Episcopal Diocese Moves to Recover Breakaway Sites

From today's Metro section:

The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia moved yesterday toward seizing properties from 11 congregations that voted in recent weeks to leave the U.S. church.

Describing the breakaway congregations as "occupying" Episcopal property, the diocese's executive board unanimously voted to "authorize the Bishop to take such steps as may be necessary to recover or secure" the properties of the churches, which are mostly in Northern Virginia.

The vote formally declares the properties, which are now being controlled by congregations that have placed themselves under the authority of the Church of Nigeria, "abandoned." Although the board's vote is procedural, lawsuits "are a strong possibility," diocesan spokesman Patrick Getlein said.

Jim Pierobon, spokesman for the breakaway churches, said last night that they still want to negotiate fair prices for the properties.

-- Michelle Boorstein

By Focus on Fairfax |  January 19, 2007; 9:43 AM ET  | Category:  Religion
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