Court limits scope in Virginia property case

Judge Randy Bellows ruled yesterday on some intermediate issues in the property dispute between the Diocese of Virginia and 12 CANA congregations. It is the latest in a series of rulings. The trial remains scheduled for October with a hearing on August 22 regarding the scope of the trial given the court’s decisions issued yesterday. For context check our related posts at the end of this post, but, in short, the Virginia case is unique due to the state’s Reconstruction-era “church division statute” 57-9.

The Diocese has issued this statement:

Court Limits Scope of October Trial

While we are disappointed in today’s ruling, we are committed to exploring every option available to restore constitutional and legal protections for all churches in Virginia. Meanwhile, we look ahead to the October trial and the issues to be considered in the fall.

The Diocese remains firmly committed to ensuring that loyal Episcopalians, who have been forced to worship elsewhere, will be able to return to their Episcopal homes. Generations of Episcopalians pledged themselves to the Diocese in order to ensure a lasting legacy of Episcopal faith and worship in Virginia.

The CANA congregations have a statement here.

October looks to be busy. Today the California Court scheduled oral arguments for October 8 in its Episcopal Church property cases.

From the diocesan property dispute news page:

Court Finds Contracts Clause Inapplicable; Denies Diocese’s Assertion of Waiver by CANA Churches

Related posts (most recent listed first): Meanwhile back in Virginia | CANA wins another round | Virginia church property case focuses on constitutional issues | Virginia’s allies | Virginia law threatens hierarchical churches | Diocese of Virginia has more “friends” in court | Virginia property case supplemental briefs filed | Other denominations support Diocese of Virginia | Hard cases make bad law | Judge rules: Advantage CANA | About that Virginia Attorney General | Judge sets date for second phase in Virginia property dispute | Virginia State Attorney General intervenes in property dispute | Virginia property trial opens | Diocese of Virginia property dispute documents available | More on Va. ruling

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  1. tgflux

    We get it: Judge Bellows (!) is CANA’s “Friend on the Court(bench)”.

    Since I don’t believe Virginia is a Judicial Dictatorship (Bellow’s “judicial activism” notwithstanding), CANA is NOT going to be able to rely on his sole jurisprudence forever! ;-/

    JC Fisher

  2. Judge Bellows been a busy fellow playing all parts in the opening act of The CANA Mystery Drama, however, very soon we’ll be ready for the heavy duty Stars with Stripes as the finale headlines…The Supreme’s!

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