The Episcopal Church pays legal fees

The Episcopal Church pays legal fees

On February 22, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear our cases, which meant the decision of the Texas Supreme Court awarding more than $100 million worth of property and our name to people who left The Episcopal Church in 2008 stands.

Despite the fact some fees and expenses may have been paid by an insurance company and that there is no statute obligating the ACNA Diocese to seek recovery of their fees, the ACNA Diocese chose to seek recovery of their attorney fees and expenses from The Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Church in North Texas, and the individuals who volunteered to serve The Episcopal Church in North Texas.  On June 1, 2021, to avoid the trouble and expense of a trial on payment of fees associated with the litigation, to avoid any liability of the individual volunteers and to compromise and settle all claims for attorneys’ fees that the ACNA diocese might have against our Parties, the Parties entered mediation and agreed to settle the dispute.

As per the settlement agreement, The Episcopal Church has paid the total sum of $4,500,000 for attorneys’ fees, costs, expenses, and interest incurred by the ACNA diocese.  This amount is significantly less than the amount sought by the ACNA diocese.

“This is an incarnational demonstration of the immense support The Episcopal Church has extended to our diocese during this difficult time,” said Bishop Scott Mayer.  “From the first moments after the news in February, Bishop Michael Curry and President of the House of Deputies Gay Jennings offered their complete support. They also invited us to address the Executive Council of the Church, which also voiced its support.

“While none of us ever thought we were alone on this journey into an as-yet-unknown future, we are grateful for these companions on the way, and for this very real demonstration of their support.”

Amanda Skofstad, public affairs officer for the Episcopal Church, released the following statement:

“The Episcopal Church made the payment in order to resolve the matter – with no admission of liability – to protect and defend all loyal Episcopalians in North Texas and allow them the freedom to move forward in their congregations.

“This case was only one in a series of cases over the last decade and a half nationally in which The Episcopal Church, and a number of its dioceses, have successfully protected hundreds of millions of dollars of property held in trust for the denomination and its future generations.”