Friday, June 4, 2010

Virginia Supreme Court to rule on Anglican-Episcopal church property fight

From the Washington Post-

There's some news in the ongoing infighting among American Anglicans.

Next week will mark a turning point in a three-year-old court battle over church property in Virginia when the state Supreme Court weighs in. The case is being watched by Anglicans around the country - and other faith groups facing bitter, potentially litigious divisions.

Tens of millions of dollars have been spent and friends and families divided over the question of who owns a dozen churches - including some large, prestigious properties in Northern Virginia that belonged for centuries to the Episcopal Church. But at the end of 2006 majorities of members of the churches, including Truro Church and The Falls Church, voted to leave the Episcopal Church and join other, more conservative overseas branches of the larger Anglican Communion. Disagreements range from the ordination of women to the status of gay men and women to what the Bible says about salvation.

The breakaway conservatives have won almost all the court rulings so far, but the case is complex and involves both state and federal constitutional issues.

The Virginia Supreme Court could rule next week in a way that will lead to an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, or it could shut that avenue down and bring the case back to the Fairfax court were it was originally heard. There's a slight chance next week's ruling could end the case, but that seems unlikely considering how much time, money and emotion has been sunk into it by both sides.

More here-

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