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VA Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in Church Property Case

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By Jonathan Wilson

The Virginia Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments this morning in a long running property dispute between the Episcopal Church and a local district of the Anglican Church of North America.

The case centers on a split in the Episcopal Church that happened after the first openly gay bishops were elected.

In 2006 -- nine conservative churches in Virginia severed their ties with the Episcopal church, but wanted to maintain control of their church buildings and property.

The Episcopal church and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia sued to seize control of the properties.

In 2009, the Fairfax County Circuit Court ruled that the local churches had to right to disaffiliate and keep properties they had bought and maintained.

The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia says that church property is held in trust for future generations of Episcopalians.

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