State Supreme Court Rules in Church Dispute
The Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that the decision of a Fairfax Circuit Court in an Episcopal Church property dispute was in error.
Nine congregations voted to leave the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and align themselves with a Nigerian Anglican Diocese while continuing to occupy Episcopal Churches. Citing the state’s so called 57 -9 Division Statute, the lower court said they could stay. The Supreme Court ruled the statute was incorrectly applied.
Burt: We do hope to resolve this matter as quickly as possible and bring our faithful brothers and sisters back to their home churches.
Henry Burt is Secretary of the Diocese. The Fairfax Court will now sort out who owns the land and buildings.
Burt: The Diocese has to show that it has either a trust, proprietary, or contractual interest in the property. And we expect that the deeds, constitutions, and canons of the church, that the statutes and the course of dealings between the parties will clearly demonstrate that we have all of those.
John Ogle, WCVE News