Chicago diocese ponders next move after Appellate Court loss

Posted Jul 28, 2014

[Episcopal Diocese of Chicago press release] On Thursday, July 24, the Fourth District Appellate Court for the State of Illinois upheld a lower court’s ruling that certain property of the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy belongs to a breakaway group, now organized as the Anglican Diocese of Quincy.

The position of the Episcopal Church is that individual parishes and dioceses hold their property in trust for the wider church, and that those who cease to be members of the Episcopal Church may not take the property with them. This position has been upheld in most similar cases decided throughout the country.

“We are disappointed by the decision of the court and believe that the decision is erroneous,” said Richard Hoskins, chancellor emeritus of the Diocese of Chicago. “We believe that the opinion misunderstands the polity of the Episcopal Church and misapplies the First Amendment. The attorneys representing us in the lawsuit are studying the opinion and will advise the diocese whether to petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.”

“We will respond to this decision in the appropriate legal manner,” said the Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee, bishop of Chicago. “While that process unfolds, our primary mission will continue to be fulfilling God’s vision for the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and its newest deanery in Peoria.”

[In June 2013, the dioceses of Chicago and Quincy decided to reunite].


Comments (3)

  1. Stacy Cordery says:

    It would be hard to overstate how disheartening this news is to many of us downstate. We’d all be glad of your prayers. This has been a long and difficult slog.

    1. Matt Humm says:

      Just remember that you’re not alone! We’re grateful to have such a wonderful group of people adding their various talents and charisms to the mission and ministry of the Diocese of Chicago. We’re that much better because God has called us together. as St. Julian of Norwich says, “All shall be well, all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well…”

    2. Charles Barfield says:

      It doesn’t seem that ENS noticed, but in late November, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in favor of the traditional Church. Perhaps ENS is waiting to see whether the Diocese of Chicago will attempt another appeal, or just concede defeat. Otherwise, it seems like they would have covered this development. In all likelihood, this is the final chapter of the story.

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