Thursday, July 10, 2008

Good Shepherd and the Diocese of Central New York: False hope and a deceptive protocol (from the rector’s journal), 2007

A new entry in Matt Kennedy's on-going series at Stand Firm on his experience with the Diocese of Central New York:

The following is an email I sent to vestrymembers following perhaps the most important meeting with Bishop Adams prior to his decision to file a lawsuit against us.

The meeting took place in late October and it included discussions of a protocol for property negotiations.

Two important things to note:

1. At this point Good Shepherd had yet to officially leave the Episcopal Church and Anne and I were still ordained Episcopalian ministers. We did not want to leave first, without any consultation, and then come to the bishop with that fact already established. We wanted to act in full consultation and cooperation with the diocese to avoid causing public embarrassment to the diocese, unnecessary discord in our relationships and any litigation that might come in response.

The position of the diocese, however, was that unless and until Good Shepherd officially departed the Episcopal Church there could be no property negotiations.

2. Subsequently, many months after our departure, at a meeting at the diocesan office as relations were breaking down the chancellor for the Diocese of Central New York, Mr. Paul Curtin, suggested that “the bishop never used the word ‘negotiate’” and never believed that negotiating for the property of Good Shepherd was possible.

This would seem rather absurd given the protocol drawn up in his office and the entire two year process of negotiations and leads to the following conclusion: Either Mr Curtin is misrepresenting the facts or Bishop Adams purposefully lured Good Shepherd into a position vulnerable to litigation by promising good faith negotiations, never intending to follow through. Much more will soon be published to help clarify this question.

Here is the email and the protocol. . .

Read it all. And check out Matt's earlier posts:

No comments: