Hopes for a peaceful settlement between the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and nine breakaway congregations suffered a blow yesterday when the diocese announced it would not renew a mutual promise to avoid litigation over property.My guess is that if it goes to court the local congregations will lose.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Virginia Episcopal Diocese May Sue
Who owns the property when a church decides to split from a denomination or judicatory body? It depends on the denominational polity. In the Episcopal Church, apparently, it is the denomination that owns the property. The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia may sue the nine churches who have decided to align themselves with an African diocese because they disagree with the American church's stand on ordaining women and gay pastors. From the Washington Post: