Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Trial Court Rules In Factional Dispute In California Church

In a long-running case on remand from a California appellate court (see prior posting), a Los Angeles trial court judge yesterday entered a final judgment giving possession of the church and a commercial building it owns to one of the two competing factions in the St. Mary of the Angels Church in Los Feliz, California.  The Los Feliz Register reports that the court ruled in favor of Father Christopher Kelley and his followers.  An earlier Los Feliz Register report provided background:
Father Christopher Kelley—the rector from 2007 until his firing in 2012—and his supporters took sanctuary in the basement and celebrated mass, while the anti-Kelley faction used the church’s regular first floor offices and held mass in its tiny, but lovely chancel.
After three years and reams of legal documents filed by both sides with allegations hurled both ways, if you attended a mass today at weary St. Mary’s, you would be among only a dozen or so parishioners left from its once healthy congregation.
The dispute was complicated by the vote of the congregation's parishioners in 2012 to end affiliation with the Anglican Church and join the Catholic Church.  The losing faction in yesterday's decision said an appeal will be filed.