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Court orders return of 27 churches to Diocese of San Joaquin

Court orders return of 27 churches to Diocese of San Joaquin

From Episcopal News Service:

In a preliminary decision, a California court has ordered the return of 27 properties held by a breakaway group to the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin and has said that dioceses cannot opt to leave the Episcopal Church.

St. James Cathedral, the former diocesan offices, the Episcopal Camp and Conference Center near Yosemite National Park, the diocesan investment trust and 25 other church properties, valued at about $50 million, are included in the May 5 decision.

In the 41-page opinion in a case brought by the Episcopal Church and its Diocese of San Joaquin, Fresno County Superior Court Judge Donald S. Black also said that “because a diocese is a geographical construct of the Church, it makes no sense that a diocese can ‘leave’ the Church; it does not exist apart from the Church.”

While individuals may exercise their right of freedom of religion to leave and form a new church in another religious denomination, “they cannot tell the Church that it no longer has a diocese in a particular geographical area such as San Joaquin,” Black concluded.

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TBTG! I happened to be in the DioSJ today, telling their story, remembering them in prayer. I was just wondering “Have we got the Fresno Cathedral* back yet? If not, why not?” Now, I know: God is good! Alleluia!

JC Fisher

* My late paternal grandparents home church.

Eric Bonetti

For a PDF of Chapman’s little display of Christian charity, visit the Washington Post at:

Given the ACNA’s literalist views, it stinks to be Chapman, I guess….all eternity spent in the furnace room of hell, listening to recorded sermons of ++Katherine. 😉

Eric Bonetti


It is not exactly a great leap of logic to conclude that one cannot choose to no longer be Episcopal, yet retain Episcopal assets, any more than I can walk in to my parish priest, say, “I quit, and I want my pledge back,” and expect a refund.

If indeed the issue were really about doctrinal disagreements, the faux Anglicans would quietly leave and form their own denomination. Instead, the goal is exactly as outlined in the infamous Sewickley memo, in which Geoffrey Chapman announced, “1) Our ultimate goal is a realignment of Anglicanism on North American soil.” Tellingly, he adds, “Please keep this document confidential, sharing it in hard copy (printed format) only with people you fully trust, and do not pass it on electronically to anyone under any circumstances.”

Newsflash, Chapman: If you have to hide your memo, it means you know that what you are doing in wrong.

Michael Russell

Good news and about time. These faux-Anglicans have wasted our time and resources long enough.

Since they own nothing within the buildings either (beyond personal libraries and vestments) it should be easy for the to vacate the buildings and turn over the keys quickly. Any delay beyond that is simply their spite driven wishful thinking that somewhere there is a judge who will hear their pointless case again.

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