Judge Rules in Favor of Breakaway Va. Congregations
Nearly a dozen conservative church congregations in Virginia have won a long-running lawsuit in which they sought to split from the U.S. Episcopal Church in a dispute over theology and homosexuality.
A Fairfax County judge made the final rulings today. He said the departing congregations are allowed under Virginia law to keep their property as they leave the Episcopal Church and realign under the authority of conservative Anglican bishops from Africa.
The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia argued it was the true owner of the church property and that the congregations' votes to leave the Episcopal Church were invalid.
The diocese said it will appeal the rulings