US Supreme Court lets the Episcopal Church keep Falls Church property

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The Falls Church, a landmark building in downtown Falls Church, Va.,

Photo courtesy of Michael Kotrady, via Wikimedia Commons

The Falls Church, a landmark building in downtown Falls Church, Va.,

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(RNS) The Falls Church, a landmark building in downtown Falls Church, Va., was one of several Episcopal congregations that left the denomination over theological differences, many stemming from the 2003 consecration of an openly gay bishop.

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  • Chris

    Another victory for Jefferts-Schori and her campaign to crush any and all dissenters in the TEC while bleeding millions of dollars which could have been used to feed, clothe and shelter the poor. What will the TEC do now with this property? Probably sell it for a fraction of what it is worth to a Muslim group or someone who wants to tear it down to build a mini-mall, but God forbid that the TEC hierarchy actually allow the place to be used to worship God according to the traditional Episcopalian Rites with traditional orthodox Episcopal theology. That’s flatly unacceptable.

  • Rev. Albert W. Kovacs – UCC

    To TEC & Jefferts-Schori: Pharoah, let my people go! … Shame on you that you would try to compel compliance by chaining their freedom of conscience to loss of their house of worship. This is NOT the American way – our ancestors fought the crown for freedom. Now here in America their posterity is fighting such as you! For shame indeed!

  • Samuel

    To be fair, the TEC owns the property. If the congregation, et al no longer consider themselves part of the TEC then they are free to go their own way as their conscientious dictates. However, to try and take property which does not belong to them on the way out is more than just criminal; it’s unchristian.

  • Don

    Actually it is the Diocese of Virginia that owns the property, not TEC and Bishop Schori. There have been several dioceses across the country to depart from TEC with their property.

  • John

    The answer continues to be: “You can’t take it with you.”

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  • Jim

    Hooray! Now the malcontents can pack-off and rent a empty warehouse or whatever. How dare these people think that they can loot the Episcopal Church? If you don’t like the church, then leave; but you don’t get to pillage the church on your way out the door.

  • LJ Spang

    The diocese usually owns the churches in the Episcopal church, and most of the dissenters left their churches. In Falls Church’s case, it was built as an Anglican church before the American Revolution and therefore before the Episcopal Church existed. Now, the diocese owns it.

  • Loot the church ??

    1. The Falls Church building was built using money given by the members.
    2. The Dennis Canon imposed a property trust on the congregation without its consent. In many other states, this so-called trust is null and void.
    3. Over 40 MILLION dollars has been spent by TEC in attorney fees and court costs in the effort to keep property that often is left empty as there is no viable Episcopal congregation left to maintain it.

    Imagine what that 40 million could have been used for. Talk about looting the church ..

  • Joey Soleelies

    How about TFC congregation using the same amount of money on their side and not letting it go until every level of the court system? They could have stopped. They have the right to leave, granted but looting the Episcopal Church and it’s resources is outrageous. This was all a power grab by some of the leaders in this movement because they saw the chance. Open your eyes to your leadership and look at the real reasons for leaving.

  • Dean C. Eggert

    This brings to light yet one more reason why much of the Episcopal Church is failing and will continue to be a failure. The Church has very poor leadership and as the saying goes, “a fish rots from the head down.” The perception any more is that money is the main focus within the Church … I see it within Western New York … if you want to be a member of the Episcopal Church … Open That Check Book! Additionally, don’t question why or the direction that the Church is going as the leadership doesn’t like that at all. It is indeed a sad day for those such as myself that are right on the edge of leaving the Episcopal Church… I have been a member of Vestry, and a Sr. Warden … but I would rather not continue to waste my time or energy with the Church as it stands today.