A Los Angeles Superior Court judge rules that the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles is the rightful owner of the buildings and other property of a conservative La Crescenta congregation that broke away from the diocese last year. The decision against St. Luke's of the Mountains comes barely a week after an appeals court panel in Orange County ruled in favor of the six-county Los Angeles diocese in a similar property dispute with three other local churches.There's a clear pattern forming. I hope Bp. Schofield is paying attention.
UPDATE: Susan Russell has now posted this at Walking with Integrity with additional information from a Diocese of Los Angeles Media Alert:
..."We're very pleased with this decision today," said Bishop Bruno. "We are a people of reconciliation, and our major concern is for the people of St. Luke's, and how to bring them back into relationship with the Diocese of Los Angeles if they wish. We will pray for them. I hope they will pray for us."
Holme Roberts & Owen partner, John R. Shiner, Chancellor of the Diocese and its attorney in the litigation, called the ruling "another important step to dispel any notion that local congregations of a hierarchical church may leave the larger church and take property with them."