SAN JOAQUIN CA: Ruling has implications for Diocese

david at david at
Wed Jan 14 22:20:39 EST 2009

SAN JOAQUIN CA: Ruling has implications for Diocese

The Record 
January 06, 2009

The California Supreme Court ruling on U.S. Episcopal Church property could set major precedent in a case involving the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.

In December 2007, Bishop John David Schofield led the majority of 47 Valley churches to secede from the U.S. Episcopal Church to align with the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone. It is known as the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin.

Like the Southern California case, Schofield and his contingent were displeased with the Episcopal church's liberal leanings toward ordination of gay ministers.

After the split, lawsuits over ownership rights of millions of dollars worth of church real estate and other property have been filed.

Schofield's office was not available for comment Monday. A secretary said all clergy able to talk about the case were on retreat.

Leaders of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, however, said they were pleased with the Supreme Court's decision Monday.

"It certainly establishes the principles that we've been stating all along in our lawsuit that individuals can't just walk away from the church but take the real estate with them," said Rev. Mark Hall, former pastor of St. Anne's Episcopal Church in north Stockton.


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