The Episcopal Church has a new commandment for its bishops: Thou shalt not assist former Episcopalians who are trying to take the church’s assets.
Church leaders have reached an agreement with nine bishops who had supported breakaway congregations in Texas and Illinois court cases. Courts have been sorting out who controls properties and other assets when congregations leave the denomination.
Under the terms, the nine bishops “express regret for any harm” to the Dioceses of Quincy (Ill.) and Fort Worth (Texas) as a result of their actions, which included filing amicus briefs that were sympathetic with the breakaway groups.
The bishops also pledged to stop supporting breakaway groups in court cases, at least until the church’s General Convention addresses the matter in 2015. They also agree to help defray costs incurred by the church in reaching the accord.