Appearing before Judge Randy Bellows in the Fairfax Circuit Court yesterday, attorneys for the breakaway Council of Anglicans in North America (CANA) filed a motion to stay the implementation of Judge Bellows’ January ruling ordering its vacation of the historic Falls Church property pending the outcome of an appeal.
Judge Bellows said he would rule on the motion following a hearing on April 27 when he will permit both sides, CANA and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, an opportunity to make their case for an hour and a half each. He said he would base his decision on four criteria to be argued at the hearing: 1. the validity of his January decision, which he said he felt strongly about, 2. proof of irreparable hardship to CANA if it is required to vacate the property by the May 1 deadline, 3. proof of irreparable hardship to the Diocese if the order is stayed and, 4. any impact on the public. Bellows is considering the motion despite the argument by the Diocese that CANA failed to file its appeal within 15 days of the judge’s ruling in January. Judge Bellows said it was not his role to make any conditions on his ruling, leaving decisions on such matters as, potentially, shared use of the facility, pending the appeal, up to the parties involved.