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Diocese: History grants right to property ownership

Charlie Butts   ( Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The South Carolina Diocese of the Episcopal Church has filed suit against the national organization on the basis of freedom of religion.

The South Carolina Diocese withdrew from the Episcopal Church, which has a history of suing to obtain ownership of diocese property. South Carolina has filed an advance lawsuit claiming ownership of the property valued at more than a half billion dollars. Diocese canon theologian Kendall Harmon tells OneNewsNow the diocese predates the Episcopal Church.


"The Diocese of South Carolina was started in 1785," he points out. "That's four years before nine different dioceses voluntarily established the Episcopal Church in 1789, so you also have the protection of our historic standing."

The diocese disassociated because of the National Episcopal Church's adoption of policies that are contrary to the Bible on homosexual, lesbian, and transgender issues.

"The key point is not only did they not let us have our view, but they increasingly pressured us not to have our view," he explains. "And it was clear that we were going to have no more room to practice freely in any meaningful sense, and they came after our bishop on a silly pretext."

He adds that they did that without following their own rules. Bishop Mark Joseph Lawrence's position has been to stand on the Bible. Harmon says members have freedom of religion and association, meaning a constitutionally protected right to depart with property intact.

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