[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].