Thursday, July 24, 2014

Judge in Episcopal schism trial: It's a civil matter

From South Carolina-

The judge presiding over the local Episcopal schism trial said Wednesday that she considers the case a matter of neutral, secular state laws and not about a hierarchical church's authority, a potential blow to The Episcopal Church's argument that it has the religious freedom to govern its own dioceses.

"I'm not going into the hierarchical part," Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein said.

At issue is whether state civil laws override a national, hierarchical church body's authority on matters of governance such as whether a subunit can secede or whether to hold property in trust.

"To what extent am I going to delve into ecclesiastical law?" Goodstein asked. "I'm not."

David Beers, chancellor to The Episcopal Church's presiding bishop, disagreed: "We contend hierarchy is important."

More here-

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