Here is the text of the final order that was handed down yesterday by the Fairfax Circuit court denying reconsideration and ordering the conveyance of all real and personal property to the Diocese of Virginia by April 30, 2012.
Here is the PDF of the final order.
This is a statement from the Diocese:
Today, the Fairfax Circuit Court entered a final order in favor of the Diocese of Virginia in its effort to recover Episcopal property for the mission of the Episcopal Church. The Court also denied the CANA congregations’ recent motion for partial reconsideration of the court’s original ruling of January 10.
“We hope that this will mark the end of this lengthy litigation,” said the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, bishop of the Diocese of Virginia. “By closing this chapter, both the Diocese and the CANA congregations have the freedom to focus our energies on the mission and ministries of our respective congregations, and even what we might be able to do together for people and a world in need of the Gospel’s work,” Johnston added. “For the Diocese, we even now are undertaking an initiative known as Dayspring, an integrated effort to discern and implement a comprehensive vision for our congregations and properties affected by this litigation. We look forward to sharing more news as Dayspring continues to take shape.”
Under the final order, the CANA congregations must convey to the Diocese of Virginia all real and personal property by April 30, 2012. The real property includes seven church buildings and a significant number of other parcels. The personal property includes both tangible items, such as chalices, prayer books and crosses, and intangibles, including the funds on hand. The ruling allows the CANA congregations to retain some restricted funds over which they have no discretion and that do not benefit the local congregation, the Diocese or the Episcopal Church. The court has set March 30 as the deadline for the parties to determine the disposition of those funds. Where the parties do not agree, the court will make a judicial determination.
“Today marks a major milestone in this effort,” said Henry D.W. Burt, secretary of the Diocese. “We respect fully the CANA congregations’ right to pursue an appeal, and we are in discussions with them as they face significant issues of discernment and transition in their path forward.”