POLITICS: PennAve

Supreme Court declines to hear case of breakaway Falls Church

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Virginia,Supreme Court,PennAve,Sean Lengell,Gay rights,Religion,Law

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a dispute between the Episcopal Church and a Northern Virginia congregation that left the denomination in a dispute over gay rights.

Justices let stand the Virginia Supreme Court decision that the Falls Church, a suburban Washington parish that traces its history to the Colonial era, couldn't keep the historic church building and property after splitting from the Episcopal Church in 2006.

The high court gave no explanation for its decision.

The schism centered on the Virginia church's position that the Episcopal Church had become too liberal in positions regarding gay rights, as well as other theological differences. The breakaway church, which has about 3,000 members, has since joined the more conservative Anglican Church of North America.

Now called Falls Church Anglican, the congregation holds worship services at nearby Columbia Baptist Chapel and Bishop O'Connell High School.

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