No News from Texas; Sad News from Virginia
As of today, June 14, the Supreme Court of Texas has yet to issue its opinion in the Fort Worth direct appeal brought by Bishop Iker and his co-trustees of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. Such decisions are normally released on Fridays, although toward the end of the term the Court also releases some decisions earlier in the week. For those who would like to monitor the page where any opinion will appear, here is the link.
This same day brings unhappy news, however, from the Supreme Court of Virginia, which has entered a one-page order denying the petition of The Falls Church for a rehearing. In doing so, it leaves intact the troubling decision which I discussed in this previous post. The opinion, however, is based almost entirely upon (a misreading of) Virginia law, and so the grounds for review by the United States Supreme Court are virtually nil. For churchgoers in Virginia, the problems created by the Supreme Court’s interpretation of a State statute will be for the Virginia legislature to address and resolve.
Whether the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia can continue to maintain all of the properties handed to it by the Virginia Supreme Court is still an open question. And what the Diocese decides to do with those properties will speak more clearly about its priorities than anything that could be written at this point. For the Anglicans, however, the way is now clear for them to go forward, in a new beginning.
Let the Episcopal Diocese, in other words, pick up the pieces of the wreckage it has made of the Episcopal faith in Virginia. And let the Anglicans continue to adhere fast to the faith once delivered to the saints. The proof will be in the fruits which each produces.
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