S.C. court rules against conservative churches

News Flash

by Lynde Langdon

The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that parishes that broke from The Episcopal Church in 2012 cannot continue to own their properties. The congregations affected had previously agreed in writing to let the national church hold their properties in trust. Seven parishes that did not sign an agreement with The Episcopal Church can retain ownership of their land and buildings. The Diocese of South Carolina broke away from The Episcopal Church in 2012 as it drifted from orthodox teaching on the authority of Scripture and the ordination of gay priests. The national church offered a settlement two years ago that would have allowed breakaway congregations to keep their land in exchange for other assets such as the diocesan name and crest and a church camp in Seabrook Island, S.C., but diocesan leaders rejected it, according to The Post and Courier. The judgment will leave The Episcopal Church holding dozens of historic properties with few parishioners worshipping in them.

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