Saturday, July 01, 2006

Is anyone asking this question?

Parish property is owned by the diocese. That is one of the peculiarities of the Episcopal Church. A congregation that chooses to leave the Episcopal Church does not retain use of the parish property. This figures in the congregation's calculus of whether to leave. Of course not all agree about who owns the property or about what a court would rule if a congregation sued for the property.

The Episcopal Church (ECUSA) is in the Anglican Communion. The Archbishop of Canterbury has recently stated that ECUSA is at risk of losing its representation in AC, and that the representation of the United States in the AC could be transferred to another entity.

My question: If such a transfer of representation takes place, would that have any consequence for ownership?

My presumption: The diocese is a creature of General Convention. The diocese that is recognized by ECUSA is the diocese that owns the property.

My question and my presumption also, of course, apply to dioceses in the US that leave the ECUSA. ECUSA would simply recognize those persons in that region that have chosen not to leave to be that regional diocese. Those persons are the diocese.

Is anyone else asking my question?

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