The California Supreme Court yesterday declined to review the Appellate Court decision awarding 28 properties, worth nearly $50 million to the continuing diocese of San Joaquin which had been claimed by the schismatic Anglican diocese. This brings to an end eight years of litigation and is a huge victory for the Episcopal Church.
In a written statement, the current Anglican (ACNA) Bishop, the Right Reverend Eric Menees, has said that the Anglican Diocese will now work to hand over the properties;
“In essence, and practically speaking, this is a conclusion to the case involving the Anglican Diocese Holding Corp. properties…
…With or without these properties, our mission stays the same. We made a stand for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we will continue to do so. We made every effort to do what was right, morally and legally, but the courts decided for The Episcopal Church. Now is the time for us to begin the process of handing over the properties. We will work with TEC to do this in as gracious and orderly a manner as possible. This will take some time to accomplish, and our legal team will continue to assist us to make sure that all goes smoothly.”
We have reached out to Bishop Rice of the continuing diocese, but have not heard anything yet. If we get a statement from the diocese we will add it to this post.
Here is the update from the Diocesan Chancellor, Michael O. Glass;
At 5 p.m. last night I was informed that the California Supreme Court has denied the defendants’ petition for review. Accordingly, the original judgment in favor of the Diocese and ordering the return of the properties and funds (approximately twenty-eight properties, including ECCO and the Cathedral, and various Diocesan funds) stands.
It is my belief that the leadership of the Anglican Diocese intends to work with the Diocese to provide for an orderly, thoughtful, and pastoral transition of the properties.
There will be further updates and communications from the Diocese as to the specifics of what happens next. The Bishop, Diocesan Council, Standing Committee, Bishop’s Office, the Diocesan Treasurer and your Chancellor have been hard at work planning for this transition.
In the meantime, the three remaining parish cases, St. John’s, Porterville, St. Paul’s, Visalia, and St. Columba, Fresno, will now resume.
There is much work to be done and once again I ask for your restraint in word and deed going forward. In speaking with Bishop David upon the receipt of this news, Bishop David’s has asked that we continue to “remain in a position of prayer for everyone involved as we continue to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.”
image: Bishop Rice