A cautionary tale about parish litigation from the days of St. James the Less (Philadelphia)

Virtue Online link from its listserve days

David Virtue is an old-style Episcopalian who writes a lot online about the developments in the denomination.

The above is a link about his opinions of the trial in the St. James the Less case. This was the 2001 court action where the parish lost control of its property because they reincorporated as a separate religious society. Bishop Bennison there swept in and seized control.

David Virtue was impressed by the St. James the Less legal team, which had included Jerry Shestack, the former ABA president and Democratic big-wig lawyer.

But it turned out that Judge O’Keefe, (who I can give you a 411 on from this perspetive some other time), in the end totally rejected the St. James the Less people’s arguments. Virtue’s account of the great legal team aside, it turned out that “Less” didn’t have more. Less had less.

Pope O’Keefe’s legal philosophy in religious disputes is that Episcopal church bishops are all-controlling, and that the bishop must have his way. And so he writes the rules for Episcopalianism that way . . .