July 14, 2007

“Where Is the Money Coming from?”

An Open Letter to the Executive Council


Dear Council Members:

We, the undersigned, protest the recent actions of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church. Leveling charges and threats of litigation at four dioceses of the Episcopal Church constitutes an outrageous example of exacerbating rather than reconciling the divisions in this church.

The Episcopal Church is already involved in expensive lawsuits in Los Angeles, Virginia, Florida, San Diego, New York and elsewhere. Now the Executive Council is threatening even more legal action against four dioceses who affirm their membership in the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. They are trying to keep unity in their dioceses by declaring in their constitutions that they will abide by the doctrine and practice of the Historic Catholic Church and to Holy Scriptures.

Many formerly faithful Episcopalians, congregations and individuals have chosen to depart and affiliate elsewhere, including many who have gone to other Anglican Provinces. Some of you might not care about this tragic daily hemorrhaging of the life blood of the Episcopal Church, but we grieve over it. And, we, in the name of the living God, declare that by litigation you may win possession of some buildings and land, but you will never get the people back by the most potent litigation that money can buy. The Episcopal Church has the capacity to bankrupt and destroy all of the congregations and dioceses that dare to meet the Episcopal Church in court. But that will not get the people back. We would like to know, where the money is coming from in order to conduct this litigation, especially in view of the fact that the program budget is being reduced because insufficient funds are being received from dioceses.

We ask you, our Executive Council, to make a public report of how much money the Episcopal Church has spent in recent years on court costs and attorney fees in these extensive litigations. In what budget is it accounted for? Has any income from trust funds been used to support these litigations? How much and from which funds? How much compensation has the law firm of the Episcopal Church’s chancellor, David Beers, received, for servicing this litigation? An open and transparent disclosure is crucially important to avoid speculation, rumors and consequent distrust of the Episcopal Church.

+Maurice M. Benitez, Bishop of Texas, Retired
+ C.F. Allison, Bishop of South Carolina, Retired
+Alex D.Dickson, Bishop of West Tennessee, Retired
+ William C. Wantland, Bishop of Eau Claire, Retired