Episcopal News Service Friday, September 15, 2006
Plano parish will pay to leave Episcopal Church
Christ Church Plano, Diocese of Dallas reach 'godly judgment'
By Mary Frances Schjonberg
[ENS] The vestry and rector of Christ Church in Plano, Texas announced September 15 that the parish will pay the Diocese of Dallas $1.2 million for its title to the parish property and disassociate themselves from the Episcopal Church.
Bishop James Stanton said, in one of two statements posted on the website of Christ Church in Plano (http://www.christchurchplano.org/documents/06_0915_roseberry.html), that he had come to the conclusion that there are "irreconcilable differences between Christ Church and the Episcopal Church, differences that would necessitate their separation from the Episcopal Church and, consequently, from the Diocese of Dallas."
"In many ways, clearly, this is a sad occasion for our Diocese," he wrote.
Stanton wrote that he had issued a "godly judgment" allowing permitting the parish to separate from the diocese.
The website statement from the Christ Church vestry and its rector, the Rev. Canon David H. Roseberry, claims canonical authority for Stanton's "godly judgment." Neither their statement nor Stanton's gives a canonical citation for that authority.
There is a reference to a bishop's authority to issue a godly judgment in Title III, Canon 15, "Of the Dissolution of the Pastoral Relation," specifically Section 4(a) (http://www.churchpublishing.org/general_convention/pdf_const_2003/Title _III_Ministry.pdf). The canon deals with differences between a rector and vestry. It allows the bishop to "give notice to the Rector and Vestry that a godly judgment will be rendered" if the bishop concludes that the differences have not and cannot be resolved.
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