SC Episcopal Diocese Files Lawsuit Over Property

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By Alicia Barnes

ST. GEORGE, S.C. (AP) _ Officials of the Diocese of South Carolina have filed a lawsuit against The Episcopal Church, saying it needs to protect its property from the national body.

A statement from the diocese said the lawsuit was filed Friday in South Carolina Circuit Court. The lawsuit also seeks to prevent The Episcopal Church from infringing on the protected marks of the Diocese, including its seal and its historical names.

The Diocese of South Carolina, made up of 71 parishes with approximately 30,000 members, split with the national church over several issues, including the ordination of gays.

In 2006, the diocese voted to reject the authority of the national church's presiding bishop, but stopped short of a full break.

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