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Court reverses stance in church property dispute

Revisiting the issue after a Virginia Supreme Court remand, a Fairfax County judge says the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia can keep the church buildings sought by breakaway congregations.

Circuit Judge Randy Bellows Tuesday ordered all church property involved in the protracted litigation be turned over to the diocese.

A copy of Bellows’ 113-page opinion is available at this site.  A news release from the breakaway congregations is here.

Original rulings by Judge Bellows favored the breakaway group, but – as the Falls Church News-Press reports – those decisions were based on a Civil War-era Virginia statute later  found to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Virginia.

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