Episcopal split tests faith and law
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Upset with what they say is the increasingly heterodox stance the national leadership of The Episcopal Church, Episcopalians in Texas and throughout the country are leaving their denomination and aligning under Anglican bishops. In a last-grasp effort to hold on to property and assert control over an often dissident flock, the leadership of The Episcopal Church is arguing Canon law in the unlikeliest of places: the secular courtroom. As parishes and even whole dioceses country break free of the hierarchy and declare themselves independent from the national church, two lawsuits in Texas are raising the stakes and asking the government not just to intervene in land disputes, but to go further and determine the organizational structure of the faith.