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Episcopal Church Restored As Owner Of 7 Va. Churches

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The Episcopal Church has retained ownership of The Falls Church, thanks to a recent ruling.
Falls Church
The Episcopal Church has retained ownership of The Falls Church, thanks to a recent ruling.

The Episcopal Church has scored a victory in a Virginia court, years after it was essentially evicted by local congregations dismayed by the church's liberal theology. On Tuesday a judge ruled that The Episcopal Church should be restored as the owner of seven Virginia churches, including two historic congregations that trace their roots to George Washington: Truro Church in Fairfax and The Falls Church, for which the city of Falls Church is named.

The congregations voted to leave The Episcopal Church in 2006 following the Episcopals' consecration of an openly gay bishop and other theological disputes.

The ruling reverses a decision by the same judge in 2008 giving custody to the conservative congregations. The Virginia supreme court overturned that ruling and ordered a new trial.

The conservative congregations are considering an appeal to the latest decision.

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