The United States Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal in the case of a conservative diocese that broke away from The Episcopal Church seeking to maintain ownership of $500 million worth of property.
In an order released Monday morning, the justices refused to hear an appeal in the case of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, allowing a state supreme court ruling against the breakaway leadership to stand.
The Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, bishop of the breakaway diocese, said in a statement released Monday that while he was disappointed with the decision, the legal battle for the church properties was not over.
“There are many unresolved legal questions which remain before the State Court as well as matters for prayerful discernment as we seek to carry out the mission to which we are called in Jesus Christ. We shall seek his guidance for both,” stated Bishop Lawrence.
In Nov. 2012, the South Carolina Diocese voted to leave the national denomination due to theological differences and the apparent mistreatment of Lawrence.
Since Jan. 2013, the diocese has been in litigation over who rightfully owns the diocesan property — the conservative breakaway leadership or the denomination along with those within the diocese who remained loyal to the national church body.
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Source: Christian Post