Court Reaffirms Ruling in Favor of Diocese & Episcopal Church

June 14, 2013 11:36 AM2 comments

The Supreme Court of Virginia today denied a petition for rehearing from a congregation that had left the Episcopal Church. The Falls Church CANA had filed for reconsideration of the court’s April 18 decision in favor of the Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church.

The CANA congregation submitted a petition on May 17 after the court had affirmed the right of Episcopalians to worship in their church home at The Falls Church Episcopal. Today’s action by the Supreme Court sends the case to the Fairfax County Circuit Court for final resolution of issues related to personal property.

“The decision by the Supreme Court is about much more than litigation,” said the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, bishop of Virginia. “This decision is an occasion for all those, on both sides, to focus fully on positive ministries ahead.”

The Rev. John Ohmer, rector of The Falls Church Episcopal, said that he and his congregation are “relieved by this decision and looking forward to turning a new page.”

“The decision today is an affirming one,” added the Rev. Deacon Edward W. Jones, secretary of the Diocese. “We are looking to the future with gratefulness and optimism.”




  • As usual, only one side of the story is represented here. There are no comments from either The Falls Church Anglican’s rector, the Rev.. Dr. John Yates, or the bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic, the Rt. Rev. John Guernsey. Did anyone at the News-Press try to reach them, or is this simply another case of slanting the story in favor of the Episcopalians as has been happening all along?

  • Hopefully, this will end the litigation. Then, both sides can get on with what Christians’ are called to do, loving God and loving their neighbors. The legal costs were staggering, and such a waste for both parties. I’ve always been on the Episcopalian side of this disagreement. While I respected Rev Yates’ decision to leave the Episcopal church, i would have respected him and the Anglican vestry more if they had decided to leave the Episcopal church and the property both behind and moved on. That would have involved true commitment and belief to their values and principles. As it was, it appeared to be more about property and money than commitment to beliefs and values. With that said, reconciliation is key to Christianity. Let that process begin in earnest by both sides.

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