In the Fort Worth case, the Episcopal national church argued that church law — specifically a rule known as the Dennis Canon — dictates church property is held in a trust for the national church, and does not belong to the congregations themselves. In 2018, a Fort Worth Appeals Court agreed and sided with the group that remained loyal to the national church.
However, the Texas Supreme Court reversed the decision in May and ruled that Texas law allows a trust to be revoked, and Texas law supersedes canon law. The opinions also differed because the Texas Supreme Court applied the law as if the church were a corporation.
The Rev. Ryan Reed, the current leader of the Fort Worth diocese belonging to the Anglican Church in North America, wrote in a press release Monday that the decision “marks a turning point for us as a Diocese.”
Supreme Court ends 12-year Fort Worth legal battle over $100 million in #Episcopalchurch property in favor of traditional #Anglican diocese https://t.co/1RkBN1yAiG #religion #neutralprinciples #soctus #ethics #law #usa #Texas
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) February 23, 2021