A South Carolina judge has denied a motion to reconsider a ruling made in a $500 million property dispute case in favor of a diocese that voted to leave the Episcopal Church due to the national denomination's increasing acceptance of homosexuality.
Judge Diane Goodstein decided earlier this week to reject arguments made by The Episcopal Church requesting that she reconsider her order granting the Diocese of South Carolina ownership over the name and $500 million worth of diocesan church properties.
An amendment to the rules of the United States' largest Presbyterian denomination to recognize gay marriage has gained considerable support in its regional bodies, with 51 of 172 presbyteries already voting in favor of redefining marriage to include same-sex couples. The denomination's remaining presbyteries having until June to cast their votes to make the final decision.
Over the weekend several presbyteries belonging to Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to approve Amendment 14-F, which would change the denomination's definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.
A "motion for reconsideration" has been filed on behalf of The Episcopal Church of South Carolina against a diocese that voted to break away from the denomination, and is seeking to take over the local church's properties that are estimated to be worth $500 million.
A group loyal to the national denomination, called The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, filed the motion against the Diocese of South Carolina, which earlier this month won a court judgement in which it retained ownership of dozens of church properties.
Although District Court Judge Diane Goodstein ruled on Feb. 4 that the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina rightfully owns the church properties and not The Episcopal Church, it was expected that the national denomination was going to file a motion in an attempt to gain control of the church's assets. more >>
A judge has ruled in favor a diocese that voted to break away from The Episcopal Church regarding a lawsuit over ownership of dozens of church properties worth an estimated $500 million.
Judge Diane Goodstein ruled late on Tuesday that the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina rightfully owns the church properties under their diocese and not the Episcopal Church.
In a 46-page decision, Goodstein argued that the diocese owns all real and personal property, according the paperwork connected to the diocesan property. "It is equally undisputed that there is nothing in the deeds of their real property referencing any trust in favor of TEC," reads the decision. more >>
Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill revealed that over 60 churches were recently damaged by heavy fighting in the Donetsk and Horlivka dioceses in Ukraine. The patriarch called for an end to the bloodshed between Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels, which he said has led to suffering and persecution of Christians.
"The whole civilian population of Donbas is suffering from the humanitarian disaster and armed conflict there together with the devout members of our church, whose parishes and cloisters make up a majority of religious communities in the region," Kirill told senior clergy, as translated by Interfax-Religion.
Western leaders have blamed Russia for directly supporting the rebels who've taken over a number of cities in eastern Ukraine, which has lead to the deaths of over 5,000 people. Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, has denied all accusations of involvement in the conflict. more >>
A Missouri church that recently voted to leave Presbyterian Church (USA) over the mainline Protestant denomination's stance on homosexuality is facing a legal battle to keep its property, which is estimated to be worth over $6 million.
Bonhomme Presbyterian Church of Chesterfield decided to disaffiliate from its PCUSA regional body, the Presbytery of Giddings Lovejoy, last October.