Episcopal Church wins in property disputes

Breakaway congregations cannot keep properties
Episcopal bishop J. Jon Bruno of the large Los Angeles diocese was “overjoyed” at the recent California Supreme Court ruling that said breakaway congregations cannot take possession of their properties, which are held in trust for a larger church body.

Through her New York office, Episcopal presiding bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said the January 5 decision was a “ringing endorsement” for the rights of parent denominations. She added that she hoped the ruling’s “unequivocal reasoning” would bring remaining property disputes in the 2.2-million-member Episcopal Church to a speedy conclusion.

Just about as happy, if not exultant, are officials of other connectional church bodies such as the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the United Methodist Church, some of whose dissident congregations are leaving over issues of biblical interpretation and gay rights.


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