A two-year-old church property dispute between Episcopalians and Anglicans appears to be on its way to the Virginia Supreme Court.Read it all here.
On Feb. 3, The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia together filed an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court hoping to overturn a Dec. 19 decision by Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows in favor of the Anglican District of Virginia, known as ADV.
On Feb. 10, the Episcopal appeal was followed by a motion asking for an exception to the Supreme Court's limit of 35 pages in appeal cases.
The property dispute originally arose as a result of 11 churches that decided to break off from the Episcopal Church after they determined that church leadership was not following a proper reading of Scripture, particularly on the issue of homosexuality.
Among the area congregations now aligned with the ADV are Christ the Redeemer in Centreville, Church of the Apostles in Fairfax, Church of the Epiphany in Herndon, Church of Our Saviour in Oatlands, Potomac Falls in Sterling, Truro in Fairfax City and The Falls Church.
"Defending our heritage and securing our future is expensive. We have spent so far nearly 2 million dollars on litigation costs as a defendant," Episcopal Bishop Peter James Lee recently told Episcopal leaders at a gathering in Reston. Regardless of the case's outcome, Lee announced that he will soon retire and step down as bishop.
Jim Oakes, ADV vice chairman said, “We are saddened that the Episcopal Church and the Diocese find it necessary to continue with more litigation. An appeal process will cost additional millions of dollars that could be spent on mission and ministry. Both sides have already spent some $5 million in legal costs, money that could have gone to our communities in need during these tough economic times."
Wednesday, February 18, 2009