Thursday, July 7, 2016

Legal battle hinges on California’s High Court

From San Joaquin-

An eight-year legal battle involving tens of millions of dollars in church property, including the St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Mission in Sonora, is in the hands of the California Supreme Court, which could decide as soon as a week from now whether to accept the case.

If the Supreme Court takes the case, the dispute could continue for another year or more, and the members of St. Michael, which is known as the Blue Church, will not have to move.

But a choice to not accept the case would leave standing a decision in the May decision by 5th District Appeals Court that said St. Michael and 27 other church properties belong to the Episcopal Church.

In 2007, a majority of the members of the Diocese of San Joaquin objected to the ordination of gay bishops and the Episcopal Church’s stance toward gay people and women in church. They voted to leave the Episcopal Church to form the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin, prompting the Episcopal Church lawsuit to reclaim ownership of the church properties.

Whatever the court’s determination, it will signify a major development in one of the nation’s first efforts by a diocese to breakaway from the national Episcopal Church. Scores of congregations across the country had broken away, but the Diocese of San Joaquin vote in 2007 was among the first times an entire diocese had done so.

More here-

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