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Judge weighing whether SC Episcopal schism is federal matter


Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - A judge is considering whether issues arising from the Episcopal division in eastern South Carolina belong in federal court. U.S. District Judge C. Weston Houck heard about an hour of arguments Thursday on a request for an injunction by the bishop of churches remaining with the national church.

It seeks to block the bishop of the churches that left the national denomination from using the name and the symbols of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. A state judge earlier allowed that group to use the symbols.

But attorneys for the bishop filing the complaint say it's a federal matter of trademark infringement.

Many churches in the conservative diocese separated from the national church last year over theological issues.

Houck plans to issue an order in a week or so.

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