CANA Head Office - the Church of Nigeria - weighs in on Va. Court Ruling

The Church of Nigeria website weighed in on the Virginia Court ruling with an comment titled, "CANA Magnanimous in Victory." The statement is HERE.

The article begins, "The Virginia court handling the legal tussle between The Episcopal Church (TEC) and the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) District of Virginia in a more than 80 page opinion allowed the faithful brethren to continue to use the buildings erected for bible believing Christians. They had been sued to vacate the buildings when they chose to affiliate with as a means of continuing to remain Anglicans."

After commenting on the magnanimous attitude of the victors, it continues to describe what it understands took place and at the close returns to its main point:

" The legal officer ( Barrister Abraham Yisa)who made several trips to the US because of the court case said the ruling should encourage many who are considering leaving Anglicanism due to the innovations of TEC to stay and claim the right to faithfully worship God. He hopes the ruling will help the TEC leadership rethink and retrace their steps so we can all be one big family again.

Further court hearings will continue in May 2008 except TEC accepts CANA's outstretched hand and resume settlement negotiations instead of committing huge legal fees to hold on to large buildings which they will not be able to effectively use and which may eventually be sold off to non-Christian organisations as is happening in some other dioceses."

Meanwhile, the Diocese of Virginia made a clear and simple response to the occupation by "who have left the Episcopal Church and yet continue to occupy Episcopal Church property while loyal Episcopalians are forced to worship elsewhere":



  1. It is discouraging that the MSM has chosen to portray the recent ruling as a "victory" for the reasserter crowd, when in fact it was anything but. In fact, the question of property will not even be considered by the Court until the fall.

  2. CANA attorneys argued that the Anglican Communion had split into two branches, one led by Canterbury and one led by Nigeria. It is clear that Judge Bellows, for the purposes of 57-9, has accepted that view that a "division" has taken place. It is my belief that +Cantuar had not issued his Lambeth invitations before the record in the cases, on which Judge Bellows based his decision, had closed. But it is of maximum importance that individuals who are CANA members know that they have NO relationship to Canterbury, that their leadership is +Akinola. Had they known that they would be declaring for that leadership before they voted, at least some, may have voted very differently. By contrast, they were assured of their Anglican Communion membership, as Venables+ and Schofield+ have assured San Joaquin of its Communion membership. EPfizH

  3. It is doubtful that two wonderful church buildings like Truro and the Falls would be used for non-religious purposes. (I haven't seen the others). Churches are still being built in this area, though not a huge number that I can tell. There isn't much land available in the inner DC suburbs.

    However, it is quite possible that some of the property that is now in commercial use (with plans for future expansion for office and classroom space) might be sold, I I couldn't say; even the currrent members might do that for many reasons. The fact that these churches own such property is not a matter for judgment, there isn't a lot of surrounding land just waiting to be put to the work of God. When the money comes along to buy property closeby at a reasonable price, you jump and let the property remain commercial until you need it. My church one one property - the only other building on the block - that is commercial from the street level up.

    I also think that there are plenty of people at the Falls that would stay and worship as Episcopalians if conservative services were always performed. There are old ties that people didn't want to break in the parish, and that is that. We'll see if it happens. Truro is a very different place, so I make no comment because of lack of knowledge and understanding. My church and the Falls have long historical ties as "sister" churches. Really, except for the pulpits, it's almost like walking into my own church. (I'm guessing Baby Blue now knows where I worship; come by anytime, I consider you welcome and so would many others.)

    I wish I had no emotional stake in this. It's a very interesting case, and could start a number of challenges to other laws that were made to protect people who defended the right of human slavery. The law has stretched out the legal process in a very odd way here in Virginia. It's time to institute some reality and decide such matters in the way of this century. Or even the ways of the second half of the 20th century.

  4. Though I understand the desire on +KJS's part to "not reward bad behavior" I wish that there could be some settlement that allows the breakaway congregations to, in effect, purchase their buildings from the Diocese of Virginia. That would inject capital for new church starts, save millions of dollars in legal costs, and let folks go on their way with, one hopes, a minimum of rancor. I'm not sure that the Diocese of Virgina would be able to keep up the buildings with the income from the remnant anyway, so this seems largely a matter of principals, not practicalities.

  5. Principles are not to be sneezed at.

  6. When someone has to issue a news release to tell the world that they have been magnanimous, you can rest assured that they have been anything but.

  7. There are those of us, committed to the cause of Christ, for whom it were better that Truro and The Falls Church be restaurants and night clubs than what they are today.

    Which would serve The Adversary more?

  8. anonymous #1, if it were indeed "anything but" a victory for the reasserters, then how do you explain why 815 is "disappointed" with the decision?

  9. Tom,
    As I understand from reading different blogs over the last several months, there *was* a process started by +Lee to work through just those issues (property), with the Diocese and the churches working together. This apparently was progressing well until someone from 815(?) yanked his (+Lee's) chain, and he brought the whole process to a screeching halt.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.