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Jacksonville, FL: Parish fires back with lawsuit at Bishop John Howard
VirtueOnline-News ^ | 4/30/2005 | Jeff Brumley, Times-Union

Posted on 04/30/2006 6:34:41 PM PDT by sionnsar

JACKSONVILLE, FL: Parish fires back with lawsuit at Bishop John Howard Redeemer parish argues it paid for church site

By JEFF BRUMLEY The Times-Union April 30, 2006

A Jacksonville parish sued by its former bishop over property rights has fired back in court papers, claiming financial and theological grounds for staying in its Southside church building.

Bishop John Howard filed suit in Duval County circuit court in March against the Church of the Redeemer -- now known as Redeemer Anglican Church -- demanding its rector and lay leaders hand over the property because the parish quit the Episcopal Diocese of Florida and joined an overseas diocese.

The diocese's lawsuit contends the Rev. Neil Lebhar and Redeemer's vestry members violated their obligations to the diocese by joining another church.

The lawsuit seeks the return of property, legal costs and a special master to do an accounting of all Redeemer property.

The suit also notes the diocese possesses the deed to the property, and Episcopal Church law says the hierarchy owns parish properties.

Redeemer filed an answer contending the parish is the rightful owner because it purchased the property, paid for upkeep and improvements and has continuously occupied the facility.

The parish also argues that the Episcopal Church USA has violated historic Christian teachings on homosexuality and therefore ceased being a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Redeemer said the hierarchy to which it belongs -- and which it says ultimately owns its property -- is the communion, not the denomination. Redeemer is one of several parishes alarmed that the Episcopal Church USA elected an openly gay priest as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

Howard has repeatedly said he would neither ordain gay clergy nor allow same-sex unions in his Jacksonville-based diocese.

But conservatives wanted him to break away from the denomination altogether.

A court date has not been set in the case.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: churchproperty; floridaanglican

1 posted on 04/30/2006 6:34:45 PM PDT by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; meandog; gogeo; Lord Washbourne; Calabash; axegrinder; AnalogReigns; Uriah_lost; ...
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-9 pings/day).
This list is pinged by sionnsar, Huber and newheart.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:
More Anglican articles here.

Humor: The Anglican Blue (by Huber)

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 04/30/2006 6:35:30 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† | Iran Azadi 2006 | SONY: 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0urs)
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To: sionnsar
I've tagged 3 recent stories with my 'churchproperty' keyword.

I've always thought that the Florida parishes were on comparatively weak legal grounds because of the title issue. I wish them well, but I'm not optimistic about the outcome.
3 posted on 05/01/2006 12:35:43 AM PDT by PAR35
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To: ahadams2
You may not be aware that The Rev. Neil Lebhar is a former Associate Rector of Truro Church!

He was the one "on call" when my Mom died and I've never forgotten the compassionate way he dealt with the middle of the night telephone call and my need. God bless him.

4 posted on 05/01/2006 11:52:59 AM PDT by TruthNtegrity (What happened to "Able Danger" and any testimony by Col Schaffer?)
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