Monday, January 5, 2009

California Supreme Court rules for Episcopal Church

The California Supreme Court sides with the Episcopal Church

For these reasons, we agree with the Court of Appeal’s conclusion (although not with all of its reasoning) that when defendants disaffiliated from the Episcopal Church, the local church property reverted to the general church. As stated in one of the out-of-state cases involving the same Episcopal Church, “[t]he individual defendants are free to disassociate themselves from [the parish and the Episcopal Church] and to affiliate themselves with another religious denomination. No court can interfere with or control such an exercise of conscience. The problem lies in defendants’ efforts to take the church property with them. This they may not do.” (Protestant Episc. Church, etc. v. Graves, supra, 417 A.2d at p. 25.)
We affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

In this case, those documents show that the local church agreed and intended to be part of a larger entity and to be bound by the rules and governing documents of that greater entity.

Once again, the dissidents lose.

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