Saturday, May 17, 2014

GROTON, CT: Episcopal Bishop Fights Back at Characterization of his Role in Exodus of Bishop Seabury Church

By David W. Virtue
May 16, 2014

An article in The Day (May 9) "Homeless Bishop Seabury parish finds a place," characterized the bishop’s actions as one of “expelling” the congregation from its premises. The article went on to say that the church's legal battle dates back to seven years ago, when the parish opposed the Episcopal Church's ordination in 2003 of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire and the election in 2006 of a woman as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church of the U.S.A. The church has now found a satisfactory landing for the congregation, wrote Fr. Ron Gauss.

Upset with the claim that he tossed the congregation out on the street, Karin Hamilton, Canon for Mission Communication & Media for the diocese, wrote a letter to The Day newspaper saying that the Bishop was glad to learn the congregation had found a new location, but was upset at the language characterizing their departure from the church building.

“It is the practice of The Episcopal Church, affirmed in courts, that the Church retains the property in its name and each succeeding generation serves as stewards of it. Archdeacon Ron Gauss was aware of this well before he and a majority of the congregation voted to leave The Episcopal Church and join a group under the authority of a bishop from the Anglican Church of Nigeria.” This action resulted in a severance of the property from the diocese and the Episcopal Church.

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