La Crescenta church takes case to U.S. Supreme Court

An Anglican congregation evicted from its La Crescenta church in October after losing a legal battle with the Episcopal Church has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its case.

Congregants at St. Luke's of the Mountains Anglican Church voted in 2006 to leave the Episcopal denomination over theological differences, including the consecration of a gay bishop in New Hampshire.

The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and the national church sued to retain the church's property.

California courts have repeatedly ruled against the breakaway parish, saying the St. Luke's property was held in trust for the diocese and the national denomination. The state Supreme Court declined to hear the case in
October, and a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge subsequently ordered the St. Luke's congregation to leave.

St. Luke's Wednesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. The congregation's attorney, Eric Sohlgren, said in remarks quoted by the Los Angeles Times that its leaders hope the court will establish a uniform approach for state laws to follow in church property disputes.

The U.S. Supreme Court in October declined to intervene in a similar property dispute -- one pitting the Los Angeles diocese and the national church against another breakaway congregation, St. James Anglican Church of Newport Beach.

Since being ordered to vacate the La Crescenta property, St. Luke's has moved into a rented Seventh-day Adventist chapel in Glendale, according to The Times.