Monday, November 11, 2013

The Episcopal Church Sues Break-Away Illinois Diocese Over Property

The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and The Episcopal Church last week filed a state court lawsuit claiming that property held by or for parishes and missions of the break-away Anglican Diocese of Quincy may only be used for the benefit of The Episcopal Church. (Press release). The complaint (full text) in The Episcopal Church v. Morales, (IL Cir Ct., filed 11/6/2013), seeks a declaratory judgment that the individual defendants do not hold any offices in the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy and that the parishes and missions are controlled by clergy and officers appointed or elected by The Episcopal Church.  In a case decided earlier this year, Diocese of Quincy v. The Episcopal Church, (IL Cir. Ct., Sept. 9, 2013), a different state trial court held that the break-away Anglican Diocese holds title to the bank account and administrative offices of the Diocese. The court held that the Dennis Canon on which The Episcopal Church in part relied relates to parish or mission properties and not to properties titled in the name of the Diocese. Anglican Curmudgeon blog discusses the background and strongly criticizes the Diocese of Chicago for the suit filed last week.