Friday, May 3, 2013

Property loss

From "World"-

The Virginia Supreme Court has mostly affirmed a lower court ruling that granted control of a historic Falls Church sanctuary to the Episcopal Church and the Episcopal congregation that meets at the building. After the majority of the Falls Church congregation, along with six other northern Virginia churches, left the national Episcopal Church in 2006 over concerns related to growing liberalism and affirmation of gay clergy, the denomination began suing the breakaway congregations to seize their properties and bank accounts. The state Supreme Court decision is the latest in a series of rulings nationally that have tended to favor the Episcopal denomination over local congregations, even when large majorities of those congregations have agreed to leave. Falls Church Anglican, the breakaway church, has been worshipping in a high-school auditorium as it awaited the ruling.

In response to the decision, the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, the Episcopal bishop of Virginia, said, “We are grateful that the Supreme Court of Virginia has once again affirmed the right of Episcopalians to worship in their spiritual home at The Falls Church Episcopal.” Johnston has been a vocal proponent of adopting a liturgy to bless same-sex relationships, and in December 2012 he ordained a woman who is reportedly a non-celibate lesbian in a ceremony at the Falls Church sanctuary.

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