Court Rules in Favor of Diocese; Division Statute Does Not Apply
The Diocese of Virginia is gratified by the Supreme Court of Virginia's ruling that the 57-9 "Division Statute" was incorrectly applied by the Fairfax County Circuit Court. The statute has forced faithful Episcopalians to worship elsewhere for over three years. The Supreme Court has sent the matter back to the lower court for further proceedings. The Diocese will demonstrate that the property is held in trust for all 80,000 Episcopalians who worship in Virginia.
"This decision brings us one important step closer to returning loyal Episcopalians, who have been extraordinarily faithful in disheartening and difficult circumstances, to their church homes," said the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, bishop of Virginia. "We are extremely grateful for this opportunity to correct a grievous harm. The Episcopal Church has and will continue to stand by its people, its traditions and its legacy - past and future. We look forward to resolving this matter as quickly as possible and bringing our faithful brothers and sisters back to their home churches."
Added Henry D.W. Burt, secretary of the Diocese, "In light of this decision and its clear implications, I hope the leadership of CANA will now provide access for the continuing Episcopal congregations to worship as Episcopalians at their home churches during this interim period."
Read the full opinion online.
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