Today, (May 22, 2020) we rejoice with the Diocese of Ft. Worth (Anglican) who announced that the Texas Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in their favor, granting all the legal relief requested by that Diocese. The Court in this case ruled that resolving the property issues at stake did not require reference to any matters of ecclesiastical law and that the withdrawing Diocese retained its legal identity (and properties) while doing so.
The Texas Court affirmed and clarified its commitment to neutral principles of law as the best approach to resolving church property disputes. The essence of that approach is that the same rules of law used to resolve any other property dispute can be used to resolve church property issues. That is the standard adopted by the South Carolina Supreme Court in resolving the All Saints (2009) case and was relied upon by Judge Diane Goodstein in her original trial court ruling (2015) in our own Diocesan litigation. While not a controlling precedent for our own continuing litigation, the Texas outcome and its reasoning is encouraging.
Meanwhile, we give thanks to God with our fellow ACNA Diocese of Ft. Worth and pray for God’s continued blessing upon their ministries. May God who has blessed them in this outcome multiply His grace among them and glorify His name through their witness.
Read the Court’s opinion (30-page PDF)