Local Episcopalians hoping to reclaim millions of dollars in church property, which is now controlled by those who split six years ago from the national Episcopal Church, are taking their case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Leaders of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth who remain faithful to the U.S. Episcopal Church filed a petition Thursday for a writ of certiorari with the nation’s highest court.
The petition asks the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision of the Texas Supreme Court on Aug. 30, 2013, overturning a Fort Worth lower court’s ruling in January 2011 that awarded property and holdings in the 24-county diocese to those loyal to the national church.
The Texas Supreme Court called for a rehearing on property matters in Judge John Chupp’s 141st District Court based on “neutral principles” of Texas law. The “deference” principles used in the earlier decision gave weight to the hierarchical structure of the U.S. Episcopal Church and its claim of ownership of all church properties.