The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin has filed its ninth and final lawsuit against self-incorporated parishes that turned their backs on the national church in 2007.
This one, filed Monday, is against St. John the Evangelist church in Stockton, which is insured for $7.5 million.
St. John was one of about 40 parishes in the San Joaquin Diocese that left the Episcopal Church over issues of scriptural interpretation, such as whether Jesus is the only way to God, and whether gays should be ordained as priests and bishops.
That move set up parallel dioceses — the original diocese, headquartered in Fresno under Bishop John-David Schofield, is under the oversight of the Anglican Church in North America. The Episcopal diocese, headquartered in Modesto under Bishop Jerry Lamb, filed a lawsuit in 2008 against the the Anglican diocese and its parishes. The additional lawsuits, filed this year, were necessary to claim the property of self-incorporated parishes.