TEC but it’s not getting any more help than FWVM is getting."
Read the rest here: Desert's Child: Legal Help Requested