Petition Dismissed in Illinois

Both parties have issued responses to the Supreme Court of Illinois choosing on November 26 to dispose of a petition by the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.

From the Diocese of Chicago:

The Illinois Supreme Court today denied a petition by the Episcopal Church to review the ruling of a lower court which had found that certain property of the former Episcopal Diocese of Quincy now belongs to a breakaway group organized as the Anglican Diocese of Quincy.

“We are disappointed in this decision,” said the Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee, bishop of the Diocese of Chicago. The former Episcopal Diocese of Quincy reunited with Lee’s diocese in 2013 and now constitutes its Peoria deanery. “My first concern is to attend to the pastoral needs of the faithful Episcopalians in the Peoria deanery, who have shown such grace and fortitude as the legal process has unfolded. We are aware of our legal options and will consider them in due course.”

The property at issue in the case is an endowment fund and a house adjacent to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Peoria.

From the Anglican Church in North America’s Diocese of Quincy.

The Illinois Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a petition by the Episcopal Church to review the ruling of a lower court which had found that contested funds and properties in various locations throughout Illinois rightfully belong to the Diocese of Quincy of the Anglican Church in North America.

The decision effectively brings to a close several lawsuits brought by the Episcopal Church against Illinois Anglicans over funds and property that have been in contention since a 2008 split over doctrinal issues.

An Illinois District Court of Appeals had earlier upheld the decision by the court in Adams County in favor of the Anglican Diocese. The court ruled that there is no provision in the governing documents of the Episcopal Church (USA) that keeps a Diocese from withdrawing its membership in that organization. The Supreme Court has now subsequently decided in favor of the lower courts in its denial of the Episcopal Church’s appeal.

“We give thanks to Almighty God for His providence,” said the Right Reverend J. Alberto Morales, OSB, the ninth Bishop of Quincy. “Our work remains the same as it ever has been, though — to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. We trust in Him to provide everything else we need as we seek to make Jesus Christ known throughout this portion of the Kingdom.”

The Anglican Diocese of Quincy has more than doubled in size and number of parishes since the 2008 split, now counting parishes in seven states. Episcopalians of the former diocese have been consolidated into the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.

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