Fighting and biting

A former Episcopal priest The Rev. David Moyer, of Good Shepherd Church in Rosemont, PA, is suing his own attorney for malpractice. But the move is controversial among members of the parish and others in the realignment movement who believe that Moyer has betrayed his principles for money.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Moyer and the vestry of the church believes that the attorney, John Lewis and the firm of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, “failed to adequately represent Moyer in the unusual trial against Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. and then failed to file an appeal when the jury rejected their claim.”

Lewis is the lead counsel for the breakaway Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Moyer and the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont – where he serves as rector despite his ouster by the diocese in 2002 – are seeking millions of dollars in compensation for the legal costs of the trial and what they say is damage to Moyer’s and the parish’s reputations.

The lawsuit has sharply divided the Main Line parish, however, and angered some of Moyer’s conservative supporters around the diocese who supported his public challenges to liberal trends in the Episcopal Church.

“David Moyer has sold out his friend and champion for 30 pieces of silver,” said Ray Kraftson, a lawyer who helped raise funds for Moyer’s lawsuit against Bennison.

Martha Eischen, a former vestrywoman and tithing member of Good Shepherd for most of her 70 years, called the lawsuit “a sin” and quit the parish because of it.

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