Yesterday in Fairfax, a trial expected to last two weeks got under way that could determine control of the property of 11 churches that voted to leave the Episcopal Diocese. Millions of dollars are at stake.
At issue is an 1867 law, Virginia Code § 57-9, that governs when a congregation can realign its allegiance and keep its property. The breakaway churches say the law favors their position. The diocese counters that the ancient statute only applies when a church governing body recognizes an internal division, which did not happen here.
The Associated Press has details.