South Carolina: Anglican and Episcopal diocese reach settlement after years-long litigation
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – South Carolina’s Anglican Diocese and Episcopal Diocese announced Monday they have finally settled nearly ten years of litigation over parish building rights and can now invest their resources in Gospel ministry rather than legal action, the Christian Post reports.
The legal battles over which diocese owns an estimated $500 million in church properties began in 2013, when the Anglican Diocese decided to separate from the Episcopal Diocese over the latter’s acceptance of homosexuality in the denomination, the Christian Post said.
In a press release Monday, the Anglican diocese said a settlement had been reached after four months of mediation. “This settlement agreement allows us to invest our diocesan energy, time, focus and resources in gospel ministry rather than litigation,” Anglican Bishop Chip Edgar said in a statement.
“While the losses we have experienced, including those of St. Christopher and several of our parish buildings are painful, I am grateful that the work we have done has brought an end to litigation between our dioceses.”
In a separate statement, Episcopal Bishop Ruth Bishop Woodliff-Stanley that Christians must demonstrate “a willingness — an eagerness, even — to engage those who have been our opponents with the goal of repairing the breach between us.”
“I have been grateful for the gracious spirit of Bishop Edgar in doing just this work with us. I am grateful for his leadership and his generosity,” Woodliff-Stanley stated. “While each diocese has had to leave things on the table to get to this moment, and while we experience pain over losses of some of the historic churches our members hold dear, even still, we have seen the Spirit at work in drawing us toward God’s redemptive way of love at every juncture.”