Federal court considers SC Episcopal division - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Federal court considers SC Episcopal division

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St Philip's Episcopal Church in Charleston. St Philip's Episcopal Church in Charleston.
CHARLESTON, SC -

A federal judge is considering whether legal issues arising from the Episcopal schism in eastern South Carolina should be heard in state court or in federal court.

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U.S. District Judge C. Weston Houck on Thursday heard about 45 minutes of arguments in Charleston.
    
The conservative Diocese of South Carolina separated from the more liberal national Episcopal Church last year over a variety of theological issues. It then sued in state court seeking to protect the half billion dollars' worth of property controlled by the parishes that left.
    
Attorneys for the diocese argued that any issues can be handled by state courts. But an attorney representing the churches that remained with the national church says the case raises freedom of religion issues that must be heard by a federal court.

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