Three California Episcopal Churches decided to break-off from the gay-friendly American church over the it’s ordination of gays and lesbians, but the California Supreme Court ruled yesterday that while they’re welcome to pack up their crucifix and leave metaphorically, in practice the crucifix, plus the building it’s housed in and all related property, belong to the mother church.
The AP reports that:
“In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court ruled that the property belongs to the Episcopal church because the parishes agreed to abide by the mother church’s rules, which includes specific language about property ownership.
St. James Church in Newport Beach, All Saints Church in Long Beach and St. David’s Church in North Hollywood pulled out of the 2.1 million member national Episcopal Church in 2004 and sought to retain property ownership.
Since 2003, four dioceses and dozens of individual churches have split, setting off bitter legal feuds over division of property.”