U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris, in a pair of opinions, ruled that church property and real estate is under the control of the archdiocese, not its individual parishes, as attorneys for the archdiocese had argued.
Give a bimbo a seat on the court and they'll interfere, interpret and overrule Canon Law!
Her ruling settles one of the main questions on the bankruptcy - whether accepting the jurisdiction of a federal court might violate the First Amendment rights of the church to the "free exercise" of religion by forcing it to ignore church law on ownership.
"There is no First Amendment impediment to this court's jurisdiction," Perris wrote.
..and she is her own court of appeals too.
However, Perris left open the question of whether the sale of that property could pose an unfair burden on the practice of religion under the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act of 1993.
That is where the Romans fighting over Christ's garments are screwed.
I remember going way back to when the Boston Globe and the homosexual SNAP individual (what was his name?...I forget) and the lawyers put up a website to recruit their "victims", the one thing the lawyers kept saying was - if they fight back with Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, they'll win.
All the dissenters and lesbians and homosexuals would huff and puff and blow steam - etc. There were severl legitimate victims on the site--and it was tragic, but for the most part it was Micks on the Make.
This was my favorite part:
In the Washington case, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Patricia Williams said Spokane Bishop William Skylstad agreed to abide by federal law when he voluntarily entered the diocese into bankruptcy, and cannot claim that ownership must decided by church law.
The Constitution does not apply when when disputes are taken to civil court. All evidence submitted on Church law, is inadmissable.
Anyhoo...bottom line, could be a Godsend in the long run. The wingnuts will finally have to surrender their claim on their little schismatic fiefdoms.