Supreme Court Rejects Conservative Breakaway Episcopalian's Effort to Keep $500 Million Worth of Property

"The United States Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal in the case of a conservative diocese that broke away from The Episcopal Church seeking to maintain ownership of $500 million worth of property." CPost

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Bert Perry's picture

This is a place where you've got a big deal with what the organizational structure is--really, and ironically, just like the SBC.  In both the SBC and in the episcopal churches, like the United Methodists I grew up with, it matters hugely who is at the top making certain key decisions.  Here, it's even more significant because the congregation does not own the building they paid for.  

That noted, a simpler way of solving the problem might have been to simply walk away from the buildings and let the national organization pay for their upkeep.  Pretty soon, they will be on the market for a fraction of what the bishops say they're worth today because churches have a limited number of non-church uses.  Problem solved.

Well, problem solved at least until the next group of renegades figures out they can have the whole kit and caboodle if only they get "their" guy in the bishop's vestments, of course.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

G. N. Barkman's picture

These are some of the unfortunate consequences of being involved with the episcopal form of church government.  Legally, the denomination owns all the property.  I think it is a legitimate debate whether the denomination has a right to the property if they have changed doctrinally from their original position.  If the local congregation maintains the original doctrinal position, why shouldn't they be allowed to keep their property?  However, that requires the courts making decisions based upon religious doctrine, which is contrary to the First Amendment, so legally, the continuing congregation is almost certain to lose.  My hats off to those who are willing to walk away from expensive property for the sake of Biblical fidelity! 

G. N. Barkman