Episcopal Dispute in Maryland Spills into Federal Court
David E. Guinn
davideguinn at YAHOO.COM
Thu Aug 16 09:35:18 PDT 2001
----- Original Message -----
From: "Vance R. Koven"
> At 10:08 AM 8/15/01 -0700, David Guinn wrote:
> >I cannot imagine the Court addressing the
> >ecclesiastical laws per se, unless they were
> >specifically incorporated in a contract addressing
> >property issues.
> I was under the impression that courts occasionally take jurisdiction over
> cases involving breaches of the organizational instruments of church
> entities, in the manner of intra-corporate disputes. At least under
> popular theory, this amounts to a contract issue among the participants.
I don't know the cases you are referring to, but wouldn't the courts still
need some link to real property associated with the organizational
instruments? Otherwise, if it was purely an eclessiastical concern, the
court in a case like this might find itself called upon to enforce a
prohibition against hiring a woman minister/rabbi/etc. or a person of a
different race that is proscribed by the religious teachings of a particular
sect. Without the property interest, I'm not sure the contract theory would
hold. The relationship would simply be a loose association terminable at
will - and enforcing a theological position on a free standing entity would
violate the EC.
David E. Guinn, JD, PhD
5032 N. Glenwood Ave. #3
Chicago, IL 60640
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