WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court has turned away a pair of appeals from the national Episcopal Church in a dispute over church property claimed by a breakaway sect in Texas.
The justices on Monday let stand two Texas Supreme Court rulings in favor of the Fort Worth Episcopal diocese, which has held on to 52 church properties worth more than $100 million since breaking away in 2008. The diocese opposes the consecration of gay bishops, ordination of women and other policies its leadership considers too liberal.
A lower court had ruled in favor of the national church. But a divided Texas Supreme Court reversed, saying the rift should be resolved on neutral principles of law that apply to nonreligious disputes. It sent the case back to the lower court for further review.