Breakaway Falls Church leaders plan to appeal court’s property ruling

August 12, 2013

[Episcopal Diocese of Virginia press release] The leaders of a Falls Church, Virginia congregation that broke away from the Episcopal Church said this week that they plan to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Falls Church CANA congregation will ask the high court to overturn the Supreme Court of Virginia’s April 18 ruling in favor of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. That state ruling upheld a 2012 decision that allowed The Falls Church Episcopal to return to its historic church home.

An earlier appeal by the CANA group to the Supreme Court of Virginia for reconsideration of its unanimous decision was denied in June.

“It is unfortunate that this litigation continues,” said Diocese of Virginia Bishop Shannon S. Johnston. “Nonetheless, we remain committed to focusing our energies on the work of the church. The Falls Church Episcopal continues to grow and thrive, and we all look forward to a time when we can put these issues behind us for good.”

Those sentiments were echoed by the Rev. John Ohmer, rector of The Falls Church Episcopal. “We will continue to focus not on the past, but on growing our present and future ministries,” said Ohmer.

The CANA congregation has until Sept. 12 to file its petition for appeal. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to make a decision on whether to hear the appeal toward the end of this year or the beginning of 2014.