SC Supreme Court agrees to hear appeal in Episcopal Church suit

Updated: Apr. 15, 2015 at 8:33 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The State Supreme Court will hear a case involving the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and a break away group.

The national group is appealing the decision that the break away group has the right to keep the name of the diocese and church property.

"We are pleased that the court has agreed to hear the case and we look forward to presenting our positions on these important issues before the Supreme Court," Chancellor Thomas S. Tisdale of TECSC said.

A court ruling in February had allowed the Diocese of South Carolina to keep $500 million worth of property the Episcopal Church of South Carolina had claimed when the diocese broke away from the larger church.

The rift between the churches began in 2012 after the national church attempted to remove Bishop Mark Lawrence.

Thirty congregations from Myrtle Beach to Hilton Head stayed with the church, but 53 other churches formed a breakaway group led by Lawrence.

The Diocese of South Carolina says the breakaway grew from the efforts to remove the bishop, leading the diocese to the decision to leave the national church.

TECSC officials also announced on Wednesday that the court set Sept. 23, 2015 as the date for oral arguments in the case.

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