Court Reaffirms Ruling in Favor of Diocese & Episcopal Church

The Supreme Court of Virginia today denied a petition for rehearing from a congregation that had left the Episcopal Church. The Falls Church CANA had filed for reconsideration of the court’s April 18 decision in favor of the Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church.

The CANA congregation submitted a petition on May 17 after the court had affirmed the right of Episcopalians to worship in their church home at The Falls Church Episcopal. Today’s action by the Supreme Court sends the case to the Fairfax County Circuit Court for final resolution of issues related to personal property.

“The decision by the Supreme Court is about much more than litigation,” said the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, bishop of Virginia. “This decision is an occasion for all those, on both sides, to focus fully on positive ministries ahead.”

The Rev. John Ohmer, rector of The Falls Church Episcopal, said that he and his congregation are “relieved by this decision and looking forward to turning a new page.”

“The decision today is an affirming one,” added the Rev. Deacon Edward W. Jones, secretary of the Diocese. “We are looking to the future with gratefulness and optimism.”