Monday, September 22, 2014

Another St Mary's Lawsuit!

While poking around on Google, I stumbled across another lawsuit: The Rector, Wardens, and Vestrymen of St. Mary of The Angels Parish et al v. Church Mutual Insurance Company et al, filed October 23, 2013 in California Central District Federal Court. The et als on the Rector Wardens and Vestry side (the plaintiffs) are none other than Langley Brandt, Patrick Omeirs, Marilyn Bush, and Carolyn Morello (I believe she is Anthony Morello's widow). In addition to the Church Mutual Insurance Company, there are also some John Does, which of course we've seen before.

I'm not ready to pay to get more info on this lawsuit, but it looks like the plaintiffs want money, which of course we've seen before.

My wife suggests that the amount in dispute must be significant to take the matter into federal court. The plaintiffs are represented by Lytton, Williams, Messina & Hankin LLP, which means they are also spending big bucks, presumably from parish resources.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Calendar Not Updated?

For a couple of weeks after "Bishop" (or "Pastor") Williams arrived, the calendar of masses was updated at the St Mary's web site. No longer. apparently: the blooper over the "Exultation" of the Holy Cross is still there. Could the interdict signs have discombobulated the occupiers?

If I were Mrs Bush, I'd be pretty upset if Marsh and Rivers hadn't given me a heads-up over whatever circumstances were involved in Williams's departure from Trinity.

Monday, September 15, 2014

So Here's What I Think Happened

I'd been wondering for weeks why there was no announcement on the Trinity Pro-Cathedral web site that "Bishop" Williams was going to St Mary of the Angels. Now it's clear: the Trinity vestry had fired the guy and was keeping it confidential. But this raises another set of questions: whose idea was it to send him to St Mary of the Angels? And was anyone, appointed "vestry" or not, ever made aware of the circumstances at Trinity?

We don't know anything of the "unresolved moral concerns" that may have been connected with Williams's departure from Trinity, although let's face it, responsible adults (if there in fact are any) among the Bush-ACA faction at St Mary's should have been fully apprised of them, and they should have been given a full opportunity to turn down the deal. (I will say that there are ladies of advancing years among that group who are quite capable of saying "Immorality? Sounds intriguing.")

But after all, this is the ACA. St Mary's has a "vestry" that hires a rector, but not really. It also has an absentee "rector", who theoretically is the one who hires other clergy. I would assume that if he's the "rector", it would have been his decision alone to hire Williams as "pastor", whatever that means. My guess is that Frederick Rivers, in his capacity as "rector", did what Brian Marsh told him to do and hired Williams, who had to get out of Dodge in a hurry, and St Mary's was a convenient place to park him.

The best thing that could have happened that might lead to a rector's dismissal on moral grounds would be an affair with an adult female parishioner. There's no guarantee that this is what happened, though. There's also the thing that used to be quaintly called a "morals offense", which might cause greater disquiet among conservative Anglicans. And then there's ACA Canon 46, "Of Offenses for which Bishops, Presbyters, or Deacons May Be Tried"

Section 46.1 A Bishop, Presbyter, or Deacon of this Church shall be liable to presentment and trial for the following offenses, viz:
  1. Crime or immorality
That happened, after all, to Williams's colleague "Bishop" Hiles, and to the author of the whole freak show, "Archbishop" Falk, when both were Episcopal priests and had gotten a bit frisky with the pew. As these bishops see things, no big deal. We all have our secrets, after all, we'll just keep this little business among ourselves.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Interdict Signs

This appears at the Freedom for St Mary's site. I don't know what the "unresolved moral concerns" are, but from just poking around the fringes of this bunch, I feel certain there are plenty. If I had the mad money, I'd spend it on private investigators. On the other hand, the stuff I can find via the Internet just gets referred to ACA stooges with secrets of their own for "investigation".

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Another Blooper!

I was checking the St Mary's web site, as I do every now and then, and I discovered that the Monday Mass for September 15 is the Exultation [sic] of the Holy Cross.

This isn't up there with the page that had Cannon Morello presiding over the Angelican parish, but it's close. And at least the guy who put the earlier blooper up had the excuse that he was a loser -- even Mrs Bush eventually got tired of him. But this one had to have come straight from the "Bishop" himself!

I've heard Episcopalians described as "Catholic lite". I think I would characterize "continuing Anglicans" as Catholic dumb.

A Couple Weeks Late,

Trinity Pro-Cathedral has quietly replaced The Rt Rev Owen Rhys Williams on its web page. All news has also been purged. The Rev Andrew S Faust appears as the presumptive adult in charge. And that's it -- do you get the impression that Trinity wasn't sorry to see Williams go? As opposed to the fanfare on the St Mary of the Angels web page, this was a remarkably quiet departure.

Faust appears to be retired from Episcopal rectorships at parishes in Florida and Texas. Public records give his age at 67 and his residence in Saco, ME, which leads me to believe he's a supply priest here, at least for the time being. An easy couple hundred a week, don't ask too many questions.

Still, I keep wondering, given typical memberships, how any ACA parish can even heat the place in the winter and keep the lights on, much less pay anyone. Fr Faust, you're best off collecting your supply honorarium while you can and moving on.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The ACA -- Who's Affected? -- II

Two things pop out when you start to look more closely at the ACA. One is how few parishes are in anything like metropolitan areas -- even in the densely populated Northeast, the largest parishes seem to be in also-ran cities like Portland, ME or Concord, NH, and these are by any normal standards very small. The Rector of St Paul's Anglican Portland noted in a recent newsletter,
Oh, did I mention that last Sunday, the 13th of February, we had 17 at the 8 o’clock Mass and 38 at the 10 o’clock Mass? It’s probably a record for any Sunday other than Easter-day. And in February, in the midst of all the cold and snow!
So a total Sunday attendance of 55 at one of the largest parishes in the Diocese of the Northeast is exceptional! (And that includes choir and altar party at the 10:00, which means the nave must have been pretty forlorn. Reminds me of a former Episcopal parish, where we had to lean across two rows of pews to exchange the peace.) The news item in the Concord, NH Monitor that discussed "Christian" Tutor's ordination said that parish had a membership of 45 and worshiped Sunday afternoons in a Lutheran church, itself a rather sad-looking A-Frame.

Very little in the Tri-State area around New York City -- the parish in Elizabeth, NJ comes up on Google Street View as a parking lot; maybe someone can clarify this. St Joseph's Brooklyn is the only substantial building, but not large, while the Queens parish appears to be in a storefront. So much for the biggest urban area in the US.

Pretty much every other parish in the Diocese of the Northeast is in exurban or downright rural areas. A puzzle is St Elizabeth's Chapel Tuxedo Park, which began as a family chapel of the J.P.Morgan banking family. The history here must be intriguing, since J.P.Morgan himself was an enthusiastic Episcopalian, and the chapel must have been a TEC institution until fairly recently. I also assume it has an endowment, which must be among the few actual sources of income for the ACA.

Pretty much the same goes for the Diocese of the Eastern US -- what of Atlanta, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Washington, Richmond, Pittsburgh, etc etc etc? Again, a scattering of little storefronts and prefabs in rural areas, the parish in Allentown, PA about the only exception.

Same for the Diocese of the Missouri Valley, roughly a dozen little prefabs or storefronts with just a few substantial buildings anywhere. And the Diocese of the West is simply moribund, a few converted residences, a couple of rentals in funeral parlors and whatnot, and two real buildings where they can't seem to hold onto supply priests.

In 2012, I estimated an average size of 60 for ACA parishes in good standing. Thirty is probably generous. To be nice, I estimated 19 as an average mission size. Ten may be closer to the truth.

Where is the membership? And following on that, where are the pledges? Where are the diocesan tithes? Where is the money? How would even seizing St Mary of the Angels, obtaining title outright, and selling the place, do anything at all for this sorry little denomination? What do Marsh and his cronies really have in mind?