OK, I’ll probably need to translate that headline for ya…
11 Episcopal churches in Virginia voted to leave the Episcopal Church in 2006 and 2007. The Diocese of Virginia initially sought to work with the churches over matters of property, salaries, pension, health insurance, etc. In fact, a commission appointed by the Diocese of Virginia even agreed to a “standstill agreement” with the leaders of the 11 churches, where all parties would cease any legal action against each other while these matters are being worked out.
Virginia has a law (dating back to the Civil War era, I believe) that allows churches that wish to separate from a national body to retain their property (e.g. the church building). If the church wants to follow this path, then they are required by the law to file some papers with their local court. The Diocese of Virginia recognized this, and put exceptions into the standstill agreement that allowed the 11 churches to continue with filings pursuant to this law.
When the “national office” of the Episcopal Church found out about all this, it went ballistic. They’ve filed lawsuits against seemingly everyone involved in this matter: priests, bishops, lawyers… even lay members! The matter was consolidated into a “class action suit” of sorts, and the case is now pending a judgment from Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows.
The news that broke today is that Virginia’s attorney general Bob McDonnell has filed 2 motions in favor of the “breakaway churches”, which have aligned with the Anglican District of Virginia (ADV).
BabyBlue has the complete scoop here.