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Ruling for Breakaway Parish

Judge rejects Episcopal diocese's attempt to get property back from the conservative St. James, which cut ties with the national church.
By Larry B. Stammer
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 12, 2005    

An effort by the six-county Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles to claim ownership of buildings and other property of a conservative breakaway congregation in Newport Beach was tentatively rejected Thursday by an Orange County Superior Court judge.

St. James Church was one of three former Episcopal parishes to bolt from the diocese and national Episcopal Church one year ago over differences in church teaching and the national church's controversial decision to ordain an openly gay priest in a committed relationship with another man as bishop of New Hampshire.

The diocese sued St. James and two other breakaway parishes for the property after they severed ties and placed themselves under the jurisdiction of a conservative Anglican bishop in Uganda.

The Episcopal Church is the U.S. member of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

In the tentative ruling Thursday, Orange County Superior Court Judge David C. Velasquez said the diocese had not shown that it would probably prevail in the property dispute with the St. James congregation, a dispute that also involved issues touching on 1st Amendment freedom of speech rights.

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August 12, 2005 in Diocese of Los Angeles, St. James, Newport Beach, CA | Permalink

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