Updated Thursday lunchtime
The Diocese of Virginia has issued a press release: Diocese of Virginia Appeals to Virginia Supreme Court in Order to Protect Religious Liberty in the Commonwealth.
Determined to restore constitutional and legal protections for all churches in Virginia, and to return loyal Episcopalians in Virginia to their Episcopal homes, the Diocese of Virginia today filed a petition to appeal The Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Virginia v. Truro Church, et al.
The Diocese is appealing on a number of grounds, including a challenge to the constitutionality of Virginia’s one-of-a-kind division statute (Va. Code § 57 9(A)) and the rulings of the Circuit Court in applying the law…
The full text of the appeal petition can be read as a PDF file here.
The Anglican District of Virginia has responded with ADV Responds to Appeal by The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia.
FAIRFAX, Va. (April 7, 2009) – In response to the appeal in the Virginia church property litigation filed on Tuesday, April 7 by the Diocese of Virginia and The Episcopal Church, the Anglican District of Virginia Vice-Chairman Jim Oakes issued the following statement:
“We are saddened that The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia find it necessary to continue this litigation with an appeal filed during Holy Week. The appeal process will cost additional millions of dollars that could be spent on mission and ministry. Both sides have already spent some $5 million in legal costs, money that could have gone to helping our communities during these tough economic times. The legal victories we’ve had so far in support of our religious freedom have only encouraged us to stand firm in our Anglican faith and work together to deliver the message of Christ.
“Since our final legal victory in December 2008, the Anglican District of Virginia has added two more congregations, bringing out total to 25 congregations and three mission fellowships. This continuing growth here and around the country is tangible evidence of the hunger for orthodox Anglicanism in the U.S. Despite today’s appeal, we will continue to move on with our mission to spread the transforming news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our doors are open to everyone, especially those who thirst for transformation and renewal.”
The Episcopal Church has also filed a petition, see The Episcopal Church’s Petition to the Supreme Court of Virginia to Hear Appeal (PDF).
There is a full article at ENS about all this, VIRGINIA: Diocese, Episcopal Church ask state Supreme Court to review property rulings by Mary Frances Schjonberg.