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Breakaway group files new petition in Fort Worth

Breakaway group files new petition in Fort Worth

The churches that broke away from the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas more than nine years ago have filed a petition to review the April 2018 decision of an appellate court which found in favor of members of the Diocese loyal to the Episcopal Church.

As the Episcopal Church’s Diocese of Fort Worth reported back in April

On Thursday, April 5, 2018, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals issued a 178-page opinion in favor of the loyal Episcopalians of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.  In a decision authored by the Chief Justice, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s 2015 judgment for the breakaway parties and held that the loyal Episcopalians are entitled to control both the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and its Corporation. …

… Bishop Scott Mayer of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth said today: “We are very grateful for the care taken by the Fort Worth Court of Appeals in reaching its decision. As this unfolds, the people and clergy of our diocese will, as always, carry on our work as the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement. We continue to hold all involved in our prayers.”

In this month’s petition, the breakaway churches argue

This case is too important to rest on a single judge’s opinion. It is one of the largest church property suits ever filed, involving 50 church buildings worth over $100 million. It was the first church property suit this Court reviewed in 100 years. It impacts thousands of people, and the ministry of 60 pastors. It deserves the best analysis the Texas judiciary can offer.

It did not get it.

In its press release, the group which, somewhat confusingly, is also called the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, anticipates that, “If the Court accepts the appeal, it may call for oral argument sometime next year.”

Its statement links to 277 pages of court documents describing the case so far.

The remaining Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth also has a page dedicated to following the legal details, which does not yet include the latest petition for review.

Find previous Café coverage of the case here.

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Prof Christopher Seitz

“…somewhat confusingly, is also called the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.”

That is its legal name, of course. It is confusing precisely because this is the issue under litigation. The SC of TX ruled in favor of this same entity, with this same name, and the entity is arguing the lower court is not properly interpreting what the SC ruled.

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