Thinking Anglicans

Faith in courts

The Economist carries an article on church property disputes, mainly with reference to the Diocese of New Westminster.

See Faith in courts.

As the season of goodwill fades, an old problem returns: religious disputes that draw in secular courts

PULSES rarely race in Shaughnessy, a genteel, old-money district of Vancouver where mature cedars shield mansions with giant drawing-rooms. But the splendid Anglican church there, which draws worshippers from across the city, is the centre of a dispute that arises in many countries: how should judges rule in religious rows? Usually such quarrels involve worldly goods and rival claims to be the true believers. They quickly raise theological issues normally settled in church councils, not the courtroom…

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Grandmère Mimi
13 years ago

So it’s not just us (the Episcopal Church), and it’s no new thing for church property disputes to be in the courts.

The article is quite good. Thanks for the link, Simon.

13 years ago

Here’s an interesting development in the Virginia parishes that are attempting to walk with tens of millions of dollars worth of property that doesn’t belong to them:

Father Ron Smith
13 years ago

Th final paragraph of this report makes very interesting reading – where it refers to the court’s leaning towards the ‘loyalty’ owed to the founding church body – in this case, the Anglican Church of Canada. In other words, changing loyalties (such as, for instance, diversion from the contemporary stance of the Church as the local Body of Christ) is not sufficient grounds for alienation of the property belonging to that Church.

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