This from the presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church in response to the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy’s decision to realign with the Anglican Southern Cone province:
From the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, on the vote at the Quincy convention:
We lament the departure from The Episcopal Church of some individuals in southern Illinois. The Episcopal Diocese of Quincy remains, albeit with fewer members, and we are working to assist in the reorganization of diocesan affairs. We assure all, both Episcopalians and former Episcopalians, and members of their surrounding communities, of our prayers for clarity and charity in their spiritual journeys. May all be reminded that the gospel work of healing this world will take the best efforts of every person of faith.
Southern Illinois? Going to be hard to find those “fewer members” if TEC doesn’t even know where to look. Oh, wait, Quincy is outside of Chicago and therefore in “southern Illinois.” The Diocese of Quincy stretches from Geneseo, Kewanee and Princeton in the north to Quincy and Griggsville in the south. Only the last comes close to being in “southern Illinois.”
At stake in the split are churches, diocesan property, bank accounts and other financial assets. So far, TEC hasn’t been faring well in courts trying to get property back from departed congregations, at least in Virginia.
Some churches are in good shape. St. Francis in Dunlap is leasing space and Bread of Life Anglican Fellowship in Peoria also is either renting or meeting in space owned by an individual.
The most interesting case probably will involve St. Paul’s Cathedral in Peoria, as well as the diocesan office building nearby.