Supreme Court Lets Virginia Ruling Stand in Case of Conservative Congregation that Broke Away from Episcopal Church

The United States Supreme Court affirmed the Virginia Supreme Court ruling awarding the building for the Episcopal Church of Falls Church to The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)
The United States Supreme Court affirmed the Virginia Supreme Court ruling awarding the building for the Episcopal Church of Falls Church to The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

The Supreme Court on Monday let stand a Virginia court’s ruling that the Episcopal Church owns the historic property known as the Falls Church, the subject of a bitter, multimillion-dollar property dispute with a conservative congregation that left the denomination.

The justices gave no reason for declining to review the decision of the Virginia Supreme Court that the 3,000-member congregation, which voted in 2006 to leave the Episcopal Church, did not have the right to keep the sprawling property known as the Falls Church.

The Falls Church property is one of the country’s largest Episcopal churches and is a landmark in downtown Falls Church.

The breakaway congregation, now called the Falls Church Anglican, has been worshiping in the Bishop O’Connell High School auditorium in Arlington County while it sought to overturn lower court decisions.

Virginia’s high court ruled that the property belongs to the mainline denomination but said some of the nearly $3 million in church coffers belongs to the Falls Church Anglican congregation.

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SOURCE:  
The Washington Post

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