[Diocese of Quincy] Bishop John C. Buchanan of the Diocese of Quincy, in West Central Illinois, on May 22 issued the following message to clergy and lay leaders announcing a court date for a church property case trial.
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May 22, 2012
Late last week, Judge Thomas J. Ortbal of Adams County set April 22, 2013 as the trial date in our efforts to recover assets that rightfully belong to the Episcopal Church. While we had hoped for an earlier date, we know that Judge Ortbal seeks to ensure that both sides in the dispute have ample time to prepare their cases so that justice will be served.
Across the country, when courts have considered cases involving Episcopal parishes and dioceses, these matters–except for a small dispute with unusual circumstances in South Carolina–have been decided in favor of the Episcopal Church and its parishes and dioceses. Most recently, the Connecticut and Georgia Supreme Courts and the Tennessee Court of Appeals have issued favorable opinions. We believe that in time the Illinois courts will join the majority and return our assets to us.
It may seem to you, as it sometimes does to me, that the wheels of justice are turning ever so slowly. But although it can be inconvenient, this legal matter does not define us. Even as we wait, the Episcopal Church in west central Illinois is experiencing new life in Christ. In our churches, people from all walks of life gather week by week to worship and to work, pray and give for the spread of the kingdom of God. Our differences are reconciled in Christ for in him there is but one great fellowship of love. In him we find that our diversity becomes a great strength.
Thanks to all of you, the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy is moving on with the business of answering God’s call to build a church for the 21st century. I am grateful for the ministry of all the baptized.
The Rt. Rev. John C. Buchanan
Provisional Bishop of Quincy