An Episcopal priest who proposed rewriting Texas law to favor dissident congregations in property disputes said January 30 he considers it “the next natural step” in an attempt to halt lawsuits within the church.
“It’s shameful we’re spending so much money suing one another when we could be using that money for mission,” said the Rev. Canon Ed Monk, rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Corsicana.
He and other leaders of the conservative 300-member St. John’s, located about 50 miles southeast of Dallas, contacted state Representative Byron Cook, a three-term Republican. On January 22, Cook introduced House Bill 972, which directs courts to find a “just and right” division of property, having “due regard” for all parties.
Cook did not return Episcopal News Service calls January 30, but Monk said that the changes were inspired by a Virginia law which awarded property to dissident congregations, contradicting Episcopal Church canons. “I thought it would be good to have a similar one,” he said.
This obviously would affect centralised churches such as the Church of God as well.