The concept of the Separation of Church and State has been somewhat turned on its ear recently, in Falls Church, Virginia. That Separation is guaranteed in the First Amendment to our Constitution, and it goes back to the earliest days of the founding of the United States of America. This Freedom has been cited numerous times by the
U. S. Supreme Court, throughout our Nation’s History. Currently, there is a legal tussle in the courts, which takes that whole thought process in another direction and, perhaps, might result in other similar cases or some new legal precedents.
The Episcopal Congregation of Falls Church broke away from the Episcopal Church (United States) in 2006; however, it then established a direct relationship with the International Anglican Communion. Keep in mind that the Episcopal Church (United States) is also part of that same loose affiliation of Churches, which belong to the Communion. So, the local Falls Church Congregation broke-away from the American version of Anglicanism; but, then it joined the Anglican Communion directly. Got that, so far?
The Falls Church congregation is a conservative one; however, the linked article, from the Washington post, does not indicate the reason for the split, http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/episcopal-church-owns-falls-church-property-supreme-court-lets-virginia-court-ruling-stand/2014/03/10/26a17c72-9d5d-11e3-b8d8-94577ff66b28_print.html. Personally, I believe that this is all part of a discrepancy, among some of the more conservative Anglican Churches around-the-World, with regard to the Ordination of Gay Bishops and the recognition of Same-Sex Marriage.
The more-Worldly controversy, however, centers on the very valuable piece of Property, in Downtown Falls Church, on which the local church is located. The Virginia Courts ruled that the Episcopal Church (United States) owns that property; however, the local “Falls Church Congregation” rightfully owns the coffers, an amount that is valued at $3 Million. Just this past Monday, the U. S. Supreme Court refused to hear an Appeal.
NOTE: I wonder why they didn’t call the new church, the Falls Church…Church?