Friday, 30 May 2008

British Columbia court refuses to grant injunction to Anglicans who voted to split

The B.C. Supreme Court has rebuked a group of dissident Anglicans who sought to take control of a church building after voting to leave Canada's Anglican Church.

Four months ago a group of parishioners at the Anglican Church of St. Mary in Mechosin, B.C., near Victoria, voted to realign themselves with the more conservative Anglican Network in Canada.

They're among 28 parishes that have chosen to leave the Anglican Church of Canada in the last year, out of frustration with what they perceive as a gradual departure from core values.

The controversy over blessing same-sex unions - in practise at eight Anglican churches in the Diocese of New Westminster in B.C. - is cited as the linchpin issue, though church officials say it's part of a broader disagreement over the authority and interpretation of the Bible.

Following the departure, the Bishop of the Diocese of British Columbia had the locks changed and an alarm installed at the church, prompting the group to go to court and ask for an injunction preventing the diocese from interfering in their worship.

But B.C. Supreme Court Justice Marion Allan refused to grant the injunction, ruling that to give control of a church to a group that voted to leave would accelerate the schism in the Anglican church by adding a layer of legal complexity to the theological debate. Read more
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