‘Extinct’ Episcopal Parish Refuses to Hand Over Keys to Property

The division of the Episcopal Church over homosexuality is growing.

(AgapePress) – An Episcopal congregation in Rochester, New York, is determined to hold on to its property — despite being declared “extinct” by its diocese.
Bishop Jack McKelvy with the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester recently declared All Saints Episcopal Church “extinct” because of its opposition to the denomination’s homosexual rights agenda. But the attorney for the parish says it is “alive in Christ” — and anything but extinct.
While Bishop McKelvy wishes to take over the parish’s property, the parish claims the diocese has no legal right to do so. Attorney Raymond Dague, who will represent All Saints should the congregation be sued by the diocese, says McKelvey came down on the parish like a “SWAT team.”
“When the bishop came asking for the keys, we sent him packing with nothing but a handshake,” the attorney explains. “We were very polite. He brought his chancellor, meaning his head lawyer, with him, and we shook hands, we exchanged business cards.
“He asked for the keys to the church,” Dague continues. “He wanted possession of it, he wanted to install his pastor there. And we politely told him, ‘No, you’re not going to do that.'”
Dague says the standard under New York law does not allow the parish to be declared “extinct,” so he does not believe the diocese can seize the parish’s property through civil recourse. And while the dispute may eventually be hashed out in court, the attorney says he hopes that never happens.
“We’re not going to sue the bishop,” Dague says. “Will he sue us? Generally Christians are not supposed to be suing one another. I would hope that he would abide by that scriptural admonition — but I am a little bit concerned because there was a very thinly veiled threat that a lawsuit may be coming. It’s not coming from us.”
The Episcopal bishop of Connecticut recently seized the property of an orthodox parish in Bristol. That parish, along with five other like-minded congregations, has since sued the diocese.

Here are some of the background stories:
‘Father Bill’ Fights Battle Against Liberal Drift of Episcopal Church
He leads one of three Episcopal parishes in California that stood up against the consecration of an openly homosexual bishop in New Hampshire. After his church bolted from its diocese and aligned with the conservative Anglican Church in Uganda, a battle erupted with his former diocese concerning ownership of their buildings and other property.
Episcopal Parishes File Suit Against Bishop, Denomination’s Leader
Six orthodox Anglican parishes have filed a federal lawsuit alleging that their civil rights were violated by Connecticut’s bishop and the head of the Episcopal Church USA. The conflict stems from the 2003 consecration of openly homosexual Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.
Episcopal Bishop Facing Charges from Subordinate Congregations
Formal charges have been filed against the Episcopal bishop of Connecticut who seized the property and church records of an orthodox parish over the protest of its vestry and staff.
Bishop-Controlled Church Wants Control of Reins Again
A spokesman for an Episcopal church in Connecticut that was forcibly seized by its liberal bishop because of its opposition to homosexuality says members of the congregation want their building and property back.
Church of England’s Homosexual ‘Marriage’ Compromise Has Theologian Concerned
While the Episcopal Church USA continues to affirm and bless homosexual relationships, the Church of England is now allowing homosexual clergy to marry if they promise to abstain from sex
Dissenting Connecticut Clergy Contend for ECUSA’s Reform
The Episcopal Bishop of Connecticut is threatening to punish six priests who are at odds with his support for the Episcopal Church USA’s current positions on homosexual issues.
Pro-Aborts and Homosexual Bishop — Alliance Not Surprising, Says Family Advocate
Homosexual Episcopal bishop Vicki Gene Robinson was the keynote speaker at an “interfaith prayer breakfast” on Friday morning sponsored by the nation’s largest abortion provider. The New Hampshire bishop used the opportunity to praise Planned Parenthood for its efforts — and to go on the attack against America.
Conservative Episcopal Minority Submits to Windsor Report, Rejects Unrepentant ECUSA Bishops
A conservative Anglican bishop says the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) has responded inadequately to a Church of England report that urged the denomination to repent for consecrating an openly homosexual bishop.
Top Stories of 2004: Episcopal Bishop Says Tolerance of Heresy Better Than Schism
In February, the Episcopal bishop of Virginia told his diocese’s annual meeting that it’s better to live with heresy than split the denomination over homosexuality.

I have to admit that I admire the folks who are standing up for Biblical Truth. In First Corinthians, Chapter 6, Paul addresses several issues with that church; how lawsuits among believers is handled and sexually immoral behavior. I really believe that the Bible cannot be more clear on these subjects. You either believe the Bible or you don’t. If you don’t then you subscribe to society’s viewpoint on homosexuality.
There is no middle ground on this on folks.

1 Corinthians 6:9 (New International Version)
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders…

Read all of 1 Corinthians Chapter 6 here.

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