The following is just a brief summary of the UECNA's position. As a Church of the Continuum there are three major points that are essential, indeed sacred and special.
I. The use of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.
II. An all-Male Clergy
III. Ownership-control of the local parish buildings and property by the local Vestry.
To break any of these essential points is to break them all. To pick or choose or disregard any of these points for any reason is to forever separate oneself from both actual or spiritual association of the Articles of St. Louis and all that they stand for. There is no reason or justification ever to pick and choose, or to compromise on these points.
Those persons or organizations deliberately dishonoring these points give evidence to their outright dishonesty, self-aggrandizement and/or outright fraud.
Archbishop Reber got to the one point that matters most. The Episcopal Church (TEC) has used financial matters, especially ownership of church property, as a weapon to use against people who have sought to be true to their convictions, and their consciences. They have used the Denis Canon, which made the Diocese the owner of all church property.* Even before that canon (1979), it was clear that they were going to claim the property of parishes trying to break away as the Continuing Anglican Churches were forming their Constitution in 1977. The use of financial pressure to establish and propagate apostasy and heresy was something that the framers of the Affirmation of St. Louis understood, and so they made it impossible for this tactic to reappear in the Continuing Churches. So, one of the Articles of the Affirmation says, ""Financial Affairs: The right of congregations to control of their temporalities should be firmly and constitutionally recognized and protected."
When and how the Holy Catholic Church Anglican Rite (HCC/AR) became a separate jurisdiction is beside the point for purposes of this post. What matters is that their Constitution embodied the principle quioted above from the Affirmation of St. Louis, as Fr. John Hollister reported to us in a comment.
"Constitution Part II
". . .
"ARTICLE XI -- OF THE INTERPRETATION OF THIS CONSTITUTION AND CANONS
"All words and provisions of this Constitution and Canons shall be interpreted strictly in accordance with their plain literal and grammatical meaning at the time of writing.
". . .
"ARTICLE XXI -- OF THE TEMPORAL AFFAIRS AND POSSESSIONS OF CONGREGATIONS
"The right of Congregations to control of their temporalities, and to freedom from claims of any Diocesan or Provincial or Synodical Trust or implied Trust asserted by the adherence of such Congregation to the Communion of this Church, or by its adherence to the Constitution or Canons of any Diocese, Province, or Synod shall be forever recognized and protected.
"No person or ecclesial body in this Church shall ever resort to any civil court for the purpose of depriving any congregation departing from this church of any property or right pertaining to it."
This, then, became part of their Canon Law.
The two bishops, Rt. Rev. James McNeley and Leo Michael, by trying to take over the parish property, violated this part of their Constitution, and by resorting to civil law, violated it further.
Furthermore, they disobeyed the clear teaching of the Apostle Paul, the word of God in holy Scripture:
"Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren."
I Corinthians 6: 1-8.
By filing the lawsuit against St. James, these two bishops renounce the Affirmation of St. Louis, violate the Canon Law of their jurisdiction, and disobey Scripture.
Little details about who struck John are not the issue that matters most. Imitating the worst behavior of Katherine Jefferts-Schori and her thugs is the issue. Blowing the whistle on bad behavior by churches that claim to descend from the original Denver Consecrations of 1978, and that claim to adhere to the principles of the Affirmation of St. Louis, is necessary no matter how unpleasant. Otherwise, the little fixes that spoil the vines get to set precedents, both in courts of law, and in the human imagination. The plague can spread to others.
For the good of all, I ask these two bishops to drop their suit. If they win they lose, and everybody loses with them. And, besides that, their actions constitute sin from which they need to repent for the sake of their own souls.
* Oddly enough it is the very success of the Denis Canon in courts of law that presents TEC with a problem now, as they try to sue the entire Diocese of San Joaquin for realigning with the Province of the Southern Cone.