Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Episcopal Church Denied Summary Judgment In Property Dispute With Break-Away Diocese

In Diocese of Quincy v. The Episcopal Church, (IL Cir. Ct., Dec. 16, 2011), an Illinois trial court refused to grant summary judgment to The Episcopal Church on its counterclaim against the Diocese of Quincy (IL) in a lawsuit originally filed by the break-away diocese to quiet title to its property. As explained by Anglican Curmudgeon, The Episcopal Church claimed that the break-away diocese was wrongfully withholding funds and property from The Episcopal Church. The court refused to rule as a matter of law that The Episcopal Church is hierarchical, so that the diocese is subject to its highest ecclesiastical authority in connection with the property dispute.  The court also concluded that even if the church is hierarchical, that would not end the matter because a "neutral principles of law" approach should be applied to resolving the property ownership dispute. [Thanks to Catholic and Reformed for the copy of the opinion.]