Twenty Episcopal bishops at odds over homosexual clergy will attempt to reconcile their differences next month, but church conservatives say the meeting's real business is to start discussions on how to divide their assets in the event of a split.
If differences between Episcopal liberals and conservatives are quickly determined to be "irreconcilable," says retired Diocese of Florida Bishop Stephen Jecko, the discussion will switch to engineering a breakup without running up millions of dollars in lawsuits.
. . .
"It'll be who gets the money and who gets the kids," Bishop Jecko said. "I hope it will be an amicable divorce. ... Those of us on the [theologically] orthodox side have no interest in going to court."
. . .
Bishop Jon Bruno and his Los Angeles diocese, which is host to the meeting, quickly moved to counteract the story. "It's just a meeting among bishops of different ideologies who just want to get together and discuss things among themselves," spokeswoman Janet Kawamoto said.
. . .
Canon law rules that a congregation that departs from the Episcopal Church must leave its property and assets behind. However, several dioceses are contesting this law in civil court.