Friday, June 26, 2009

Court rules in favour of Los Angeles diocese

From Religous Intelligence-

A California appeals court has ruled in favour of the Diocese of Los Angeles, holding that the congregation of St Luke’s Church in La Crescenta could not take its property with it when it quit the diocese.

On June 9 the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal upheld a 2007 lower court decision which ruled against the congregation, which in 2006 had quit the Episcopal Church for the Church of Uganda.

"The long history of the Episcopal Church in La Crescenta will continue with new leadership and the potential for sustained growth, and as an open source of full inclusion for all humanity," Los Angeles Bishop Jon Bruno told the Episcopal News Service after the decision was released.

On June 11, the Rev Rob Holman, rector of the breakaway congregation, stated his congregation had “shed many tears at the thought of being deprived of our house of worship for these past 85 years.

“That the Bishop of Los Angeles would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in the courts to wrest all, down to even the small wooden processional cross from the hands of our youngest acolytes, is unfathomable to the Christian heart,” he said.

The appellate court’s action in the St Luke’s case will not affect any other California church lawsuit, however, as it was issued as an unreported decision --- meaning the court will not publish its ruling, preventing other courts or litigants from relying upon it for precedential value.

The court stated that it based its decision upon the Jan 5, 2009, decision by the California Supreme Court in the case of St James’ Newport Beach --- a case currently under appeal before the US Supreme Court and returned to the lower courts for trial in Orange County, California.

More here-

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