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George Washington University
Church property fight turns on constitutional issues
Church property fight turns on constitutional issues

The legal fight playing out between the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland and a tiny Middle River congregation is one of dozens of cases nationwide that are testing the limits of religious authority. It's an issue the Supreme Court has confronted more than once. The Church of the Ascension in Middle River — like many local congregations before it — has argued that because it held the deed for its property, diocesan officials had no right to close the church two years ago, seize the congregation's bank accounts and take control of the real estate. The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland — like many other dioceses — argues that Baltimore County Circuit Court has no...