Texas Supreme Court To Rule On Church Land Dispute

AUSTIN (AP) – The Texas Supreme Court will decide the ownership of 52 Fort Worth-area church properties valued at more than $100 million after a split in the Episcopal Church between conservative and liberal factions.

The Austin American-Statesman reports the Fort Worth diocese left the national movement in protest of the consecration of a gay bishop, ordination of women and other practices perceived as too liberal.

The Fort Worth diocese voted to leave the national church in 2008, joining other congregations and dioceses. The Fort Worth diocese led by Bishop Jack Iker claimed it held the deeds to all church properties.

In 2009 the national Episcopal Church filed suit claiming the properties belong to the denomination.

Lawyers say the Supreme Court’s decision could set precedent for similar issues in the future.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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