Let's just take the possibility (by no means certain) that the elected vestry succeeds with the appeal that was argued Thursday. At that point, it must begin to pay off what it owes its attorneys (assuming, of course, that the ACA and Mrs Bush do not appeal that decision and continue the struggle). My own brief experience as an interim treasurer of the parish under the Patrimony was that it was just breaking even on salaries, maintenance, and expenses, given the meager pledge-and-plate and the rental income. How it might expect to pay those with a new hefty deduction for what it owes the lawyers is a worthwhile question. In addition, my wife suggests that even if the elected vestry wins its appeal, Lancaster & Anastasia LLP will take the position that they represented the ACA and Mrs Bush under the assumption that they were authorized to engage them, whether that was actually the case -- so they'll be at the parish doorstep with their own claims for payment, regardless of who wins.
But I don't see St Mary of the Angels as a viable Anglican parish, whether under the ACA or any other "continuing" denomination. As a "continuing" group, it probably would not consider affiliating with the ACNA, where there might in fact be enough interest to sustain a parish in Los Angeles proper. The informal scuttlebutt I've heard is that the parish is no longer in the running for the US Ordinariate -- but the Pontiff for whom Ordinariates were a pet project has retired, and Pope Francis does not appear to view them with the same favor. The Ordinariates in any case have not lived up to their initial hype. There would be no greater benefit to St Mary of the Angels to affiliate with the US Ordinariate at this point than to affiliate with any of the tiny "continuing" denominations. Jeffrey Steenson, frankly, dropped that ball, and that opportunity is now gone for good. (I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker, and I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker. . .) Even as a Catholic, I wouldn't have all that much interest in attending an Anglican Use mass at St Mary's, simply because I'd feel it was part of too small and too feckless an enterprise -- better to stay with my "real" Catholic community.
My wife suggests, and I've always agreed, that the only real option for the parish is to sell the property, pay what it owes in legal fees, back salaries, and damages, and dissolve (the residual proceeds would need to go to a non-profit in any case). As a designated historical landmark, it will be very difficult to convert to any but religious use. We have a sort of private joke that it could go to the Scientologists, but even they have a nice, new facility just a couple of blocks up the street -- why go with an old, Christian-looking building and fight the termites?
On the other hand, someone pointed out this development:
The largest diocese in the United States, and one of the largest in the world, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, is about to officially receive and welcome the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP), Rorate can confirm. Rumors on this huge step for Tradition in America had been circulating in the past few weeks, but at last we are able to bring this piece of news to the general public.So they're looking to buy a building, maybe in Hollywood? Hmm.
Archbishop José Horacio Gómez receives our gratitude for warmly welcoming an institute dedicated exclusively to the Traditional Mass to the Archdiocese, the FSSP. The little pueblo of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de la Porciúncula was founded under the aegis of the Traditional Mass by settlers sent by Blessed Junípero Serra, so it is fitting and proper that the Mass of Father Serra be daily celebrated in a setting dedicated exclusively to it in the Archdiocese.
We are also informed that the FSSP will need to eventually purchase or build a church in the city: at first, they are looking at either the Downtown or Hollywood areas.