All Saints Verdict
The New York Court of Appeals Affirms Its Decision in Favor of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester in Its Property Dispute with All Saints Anglican Church
The New York\'s Court of Appeals affirmed a previous decision from a lower court, which states that the church building at 759 Winona Blvd. in Irondequoit was held in trust for the Episcopal Church of the USA and the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester.
The New York State Court of Appeals decided that the property of the former All Saints Episcopal Church, which split with the National Church over the ordination of an openly gay bishop, belongs to the Episcopal Church of the USA and the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester. All Saints had stopped supporting the diocese and the Episcopal Church of the USA after the 2003 ordination of Gene Robinson, now Bishop of New Hampshire.
In November 2005, a majority of delegates at a Rochester diocesan convention voted to dissolve All Saints for not fulfilling its obligations. The diocese has now sold the building at Winona Boulevard and Chapel Hill Drive, Irondequoit, to another denomination. The All Saints congregation has been meeting at a Lutheran church in Rochester.
'While we remain saddened by the decision made by leaders of the former All Saints parish to disaffiliate from the Episcopal Church, we are gratified that the New York courts have unanimously upheld the fundamental tenets of the Episcopal Church imposing a trust upon parish property for the benefit of the Diocese and National Church', the Rt. Rev. Prince Singh, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, stated. 'This was an important case for Episcopalians both locally and nationally,' the Bishop stated.
'This ruling by the Court of Appeals will prove to be of great value to other Episcopal dioceses in New York State and beyond which face similar claims by breakaway congregations,' Philip R. Fileri, partner of Harter Secrest & Emery, and Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese noted.