The US Supreme Court has declined to take the property appeal of The Episcopal Church and its Fort Worth diocese. The Texas Supreme Court decision in favor of the breakaway diocese stands.
SCOTUS Blog reports this afternoon:
The court also declined to take up three cases that involved property disputes between religious denominations and breakaway church factions: All Saints’ Episcopal Church (Fort Worth) v. The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, The Episcopal Church v. The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and Schulz v. Presbytery of Seattle. There were no noted dissents from the court’s decision not to intervene.
The loyal diocese issued this press release:
For immediate release
February 22, 2021
On February 22, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear our cases, which means the decision of the Texas Supreme Court stands.
Bishop Scott Mayer said, “I know this is a disappointment to us all, but as followers of Jesus Christ, we live in hope.”
“Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry of The Episcopal Church joins me in acknowledging our disappointment and urging all of us to be gentle with one another during this trying time, with the important goal of continuing our worship of God and our ministries in this diocese of the Church in as uninterrupted a manner as possible.
“I ask for your prayers and urge us all to stay focused on the saving gospel of Jesus Christ and on our mission and ministries in the days ahead.”
Bishop Mayer continued, ‘When we began this litigation in 2009, we did so as heir and steward of the legacy of generations of faithful Episcopalians. In the wake of this decision we remain committed to preaching the gospel as we celebrate the sacraments, care for those in need, and strive for justice and peace.”
Bishop Mayer will be meeting with clergy and lay leaders via Zoom today.
In 2008, Bishop Jack Iker and other leaders of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth left The Episcopal Church but retained control of the vast majority of the property, which those present at the founding of the Diocese unanimously promised by signed writing to use for The Episcopal Church, its constituent diocese, and the congregations thereof. This litigation began in early 2009 when The Episcopal Church and the loyal minority who sought to uphold those promises went to court to reclaim the property, accumulated over decades by generations of Episcopalians, for the mission and ministry of The Episcopal Church.
Attached: Letter from bishop 02222021
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