By John Rieping
VISALIA – The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin has filed a lawsuit against the members of this city’s St. Paul’s Church, which voted to leave the Episcopal Church in 2007 and became part of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.
Both denominations are part of the Anglican Communion, which is a global association of churches in full communion with the Church of England.
St. Paul’s parish in Visalia is 123 years old and predates the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, which was founded in 1911. However, the current church building was finished in 1949. The Episcopal Church, which filed its suit Tuesday, is seeking the return of the parish’s property.
Similar cases are currently pending against the parishes of St. Francis in Turlock, St. Michael’s in Ridgecrest, St. John’s in Porterville, St. James in Sonora, Holy Redeemer in Delano, and St. Columba in Fresno.