November 12, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE5,000 Christians Call for Episcopal Financial Transparency
Thousands of concerned Christians signed an American Anglican Council (AAC) petition calling for financial transparency from the top leadership of The Episcopal Church (TEC). 5,752 people signed the online petition that called for “The Episcopal Church to state how much money [it] has spent since 2004 on litigation against individuals and parishes and to make public the source of the money for said litigation.”
“People who have given their money and offerings to the church have a right to know how it's being spent,” said Bishop-elect David C. Anderson, president and CEO of the AAC.
The petition was signed by 697 clergy members and 24 bishops. A vast majority of those who signed the petition--3,697--are Episcopalian.
Earlier this year, five retired Episcopal Bishops wrote a letter calling for TEC to divulge the source of its litigation funds. The letter came out of concerns over “past incidents of questionable financial decisions and financial mismanagement at the top echelons of TEC.” The Church has yet to respond to the requests.
The call for financial transparency became more pertinent when Episcopal Chancellor David Booth Beers recently admitted to the costs of the lawsuits being “heavy.” An October 31 Episcopal News Service article reported that Beers claimed “Lawsuits could conceivably be forthcoming in Georgia, Nebraska, Northern California, Ohio, South Dakota, Southern Virginia and a few other dioceses…”
“All around the country, The Episcopal Church is suing its former parishes over property the parishes bought and paid for. Besides the heavy emotional and spiritual costs of such lawsuits, the monetary costs of this kind of litigation could easily go into the millions of dollars,” said Bishop-elect David C. Anderson. "It makes no business sense and it certainly isn't a Christian way to run a church."