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California Supreme Court denies review of San Joaquin property case

California Supreme Court denies review of San Joaquin property case

The California Supreme Court yesterday declined to review the Appellate Court decision awarding 28 properties, worth nearly $50 million to the continuing diocese of San Joaquin which had been claimed by the schismatic Anglican diocese.  This brings to an end eight years of litigation and is a huge victory for the Episcopal Church.

In a written statement, the current Anglican (ACNA) Bishop, the Right Reverend Eric Menees, has said that the Anglican Diocese will now work to hand over the properties;

“In essence, and practically speaking, this is a conclusion to the case involving the  Anglican Diocese Holding Corp. properties…

…With or without these properties, our mission stays the same. We made a stand for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and  we will continue to do so. We made every effort to do what was right, morally and legally, but the courts decided for The Episcopal Church. Now is the time for us to begin the process of handing over the properties. We will  work with TEC to do this in as gracious and orderly a manner as possible. This will take some time to accomplish, and our legal team will continue to assist us to make sure that all goes smoothly.”

We have reached out to Bishop Rice of the continuing diocese, but have not heard anything yet.  If we get a statement from the diocese we will add it to this post.


Here is the update from the Diocesan Chancellor, Michael O. Glass;

At 5 p.m. last night I was informed that the California Supreme Court has denied the defendants’ petition for review. Accordingly, the original judgment in favor of the Diocese and ordering the return of the properties and funds (approximately twenty-eight properties, including ECCO and the Cathedral, and various Diocesan funds) stands.
It is my belief that the leadership of the Anglican Diocese intends to work with the Diocese to provide for an orderly, thoughtful, and pastoral transition of the properties.
There will be further updates and communications from the Diocese as to the specifics of what happens next. The Bishop, Diocesan Council, Standing Committee, Bishop’s Office, the Diocesan Treasurer and your Chancellor have been hard at work planning for this transition.
In the meantime, the three remaining parish cases, St. John’s, Porterville, St. Paul’s, Visalia, and St. Columba, Fresno, will now resume.
There is much work to be done and once again I ask for your restraint in word and deed going forward.  In speaking with Bishop David upon the receipt of this news, Bishop David’s has asked that we continue to “remain in a position of prayer for everyone involved as we continue to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.”




image: Bishop Rice


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Mary Goshert

ACNA Bishop Menees said, “We made every effort to do what was right, morally and legally, but the courts decided for The Episcopal Church. ” That is a flat lie from Bishop Menees. Doing everything that was right, morally and legally, would have been for dissidents to leave the Episcopal Church, while observing the longstanding tradition and legal precedence of also leaving the land and buildings which were and are the property of the Episcopal Church via the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. It is true that there were some who did their very best to obscure that rightful truth, but Bishop Menees knows better. So did Bishop John-David Schofield, who was the real perpetrator of that attempted theft. Almost all the very expensive legal battles, which have hampered the preaching of the Gospel, social outreach ministries, and Christian fellowship despite theological differences, perpetrated and funded by groups such as the Richard Mellon Scaife Foundation et al, could have been avoided; and each group could have gone its separate but godly way, as did the Reform Episcopal Church in the late 19th Century. That ACNA and other splinter groups chose not to do so is to their shame and calumny; that they continue to vilify the Episcopal Church as though everyone in the Episcopal Church were their sworn enemies is an additional shame to them. How sad it is when Christians such as these set such an example before all the rest of the world.

JC Fisher

Hear, hear. (Hi, Mary! Good to see you. Happy memories of UC Davis Campus Ministry.)

Breck Breckenridge

I believe you meant “decline to review”. Thanks for the article! Now onward San Joaquin!

Bude VanDyke

As one who wholeheartedly agrees with the decisions and ongoing directions of ECUSA on ordination of women, and full access and equality for LGBT members and clergy, I have a hard time celebrating anything that had to go to court. It seems to me that the two places the Church Universal moved dramatically off purpose, thus compromising its freedom to live fully into the ongoing revelation, was to start owning property. The early Church, the one that won over the Emperor was on that met in homes, caves, and even catacombs. When it obtained the right from the Emperor for public worship it did so in the basilicas, the public markets. Issues of property ownership have burdened the essence and ethos of the Gospel ever since.
For instance, the outraged church fought in court to get its properties back. Yet, after passing the resolution in 2009 to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery which was the Church’s “moral” cover for taking Native lands, it has made no such efforts to restore the property of Native peoples who understood the land as belonging to Creator.
I believe issues of property steal the life out of our purpose.

JC Fisher

“We made a stand for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we will continue to do so. We made every effort to do what was right, morally and legally”

Am declining to comment, because I’m sure I would violate Cafe civility policies. >:-X

Ted Martin

It’s clear to me, If one does not like one church……go to another, good grief we do not have the right to “bring it with us”…LOL. That is absurd.

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