On Thursday, the Connecticut Supreme Court heard argument in an appeal taken from a ruling in favor of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut in a lawsuit brought to determine rightful control of the real and personal property of Bishop Seabury Episcopal Church in Groton.
In the fall of 2007, a former Episcopal priest and the former lay leadership of the parish chose to leave The Episcopal Church for another faith and refused to relinquish possession of the property in accordance with Episcopal Church polity and doctrine. Those individuals, named as defendants in the action, claimed that the property was not subject to the polity and doctrine of The Episcopal Church.
The trial court rejected that claim. It ruled in March 2010 that Bishop Seabury Episcopal Church is now and always has been a part of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut and as such, the property of the parish is held in trust for The Episcopal Church.
Eighteen years ago the Connecticut Supreme Court resolved these issues in the Trinity-Saint Michael’s case. According to a press release The Diocese of Connecticut has every confidence that the Supreme Court will affirm the trial court’s decision, which applied those principles, and bring this long and unfortunate process to an end. Thursday's argument is another step toward the ultimate determination that Bishop Seabury Episcopal Church remains in every way as it always has been — a valued part of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, wrote Karin Hamilton, director of communications and marketing.
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