Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Attleboro: Episcopal diocese settles lawsuit
Michael Paulson

Boston Globe
August 7, 2007

A group of former Episcopalians from Attleboro has agreed to return an undisclosed amount of money to the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts to settle a lawsuit alleging that the group, who broke away to protest the denomination's approval of an openly gay bishop, took cash and property belonging to the diocese.

The lawsuit was one of several around the country between Episcopal dioceses and departing members in an escalating dispute over the ownership of parish property. Conservatives have charged that the denomination is using a nationwide litigation campaign to intimidate them; diocesan officials say they are simply trying to protect their patrimony.

In Massachusetts, where the courts in the past have repeatedly ruled that parish property in hierarchical denominations belongs to the denominations, the two sides decided to settle just five weeks after the litigation was filed.
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