Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Episcopal diocese sues Elm Grove church over split

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-

The Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee filed a lawsuit Monday against St. Edmund's Church, an Elm Grove congregation that split from the Episcopal Church in December and claimed control of the church buildings and real estate.

The diocese contends that it is the rightful owner of the property and is asking a Waukesha County Circuit Court judge to order St. Edmund's, church leaders and others named in the lawsuit to relinquish control of the property.

Eleven people and the church are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

"We are saddened to take this action, and it has not been taken lightly," said Bishop Steven A. Miller in a statement issued by the diocese.

"It's an unfortunate situation for all involved. But under our canon law, all parish property ultimately belongs to the diocese, and we have to enforce that law for the unity and well-being of the Church."

Miller, who is on sabbatical, said all church property is held in trust for the denomination by the parish and not owned by the congregation or local church.


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