The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and The Episcopal Church filed suit yesterday in a circuit court in Peoria asking that clergy and lay members of a faction that broke away from the church in 2008 be ordered to relinquish control of buildings and other assets that belong to the diocese and the church. From the Diocese of Chicago:
Among the assets are the properties of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Macomb, Grace Episcopal Church in Galesburg, Trinity Episcopal Church in Rock Island and Christ Episcopal Church in Moline. The congregations in Rock Island and Moline have formed All Saints Episcopal Church in Moline.
“In our society, we invest a great deal of energy in an impartial legal system designed to help parties settle matters about which they cannot agree,” said the Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. “Although we are prepared to litigate this matter, ultimately we still hope that God will use even these legal proceedings to bring us to a place of reconciliation and mutual respect in Christ.”
A majority of the clergy and members of the former Episcopal Diocese of Quincy voted to leave the Episcopal Church in November 2008 over issues including the church’s decision to include gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members more fully in its life and ministry. The remaining members of the continuing Episcopal Diocese of Quincy reunited with the Diocese of Chicago in September 2013.