Thursday, June 21, 2012

Episcopal Diocese Wooing Breakaway Groton Church Back Into The Fold

U.S. Supreme Court Declined To Consider Fight Over Bishop Seabury Church Property
June 20, 2012

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision this week not to hear the case of a conservative Episocopal parish in Groton that split from the larger church, Connecticut's Episcopal bishop said Wednesday that the diocese is trying to reconcile with the breakaway congregation.

The high court said Monday that it would not hear arguments about whether the Bishop Seabury Church in Groton should have to return property to the Episcopal diocese, which it left in 2007. The state Supreme Court ruled last year that the 136-year-old parish had to return the property — the 6.5-acre church site, the sanctuary and its contents.

Bishop Seabury Church was one of six parishes in Connecticut that split from the Episcopal Church of the United States after it ordained an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire in 2003 and elected a woman as presiding bishop in 2006. the rest
Gauss said five other area churches have offered his parish space if the congregation is forced to leave its building at 256 North Road in Groton. One neighboring church also has offered Seabury money if the parish needs financial support, he said.

Whatever Seabury decides to do, Gauss said, the decision would not be determined solely by one-on-one talks between him and Douglas. He said he would make the decision with his parishioners, just as he did when Seabury left the church five years ago.


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