Monday, July 07, 2014

Split among Episcopalians reaches SC courtroom

July 7, 2014 

Conservative South Carolina Episcopalian churches that split with the national church in part over the election of a gay bishop and same-sex marriage are headed to court in a dispute over money.

The national Episcopal church wants about $500 million in land, buildings and other property back after a group of about 50 churches calling itself the Diocese of South Carolina split from the national church in 2012. The churches who split sued to keep the property and the name and seal used when they were part of the national church.

"The buildings and the land are assets for Gospel ministry. They were paid for by members of this parish, past and present. No outside group should determine their usage," said the Rev. Shay Gaillard, who is rector of The Church of the Good Shepherd in Charleston.

The national church argues the decision by the local churches to split was not properly made.

Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein will decide the case without a jury. Testimony is scheduled to begin Tuesday at the Dorchester County Courthouse. the rest

Multimillion dollar SC Episcopal split heads to trial Tuesday
...But this dispute isn't just about land and buildings.

Something priceless also is at stake in the lawsuit, filed by the Diocese of South Carolina against its once-ecclesiastical brethren. That is the sentimental value of space in which generations of families have worshipped, taken communion, baptized children, married those children and bid final farewell to their dead...


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