Breakaway Falls Church leaders plan to appeal court’s property ruling

By diocesan staff
Posted Aug 13, 2013

[Episcopal Diocese of Virginia press release] The leaders of a Falls Church, Virginia congregation that broke away from the Episcopal Church said this week that they plan to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Falls Church CANA congregation will ask the high court to overturn the Supreme Court of Virginia’s April 18 ruling in favor of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. That state ruling upheld a 2012 decision that allowed The Falls Church Episcopal to return to its historic church home.

An earlier appeal by the CANA group to the Supreme Court of Virginia for reconsideration of its unanimous decision was denied in June.

“It is unfortunate that this litigation continues,” said Diocese of Virginia Bishop Shannon S. Johnston. “Nonetheless, we remain committed to focusing our energies on the work of the church. The Falls Church Episcopal continues to grow and thrive, and we all look forward to a time when we can put these issues behind us for good.”

Those sentiments were echoed by the Rev. John Ohmer, rector of The Falls Church Episcopal. “We will continue to focus not on the past, but on growing our present and future ministries,” said Ohmer.

The CANA congregation has until Sept. 12 to file its petition for appeal. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to make a decision on whether to hear the appeal toward the end of this year or the beginning of 2014.


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Comments (10)

  1. Nellwyn Beamon says:

    What a royal waste of money. CANA Falls Church has been denied at every level. It is time to stop and focus on their future.

  2. Bill Cruse says:

    I wonder on what Constitutional basis the CANA group is basing their appeal to SCOTUS. CANA certainly has the money, but why spend it in this manner? Is it time to “follow the money?”

  3. Daniel Weatherholt says:

    What a waste of time! The members of the CANA group have every right to worship with as a separate Christian body from the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, but they have no right to take what does not belong to them!

  4. What a terrible waste of money. I don’t think this is what Jesus had in mind when he said to the rich young ruler: “sell all you have and follow me.”

  5. David Yarbrough says:

    There is a tremendous irony in Shannon Johnston’s complaints about litigation, given the highly litigious nature of Dr. Schori and her legal team at 815.

    It’s time for 815 to realize that there are increasing numbers of members who can no longer deal with the heterodoxy of TEC. An orderly process is needed in order to minister effectively to those members and parishes who are led by God to leave. The alternative will be, in many cases, congregations whose property is divested and sold by the denomination and parishes who must forsake generations of history and giving in order to remain faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    1. Zachary Brooks says:

      Your pathetic hypocrisy and hatred must be exhausting, David. It is to me and Our Lord, that’s for sure.

    2. John B. Chilton says:

      Respect for a person’s human dignity includes calling them by their name. In this case, Jefferts Schori not Schori.

  6. Michael Newman says:

    What a total waste of money, time and energy. It is impossible for me to understand why these folks want to leave The Episcopal Church and have ther temerity to take property and assets that do not belong to them. Go ye and found a new church with the money and do what you believe is the mission of God. Hopefully she will agree with you

  7. Vince Blasco says:

    Will it be 3 strikes and your out? Godly people are on both sides. We should be praying for a solution that is inclusive. There are CANA churches that are thriving, The history of the Falls Church needs to be considered. I believe all of this started with the 1979 Prayer Book and then Women’s Ordination. Is Anglican to be confused with KJV only Baptists?

  8. Terry Francis says:

    I totally agree with Vince. There ARE godly people on both sides of this issue. I hope and pray that the Supreme Court will accept this case and finally resolve the issue. As for you Zachary Brooks, the only thing I find pathetic is you calling Mr. Yarbrough a hypocrite and a hatemonger. I have a feeling our Lord would kinda frown on all the name-calling.

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