Texas Supreme Court Rules in favor of Fort Worth Anglicans

May 23, 2020 by

by Jeff Walton, Juicy Ecumenism:

Anglicans who departed the Episcopal Church (TEC) in 2008 are the legally recognized Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and control its corporation, according to a ruling issued this morning by the Texas Supreme Court. As a result, Anglicans will likely continue to hold tens of millions in real estate and other ministry assets.

“We are grateful for the Court’s hard work on this decision and for the clarity with which it was rendered,” read a statement issued by the diocese. “Above all, we thank God for his eternal provision and protection for his Church and the people he has called to serve him.”

In THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF FORT WORTH v. THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH, Justice Eva M. Guzman writing for the court finds that the withdrawing (Anglican) faction of the splintered Episcopal diocese is the rightful Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth:

“Applying neutral principles to the undisputed facts, we hold that (1) resolution of this property dispute does not require consideration of an ecclesiastical question, (2) under the governing documents, the withdrawing faction is the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, and (3) the trial court properly granted summary judgment in the withdrawing faction’s favor. We therefore reverse the court of appeals’ contrary judgment”.

The 30-page unanimous opinion from Texas’ top judicial body reinstates a trial court ruling that had been earlier overturned by an appeals court. The ruling winds down litigation between the departing diocese and the Episcopal Church that was set in motion more than a decade ago after the national church filed suit against departing Anglicans. Lawyers for the Episcopal Church maintained that elected officers of the diocesan leadership were no longer the Episcopal diocese and that dioceses hold property in trust for the national church under the denomination’s 1970s-era Dennis Canon.

[…]  The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth became a founding jurisdiction of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and is the second largest diocese by membership. The diocese, which holds to an Anglo-Catholic form of churchmanship, disagreed with the direction of the Episcopal Church in matters of scriptural authority and human sexual expression.

Read here


Related Posts


Share This