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Chicago absorbs Quincy diocese: The Church of England Newspaper, June 16, 2013 p 7. June 20, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Chicago, Church of England Newspaper, Quincy, The Episcopal Church.

The synod of Episcopal Diocese of Chicago has voted to absorb the loyalist remnant of the Diocese of Quincy. On 8 June the Diocese of Chicago agreed to accept the 755 Quincy Episcopalians and their worshiping communities back into the diocese.

On November 7 2008 the Quincy synod approved the second and final reading of a constitutional amendment withdrawing from the Episcopal Church and voted to affiliate with the Church of the Province of the Southern Cone. Quincy later became one of the founding member dioceses of the Anglican Church of North America.

One of the US Church’s smallest dioceses, Quincy comprised 24 congregations spread across rural west central Illinois. Traditionally Anglo-Catholic, Quincy was one of three dioceses in the Episcopal Church that did not ordain women clergy at the time of its secession.

A briefing paper presented to the Chicago meeting stated that under the reunification agreement, the present provisional bishop of Quincy would become an assisting bishop in Chicago, and the clergy transferred to the Diocese of Chicago. St Paul’s Cathedral in Peoria (pictured) would revert to parish status and the Diocese of Chicago would assume all property and other assets owned or claimed by the Diocese of Quincy.

Approximately $4 million in assets and title to the property of the 22 breakaway congregations is the subject of litigation between the Episcopal Church and the ACNA diocese. The Episcopal Church has argued the 2008 synod vote to quit the Episcopal Church was unlawful and that that the remnant group is the true diocese entitled to ownership of all diocesan and parish assets. A decision is pending in April’s civil court proceedings over the secession.

Last week’s vote in Chicago is likely to presage the fate of the remnant groups in the dioceses of San Joaquin and South Carolina as none of these groups are financially self-sustaining.

According to a press release from the Episcopal News Service, the reunion of the two dioceses will be governed by Episcopal Church Canon 1.10.6, which allows the reunion of dioceses that were previously a single entity, but which had split apart, and now wanted to come together again, rather than Article V of the Constitution, which governs cases of two existing dioceses seeking to merge. The canon allows the dioceses to merge by vote of the bishops and standing committees of the church dioceses, while the constitution requires a vote by the General Convention.

The General Convention divided the Diocese of Illinois into three, creating the Diocese of Quincy from the Western portion of the state and Springfield from the South. In 1884 the Diocese of Illinois was renamed the Diocese of Chicago. The Diocese of Springfield has expressed no desire to merge with Chicago.

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