The following message was issued by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. An earlier ENS article about the appeal to the Supreme Court and background regarding the case is available here.
Last Friday, the Supreme Court of Virginia accepted the Falls Church Anglican’s petition for appeal, which seeks to overturn the ruling returning the Falls Church property to the mission of the Episcopal Church. The briefing process will begin immediately, and the Court will hear oral argument on the merits and hand down a decision probably sometime in the first half of next year.
Specifically, the Supreme Court agreed to review the lower court’s ruling that held that the Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church have contractual and proprietary rights in the property of the Falls Church. In addition, the Court declined to hear a cross-appeal which sought to confirm that the Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church also have a trust interest in the property.
“Regardless of this development, this diocese looks toward the future with hope as we continue to serve this world in need,” said Henry D.W. Burt, secretary of the Diocese. “We will continue to support the Falls Church Episcopal as they face this uncertainty with the same faithfulness they have faced so many others. We remain confident in our legal position and we look forward to the successful conclusion of this litigation.”