Earlier today a trial court ruled against The Episcopal Church in the case of disputed property of the former Diocese of Quincy, now unified with the Diocese of Chicago. The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee, Bishop of Chicago, has issued a letter to the diocese:
Ruling in Quincy Lawsuit
September 10, 2013
We learned this afternoon that Judge Thomas J. Ortbal of the circuit court in Adams County has ruled against the diocese and the Episcopal Church in our efforts to recover assets that we believe rightfully belong to the church.
This ruling is the most recent action in legal proceedings that began in March 2009. At issue are an endowment fund that has been frozen, the former diocesan office building adjacent to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Peoria and the principle that churches such as ours have the right to determine how we organize and govern ourselves.
During this long process, the people of the Peoria deanery have exemplified Christian generosity, hospitality and forbearance. Despite the ongoing costs—financial, spiritual and emotional—of litigation, Episcopalians in west central Illinois have spent the past four years experiencing new life in Christ, gathering week by week to worship, work and pray together. I have recently met with clergy and lay leaders from the deanery and am impressed and humbled by their faithfulness and more eager than ever to work with them. They are an example to us all.
We are now considering all of our options for moving forward, and you will hear more from us soon about this matter. Thank you for your faithful leadership in the new Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and in The Episcopal Church and for your prayers.
The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee
Bishop of Chicago