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DSO 2009 Pre-Convention Hearings: Dennis Canon Shenanigans

2 November 2009

[H/T Pearls Before Swine]

From here:

Proposal

– Add a specific reference within our canons to the “Dennis Canon” that is in the canons of The Episcopal Church.

Reasoning: The Dennis Canon is The Episcopal Church’s provision that governs property within the Church and diocese. Consistent with constitutional legal rulings, it generally provides that all property held by entities within The Episcopal Church is held in trust for The Episcopal Church and the diocese. The committee recommends that a specific incor­poration of this provision be included as a helpful reminder and reference within our canons.

Action item:

Be it resolved that Canon XI be amended to add a new section 7, to read as follows:

“All Property Held in Trust.

7. The Diocese is a constituent part of the National Church, and all Congregations, corporations, societ­ies, committees or organizations of the Diocese of Southern Ohio are constituent parts of the Diocese of Southern Ohio, and as such accede to the doctrine, discipline and worship of the National Church and to the Constitutions and Canons of the National Church and the Diocese of Southern Ohio. As provided in the National Church’s Canons, the Diocese of Southern Ohio and its constituent parts hold title to all property, real and personal, in their care and custody in trust for the National Church and the Diocese of Southern Ohio.”

The Dennis Canon is of course, the Episcopal Church’s way of saying they value bricks above souls, while letting vestries be responsible for the bricks.  Oh yeah, and they can sue you (and will) in civil court if you get on the wrong side of your bishop. 

Here is a note from the Athens pre-convention hearing:

5.3   Add a specific reference to the Denis Canon governing property. The Rev. Bill Pursley from St. John’s Lancaster lamented the tightening of governance around these issues of property and gave the disclaimer that St. John’s was not thinking about leaving the diocese. Bishop Price said the idea for this change came from the diocese of Ohio and he claimed that the national church is supporting this. Jon Boss clarified this further by describing the legal needs of the diocese and national church in articulating property ownership and how the wording is being changed to accommodate these needs.

And one of our Oysters has observed,

How convenient to add specific reference to the Dennis Canon while at the same time giving the go-ahead with SSBs huh?

Indeed.

– Elder

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