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< Contraception Mandate - Ruling
Jan 07, 2013 13:13
Category: Religious News

Episcopal Future

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — After disputes over doctrine led the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina to leave the national church, now comes a lawsuit over church property and a debate over what comprises the Episcopal church in the eastern half of the state.

The 2 million-member Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion, which has 77 million members worldwide. In October, after years of controversy, the conservative Diocese of South Carolina finally split from the national church in a dispute over ordination of gays and other issues. The diocese had 70 congregations with about 29,000 parishioners and an estimated $500 million in church property.

The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina sued the national church last week in state court, asking a judge to declare that the national church has no right to either the identity of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina or its property.

The national church's presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has said the diocese can't leave the denomination.