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High Court Rules Against Break-Away Congregations

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By Meymo Lyons

The Virginia Supreme Court has overturned a judge's decision allowing congregations that broke away from the Episcopal Church to keep church property.

The nine breakaway congregations in Northern Virginia aligned with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. In a unanimous decision Thursday, the justices said a judge erred in ruling that the congregations are now branches of the Episcopal Church.

They sent the case back to Fairfax County Circuit Court to determine ownership of the property based on real estate and contract law. The property is worth an estimated $30 million to $40 million.

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